Poland is a central European country with a population of 38 million inhabitants and a member of the European Union since May 2004.
Poland has also been the birthplace of significant individuals who have influenced Western and Eastern cultures for centuries, such as Pope John Paul II, Nicolaus Copernicus, Frederick Chopin, Roman Polański, and Joseph Conrad.
i was honored to receive an email last week from an emerging designer in Poland that is influencing his world.
Konrad Parol is a Polish designer who is currently living and working in Warsaw (Warszawa)—the capital and largest city of Poland.
So, Konrad, how did you start as a designer?
I don’t remember how it exactly started. I was always manually gifted, but my focus on fashion started in high school. I wanted to create something that combined high-art and everyday art, for people—something that would live its own life and evaluate…
What happened after high school?
After graduating high school, I finished a two year degree at a school that didn’t give me a strong technical background and didn’t really shape my individual style as a designer. While studying at Art Studio, I did a one year internship at the Atelier of Maciej Zien, one of the most famous Polish fashion designers. I also worked as a costume designer for polish music videos.
How did this shape you?
Although I was working in the fashion industry, I had a strong feeling that I could do more, be more creative. I designed two womenswear collections, which were noticed in Poland and Japan. After finishing the internship, I worked for two years as a designer and producer of sport shoes in China and after that I worked as a womenswear designer at a big fashion house in Warsaw.
I am currently a womenswear designer for a young contemporary polish brand and a creative director at my own company. I have been creating menswear collections for almost a year, what gives me much more satisfaction than womenswear. Moreover, I am the first faithful customer of my own brand, so finally I have no problem with clothes (smile).
Tell me something about your latest collection “Rebels.”
Last collection...I needed something strong and masculine. There`s some post-apocalyptic vision of the new world; last tribe on earth must to survive and restore civilisation again...
Was the goal of the collection to shock?
I don’t want to shock, but I would like to make my collections on the contrary to global views and opinions. I would like to remain a child forever and constantly play with fashion. I don’t want to follow the generally accepted trends or norms, I want to define them…or maybe I want to shock in my own personal way…
Is there something that influences your collections?
I`m always my own inspiration. I`m always looking for what I need at the moment, what`s my biggest desire. More precisely, I am the focal point of everything that surrounds me. Everything depends from a moment, time of the day, my mood. My needs are what’s most important and they are the ones that push me in the right direction and bring me ideas of what to design next. I am also really inspired by the street life, its rhythm and heartbeat .
Can you elaborate on being your own inspiration?
Everything that I create evolves around me or a person like me: a single guy living in a big metropolis who is tired of being predictable and who wants to surprise and be admired... who may inspire others in a positive way.
Do you hold to a particular philosophy?
I believe in the rule „The man comes first, the idea comes second.“ I don’t have to look far to find my inspiration: I always started to listen to my own needs, focus on who I am, what I dream of and how I would like to be understood. My clothes want to amaze and be admired, they want to grab attention and positively inspire the surroundings. I will not invent the wheel, for sure, that is why I always think out of the box. I am trying to give old shapes a totally new life, and meaning.
How about materials and fabrics?
I used a lot of knitwear and all types of jersey. I feel bewitched by jersey: it is very fluid and easy to drape. A big plus is the fact that it is natural, bio-degradable, and consequently environment-friendly, which is very important nowadays.
Any closing words?
Somewhere there's a land that I read when I was little bastard (smile). Somewhere, there's a land that I dreamed about: free land, undiscovered tribe of free men, somewhere there...
Thank you Konrad for contacting me and the best of luck to you in Poland and beyond!
Photo & slideshow, Fashion Week Poland, Copyright Konrad Parol.
Photo: Konrad Ciok / Krzysztof Wyżyński
Model: Filip Jankowski/ AMQ models