Kaaskas is a fashion brand created by the Skórzyńska sisters – Kasia and Julia – in April 2014.
Fashion brand created by the sisters Kasia Skórzyńska and Julia Skórzyńska in April 2014.
It is a family brand – and more specifically, a sibling brand. Kasia comes up with the ideas, while Julia provides marketing and PR know-how. Together they invent a product. Kasia always tries to stick to the plan and does not allow for doubt. Julia is in turn more extroverted – she is the one who negotiates and manage affairs. Although the company is only one year old, it has already produced four collections. Kaaskas is one of the few Polish brands which have become part of the international fashion calendar.
The company was founded at a very particular moment – Kasia was finishing her studies at the Faculty of Fashion at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She had just won the OFF Katowice fashion festival and the award of 100,000 Polish zlotys. A few weeks earlier she had a review in Beijing as part of the Festival of Polish Culture. Twój Styl, in turn, praised her as the most promising designer of the year. She realised she wanted to be a fashion designer relatively late. After graduating from high school she chose cultural studies. However, this was not her cup of tea. She took a gap year and left Poland to think about what she wanted to do. When she came back, she immediately applied to the International School of Costume and Fashion Design, later studied media art, and eventually ended up in the Faculty of Fashion.
I realised that watching Fashion TV, my teenage addiction, had not just been a stupid waste of time.
When Kasia was close to finishing her studies, Julia was looking for a permanent job. She graduated in sociology, worked as a freelancer for various cultural projects, and raised three children. In 2014 she was thirty-three years old, the children had grown up, and she thought it was time to take up a career. Kasia was dreaming of developing her own brand, but she had no idea how to go about it from a practical and business point of view. The sisters decided to work together. They have revealed that their family is very close-knit, and this gives them incredible strength. The sisters also share a common childhood experience – they spent a few years with their mother in Brazil. This experience is behind the abundance of brave colour combinations in their designs, and the absence of the typical Polish distrust of colours.
From the very beginning, the two thought about working abroad – so as not to have to rely on the Polish system and mentality. Yet they do not want to release eight annual collections, as has recently become the norm in the fashion world. Two are enough. Otherwise you get burnt out. Plus, the evergreen characteristic of the brand – for example, their ties and scarves with colourful printed stripes, which have already been called ‘kaaskas print’. This is the pattern of their first collection, Days of Being Wild, inspired by Wong Kar-Wai’s films, especially 2046. The fabric looks like the shimmering neon lights of Asian skyscrapers. The entire collection was influenced by Hong Kong fashion from the 60s – European glamour, on the one hand, and communist uniformity, on the other. The first collection by kasskas was partly a diploma work translated into the language of sales. For Kasia colour, texture, and print are of paramount importance. The cut should be minimalist. The sisters try to meet different people, change the environment, and never remain too long in one place.
They are also involved in a project which they have called ‘my own kaaskas’. Different photographs will be taken of people wearing the brand’s clothes each season. Not stylised ones, but in places of their choice. The sisters want kaaskas to be associated with art. Kasia likes talking about her sources of inspiration. The first collection was inspired by Wong Kar-Waiem, the next one by the architect and precursor of modernism Adolf Loos, the autumn / winter 2015-16 one by William Eggleston’s photographs, while the summer 2015 collection was influenced by the work of Henri Matisse and Sonia Delaunay.
Author: Karolina Sulej, transl. Bozhana Nikolova, April 2015