There is a series of clue words in the following lines – black, freedom, genderless, techno, challenge, creativity. And there is also one specific place to embrace it all – Berlin. One of the most cutting-edge cities of Europe is the source of inspiration for one of the most cutting-edge brands we have seen lately. Fanny and Idan are the names behind this design duo, better known as UY Studio. The main rule here is that there are no rules at all, and the main idea is clear: they do whatever the fuck they want – and you will love it.
Tell us about the moment when you decided to start this project. How did you meet?
We met in Barcelona, in June 2013. We made T-shirts for ourselves while being poor students in a fancy fashion school, and friends started to ask us to make some for them; one thing lead to another, and we made a mini sample sale of 30 garments. We didn’t have a name for it or a label, but everything sold out and we got more orders. From there, we named it UY, without imagining that it would become an actual brand. After a while, we noticed that there was demand and we got a lot of support from our amazing surroundings. After two months, we decided to move to Berlin.
You have said that you are not interested in fitting into the fashion industry. How would you describe what UY Studio is and does?
UY is a lifestyle, it represents our agenda for living. Fashion is one of its expressions. Our aim is not to be the most futuristic and unique fashion label ever – our aim is to translate our ideas into real life, in every kind of sense: an art project, home décor, video and music... If we don’t have the tools to make our ideas come true, we collaborate with people we find inspiring, and who share our way of seeing beauty. UY is not following the rules of fashion, as we don’t feel we fit in that square.
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So, not following the trends that the fashion industry tries to impose us every season is more of an advantage or of a challenge?
Advantage on the one hand; because the feeling of being in a trap in-between the fashion rules and trends can very blocking for the inspiration, it makes it difficult to focus in what we really like to make, the things that come out are not as real, they don't feel like us.
But it's also a challenge, as we have to surprise people, and to prove that our say is strong enough without following the latest fashion trends.
The UY Studio’s clothes have an androgynous, futuristic and unisex aesthetic, with a certain sinister element – quite different from the latest fashion trends, as you said. How is the kind of person your brand is heading to?
You are genderless, you are timeless, you don’t label yourself as anything. You are colourless, you are confident; you do whatever the fuck you want to do. You live the life you want to live in a modern era.
And what does black mean to you? What do you want to reflect or to express through this monochromatic style?
From a rockstar to a homeless, from the red carpet to a funeral – black fits them all. The decision of choosing black as the main element of UY came out of the combination of our cultures, Scandinavia with the Middle East. We've both been wearing black for many years and we feel it totally reflects our background, yet keeping the modernity aspect.
In addition to the fashion side, you have said UY studio also involves art and photography. Tell us more about these other projects. Which ones do you enjoy the most?
We believe that fashion right now is boring. We believe that the humans are too broad and too smart to truly enjoy a normal catwalk or a normal lookbook. Therefore, we are involving the art into our fashion world, and trying to make it as interesting as possible. From dance performance to artistic photography, music and installation, we are enjoying it even more than the creation of the garments itself! People seem to be appreciating it more, and so do we. We are very lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing, talented crew of people from all around the world.
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What kind of art, music or literature inspires you to create?
In one word: techno.
You are based in Berlin, a cutting-edge city full of new creative proposals. How has this city influenced your work? Do you think you could work the same way in any other city?
For us, Berlin is a constant source of inspiration. The people, the vibes, the freedom, the acceptance of the other… To be broke is casual and cool, and being weird will attract more people near you. That's where we like to create, in a place where the individuality and the uniqueness are ruling. In the future, we want to expand to other cities, but we know it won’t be the same as here. Sadly, we know that the world is not working as it does here – but we will try to follow this direction and take it to as many other places as we can.
Have you noticed any kind of new creative initiatives in the city that you want to highlight?
To be honest, we are a bit clueless about others here in the city. We are so into our world that we are bit outsiders, in that aspect. Our social life is based on dinners at our studio, and once every few weeks, Sundays at Berghain.
What are your next steps? Do you have anything new in mind that you haven’t done yet?
We have a lot of plans for the upcoming spring/summer season, a capsule collection and some colours are about to come. Hopefully, we will have our new studio by June. Wait and see!
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