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. In the eve of the rising feminist discourse, we spoke to HEMYCA’s founders on their design process and the future of fashion.
Who stands behind Hemyca?
Helen Clinch and Myra Nigris – ‘twin souls’ who met at the 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 via the perfect fit. We want to flatter all the shapes. We’re inspired by women – all female icons through history, their achievements, their personalities… During the design process, we keep in mind that we want to celebrate them through the feminine style.
How does your creative process look like?
Everything begins with an idea, a concept, which then becomes the final piece. Firstly, we draw some sketches, then we look for innovative fabrics and unique colours. Secondly, we work on the silhouette to create a perfect fit. Overall, we want women to feel comfortable and to move freely in our clothes.
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. Fashion is also a new mean that allows females to reach out to each other – it is now communication tool.
How would you describe modern fashion landscape in London?
London is a melting pot 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 that fashion industry will become more sustainable and responsible. Especially, fast fashion companies produce too big quantities and a lot of waste. The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. We hope quality will become the main consideration again. Fashion also needs to be more innovative. Since the invention of lycra in the 70s, there has been no major innovation in terms of fabrics. We would love to see technology and sustainability combined.
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 explore the domain of wearable tech. It is part of our DNA to keep learning and do the things that have not been done before. As a brand, we are always looking into the future!