Meeting designer Dóra Konsánszky for the first time happened just when I fell in the midst of the fashion industry. I was new but as well ready to explore the essence of this mad business. Dóra was showing in Vienna at the time and I felt some sort of elusive pride, while watching her skillful work on the catwalk…Read my interview with her.
Recalling the excitement of the 19-year-old fashion forward me, I waited for this interview with designer Dóra Konsánszky ever since we’ve met during the Vienna Fashion Days in 2010. This has been almost four years ago and today we are sitting in Coyote Coffee Deli – a reddish vintage café just along the Danube and discussing her approach to fashion. The conversation touches also the latest AW’14 collections, Dóra’s dog, her travels through Tokyo’s unrealistic skyscraper-slash-japanese-garden-paradise and the new palette of androgynous models over a cup of delicious freshly brewed coffee. For those of you who are not yet familiar with the brand, konsanszky was established in 2006 in Budapest, Hungary. Since its launch her designs are known of their innovative details and materials yet for aiming the mature, contemporary woman.
Réka: Did you always want to be a designer?
Dóra: To be honest, not really fashion design attracted me in the beginning more like costume design…But you know such is life, plans have changed as I got into Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, and later I won a fashion design scholarship to France – this has pretty much defined my future.
Réka: How could you describe an average day of yours?
Dóra: I’m an early bird so after taking my child to school I sip a good cup of coffee at one of my haunts (She is a coffee addict;)), then I’m heading to my studio, where I spend most of my time…Ever since starting my brand in 2006 I’m not familiar with such term as eight-hours-of-work; I spend average 10-12 hours working a day, if I have some energy left I go for a run in the evenings to stay fit.
Réka: What was the concept when you started konsanszky? How would you describe the woman you are designing for?
Dóra: The brand name came very naturally – it’s my family name. I was always 100% sure that I want to be a designer – this is what I always had and still having a turn for. Although it’s not just about creativity; sales, marketing and production are together the elemental source of a fashion brand. As a womenswear label, konsanszky represents sophistication and minimalism, this way the woman with crave for having a very own style and daring to express it through my designs.
Réka: Speaking of self-expression, in your opinion, what makes your designs unique as well as attractive and sellable?
Dóra: I strive to build up each collection so it has a few high-end pieces – showpieces if you like. And for the rest I focus on wearability yet still trying to capture a flash of the show pieces in each of it. That is how they become wearable and sellable. My main focus when designing are always quality, tailoring and comfort besides pricing.
Réka: What would you suggest to today’s designer generation?
Dóra: To deal with the advantages of the world of media and Internet cleverly but to be most of all patient and persistent – it’s the key to knowledge, experience and long-term success.
Réka: What inspires you generally?
Dóra: Music, traveling, movies and art. I’m fond of the Japanese landscape architecture.
Réka: What’s your future goal?
Dóra: I’d like to finally start designing menswear pieces. I had an attempt making a few items two years ago – they’ve got sold out real quick, but due to my ongoing projects it’s always a lack of time. My customers though don’t give up, they keep pushing me to design a range for men, so sooner or later I’ll come about doing so I guess.
Réka: Which materials are you using the most?
Dóra: I’m mostly using natural fibres blended with elastane and polyester as well as wool, silk and cotton or viscose depending on the season.
Réka: Do you believe that one can communicate anything original today?
Dóra: It’s possible I believe but I rather think that a good designer is being inspired from the past and uses the current innovations wisely. This way one can create something recent, novel and most of all valid.
Réka: How is it to be a designer, a businesswoman and a mother at once?
Dóra: Not easy I’d say but still doable. Since it’s not an official eight-hours-job but as well a lifestyle; my passion, it’s hard to separate work and free time.
Réka: If you would ever get to do a collaboration, which brand/designer would you do it with?
Réka: Lastly, Dóra, what inspired your latest collection?
Dóra: For the upcoming season I’ve found inspiration in music – to be precise in jazz. It connects artistic freedom with coolness so effortlessly by leaving space for improvisation. I’ve tried to capture the essence of it. My secondary inspiration was a beautiful woman called Veruschka von Lehndorff – one of the first celebrated androgynous models of the Sixties. The result is touching grunge, androgyny and beauty blended minimalist attributes.
Dóra, many thanks for coming, it was a great pleasure talking to you! Also thank you for your thoughtful answers, we wish you all the best for the future!