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Hetedhétker: Szputnyik: Where old meets new

Szputnyik shop is an unusual spot in Hungarian fashion. Everyone can find the clothes that suit them most there. Contemporary design and preserved traditional vintage meet at their location on Dohány street. 

Ingrid Szekeres, the head of the store had studied to become a designer at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and fell in love with Szputnyik shop way back in 2011. She sais she wanted to create something new and original ever since she attended university and she finally found herself in Szputnyik. We talked about the stores, costumers and ideologies. 


My partner, Roland Vörös came up with the idea of having two main concepts: a collection of old, vintage clothes and new, small scale designer pieces . He opened the first store in 2009 at Bakáts square in the 9th district of Budapest. I have joined him in 2011 with my fellow student Vanda Lengyel  and we have launched the second store in Dohány street. That was smaller than our current location, we moved here in 2013 when this venue vacated. Last year our store on Bakáts square closed, we have another store now in Káldy Gyula street. We also have a workshop there because we needed a place to retouch and prepare clothes for selling. We will open another store on Március 15. square but for now it will be only temporary. 

How much work does it take to have a vintage piece hanging on your racks?
That is quite a process. Old clothes in 90%  are made out of quality metrials, however, due to the fact that they were used before and they are old, we need to repair, rework, stem, wash and iron them sometimes.

Where do you get the clothes from?
With a big store like this we have to have our connections, however, we still hand-pick our clothes. There are some who collect for us, but we also tend to find real treasures by accident. Whenever I'm abroad I visit the markets and check the competition. I Like to know what kind of coat or skirts have the vintage stores to offer in European, Asian vintage stores. Taste is different everywhere. I believe we have a unique, Hungarian collection. But, who knows? That might just be my taste.  


What do you keep in mind while selecting the clothes?
We always follow the current trends but try to keep an open eye for real unique finds. It's not all about brand, but it sure is a thrill for someone in this profession to find and hold a Dior dress. Fortunately I could experience that. It's important that the clothes fit the ideology of Szputnyik shop. You cannot teach that. You have to feel it. 

Could you set an exact target-audience?
I could say it's mainly people between the ages of 18 and 45 but older people tend to find us too. They are rather foreigners with a young spirit. Women take up 70%. 

What is a typical Szputnyik costumer like?
A lot of foreigners visit us, but they are very different. From extreme faces to sophisticated ladies with Louis Vuitton purses many people visit us. I personally love all of them and I encourage everyone not to judge. We want anyone who enters to have a good time whether they buy anything or not. 

What are the differences between the needs of foreign and local costumers? 
I don't think they have different needs. Of yourse, we are watching what sells and what doesn't, but it is never certain that we can restock a certain item. It's common that I see something and I think the costumers will love it. It feels amazing when I see that they appreciate it for real.


Are you aiming to have differet products than a mainstream store or a shopping mall? 
We only have one, or just a very few of a certain item. We purchase small scale collections and we can only get one of each vintage piece. We cannot really plan years ahead like a fast fashion chain. We can only have ad-hoc decisions regarding our collection. 

When it comes to the new designs, what are the designers like who you work with?
They are mostly foreigners. When we visit them we leave for weeks, I check what kind of styles or patterns they came up with then we produce them together. We work with small fascories so there are no multinational corporations in the picture, it would not even fit into our ideology. 

Did you come up with the elements of the interior design?
I love markets, so most of the furniture is the rsult of that love of mine. Me and my partner have a storage unit where we collect these things and we can completely furnish a store from there when it comes to that. I pay attention to the placing of new products inside the store. I think it is important to have a person who sees the bigger picture in a store like that,, whose style determines the spirit of the venue.

Interview: Geri, Hetedhétker