Interview for :
HEMYCA is an ultimately feminine brand inspired by women and their individual characters. The forward-thinking approach has already met with a wide acclaim from figures such as Anna Wintour.
Who stands behind HEMYCA?
Helen Clinch and Myra Nigris – ‘twin souls’ who met at London College of Fashion.
We’ve always had an almost identical mindset and style. Working during the day and studying at night, we gained experience working for brands such as Roland Mouret, Ben de Lisi, DKNY and Calvin Klein. In the end, we joined forces to combine our skills and founded HEMYCA with a shared devotion for luxury. This tradition was passed down from generation to generation – Helen’s family worked in Savile Row while Myra’s family owns an atelier in Italy.
How would you define your aesthetic?
A combination of British and Italian design that is feminine and contemporary. It is a mixture of innovation, modern elegance and female empowerment achieved through the perfect fit. We want to flatter all the shapes. During the design process, we keep in mind that we want to celebrate them through feminine designs.
What inspires you?
Women. All female icons through history, their achievements, their personalities... We always keep this in mind when we are designing so you could say that we are celebrating women through our feminine style. Just the fact to be women and be able to wear what makes us feel great is really important for us and we wish to celebrate this.
How does your creative process look like?
Everything begins with an idea, a concept, which then becomes a final piece. Firstly we draw some sketches, then look into innovative fabrics and unique colours. Then we work on the designs and the silhouette to create the perfect fit. This includes working on the finishing and final touches, which need particular attention to detail. It gives birth to a sample collection to insure that women are happy with the feel, the fit, and overall that they feel comfortable and free from their movements in our clothes. Finally we create the final piece, which will feature in our collection.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing beginning designers now?
The market is very saturated and competitive, so new brands must arrive with a unique selling point to stand out. We’re living in a digital era so a good understanding of the digital tools and the opportunities they offer is also key. Brands must think globally, but act locally, propose ‘seasonless’ collections, but still adapt to the new trends. However, the industry is constantly changing and designers can test new strategies or try surprising collaborations at a minimum risk.
Could you explain your approach to bespoke, personalised fashion?
Personalised fashion is inherent to the brand – it is a core element of HEMYCA. We share truly beautiful, unique and emotional experiences with our customers. We aim to understand both – male and female bodies, as they all deserve an outfit that will highlight wearer’s personality. We also offer made-to-measure wedding dresses. It is such an incredible feeling to be part of women’s wonderful journey, from a design concept to the final result and their wedding. At the end of the day, fashion is all about the emotions.
Your designs are very feminine. What is your opinion of the feminist fashion activism being on the rise?
We aspire to be part of this phenomenon. Over the years, women were being told what to wear or how to look, so this movement gives them new choices and a voice to express their true identity. As we are women designing for women, we do need to talk about this in order to spark a change. What is even more beautiful is the global impact created from this; women reaching out other women from other parts of the globe and fashion has become another form communication and expression.
How would you describe modern fashion landscape in London?
London is a melting point of different styles and cultures that add vibrancy to the city. The city is well known for being a source of new trends and pushing the creative boundaries. We love seeing what’s new on London’s streets to learn how people mix high-end and high-street fashion.
How do you imagine the future of fashion?
We hope the fashion industry will become more sustainable and its designers more responsible, especially fast fashion companies which produce too much quantity and thus, waste a lot. The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. So we expect more dialogues around this very important subject that weigh over the industry and that it will concentrate again on slow fashion. Quality will become fashion again, this is our hope. Then fashion will need to have more access to all the new technologies and innovations, work with scientists to create biodegradable packaging or wearable tech. Since the 70’s and the invention of Lycra, there has been no major innovation in term of fabric and it needs to change. Innovation and sustainability will have to gather to engender all these changes that will have a huge and positive impact on fashion.
What was your most gratifying moment so far?
One of the highlights was when we met the absolute fashion authority – Anna Wintour. We showed her our collection and she was so encouraging, telling us to keep going with our work. The same year, we were selected to represent ‘the best of British contemporary designers’ in front of the Queen Elizabeth II as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebration. It was just incredible and a real honour.
What is your dream project?
We would love to work with wearable tech and collaborate with digital innovative companies, scientists… We always had in our DNA this constant need of learning something new that has not been done before. We wish to have a step ahead in our time and present to our customers innovative concepts such as when we collaborated with Hollition for the London Fashion Week where we presented our collection via Augmented Reality. As a brand, we are always looking to the future!