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WHAT IS MINIMALISM?
Minimalism is about stripping back the unnecessary, leaving only the things that provide you with real value and happiness. It takes away trend-based elements, often forgoing frills, and endless buttons, to provide you with clean, simple fashion staples for your everyday life.
It is not just plain block clothing; minimalism can be incredibly expressive and artistic. It allows designers to experiment with sides of themselves and true vision, without being distracted by constant trends. The philosophy of minimalism is not only found in clothing but in various parts of our society.
It is an encouragement to strip back our world’s material elements and focus on the foundations of what truly matters. Around the world, beautiful minimalist brands are experimenting and exploring the concept of minimalism.
JULIA Y RENATA
Started by the Franco sisters in 1993, Julia y Renata is a Mexican brand from Guadalajara that offers a new take on Mexican design. The brand effortlessly combines the elegance of classic garments, with the creativity of urban styles. Inspired by the duality of the two founders.
Investigation and experimentation are essential to the garments. Two elements are always taken apart and explored. Like asymmetry and minimalism, two aspects of their brand that may be strange to see together but complement each other perfectly. There is imperfection and perfection in their work. A perfect balance. These attempts to separate their garments from conventional fashion have earned them respect and celebration in Mexico, New York, Madrid and many more.
Renata, one half of the design team behind Julia y Renata, describes her brands exploration of at times opposing concepts, and placing these contrasting elements together: "We design with no expectations other than exploring the possibilities of communication through materials and shapes, based on the study of the body, experimentation and error as an aesthetic possibility."
This has lead to a focus on minimalism, and rejection of trends "We work in a very introspective way. We try to stay away from trends, and instead design from honesty. For us, designing is the most direct way of communication we have. Our pieces speak of who we are, about our aesthetic vision, and about our own transformation." Renata explained.
ISOKO was founded in 2021 by Oghalé Alex through a desire to bring the concept of calm and connection to the world of fashion. Isoko takes on traditional elements from Nigeria and Japan and effortlessly strips the designs back, focusing on the wellness behind your clothing.
Assisted by Japanese inspiration, and Oghalé’s own Nigerian origins, the brand feels intimate and genuine. ISOKO builds foundations on the calm: wanting to relieve stress, and an honest nature behind their production methods.
Each collection is released just once and is never sold again. This is due to Oghalé Alex’s belief in slow fashion. Her brand focuses on creating staple, unique pieces in your wardrobe. The brand encourages customers to “shop by connection”—an ingenious way of shopping in quantities of three using colour as the guiding principle, thereby reducing the number of delivery cycles and collective carbon footprint.
Bodice was started by founder Ruchika Sachdeva, who wanted to focus her brand on the fundamentals. Sachdeva’s global vision is deeply rooted in her traditions, after growing up in New Dehli, to studying in London for her Bachelor of Arts.
Bodice’s journey back to core basics takes us away from fashion trends into acceptance and allowance of imperfection. Their signature aesthetic is contemporary, with a careful exploration of indigenous time-honoured weaving traditions of India.
Their pride and interest in India’s rich, textile heritage means a focus on the sustainability of their garments. Their textiles are sourced from across India, including wool from Kullu in the Himalayas and cotton from weavers in South India.
Angham Khalil, designed the fashion brand nnbynn to explore the struggle of attaining identity whilst under oppression. The utilises a minimalist outlook to strip back the identity of fashion itself, back to the foundation of loss but also reliance in the face of occupation. Not only does it explore this external struggle, but Kahlil was inspired by her own complicated relationship with her internal identity.
Angham explains her thought process behind her careful designs “It all began from me the designer and the style I wear every day. I always imagined the brand as my own clothing closet, and this is what I'm trying to create, day-to-day pieces with a twist. Very minimal, very clean, more simple lines. Very inspired by men’s wardrobe and clothing.”
Angham wants to infuse the modern with the old, creating essential pieces for any closet. Minimalism was an obvious inspiration for her “Minimal pieces always give us more options of how to wear them. whether we mix and match or are not afraid to repeat the same pieces repeatedly. Especially when the garments are high quality, pieces can now last a lifetime." Angham says.
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Fadeiin is a womenswear label based in Seoul, South Korea. Their name “Fadeiin” comes from the transition fade of a movie scene. The brand uses simplistic, timeless silhouettes and elements to present beauty and aestheticism through its clothing. Fadeiin is a more whimsical take on minimalism, with subtle, gentle colours blending with art to create various forms of fashion.
Fadeiin’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection "Paysage" was inspired by impressionist landscapes. Emphasis on the accurate depiction of light and its changing qualities. Their focus is on creating beautiful pieces, with feminine qualities that never go out of style. All products are made with fine materials, made by skilled tailors with the greatest care.
Location: Pula / Croatia (Hrvatska)
STAŠA DESIGN is a contemporary womenswear brand founded in 2015 by Croatian designer Staša Randall. Staša graduated from the School of Applied Arts and Design in Pula in 2009, and later went on to further complete her studies in textiles and a master’s in fashion design.
Staša garnered a love for the simple. Her designs her inspired by this philosophy, alongside the beauty of modern architecture. For the head designer alongside her modern cuts and quality fabric, sustainability is also at the forefront of the brand. The brand is made in Croatia, with careful tailoring and environmental textiles.
Location: Russia, Moscow
Latarde encompasses a professional, modern beauty. A space of liminal clothing, its name translating to the Spanish “La tarde”. “La tarde” means the interval between 1 and 7 pm, a perfect border between morning and evening. This in-between allows us to step out of our strict work wear and into comfortable, freer clothing.
Started by Russian designer Maria Gudkova. Maria studied at the British school of Art and Design before pursuing her love of art and design. Her work focuses on minimalist styles with modern, geometric patterns. Maria explains her focus on “Minimalism is not so easy. You must have the spiritual and intellectual background and then you will be able to fall in love with minimalism.”
The brand's DNA is a fusion of two contrasting styles. There is the strict office minimalism on the one hand and the cocktail dress spirit on the other – the combination, which helps you feel comfortable and appropriately anywhere all day long. Maria loves the beauty of minimalism, and its complexity, but also the abstract or difficult nature “Minimalism is a very elegant style. There is beauty in lines, forms and colour. It is even more beautiful when this is the right mix of them. So, we like to search for this right mix and help people to understand its beauty.”