NEW TYPE #6: BERENIK- Veronica Brusa INTERVIEW

April 30, 2015 1:47 PM

"Introducing a new generation of designers"

Veronika Brusa is the quintessential artist. Graphic designer, photographer, and designer of Swiss fashion label BERENIK, she does it all with an attention to detail that shines through in her refined, understated clothing. She’s been traveling her whole life, but after landing in New York and producing two Manhattan-approved collections, she’s ready to settle down and do what she loves most: create.

I was lucky enough to sit down with Veronika at Omen PR and chat with her about life, inspiration, and the BERENIK brand. Full interview below.

 

 

------------- Veronika Brusa's INTERVIEW ------------- 

 

Jason Greenspan: Where in Switzerland are you from? 

Veronika Brusa: I grew up in a very small village, actually, like three thousand people. I moved out when I was sixteen to an even smaller town (I mean, everything in Switzerland is pretty small) and studied graphic design in between traveling. I went to Shanghai, Paris and so on, but it was around twelve years that my home was this small, annoying (laughs) town.

  

JG: I’ve visited Switzerland, what a beautiful place. 

VB: It is an absolutely beautiful country! I would never say otherwise! But it’s also a bit boring because of how small and limiting it can be. I mean, Zurich? Three hundred thousand people? That’s not a big audience.

  

JG: So how long have you been in NYC? 

VB: About a year now, but honestly, I’m traveling half of the time so I’ve had maybe six months where I’m actually here.

 

JG: Do you love it? 

VB: Oh I do! For me it’s a really important step, because I’ve traveled a lot and lived in many different places, and this is the first one that I want to stay in. I can picture my coming years here and I’m not depressed about it.

  

JG: Well that’s important! 

VB: And being an alien here is very important for me too I think: putting yourself in a totally new environment where you have to survive personally and financially brings a lot out in you. At home, you have your past that defines you, but when you move to a new city, it’s just YOU and what you carry inside. 

 

JG: Totally. So, as someone with a background in graphic design, what led you to concentrate your efforts on fashion? 

VB: I’ve always had this basic urge to create. I learned very young that creation gives me great satisfaction, and that became my driving force. Pretty quickly into my graphic design career, I realized that I didn’t like that field. It’s not creative enough; you have clients and you always have to do what they want.

VB: I had been sewing since high school, and we didn’t have a lot of money so often times I made my own wardrobe. I became obsessed, especially with making outfits for parties. I’d show up late all the time because I was finishing a dress or something. I eventually started producing small collections at my studio in Switzerland and selling them, on top of my graphic design jobs that were necessary for survival. I was in between everything and it was making me crazy. 

VB: My husband ended up getting a job in Shanghai, resulting in us moving there. When I arrived I saw these huge markets with endless varieties of fabric and suddenly everything was just available. And I met so many interesting people that were risking everything -- which is in stark contrast to the environment in Switzerland -- and I thought, “That’s me! That’s how I think too!” This gave me the bravery to take out the loans and make the necessary investment to really do it.  

 

JG: You’ve said that you consider a woman’s attitude when wearing clothing to be very important, and that it’s a starting point for you a lot of the time. Can you explain that further? 

VB: The connection between the feeling and the look is very difficult to explain. But it all goes back to when I would have a party to go to on a Saturday or something and I’d just know that I wanted to look a certain way. An image would just pop up in my head. I still do that; I imagine certain people going to specific events and I know exactly how I think they should look.

  

JG: But confidence is very important, right? 

VB: Confidence, but also context. Wherever I go I’m always dressing people in my head. I just have these ideas for complete looks and who should be wearing them where. And it can start other ways too. I remember going to the fabric store with my mother and seeing finished pieces from looking at one roll of fabric. Even going with my father to a home improvement store would inspire me.

 

JG: So when you get an idea for a design, what’s the first step? Do you sketch it? Do you grab material and start cutting? 

VB: Well, I’m still developing my methods for getting from the idea to the finished product. I’m always drawing, and many times it’s the first thing I do after getting an idea, but I never draw specifically for a collection. Even when I’m working on one line, I’ll get ideas for another collection and sketch them out. That’s the hardest thing to do, to put a fresh idea on hold like that.

 

JG: So you must have some giant file cabinet filled with sketches yet to be revisited. 

VB: I actually rarely look at them! Once I put something on paper, it’s in my head and I don’t need to see it again.

 

JG: I’d like to talk about BERENIK SS15 for a moment. Is it a very special collection for you? Considering that it’s the first one you created in New York. 

