When new fashion labels emerge, it can be difficult for them to stand out among the ever-changing fashion landscape. However, every once in a while, a brand succeeds in this and Nanushka is one of them.
Beginning in 2006, Sandra Sandor founded the label before bringing in her partner, Peter Baldaszti, as a co-owner and CEO ten years later. Now, Nanushka has become a sought-after brand among Instagram influencers and fashion insiders, with its leather outerwear, and unique take on the basics catching everyone's eyes.
To find out how the brand found it's unique aesthetic, we spoke with Sandor and asked how she went about launching Nanushka and who she designs for.
What was your experience before launching your label?
"Fashion has been part of my life since childhood. My mother launched a kidswear business back in the Seventies, so since my earliest memories, I have always been surrounded by clothes. I remember I was often her fitting model and starred in my mother's 'children fashion shows'. It was definitely a fun time for the six-year-old me. Growing up in this environment I think it came natural to me that I would follow a fashion path when choosing a career."
How long did the process take from when you initially had the idea, until you had the finished product in hand? How did Nanushka start? What’s the story?
"I left Budapest when I was 18 to study in London at the London College of Fashion. It was an amazing opportunity and I learnt so much during my time there. I decided to venture on my own when I was working on my thesis in my final university year. I was inspired by my mother's courage who had built a small business all on her own under the communist regime.
I returned from London to Budapest right after my graduation in 2006 and established Nanushka. It's been a long journey since then. Nanushka has remained a small local business until the end of 2016 when my fiancé joined the company as a co-owner, alongside with a venture capital investor GB Partners. It was really from here that our international growth has really taken off."
Who is the ideal person you’re designing for?
"I design for the modern human, I like to call this archetype the Seeker, who is respectful of others, of different cultures and desires to explore the world and constant seek new challenges. This human cherishes the planet and is deeply confident in her femininity. She’s bold and express her style, likes functionality and values modern spirituality."
What’s your inspiration behind the designs?
"What drives me as a designer is how I can create a bridge between distant cultural references from different times and places, i.e. creating balance and harmony in the clash of cultures. I get inspiration from my city, Budapest and its rich history.
I also get inspired during my travels. I do believe that traveling opens you up to new experiences and learn so much from different landscapes and cultures. I think my strong attraction to this ever-nomad, traveller lifestyle is also rooted in my origins. The Hungarians have lived a nomadic lifestyle for thousands of years before settling in Central Europe.
My love of to exploring new destinations also lead us to launch our new journal, the Seeker Magazine. This will offer a creative platform for Nanushka to curate and share our insider travel tips, food, culture, art and photography."
What have been some of the biggest challenges in getting the brand off the ground?
"I am a business-minded creative person, but I am not a born entrepreneur. The biggest challenge for any creative is to find a partner or a co-founder who can complement their strengths. Since my fiancée, Peter Baldaszti joined the business as the CEO and co-owner, Nanushka has been turned around completely. He says that the real alchemy happens when design intuition meets customer feedback and commercial data and I couldn’t agree more."
What impact has NET-A-PORTER stocking your brand had?
"The NET-A-PORTER team has been a wonderful partner since we launched our first collection with them more than a year ago. It has formed our business in many ways. NET-A-PORTER provided Nanushka exposure to untapped markets and introduced us to a wider audience. The buying team’s feedback and expertise in merchandising has also been invaluable for us in developing a more comprehensive collection. From time to time, we also partner with the NET-A-PORTER team on marketing events and it has a significant impact on our brand awareness. We believe that the future of the wholesale must be based on a close collaboration between the brands and its retailers. With the NET-A-PORTER team, this has been very organic from day one."