Wanda Nylon is the brainchild – or rather rainchild – of Peter Hornstein and Johanna Senyk.
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A Paris-based brand specialising in fashion forward rain protection that makes you wish the heavens would open, Wanda Nylon’s first collection has caught the attention of all the best stores, boding for a bright future for the duo. i-D online sat down with one half of Wanda to talk fetish, plastics and their desire for an ecological future.
Where did Wanda come from? Everything happened extremely fast. As we spent so long developing it, we took our time to find things and develop them, and everything happened at the same time. The right materials, the right factories, the right showrooms, and things have happened incredibly fast. This is our first season and we have taken on sixty stockists. We never imagined this would happen.
Is Wanda all types of nylon? No, no. The name was chosen a little bit to confuse, there are a few pieces in nylon, but mostly we are focused on PU, and PVC. We thought it was a nice name, and a little less sexually charged than PVC!
What about ‘Wanda’? Wanda is a Polish name, Johanna is from Poland, and we wanted to give the brand a name so it sounded like a person, to give it characterisation, like an artist’s name. She could be a Crazy Horse dancer! In the fetish community you have a lot of people who choose a pseudonym – Suzy Mackintosh for example – and names like this, so we came up with Wanda Nylon.
She’s your alter ego, like Paule Ka? Exactly. We wanted something that wasn’t too pretentious. A fun sounding name that wasn’t too serious. And everybody who heard it liked it; it’s a name you remember because it’s unusual.
And of course it has a fetish association? Of course it does. The sound of the material, the smell, the touch… it has a sexy edge.
When I styled it, I didn’t want to ‘do sexy’. I wanted to emphasise that it was clothing. It was a great surprise for us to see the way it has been put together for i-D online, because we tried the total looks and we weren’t sure that the buyers would take it this way. You know, the t-shirts, shorts, skirts etc. But we’re really happy that people have been able to look at it as a material, though it’s not the easiest to wear, maybe. We are focusing more on apparel so these qualities are considered: the breathability, the comfort in wearing, etc.
Did you develop any of the fabrics you use personally? Yes, we developed a lot of these fabrics with the factories directly. For example, the see-through trench is a sartorial item that people have an associative memory with from the 60s. But the original coats were very stiff and they turned yellow. They weren’t comfortable to wear and we wanted to solve these problems and make a more contemporary product. The materials had to be more comfortable, and not make you sweat so much, and be recyclable.
Has recyclability and the ethical side of things been a big concern? We are working only with European manufacturers and all of our materials come from Europe. At the moment ninety percent is made from recyclable materials, but our target for the future is to become one hundred percent recyclable. Another plus side with recyclable materials is that they are much more comfortable, and apparently much more resistant.
Wanda Nylon is available now at Opening Ceremony, Browns and Harvey Nichols.
Text and Styling: Anthony Stephinson
Photography: Fred Jacobs
Hair: Olivier De Vrient @ Artlist
Make-up: Helène Vasnier @ Artlist
Model: Naom Frost at Next Models Paris
Photography Assistance: Romain Diani
Styling Assistance: Alexandre Roy
From top: Look 1: Shirt Paule Ka. Jacket Wanda Nylon. Look 2: Rollneck Body Wolford. Shirt and Coat Wanda Nylon. Trousers Paule Ka. Look 3: Coat Wanda Nylon. Rollneck Body Wolford. Skirt Maison Martin Margiela. Look 4: Bra Wolford. Tee and Shorts Wanda Nylon.