JOHANNA SENYK’S 10 COMMANDMENTS FOR SUCCESS IN FASHION
Define the DNA, find inspiration, organize THE fashion show that everyone is talking about…In the midst of creating her Wanda Nylon collection for Spring-Summer 2017, founder and designer, Johanna Senyk, shares her keys to success.
KNOW WHO YOU ARE TO KNOW WHO TO TALK TO
Starting with one product immediately identified Wanda Nylon as a latex rain wear label. And the women who wear these kind of shiny garments and talk about them are not just anyone. The Wanda Nylon woman is independent, determined, and self-confident. Wanda Nylon is power dressing.
FIND A NAME THAT REFLECTS WHO YOU ARE
It would have been impossible for me to call my label “Maison Johanna”, that would be have been much too traditional in comparison with my designs. I wanted something catchy, bouncy. I took inspiration from the names of the dancers at the Crazy Horse and I chose a name with two parts: Wanda, to reflect my Polish origin and Nylon for the technical, contemporary and modern aspect.
BE RECOGNIZABLE TO STAND OUT
You need a strong and personal style suggestion. What really gets the job done is the way that you work, that you express yourself and what you have to say. I was lucky that my powerful and sexy rain wear fit into an unoccupied spot on the market. Girls wanted to wear it right away, Rihanna bought some Wanda Nylon at Opening Ceremony, and so did Snoop Dog and Beyoncé.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME
The six collection a year pace is a nightmare. That mens two months to design and produce every time. I decided to limit myself to two yearly collections and I won’t do any more so I can elaborate my designs. It pays off today.
ANYTHING CAN BE INSPIRING
Generally, I am not stressed about creativity: I have so many things in my head, so many ideas that I would like to develop that I have enough to to make fifteen collections! I don’t have time to go to exhibitions or the movies. However, I focus on things that interest me and I do extensive research. I went to the Swarovski workshops to see their stones for a project with Vogue and the Galliera museum. That made me think about the work of the cutter and iridescence, for example…
DO NOT COMPROMISE CREATIVITY
Every time that I have tried to keep quiet or to pretend, people immediately notice. As soon as I subdue my personality to try to do things that are a bit too “normal”, it never works. You just have to accept that you can’t please everyone. Today, I don’t listen to others anymore and I don’t even read what they write about us.
CATWALKS REQUIRE INVESTMENT (but not the one that you think)
You need passion for a successful fashion show. If you’re not really passionate about the music, staging and girls who are going to represent your season, you’re better off doing a photo shoot for a look book. I adore shows: remember, my name is “Senyk”! I still haven’t been able to really develop the scenography and I don’t have the finances that I need to have a blast with the lighting, but it allows me to explore something more minimalist, radical and fresh.
The garment has to adapt to the woman and not the opposite. I love girls, I like when they are pretty. I choose my models from the people who surround me, among my friends. Beauty is in the personality, not always in physical traits. I use the same ones from one season to another. I can’t imagine that I would like a girl one season and not at all for the next one, just because she had seconds at Christmas dinner!
LOVE WOMEN BIS
Clothing should empower them. During fittings, I have sometimes seen girls with very strong personalities come in, absolutely overwhelming in their own clothes and much less at ease in mine. That’s when you have to question yourself. I am thinking of Tamy Glauser in particular: if you put that girl in a little dress, she will quickly look like she is disguised. It is a kind of respect, you have to know what to assign to which girl so that they feel comfortable.
DON’T TRY TO BE TRENDY
For me, that is the only way to last. I think that you can’t be trendy any longer than five years. It’s very hard, if you remain true to yourself, you are supposed to be able to continue doing what you like for 30 years. But, on the other hand, that’s great if people constantly need new things and new offers. The opposite would be depressing.