VB: It was very difficult for me. When I came here in January, I was on my second collection in a row without having taken a break, and that’s exhausting. And on top of that, there was all of the moving to handle. Like, I didn’t even have internet. I was doing layouts in coffee shops. I knew that I should’ve hired interns to help with the collection, but I realized I’d rather work eighteen hours a day for three months than introduce an unfamiliar dynamic like that.

 

JG: The AW15 collection was inspired heavily by your travels. Can you pinpoint any specific locations and which pieces they inspired? 

VB: Not really. I see inspiration more as the energy that feeds the vision. Things like cities and architecture, and the emotions that I feel when I see them go into this world in my head, and from there they flow back into my ideas subconsciously. For example, I was in London for Fashion Week, and everything seemed green to me. Maybe it was a street sign, or something on a bus, but I became obsessed with this specific dark green color, and it manifested itself in this one shirt from AW15. I’m actually wearing the color right now!

 

JG: Tell me about the slight androgyny of the collection and previous collections of yours. 

VB: I personally like simple things as opposed to very feminine clothing that makes women look like birthday presents. Menswear is very simple, but it has to have a certain quality, and I think that’s difficult to achieve. And I just like the aesthetic of neutrality; it’s sexy when a woman isn’t trying too hard.  

 

JG: We’ve got to talk about the shoes in AW15. They’re amazing, and clearly a result of your interest in architecture. I mean, they’re literally miniature pieces of architecture! What was the creation process like? 

VB: The shoemaker that I collaborated with in Shanghai is very ambitious, and I knew that I could do something really cool with him; that’s very hard to find. I’d work all day in my studio and then meet with him at 10 or 11pm, making the necessary changes from there. This was really the first shoe that I’d developed myself, and he was always willing to go along with my changes through all 5 prototypes!

 

JG: Do you have somewhere that you’d like to travel to in the near future? 

VB: Honestly, no. And that’s a first for me, feeling like I’m home somewhere. I want to spend as much time as possible here, and that’s a great feeling.

 

JG: What’s next for BERENIK?

VB: My next collection! I think it will be surprising, in a good way. If everything goes well, I’ll be doing fashion for my whole life!

 

 

INTERVIEW & WRITTEN BY: JASON GREENSPAN 

PHOTOGRAPH BY: FUZHONG YANG

LOCATION: OMEN PR

 

related posts

IKEMEN #22: ADAM SPOONT

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

May 21, 2014 2:45 PM  |  People

BABËL New York Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary With Two Day Event of Excess and Splendor

BABEL NEW YORK acclaimed the NYC party scene in celebration of their First Year Anniversary. As temperatures begin to heat up in NYC, there is no better locale than the much desired rooftop.

May 14, 2014 11:44 PM  |  People
PHOTOGRAPH COPYRIGHT (C) DANIELE DUELLA AND IANGO HENZI

BEHIND THE SCENES #2: LUIGI MURENU

TWELV's Behind the Scenes takes a step back and visits the masterminds behind the camera.

May 13, 2014 9:32 PM  |  People
Photograph by CHAMA

IKEMEN #21: MICHELLE VON MANDEL

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

April 06, 2014 7:58 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #20: GEORGE INAKI

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"  

March 26, 2014 5:45 PM  |  People
Jacket, top, skirt CHRISTIAN DIOR. Shoes GIUSEPPE ZANNOTTI. Tights WOLFORD.

DEBORAH ANN WOLL: ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE

Deborah Ann Woll’s voice glows when she speaks, as warm and full as her golden red hair.

March 17, 2014 5:03 PM  |  People
Dress JILL STUART.  Black diamond ring MICHAEL M. Peacock ring CARRERA Y CARRERA.

NEVE CAMPBELL: LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE

Carrying over two decades of the industry on her back, there aren’t many women with the grace and stoicism of Neve Campbell.

March 14, 2014 3:20 PM  |  People

GARETH PUGH: ORGANIZED CHAOS

Gareth Pugh is a study in contrasts; balancing the demands of what is created and what is worn; what is in a designer’s control and what is in the hands of the wearer; what must be planned and...

March 10, 2014 2:11 PM  |  People
Bodysuit NORMA KAMALI. Shirt DOLCE & GABBANA @ Albright Fashion Library. Jacket EMANUEL UNGARO. Tights WOLFORD. Shoes JEAN-MICHEL CAZABAT. Rings CARTIER. Rings JOJI KOJIMA.

LAKE BELL: THE GREAT LAKE

Lake Bell has made a name for herself as a charming, beautiful, and witty New Yorker capable of indie and blockbuster success (“It’s Complicated”, “No Strings Attached”, “Children’s Hospital...

