You can’t help but be in awe of Vejas Kruszewski. He’s 19, he has his own label, it’s doing crazy well and scooped him 150,000 euros and a year of mentorship at this year’s LVMH Prize Ceremony and it’s really cool.
Vejas Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017
“This season is our fourth so we’ve pretty much figured out the values of the brand and the kind of direction we want to take everything,” says the petite Canadian, flagging up “futurism” and “abstraction” as “key words” (I like even that he phrases them specifically as “keywords”). He continues: “And then it’s mixed with a sense of utility.”
In front of us is his awesome collection – sharp, neat, rigorous, the right side of innovation yet wearable too. It has all the acknowledgements and understanding of fashion’s best working designers today but played out via his own relevant and contemporary style. “I really love the experimentation of Ghesquière, and the sophistication of everyday life that Phoebe Philo works in and then that really modern way of thinking, of positioning, of growth and contextualisation that Jonathan – JW Anderson – always does,” he notes. Clearly, Kruszewski is shrewd and savvy. And he’s mightily impressive too for someone at the beginning of his career. There’s no rabbit caught in headlights.
“Eventually the plan is to move the business here as the studio is currently in Toronto. Next season we definitely want to do runway, here of course,” he says of the fashion city. “Paris, it’s the capital of the world in terms of what people recognise and visibility.” And plans don’t just stop there. “We just want to build the collection, the translation of more conceptual pieces into market, which is kind of a fun challenge, paring down the elements.”
It’s an incredibly refreshing and relevant way to be thinking – again, now, at the beginning of the label’s career, being so aware of the way fashion is working and changing, how to be part of it, how to be in control of it and set the agenda. Where so many new names often fall down is thinking about this later, further down the line.
“It’s always exciting to see the fruits of ambition materialising; what’s really nice about clothing in general is it changes. What’s exciting is that everything is extremely complicated these days but at the same time you can pretty much do anything; it’s more a navigational thing – about building the narrative, the actualisation of seeing something, doing something.”
Vejas Krusezewski, you’re certainly doing something!