Sandra Sandor and her husband Peter Baldaszti are proof that, beyond the obvious requirement of initial financing, what’s needed most to run a successful fashion brand is clarity of vision. They seem to have it in spades. Their brainchild Nanushka, where Sandor is creative director and Baldaszti is chief executive, made the Financial Times’s 1000—a list of the 1,000 fastest growing companies in Europe—last year.
This season they kept the label’s presentation rather low-key in a Paris showroom—not that they’re after grand gestures, their no-waste, sustainable, socially responsible ethos doesn’t make room for pyrotechnics. The difficult situation in the region around Ukraine (which borders Hungary, where the company is based), has caused glitches in the production chain, but their spring collection has an upbeat vibe. Sandor said that she was looking at craft and tradition as her main creative drivers, acknowledging the strength and humanity of the handmade.
Hungarian heritage was her source of inspiration. “We wanted to revitalize its century-old craft techniques, translating them into our world,” she explained. “It’s like bringing to life a new heritage, approaching it in an innovative way.” While functionality, unfussy design, and an industrial-artsy spirit remain at the core of Sandor’s beliefs, decoration was introduced as an appealing accent. Turanian ornaments from Transilvania were rendered into graphic motifs, block-printed on genderless cotton shirts and matching drawstring shorts, embroidered on slouchy hand-knitted cotton jumpers, or printed in diamond-shaped patterns on denim truck jackets and matching straight pants. Crochet textures and trimmings also highlighted the expressive artisanal flair Sandor wanted to emphasize.
Vegan alt leather is one of the cornerstones of the company’s sustainable practice; its updated version is made with less water usage than previous iterations. Supple and satiny to the touch, it was rendered into clean-shaped wardrobe staples, combining practicality and the feel-good factor that comes from knowing that what you’re wearing is less harmful to the planet. Dungarees, biker jackets, elongated dusters, and bell-bottom flares worn under shapely fringed minidresses had slight imperfections, due to the no-waste tailoring process Sandor is committed to. “ There’s beauty in imperfection,” she said, “as embracing the artisanal is always about leaving room for accidents and creative surprises.”