March 05, 2014 2:48 PM  |  People
IG @karljohanbogefors

Cheers to the Weekend After Parties

February 09, 2014 2:15 PM  |  People
Siva from The Wanted

FRIDAY'S FW PARTY

With Fashion Week’s second day over, Friday night was primetime for some of the most prominent designer to celebrate their successes over a glass of champagne.

February 08, 2014 1:42 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #19: SAMAR SAJJAD

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

January 28, 2014 1:30 PM  |  People

Happy Birthday, Kate the Great!

Happy birthday to everyone’s favorite super model Kate Moss. The Brit enters her 40th year with grace, and she looks better than ever.

January 16, 2014 3:05 PM  |  People

Lady Gaga's ArtPop Ball

Lady Gaga is back, and this time, it’s not just to perform.

January 08, 2014 1:57 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #18: KEIICHIRO NAKAJIMA

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE" 

December 09, 2013 4:46 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #17: Ian Alexander

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

November 25, 2013 7:50 PM  |  People
Photo by Adam Katz Sinding

IKEMEN #16: KAROLYN PHO

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

November 05, 2013 11:41 AM  |  People

Futura Bold

Futura came up in the grimy, visceral environment of New York City’s early 1970’s street culture of tagging, bombing and writing graffiti – making their art not in the city, but on top of it.

October 10, 2013 6:11 PM  |  People
Dr Marten's "Lex" Shoe

FROM AUSTRALIA WITH LOVE: WHAT I'VE LEARNED SO FAR

Buyer’s Regret: It’s just like buyer’s remorse only in reverse. And it is a fashion crime that I have and will probably continue to commit time and time again.

October 09, 2013 3:08 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #15: EDOARDO IANNUZZI

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

October 02, 2013 1:58 PM  |  People
Gabriella Ferrante's collection

FROM AUSTRALIA WITH LOVE: Designer Profile of Gabriella Ferrante

I find that Australia’s fashion industry can sometime be accused of playing catch-up with other, bigger and more cosmopolitan locations (i.e. Paris, London etc…) This needn’t be the case.

September 06, 2013 3:22 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #14: Joao Veiga de Aguiar

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

August 30, 2013 4:39 PM  |  People
Author Matthew Feddersen

FROM AUSTRALIA WITH LOVE: PRETTY BOYS DON'T BUY THEIR OWN DRINKS

Its no secret if you know me – I like to drink.

August 23, 2013 6:07 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #13: NATALIE O'BRIEN

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

August 21, 2013 1:12 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #12: KRISTIN PRIM

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

July 31, 2013 2:49 PM  |  People
Photograph By Colin Singer, Styled by Bobby Webster, Makeup by Mynxii White

ARTIST, MODEL, AND LIVING PIECE OF ART: ZOMBIE BOY

From Zombie Boy to living icon, Rick Genest isn’t just Nicola Formichetti’s muse anymore. 

July 09, 2013 4:11 PM  |  People
Photo By: Lindsay Maas

IKEMEN #11: JAY PAAVONPERA

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

June 27, 2013 7:49 PM  |  People
Photo By: yeahlano.com

DON'T CALL DELANO BROWN A DESIGNER

TWELV met up with the always-unpredictable artist Delano Brown for lunch in Bryant Park.

June 25, 2013 2:02 PM  |  People
Photo By Charlie Perritt

IKEMEN #10: LOGAN NEITZEL

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

June 19, 2013 4:09 PM  |  People
Rocco Leo Gaglioti; Photo By: Gideon Lewis

Rocco Leo Gaglioti

Who are you?

Rocco Leo Gaglioti Creator/Host of Fashion News Live and Owner/CEO of RLG Productions, Corp.

June 17, 2013 12:13 PM  |  People

NICOLA FORMICHETTI TUMBLR MEETUP HIGHLIGHTS

“My job feels more like a hobby than a job, really; it’s always fun,” says Nicola Formichetti for TWELV’s second issue.

May 06, 2013 12:57 PM  |  People
Photo: Juergen Teller for System

Dismay, Danger and Discovery: Nicolas Ghesquière's Untold Story Revealed

After fifteen years at Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière quietly left his post as creative director last November.

May 01, 2013 2:57 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #9: LISA LARSSON

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

May 01, 2013 1:24 PM  |  People
PHOTO IMAGE BY JAY MARROQUIN

IKEMEN #8: HOGAN MCLAUGHLIN

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

April 24, 2013 4:44 PM  |  People

Donna Karan: Million Hearts for Haiti Project

Designer Donna Karan is sending some love down to Haiti.

April 23, 2013 10:03 AM  |  People

IKEMEN #7: Salvatore Morale

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

 

April 17, 2013 11:33 PM  |  People

Pages

SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc. Drupal Development by: DivDiv, NYC
▲ back to top ▲