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Prague is a city known for many things, but fashion is not on top of the list. The duo of designers Miroslava Kohutiarová and Antonin Soukup are trying to make this situation change through their fashion brand Laformela. The Czechoslovak independent label is strengthening its DNA and base of clientele as well as working towards gaining international recognition. We speak with them about their origins, being lucky, and what can we expect from them in the future.
Hi Miroslava, hi Antonin. Who are you and where do you come from?
We are the founders and main designers of the Czech and Slovak fashion brand Laformela. We both come from small cities in the Czech and Slovak Republics.
How did the symbiosis between you the two of you become Laformela?
We met each other during our studies at the Technical University in the city of Liberec (Czech Republic), where we attended the same course – Textile and Fashion Design. As we always wanted to create something different, specific and unknown, we started up our own project: Laformela.
What is Laformela? And how did you come up with the name itself?
The name Laformela comes from the Czech word ‘formelína, forma’, which translates as ‘form’. This occurred to us in connection with the Czech movie for children and also because it has many meanings related to our profession.

Is it Czech? Is it Slovak? And does it even matter?
We would like to be known abroad, as far as possible. But since we don’t forget our roots and the places we were born and our garments are exclusively produced in friendly cooperation with Czech and Slovak manufacturers, we are proud to say that Laformela is Czechoslovak.
How do you work? Do you have to compromise a lot? Did you have to go through some collaborative earthquakes? Do you have a hierarchy or roles that each of you maintains and doesn’t step out of them?
As we are two designers with a relatively small team, we have the opportunity to explore our ideas in depth. Thanks to this, we are able to look at fashion itself and fashion creation from multiple angles. We often act intuitively and ideas come out of inspiring moments or our own instincts. We build on the DNA of the brand and its identity, and that is where we usually start.
At the same time, we both try to engage ourselves with respect to each other. We believe that it is important to respect, communicate and discuss things directly with each other. If the team shares the same vision and works closely together, it may arise a quality and comprehensive element.
Do you collaborate outside of this duo?
All the collaborations and connections with bigger companies as well as our clothing manufacturers mean a step forward for us, not only on a personal level but especially on a professional one. Currently, we cooperate with a successful sneakers shop, Footshop, and thus we expand our new horizons – for instance, for men's fashion.

Who is your label for?
The idea of Laformela’s customer is somebody who wants to enjoy our fashion. He/she works in an artistic environment: a model, an actor, a musician or a student of art, as well as businessmen in various fields.
What inspires you? How do you search for the concepts of your collections?
We try to never forget the places we come from and the times we grew up at. These are the facts mirrored in our collections. It reflects memories – ‘90s nostalgia, nature and its colour diversity. We also like to study how the sporty and functional garments can connect with the charm of elegance. From these references, we also draw our mini collections during off-season.
You are based in Prague. Are you settled? What is the best thing about having your base in this city?
There are a broad customer base and many opportunities to develop the contacts and brand awareness in Prague. Our studio is located in the centre of the city near the Old Town Square. Prague is filling us with its vibrant energy and it is near to both our old and new customers. As a designer, you need to be at the heart of current events and that is what Prague allows.

How do you see the Czech(o)Slovak fashion scene through the eyes of a brand? Is it difficult to exist and keep the supply and demand wheel turning?
It is important to understand the fashion culture in our country and to try to benefit from it. In the Czech Republic the textile industry was, back in the days, one of the strongest ones and thus, we are glad to be able to contribute to its revival. It will be a long way to go. To convince customers about your product and its qualities is always challenging. There is no confidence in our business and its potential abroad, especially in the eyes of the Czech businessmen/investors.
The advantage is that competition in our country is not that large and each of us can be the first independent designer who succeeds in the international market and at the same time satisfies the Czech clientele, which has a great potential. Demand and offer is what we must constantly work on, as well as the constant development of the aesthetic of our garments.
When it comes to success, do you believe in luck or is it all really about knowing the right people? If you do, though, how lucky are you?
In any case, designing is hard work; that teaches us to be better by gathering experiences in many aspects of business. We have to control everything, not only the production but also the administration, electronic matters, communication with the customer and other subjects – and not to forget the motivation of the team!
We want to have an overview to work intensively on our brand strategy. The right people and the society in which we are moving extend our name and create an opinion about us, which is an important element in fashion. Without the right people, we would not get to certain places, and we think in this respect we have been lucky. Nevertheless, the creation and energy that flows from the brand are what we are building on.
Where are the steps of your label heading? What are the future plans and expectations?
Our vision is to become the first Czechoslovak independent fashion brand of the new generation and we wish to be known and sold internationally. We would like to continue cooperating with innovative people and to participate in interesting collaborations. We want to make our clothing available to people worldwide creating a feeling of living independent lifestyle with an attitude.
What about a goldfish would you wish?
To speed up time but to stay young.

Nikola Cemanová
Hana Knížová
Art direction
Tereza Bílá
Lukas Hofmann
Petra Zaťková (Elite Prague)

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