Vejas Kruszewski takes on a new creative challenge with Pihakapi
Vejas Kruszewski is taking his career in a different direction with his new role at Pihakapi. The self-taught twenty-one-year-old designer, who is passionate about materials, is taking on the role of creative director at the the new brand launched this season by Pellemoda, the historic Tuscan producer which specializes in leather apparel.
In 2016, Vejas Kruszewski won over the LVMH Prize jury, who gave him a special award, a 150,000-euro endowment and a year of mentoring. This prize allowed him to develop his own unisex brand Vejas, which launched in 2015 and immediately caught the attention of some of the edgiest boutiques, standing out for its studied precision and its avant-garde spirit. The Montreal-born Canadian designer's collections are now sold at 30 multi-brand points of sale worldwide, including Luisaviaroma, Ssense and Farfetch.
It was upon meeting Azzurra and Giampaolo Morelli, directors of Pellemoda, the family business founded in 1979 by their father Bruno in Empoli, Tuscany, that the young designer found some new allies. "Vejas Kruszewski came to see us last season to have us produce his collection. We fell in love with his design and creativity and suggested that he continue his career with us", explains Giampaolo Morelli.
The leather producer works with established luxury fashion houses, producing apparel and outerwear, but also with new labels such as Alyx, the chic streetwear brand from Matthew Williams, another LVMH Prize finalist in 2016.
"We do a lot of research and we are used to offering avant-garde pieces to our customers. A year and a half ago, we decided to launch a real full-look line and started to work on some collections. With Vejas Kruszewski, we are really launching the brand this season", Giampaolo continued.
Up against a complex and difficult market, the new rising star in fashion has accepted the challenge. As of the fall-winter 2018/19 season, he will therefore be taking the helm of Pihakapi, leaving his own brand Vejas behind. The new label is presenting itself as a laboratory-atelier which rethinks leather and its uses, born at the crossroads between Pellemoda's savoir-faire and Vejas Kruszewski's experimental design.
The first collection will be presented in Paris and New York during Men's Fashion Week. Pihakapi will be distributed by SlamJam.
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