Backstage at NYFW: BERENIK

Designer Veronika Brusa Has Revealed Her Wild Side

Drawing inspiration from a series of Lego masks (yes, you read that right) by artist Marcin Gajewski, designer Veronika Brusa’s new line for BERENIK, S/S 18, showcases a sleek and explosive rendition of hipster chic. Utilizing a neutral color palette of white, cream, rust, black and khaki, the line is geared toward a unisex aesthetic. “Guys can wear my clothes,” she declares.

While the collection has a feminine angle, the post-apocalyptic energy that courses through her garments also bears an overt muscularity. What’s more her wares capitalize on a wide variety of textiles to satisfy anyone and everyone, including linen, cotton and silk.

An otherworldly and understated beauty, Brusa appeared completely calm at the unveiling of her new line in the new BERENIK location in SoHo. She handed out cardboard copies of the Gajewski masks to her models, putting finishing touches on the odd pair of pants or top. Dressed in a simple billowy black blouse, her raven curls wild and seemingly without makeup, the Swiss import’s spritely aura was all business once the show got underway.

Your pieces tend to veer toward functionality. What does comfort mean to you?

The pure nature of clothes is to dress us. I like to think about that when I sometimes have doubts about the whole fashion industry. In the end I provide a product that is essential for human beings. We all get dressed; everyone, everyday. I want to make clothes that work in two senses: in the very basic way to dress us and provide the function that we need; keeping us warm or cool on a hot summer day. I hate nothing more than clothes that look cool but don’t make any sense. I think even the nicest dress should be comfortable. You should be able to breathe, walk, or dance and it should always feel nice on your skin. Then we can add the beauty and style. Maybe subconsciously I follow the principle of modernist architecture and design that came up in the 20th century: form follows function.

How did you come to this color palette this season?

[It’s] always a feeling for me. I can never really tell why I choose them. I have a feeling for color, then I add others until it looks complete.

Do you wear your own pieces?

Of course! Only a small selection of it though, but that has more to do with the reason that I always want to wear the pieces that I have in my head for the next season and not the ones that I already did.

What is it about opening your own space that appeals to you?

It is very satisfying to see my collections presented in the way I want them to be with enough space and in a space that enhances the aesthetic of the brand. Having two shops now for BERENIK, one in New York City and one in Zurich, helps us to grow. And it makes it clear to everyone, we are here to stay and won’t disappear like many other young brands. Fashion for me is more than just about clothes. It’s a way to connect, a way to live and inspire each other. For that we need a physical space where great people can actually meet and have a real experience.

In one word, what does fashion mean to you?