INGRID SZEKERES AND VANDA LENGYEL PHOTOGRAPHED BY ZSÓFIA HEISLER AND MARCELL KURLIK
ABOVE - DETAILS FROM THE SHOP IN DOHÁNY STREET
BELOW - NEARLY FIFTY YEARS OLD PAGES FROM SZPUTNYIK'S ELLE ARCHIVE
How can the Dearest Reader avoid the suffocating dullness of homogeneity? Find the nearest vintage store where one can find 20-30 years old clothing and accessories and create their very own style, their automiotology it their grandfather's tuxedo had gone missing in the attic. You can read an interview below with the head of Szputnyik shop, Ingrid Szekeres, and its manager Vanda Lengyel.
We don't know much about you except that you operate Szputnyik shop. What had you been doing before that, and how did you decide on opening a vintage store? Szputnyik shop was Roland Vörös, the owner's idea who opened the first store in 2009 at Bakáts square. During his travels vintage stores and flea markets had a huge influance on him. He decided to bring that atmosphere to Hungary.
Ingrid had studied at Budapest University of Technology and Economics as a designer. She then designed furniture, experimented with the world of advertising but her favorite field is fashion. Learning is very important to her so she currently takes lessons from the tutors of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design.
Vanda had been on the road during the past few years. She worked at sports events and music festivals as an event organiser. She has always been drawn to cultire and design, she had worked in cultural PR and too part in many creative projects.
We all came from different areas and we met through the series of coincidences. The love of fashion, openness towards the past and creativity give the common ground. We believe in cooperation, that we can create amazing things together, while having fun. We have learnt a lot during this process.
How long has Szputnyik been around and what's behind the name?
Roland was inspired by Murakami Haruki's novel, Sputnik, Sweetheart!. That's a mythical story about the power of love, where the protagonist calls her lover Sputnik. We would like our costumers to find their fellow-travelers in the form of our clothes, that go with them wherever they go.
Our first store, Szputnyik Bazaar opened in 2009 at Bakáts square. (Then moved to Király street 22 in 2015). It's called Bazaar because its just as colorful and crowded as a real bazaar. Every inch is in use, it's like a huge playground. Our second store D20 opened in May 2011 and is located in Dohány street, in the 7th disctrict of Budapest. It is a more cleared out designer boutique filled with unique, original pieces and with a gallery where there are temporary exhibitions.
What is the concept on dressing that is represented by your products?
Szputnyik shop's aim is to provide the mixture of unique, quality vintage clothing, accessories and new, original, limited edition small scale designer items at affordable price.
Mixing and matching the special items of different past eras with contemporary pieces is a brave and exciting task.
We believe that fashion is about the individual, choosing clothes and creating outfits is a matter of personal choice and taste. We encourage everyone to be creative, find their own personal style and dare to express themselves!
At Szputnyik shop everyone can browse between different styles, all can find those clothes and accessories that reflect them the most. Vintage and retro dresses, unique printed t-shirts with fun, childis, provocative or surreal patterns all drive attention to the wearer instantly.
We have all been wondering, where you get your clothes from?
The vintage pieces that are available at our store are from all over the world and were selected from thousands of pieces with care. Sometimes we travel in order to get one particular piece and we also pay attention in Hungary. We have found a lot of treasures on the flea markets of Western-Hungary and Austria.
The new items are also selected personally in agreement with the designers. We keep in mind that these pieces have to go well with vintage clothes. Iconic personalities from the past are also represented on our new designs as graphics and we also like provocative, fun, childish or surreal prints on t-shirts.
The love of fashion, openness towards the past and creativity give common ground. We believe in cooperation, that we are able to create great thing while having fun.
What was the most memorable treasure you've ever found?
One of our favorites is a blue leather piece designes by Michael Hoban from the 1980's that was inspired by Captain America. That very same designer is known for creating clothes for Elton John, Elvis Presley and today his creations can be seen on Paris Hilton or Angelina Jolie.
What happens to a piece of clothing after you seect it?
Well, let's start where we spot a certain piece on a hunt. We buy it, then comes the transportation, cleaning, ironing and retouches. We really pay attention to that phase, since high quality is very important. Afterwards the product arrives to the store then after getting a fitting price it is available to buy.
What are your latest arrivals?
Topper hats and bowler-hats including a piece created by János Wacha hatter in the 1930's out of mole fur.
There are usually a lot of tourists at Szputnyik. What are they looking for?
Foreigners are definitely into vintage clothes. They shop more daringly, make braver choices, and feel more confident among old items than locals. They tend to get lost in the store for hours seeking and trying on clothes until they find the most fitting pieces. What these are is hard to say. All costumers have different styles.
Do well-known personalities also visit you?
Many popular costume designers, sylists, photographers, and television personalities have discovered our stores. Moreover, Parov Stealar's singer has also bought her newest hat at our store, and Cynthia Nixon and her girlfriend have also visited us and charmed us with how friendly and kind they were.
What does fashion mean to you?
Art and history.
Who do you consider to be a role model in fashion design?
Hussein Chayalan's Paris exhibition was a huge influance. It's amazing how differently the designer interprets fashion. Lightly breaks down boundaries and mixes fashion with statuary and performance art.We believe art is permeable and different art forms do more good to each other than harm. We follow a lot of designers. There are always some special pieces, unique solutions, materials that inspire us. We love Vivienne Westwood who also has an effect on society who transformed regular dressing by adding perversion to it and thus she created her own look. Our other favorites are Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier. We appreciate that they have respect for classical clothing while demolishing conventions.
What inspires you?
Colecting clothes is much more than just a pastime for us. It's a way to preserve and appreciate history, culture and fashion. We would like our stores to be real destinations where locals can also meet and grow fond of these creations from the past.
We often wander who will finally buy a particular piece, and then someone comes and makes it come to life. The new unity is obvious by the spakle in the costumers eyes. That's worth everything.
Interview: Máté Dávid, Az Allűr