Playing mix and match with the clothes of your partner in crime and feeling straight out of a badass movie could at first sight be the philosophy of Warsaw based streetwear brand van Hoyden which creates a mixture of Grunge and Techno elements featuring oversized cuts and a genderfree attitude. Their mantra’s simply explained: Trust your gut feeling and do your own thing no matter what – a refreshing mindset paired with a heart for unique pieces everybody can wear. We chatted with the founder of the Polish label to get an impression of their early beginnings and the characteristics of Warsaw’s fashion scene.
To start off with, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
My name is Ewa Lesniewska and I started van Hoyden because I was bored of high street designs and their repetitiveness. I wanted to wear something special, something that was mine. I work as a stylist so my interest in fashion turned over time into creating my own brand. In the beginning my only clients were friends who were buying clothes while partying at my house. So I guess you could say that van Hoyden was born during one of these Techno/Grunge house parties. When I met Monika Tomaszek we decided to work on the brand together. She’s doing all the graphics for our collection. In our duo she’s grunge and I’m techno.
Your label in three words?
Grunge + Techno + Streetwear = van Hoyden
What fashion statement do you want to create with your clothing?
We always say most of the pieces from our collection are unisex. We don’t want to pigeonhole the clothes as male or female. We reckon that fashion is nowadays all about gender blending anyway. You should wear whatever you feel good in, regardless of labels.
How would you describe the Warsaw street fashion scene in comparison with other big cities?
Warsaw’s street fashion is still very reserved compared to cities like Berlin and London. We are still very conservative about what we wear, which turned out to be a good thing for van Hoyden – anything that is somehow “different” is sure to have bigger chances of being noticed and staying around.
What’s the best advice you ever got concerning the fashion industry?
Just do your own thing.
Photography: Tymek Maciejewski & Ola Zaborowska
by Juule Kay