She has been a clothing designer for 9 years. Agnese Narnicka already started her professional career when she was still studying at the Art Academy of Latvia. Last year, her “Repair” collection was presented in the prestigious 29th Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, France. This year, she will introduce her UNIFORM collection at the designer market of FASHIONCLASH Festival (June 11-14) in Maastricht.
Q&A with designer Agnese Narnicka:
How would you describe your work?
My approach to fashion design is very individual. The initial period, when the idea appears, is very instinctive and spontaneous. The idea is actualised in the first fashion illustrations, reflecting not only the clothing but also its actual character. I enjoy creating collections that have a concept based on a specific story. When I have an idea for this story and the hero of the story is known, I would start some more extensive works of research and look for more detailed sources for inspiration. After that comes the final sketches, fabric selection, technical drawings of the pieces, ideas for possible treatments of the fabric, constructions, and the sewing of examples.
Have you shown your collections before? If so, where?
One Wolf regularly presents its collections to a broader public both locally and internationally. In Latvia, we show our collections at Riga Fashion Week. Internationally, we have participated in the "Who's next" show in Paris, the "Bread and Butter" show, the "Projektgallery" showroom, and Berlin's Fashion Week. What’s more, we have also presented ourselves in Japan and Great Britain. And, last year's "Repair" collection was also presented in the prestigious 29th International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, France.
What do you strive to be?
We strive to be an intelligent and substantively interesting brand that creates light and functional designs. Therefore, we constantly looks for new approaches to design. Continuous growth and self realisation are important to us in both the creative and commercial senses.
“We create unisex denim pants by ignoring or drastically transforming the classic detailing of jeans.”
Who are your artistic influences or inspirations? Why?
The biggest inspiration for One Wolf is people. Often, it is specifically those unique individuals in the large crowds of the city. My own interests also include current topics for the whole society on a global scale, because fashion is the reflection of the culture of the time. Fashion depicts the level of our social life and our spiritual values.
Finding your own voice is difficult, where and how do you find your personal creativity?
For me personally, the most exciting part is the "catching" of an idea. The moment when an idea and new trends appear in your head is usually an unplanned process, not a deliberate one. Then I work towards developing the idea and my vision by researching the topic of interest. Sometimes, I would dive very deep into research, not only looking for visual materials but also studying literature about the specific topic.
What was the most important thing your parents taught you, that you now bring into your work?
Definitely the attitude towards work. To not do things carelessly, to take responsibility for your own work. Most importantly, respect for other people and their work. Have you recently experienced something that totally blew your mind? The new innovative fabrics that are similar to aluminium foil. They are perfect for the idea of a new collection for One Wolf with the name "Lander".
Which item in your wardrobe really typifies you? Why?
Definitely jeans. And they are definitely not typical only for me, but for most global inhabitants. I think that we would be surprised if we count how many people that we meet every day are wearing jeans. At the same time, jeans are also the main product of the One Wolf brand. Granted, we mostly create unisex denim pants by ignoring or drastically transforming the classic detailing of jeans.
What is your most favorite accessory? Why?
For me, it is the backpack. Because it is fundamentally necessary in everyday life. I must say that it is not easy to find a good backpack! Thus, we have also begun our extensive research of this product and tried to develop new design ideas.
What is your most favorite brand? Why?
There are definitely several. But, if I have to mention only one, then - Yohji Yamamoto. I like not only his unique signature, design, and mastery in clothing constructions but also his philosophy and conviction about the role of fashion in our modern world.
“Fashion is a reflection of ourselves. It is society's mirror, which confirms the current values of society and attitudes towards one another.”
Fashion is a reflection of ourselves. It is society's mirror, which confirms the current values of society and attitudes towards one another. It changes exactly as much as we change.
What are the key factors in your design?
They are denim, unisex, and functionality and cleverness in details, construction, and the concept of a collection.
What makes your items different from others? What is your designing philosophy?
We create clothing for people, so that they would feel comfortable in their daily activities, while also sensing our unique design language that is austere, yet clever.
Fashion needs to progress year in year out, how do you keep innovating?
Experience helps the most. We try to learn from our own mistakes. And it's important to also preserve our strengths.
What do you want to achieve with your projects?
We address both males and females, because we offer the concept of unisex clothing.
“We think that differentiation between male and female is not that essential. Most important is the actual person, his personality, conviction, taste, and lifestyle.”
What are your views on gender categorization in fashion?
We think that differentiation between male and female is not that essential. Most important is the actual person, his personality, conviction, taste, and lifestyle.
Do you believe the western binary gender system (male/female) will eventually disappear?
I think that the strict division will continue to become less clear, but it will never completely disappear.
What are your thoughts on the idea that unisex is the new androgynous in fashion?
Yes, an androgynous character is one of the results of the unisex idea. However, it can vary greatly and will always be closer to either masculine or feminine characteristics. It will never have a 50/50 proportion. Exactly as in nature.
What does your collection try to communicate? What is about?
Uniform is a unisex collection dedicated to urban residents. It is like a daily uniform, which essentially could be called a survival kit for the resident of the modern metropolis. Each piece of clothing is given a number 1-13. Items are available in several colours, which allows innumerable combinations to be created by mixing the items together.
Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH?
Because of good reviews given by designers known to us both locally in Latvia and internationally.
What can we expect from you at the festival?
We would like to introduce our brand and the concept, aesthetic, and functionality of the UNIFORM collection. It will be possible to see the UNIFORM clothing and purchase it at the Designer MARKET of FASHIONCLASH.
Who are your target consumers? How do you define them?
Our most typical target customers are 20-40 year old males and females. Most importantly, they are people who have a young heart, regardless of their age. They are energetic and curious.
What is your price range?
28 EUR – 230 EUR.
How do you balance between the function of the items and the appearance of them?
Everything lies in construction, quality, and taste.