Ania Kuczyńska is synonymous with the city of Warsaw. She is as much a symbol of the Polish capital as modernist architecture and contemporary art
The Eastern Promise
Ania Kuczyńska is synonymous with the city of Warsaw. She is as much a symbol of the Polish capital as modernist architecture and contemporary art and her work — a well balanced blend of striking geometry, modernity and monochrome with a touch of girlish romanticism and a hint of madness — has been praised by publications across the globe.
Ania Kuczyńska’s boutique is located in an impressive tenement building dating from 1912 on Mokotowska Street. The building is a testament to the luxurious metropolitan Warsaw of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. As well as boasting some of Warsaw’s most exclusive boutiques, Mokotowska Street is also the location of Poland’s first ever skyscrapers. Kuczyńska’s boutique also functions as an art gallery; here she has exhibited work by Ania Zaradny, one of Warsaw’s most promising artists and composers. Kuczyńska always organises her shows in locations which have significance in the history of the city, for example in the legendary Chopin Lounge at the Hotel Bristol.
Ania Kuczyńsk AW14/15 LAVA, runway show i Hotel Bristol, photo Filip Okopny
Wallpaper* magazine dubbed Kuczyńska the “Pole star”, describing her as “the brightest beacon in the Polish design firmament” while Style.com and Vogue UK have both referred to her as “the eastern promise”.
Kuczyńska finds inspiration in the tragic heroines of Italian cinema, such as mad Giuliana in Antonioni’s Red Desert, played by Monica Vitti, and Karin in Rossellini’s Stromboli, played by Ingrid Bergman. This strong Italian inspiration almost certainly comes from her student days at the Accademia Internazionale d’Alta Moda e d’Arte del Costume Koefia in Rome.
Ti vitti, Ania Kuczyńska, AW08/09, starring artist Anna Zaradny, photo szymon rogiński
For Kuczyńska, stories about extraordinary women and actresses are a starting point when creating clothing which combines sweet girlishness and harsh modernism. Kuczyńska founded her first ready-to-wear contemporary fashion label in 2000 and the capital’s intelligentsia and creative class quickly fell in love with it. In 2006, Kuczyńska received an Elle Style Award, her label being singled out for its “spectacular artistic collaboration”. One such collaboration was with Katarzyna Korzeniecka and Szymon Rogiński for a project entitled Sculpture Photography. A photo shoot of Kuczyńska’s O Mia O collection (Spring/Summer 2009) on the Dutch island of Terschelling, the project is perhaps the only fashion look book in the world in sculptural form. The dynamic, multidimensional cubist sculptures have since become collector’s items and The Sunday Times credits Korzeniecka and Rogiński with having invented an entirely new genre in “sculpture photography”.
Katarzyna Korzeniecka and Szymon Rogiński Sculpture Photography. Ania Kuczyńska SS09
Ania Kuczyńska also collaborates with Karol Śliwka, a graphic design guru of the communist era. During the days of the People’s Republic, Śliwka created logos and artwork for some of the country’s largest companies and also designed postage stamps and coats of arms for a number of towns. He and Kuczyńska created a series of fifteen logos based on symbols for the sun, happiness, care, and love. Śliwka designed Kuczyńska’s company logo—a circle with a smaller circle cut out along its circumference: perfection interrupted by an identical form of perfection.