New fashion label ONAR launches for AW 2014 season
Plush rainbow-bright stoles, smart wrap-around collars and the softest raven black coats. The premiere collection by Helsinki-based fashion label ONAR introduces a modern take on fur, leather and knitwear with its understated design and sustainable materials.
ONAR, which means “dream” in ancient Greek, is the brainchild of designer Irene Kostas. It sprang to life out of love for quality materials, wear-forever design and the craft of Finnish and Greek furriers. Kostas, a second-generation fur designer, learned about the craft from her father who ran his own artisan fur and leathershop in the 1980’s and 1990’s and now works on made-to-measure fur wear.
Kostas draws her inspiration from the cultures of her two native countries, Finland and Greece. In her design, Scandinavian minimalism meets the richness of Byzantine aesthetics and the simple, loose silhouettes borrowed from the monastics. As a dj, Kostas is also influenced by music. The soundtrack of her studio ranges from byzantine hymns and world music to Italo disco and techno.
“I wanted to create a brand that reflects my view of the world and for me it’s full of strong contrasts. I am inspired by the fusions of unlikely matches. I love the aesthetics of the Byzantium and the Scandinavian pure shapes.”
For Kostas, sustainability is a strong value. The ONAR collections utilize already existing materials. Nothing is farmed. The furs and leathers are hand-picked from a variety of Finnish wild game pelts, industry surplus and European lamb skins that are byproducts of food industry.
The clothes and accessories are handmade by artisans in Finland and Greece, in areas that are specialized for centuries in the traditional craft of fur and leatherwork.
The premiere collection of ONAR is available at the onarstudios.com webstore in July and in selected stores in the fall.
About the designer
Irene Kostas (b. 1985) is a designer of Finnish and Greek origin. Before launching her own brand she has worked in fashion marketing and brand management. On weekends, you can spot her at Helsinki clubs behind the decks playing her favorite techno, house, italodisco and world music tracks.
For more info visit onarstudios.com