Acclaimed designer Sandra Sandor is the woman behind hit fashion label Nanushka, and while she might have trained in London, Nanushka is very much a product of Budapest. The brand is stocked all over the world but Sandor, who grew up in the Hungarian capital, still lives there today and has recently opened a new flagship Nanushka Store & Café that’s inspired by her love of her hometown. Here, Sandor shares her favourite spots in Budapest, why she’s looking forward to summer in the city and where’s on her travel wish list for 2018.
What inspired you to launch your own label, Nanushka, in 2006?
I studied at the London College of Fashion for a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Technology. Whilst working on my graduate collection in the final semester, I felt very inspired to start my own brand. I made the decision then, that instead of continuing my studies with an internship at a bigger fashion house – like most new graduates – I returned from London and started working on my own collection right away. During the early 2000s it was a truly exciting time in Hungary. When we started Nanushka, a lot of other young designers were starting up too and it felt like the beginning of a new generation.
How are your designs inspired by Budapest?
The city is my home, this is the place where I grew up and I now live with Peter, my partner in business and life. We have recently opened our new flagship store, Nanushka Store & Cafe, and I think this place represents best what I love so much about Budapest. It feels like home, it’s cosy and it incorporates many cultural elements that in the end created an unexpected harmony, just like the city itself. This is reflected in my designs as well. When you come to Budapest, you’ll often find a Turkish bath on one side of the street, next to Brutalist buildings on the other side. These clashing cultures drive me and inspire me in all domains of my life.
When you’re in search of creative inspiration in Budapest, where do you go?
I love to visit exhibitions in the Ludwig Museum or just take a stroll around the city. I like to visit my favourite little spots, like Madach Imre Square, where I can have a bite to eat or drink. This place fills the functions of a comprehensive art gallery and an urban meeting point in the heart of Budapest. If I need peace and quiet, I love Árpád Tóth promenade – in the Buda castle – which has a scenic view of the surrounding hills.
Can you tell us a bit about your current Spring/Summer 2018 collection?
It’s inspired by both Oriental Culture and Wild Western Americana. The Far Eastern influences appear in animal prints and silk scarf inspired silhouettes, while the Wild Western theme is apparent in the denim pieces and bandana prints. The muse for the collection was Lisa Bonet from the late 80s movie Angel Heart, which is one of my favourite decades.
What are the signature pieces that every Nanushka woman should have in her wardrobe?
I love outerwear, so I think the most important would be a nice robe coat that is trans-seasonal and a good pair of jeans.
What Budapest summer events are you most looking forward to?
I think summer is just a very exciting time in general. The city comes alive, as we have so many places where you can sit outside, listen to music and people watch. We also have some great wine festivals in the Buda Castle.
Judging by your Instagram account, you clearly love to travel. What destinations are on your must-visit list for 2018?
Travelling really inspires me because your mind becomes almost childlike and very receptive. Joshua Tree in California and Asia are definitely on my list for the year ahead.