Michał Szulc has been present on the fashion market since 2005, consistently managing to eschew the red carpet-inspired exaggeration or design experiments with one of Poland's contemporary favourites – grey sweatshirt fabric.
Fashion designer, his collections include IAPAN, Carbon, and SOLD.
He has a consistent brand management policy, and also consistently supports his design work from his commercial activities – he designs clothes for a number of Polish fashion chains. He is also a PhD candidate and an instructor at the Fashion Design workshop of the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź and at the International School of Costume and Fashion Design in Warsaw. It therefore is no surprise that with such a tight schedule and professional commitments, he spends plenty of time in his car, which is where his ideas for collections are normally born. The production process is usually swift – Michał spends about two to three hours drawing his designs, collecting all the necessary fabrics in advance. On the following day, he begins the construction stage. The entire collection is ready in week and a half. Considering the workload and responsibilities he has taken on, Szulc needed to learn how to work quickly and efficiently.
Ever since the first edition, he's presented his collections every six months at Łódź Fashion Week, but with time he also started organising solo shows in Warsaw. He debuted as a designer in 2005 with the collection IAPAN. Between 2005 and 2015, he was a double recipient of the scholarship from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and a laureate of the Złota Nitka (Golden Thread) award (2005 and 2008), designed uniforms for Polish police forces and saw the graduation of several cohorts of his students.
He likes to play with current trends and perceptions of fashion. At the Carbon show, before the first model entered the runway, the whimsical text: ’sorry, no show today’ appeared on the screen. Most of the designs had the letter 'C' printed on them – a tongue-in-cheek hint at Chanel. 'C' also stands for body ('ciało' in Polish), and, of course – the chemical symbol of the titular carbon, which, next to oxygen, is the most common element in human body. 'C' additionally brought to mind school and university emblems, while the entire collection was strongly inspired by the teenager and schoolgirl fetish. The models strolled in converses, naturally.
hold the rivers
Besides his regular collections, Szulc also tries himself in more low-cost and commercial projects. In 2011, he created the affordable collection titled, tellingly, SALE, as well as his own perfumes. The idea however turned out to be premature – it later evolved and reemerged as the line SOLD – which expresses the street style and is more pocket-friendly. It is designed by Szulc, although not managed by him. SOLD consists of variations on various streetwear themes and patterns – there is camo, marble, grey melange, infinity scarfs, shawls, exaggerated hoodies, turtle necks, drawstring backpacks, oversize designs, and ironed, futuristic and austere skirts. Just like in the case of Carbon, each piece has a large SOLD logo printed on it. SOLD is generally presented at fairs instead of shows. The brand's success lies in the marriage of the designer form with the versatility of streetwear.
Author: Karolina Sulej, transl. AM, February 2016