SPACE Brand Vejas: Making Waves at Paris Fashion Week
One of the best things about Fashion Week, no matter the city, is connecting with emerging brands on their way up. The first few collections of any one career become its foundation, after all. In the case of LVMH Prize-winning designer Vejas Kruszewski, it’s a matter of “building the values of the brand.”
That’s what he told W magazine in an interview titled, in part, “Meet the Five Young Designers Shaking Up Paris Fashion Week.”
Vejas presentation and showroom detail; all images by Jessa Carter
When we met up with the 19-year-old Toronto-based designer a few days after his Paris presentation, he told us that those values are futurism, abstraction and utility.
Vejas makes clothes that want to exist in the unknown perpetuity. Their shapes—loose and open, wavelike and boxy—and soft, waxy materials feel of-the-moment; it’s their personalities that promise to become more and more native as time goes on.
And as far as open ideas and purpose go, each piece includes a bit of each.
Models on their way into the presentation gallery
As we sat in the quiet of a showroom space in the heart of Le Marais, Vejas told us that for spring ’17, he synthesized workwear with feminine silhouettes taken from ’50s- and ’60s-era patterns he was studying. He used draping techniques; he cut his fabrics along the bias.
He also continues to employ what are becoming hallmark construction techniques such as seam binding and bar tacking on key placements. In this way he “brings the inside out.”
He also tends to take ordinary items and shift them and change them until they become something else. A skirt and jacket, for instance, sprang from the form of classic Timberland boots—and suede work gloves.
“I like that feeling that they are familiar but not,” he explains. “It’s like a double take. You think, ‘Why do I recognize this?'”
And while many of his pieces have a gender-neutral vibe, others are quite distinctly feminine or masculine. Inspired by Comme des Garçons and Raf Simons at a relatively early age, the designer first began constructing clothes for himself. In terms of the men’s side of his collections, he’s still essentially conceptualizing and hand-building his own wardrobe—his own life of ideas and the future.
That’s another thing about designers in their ascensions: everything they make feels personal in useful and beautifully transcendent ways.
Olivia Kim with the designer and his business partner, Saam Emme
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