SPOTLIGHT: ONE WOLF FW19 – An Interview with Agnese Narņicka

One Wolf is a Latvian fashion brand founded in Riga, Latvia. The philosophy of the brand is to inspire people to become more courageous, be free, and express their creativity. We are unisex brand, what mixes functionality, wit, intelligence and asceticism. Each collection is a new story about unusual in human life and reflects reflections about aesthetics of a contemporary urban life.

The One Wolf launched its operations in 2012 initially as denimwear brand. First samples of collections were developed in the brand’s studio and production was ensured by small Latvian factories. In 2015, One Wolf created its own specialized denim workshop “One Wolf shop and studio” that helps to ensure perfect quality, transparency of the work process, flexibility in the quantities of production and schedule, and ensures that there is no overstock of production. “One Wolf shop and studio” is open daily to customers where they can order the models of collection in the required size and inquiry about design and production process.

Part of collection production process is outsourced in factories based in Riga – Latvia’s capital, as well as in small workshops and by individual masters, with whom close, long-term cooperation has been established. The fabrics of collections are particularly confined to each collection, always placing quality, innovation and sustainability as an important criterion, and selecting recycled fabrics. Paramount importance is for timelessness of design, being as spotlight over several seasons and long-lasting quality of garment.

In 2018 brand launched new flagship shop “One Wolf Boutique” in Riga Old City as response to growing customer interest and demand for brand collections as well as giving shoppers more room to familiarize themselves with products, try and order models in individual size.

AN INTERVIEW WITH Agnese Narņicka X 33 MAGAZINE

How could you describe One Wolf as a brand in five words?

Unisex, comfort, freedom, courage, peculiar.

Where do you find your inspiration for unconventional ideas?

I’m not looking for them specifically. I look around, watch life – everyday life’s inspiring moments, events in the world, and ideas come to me naturally. It is important to be open-minded, not to be discouraged by a particular way of generating ideas.   

 

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How do you find the right relationship between the concept, design and fabrics?

At the very beginning, there is an idea, which is developed in the story, of course, it must be close to the brand identity, to the basic principles and values ​​of the brand. It can’t be without it. In this way, I have a frame for further succession. I continue with illustrations, then the matching of fabrics, according to the brand and collection idea settings. Undoubtedly 70% of the fabrics will be in monochrome colour palette, dominated by natural fabrics, and certainly in each collection is a denim fabric. When I am designing technical sketches and pattern constructions, I always stay loyal to comfortable, everyday wearable clothing design. About 80% of the collection pieces are unisex. Silhouettes, images, fabric textures, colour accents, prints, embroidery and various details like pockets, buttons, zippers, ribbons, strings that work not only functionally, but also decorative. It helps me to tell the story of my collection idea.

How fashion industry nowadays helps and motivate you to become a fashion designer?

I like to create fashion collections. Of course, from the business point of view, nowadays the fashion market is saturated, and it is not easy to conquer your niche. However, additional motivation for designers is the opportunity to address the world faster and more widely through social networks.

Does ONE WOLF position itself as a sustainable brand? What do you think of fast fashion?

In 2015, One Wolf created its own specialized denim workshop “One Wolf shop and studio” that helps to ensure perfect quality, transparency of the work process, flexibility in the quantities of production and schedule, and ensures that there is no overstock of production. “One Wolf shop and studio” is open daily to customers where they can order the models of the collection in the required size and inquiry about design and production process. Part of the collection production process is outsourced in factories based in Riga – Latvia’s capital, as well as in small workshops and by individual masters, with whom close, long-term cooperation has been established. The fabrics of collections are particularly confined to each collection, always placing quality, innovation, and sustainability as an important criterion, and selecting recycled fabrics. 

Fast fashion clothing has become easy to access because of the big overproduction, cheap labour. It loses the value we could give it, for example, 30 years ago jeans had a different value, even a feeling. However, fashion is a global business, and one of the most damaging to global ecology. It is the production process, as well as the confidence of each brand, why clothing is created and produced.

 

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You want to make long-lasting fashion. How do you want to achieve that?

Paramount importance is for the timelessness of design, being as a spotlight over several seasons and long-lasting quality of a garment.

How do you determine what is durable design?

When you take in your hands and look at durable garment, you can determine garment quality of garment. An important factor is the good design which is not dictated by trends, the quality of sewing and the materials used – fabrics, clothing accessories. If all these components are high, define the value of the product becomes difficult, even impossible. 

Your brand’s style is focused on prints inspired from nature. How does that suit long-lasting designs?

Natural motifs for prints were created directly for the collection “Mushroomers”. It is not very characteristic for One Wolf brand in general. Specifically, the collection “Mushroomers” tells the story of the long-standing tradition in Latvia. It is a beautiful cultural heritage to be passed on to next generations.

If any One Wolf collection has prints or embroidery, we make them ourselves because it is our identity and uniqueness. The print motifs are usually strongly intertwined with the theme of the collection.

What is the biggest challenge for you regarding the fashion buying market?

Obviously, the biggest challenge is accessing our potential consumers. We know they exist, but we have to find the way how to approach them, meet them and seduce them. Competition is huge.

What happens to that part of a collection that does not get sold? How far do you go in terms of sustainability?

We are very strongly evaluating which items to produce from the collection, and which will remain only as a prototype. Of course, small number of the production remains unsold after the season, but because of the design that is not dictated by seasonal fashion whims it can be sold in next season as good as in previous. Twice a year just for a day we are also organising so called “secret sales” in “One Wolf shop and studio” where we are offering exclusive sample pieces and pieces from previous collections to our loyal customers.

 

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Where could you serve as a role model for other young brands?

I find it difficult to judge it myself. Perhaps it would be an approach to combine conceptual, creative fashion with a very practical and wearable design. When creating fashion, you should never forget that you create for actual human beings and their needs in real life. It should be always remembered that the person is wearing clothes and not the other way around.

 

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