We met Wanda Nylon’s founder and designer Johanna Senyk on an ironically sunny day to talk about avant-garde raincoats and finding an aesthetic in unexpected materials. But, Johanna is full of surprises as is her brand. With her ever-lasting positive energy, she greeted us at the door with her dog and a huge smile.
With a creative mind that never stops, Johanna has the aura of a true genius. Constantly mobile, she speaks from her mind with no filter. “I don’t want to dress only the girls from Avenue Montaigne,” she says with a confident posture, underlining the importance of personality: “If you have a personality that’s enough. If I break one tooth, I will still be able to smile.”
Her passion for different materials can be spotted from a mile away. The moment she talks about a new material, her face sparks with happiness. “I have a real fetish for materials. Some buyers come and say that its plastic, it smells funny and I scream saying ‘yes,’ full of joy.” We realize that her passion is more than just transparent raincoats once we get to know her and her idea of fashion. Her vision praises innovation and progressivity that makes the brand unique and remarkable.
We read a story of you riding a scooter on a rainy day in Paris. Is this really the situation that inspired you to create Wanda Nylon?
I am always on my scooter! And I am always in a rush between appointments with a red nose from the cold and clothes soaked wet from the rain. I thought, there is nothing to do about the red nose but for clothes…. The alternatives are endless. I was looking at other brands, and I divided them in my mind into two; brands that are elegant but too traditional and brands that are technical but not feminine. I decided to mix these two with the inspiration that I got from Helmut Newton’s space theme and I created my first prototype with a shower curtain!
Yeni malzemeler kullanarak modaya yeni bir bakış getiriyorsunuz. Modanın geleceği hakkında ne düşünüyorsunuz, sıradışı malzemeleri daha sık görecek miyiz?
Bu gerçekten tasarımcıya bağlı. Eğer her tasarımcı benim sahip olduğum tutkuya sahip olsa, o zaman artık o kadar da ilginç olmazdı. Benim için giysi tasarlamak çok kişisel ve işte bu da, modayı öngörülemez kılan şey.
You are bringing something new into fashion by using new materials. What do you think of the future of fashion, are we going to see more unusual materials?
It really depends on the designer. If every designer had the same passion as I do, it wouldn’t be interesting anymore. For me designing clothes is very personal and that’s what makes fashion unpredictable.
Do you believe in the environmental consciousness?
To be honest, it is not my first thought when I am designing something but I try to do my best! For example, our best seller is a plastic coat, and I feel obligated to recycle it but it’s not in my everyday process of thinking. I think about the design, if the clothing that I created is comfortable. Of course with the new technologies consciousness will be the part of the game. But right now for me, using fake fur is not a statement. It is just more affordable and so much more fun!
What’s a typical day for you?
I have no idea! Like every young company, the first 3-5 hours of the day is spent on solving the problems. If you are lucky enough to still have the energy after these hours, you can do something creative. The only thing is, I don’t sleep. I constantly search for new materials and techniques. Sometimes I wake up at 3am in the morning thinking about a new style or an alternative material.
Do you have a ‘dream material’ you want to use but is impossible to do so for the moment?
Oh… I really wasn’t expecting this question. For me its not a material but a technique for now that I dream of. My dream is to try new things with vintage knitting machines. I love trying and not knowing what is going to come up in the end.
Can you define the girl you have in your mind when you are designing a piece for Wanda Nylon?
Independent, strong and a girl who dresses for herself, not for anyone else. For me Wanda Nylon is power dressing for sure!
Have you always been that strong girl you define?
Definitely. Nothing has changed. It started with my mother, a very creative woman. I come from a family that always supports me. That makes me strong because even if I fall, I know that I have my family to fall back on.
I will develop something new on savoir-faire and create my jewelry line, which is very exciting!
If you had a chance, would you leave Paris?
No no no no no no. I am a real Parisian!
Fotoğraf /Photography: Julia Champeau