Fashion Victim’s Guide
Where I End and You Begin
We can proudly say that Hungarian design and designers are slowly but surely penetrating the world’s market. Even rock stars on the rise fall in love with the Magyar design scene. Recently, no other than the finest musical combination of Björk, Cindy Lauper and the early Massive Attack called Zola Jesus, who just had a mind-twirling gig at A38. Meet the she behind the shoe, Júlia Káldy.
How did Zola find you, and do you have any plans together beyond this current collection?
One day I got an e-mail from Nika Roza Danilova, and she told me about herself, that she also appears on stage going by the name of Zola Jesus. Her name was familiar, but I couldn’t recall her music. She told me she was surfing the internet when she found my shoes on a website, and she wanted to buy a pair. I researched who she was and what she did, and I really got to like her stuff. I found that Zola made such wonderful music that I really like. So I offered to design a collection for her, and if she liked my work, we could work together in the long run. Since then, I’ve designed her shoes, and despite the thousands of kilometers separating us, I can say we’ve become friends. She is a very open and interested girl and we have a lot of common interests. For example, we both like Tara Donovan and Zaha Hadid. A month ago she invited me to visit her inNew Yorkto discuss the next project, and I got to see her Webster Hall performance from a VIP box seat.
Is it necessary in a relationship like this to be inspired by the artist’s music?
It is very important. It inspires me to be designing for someone whose work I respect. And Zola is absolutely like that. For one I have my favorites from her albums, and it was a huge experience to attend herNew Yorkgig. It was amazing to see such a cute little girl turn into a true diva the moment she entered the stage. The audience raved throughout the whole concert. So I ‘m happy to meet Nika again, and all the while I’m also waiting to see Zola on A38.
How would you describe the essence of Unibody?
Unibody is an experimental shoe collection that organically connects to the human form, and comes off as an extension of it. The light colored skin-tone shoes seem to meld with the wearers’ feet, which creates the illusion of body parts being distorted. The collection demonstrates through four different sizes how the silhouette of the female foot changes through the wearing of these shoes.
(for details, check out facebook.com/juliakaldy.design)
Will there be a continuation of your success from last year’s London Fashion Week?
A famous foreign designer, Eleanor Amoroso asked me to design something for her. Eleanor is represented by an agency that has been present on the Fashion Week for years, and specializes in bringing young designers to the attention of the world. The fashion show went down under professional circumstances in St. Luke’s Hall, with prestigious models. This is thanks to my known foreign procurers, such as Zola Jesus, and to the fact that my shoes are also sold inAmsterdam.
Do you design for shows and the stage or for urban use?
Both are challenging but this is not the first point to consider when designing. Most of the shoes I design would look rather strange on the tram in the morning, but I do have a few which are a bit simpler in nature that I could imagine working out.
Can a Hungarian designer who is fresh in the fashion world allow themselves the luxury of an actual showroom here in Budapest? Have you thought about working together with some other designers á la The Four or FlatLab?
In my case, I work for individual orders, and I feel there is no need for a showroom for this purpose. I am glad to work together with other designers. I am a member of Garden Studio and we also worked together with Dóri Tomcsányi. (whom we covered in one of our February issues)
You just started your own brand. Where is it manufactured and where is it sold?
We manufacture in Hungary, and sell it on the net and abroad. Design and procuring the materials is my job (which is time consuming, and an important part of my work), and I leave the shopwork to professionals. I could make my shoes myself of course, but I trust the actual pros much more. (laughs)
Who is your target audience?
Outgoing, creative people, for whom it’s important to have highly individual shoes on their feet, and who value detail. For example Zola, who I think of as my dream-customer.
Do you also design for men?
Yes, I am currently working on the prototypes, and putting on the finishing touches. I am very excited about this direction, and ther’s a possibility that after a while I will only be making men’s shoes. According to the conventions, I have less room to be successful on this market, but with the right materials or a radical new form, I think new dimensions of this market could be explored.
If you want more of Juli’s stuff, visit http://juliakaldy.com/