With headquarters and a flagship store in Zurich and an atelier and showroom in Paris, BERENIK combines being based in one the most livable cities with working in the probably most fashionable city. Founded in 2010, the Swiss fashion label comprises a full-fledged women’s collection in addition to digitally printed silk scarves and highly functional handbags.
Employing of smart cuts, cool prints and elaborate details, designer Veronika Brusa presents a collection working both as complete looks and as sophisticated separates.
We spoke with BERENIK founder and designer Veronika Brusa about her brand, her beginnings, her future plans and her hometown of Zurich.
– Please tell us something about your brand and the ideas behind it?
stands for an unconventional interpretation of fashion that is characterized by a great fascination with experimentation.
We develop two comprehensive prêt-à-porter collections per year in our studio in Paris. In doing so we attach great value to the consistent realization of our ideas, providing wearability, sophisticated cuts with a comfortable fit and high quality in workmanship and the choice of materials.
The collections of BERENIK
consists of a mixture of experimental showpieces and a broad selection of more accessible and wearable pieces. We’re constantly developing new prints and fabrics, knitted clothing, leather bags and accessories for each of our collections. BERENIK
is currently available in various boutiques in Switzerland, Japan, the United States, and Denmark.
– What’s special about your brand? What do you want to achieve in the future?
I think what’s special is the way I started: Coming from graphic design and art, I was sliding more and more into the world of fashion. Doing my own clothes was an obsession since high school, but to turn it into a company and doing big collections every season was not the intention for many years. But as much as I was interested into designing clothes, I was fascinated to find out how to produce and to sell, to find out how the fashion industry works and become part of it. Now – after participating for three seasons at Paris Fashion Week, where we are very happy to meet our buyers from Switzerland and also find new ones in Tokyo and the US – we want to enter the Fashion Weeks in London and NYC next year. We were contacted by some showrooms and are figuring out now how we can set up these cooperations and how to organize our prototypes going from one fashion week to the next.
– What’s your design process like?
I usually start experimenting with materials or techniques that fascinate me and following my obsession to find new ways to arrange things. Very often the ideas for future collections are already coming up doing the current one, so it is a constant process. This way I find the concept of the collection, by gathering fabrics from wherever I find them, choosing colours I like…
After going through some tough weeks with selecting and organizing my ideas (’cause it’s not possible to realize everything at once!) and making the showpieces, I do the fabrics selection for the ready-to wear-collection, finding suppliers, ordering samples and then start with the new styles.
– What was the most exciting experience having your own brand?
I really love the fact that I can travel so much and meet so many great people along the way. Especially going to Shanghai two times a year, where I lived for over a year and where I was actually doing the contacts to the small German-run factory, means a lot to me. But all the fashion and fabric fairs, as exhausting they are, are always some of kind of reunion with designer friends and I feel like being at home in the world.
– Which three pieces are your favorites out of your current collection?
Among my favorites are an open-neck silk sweater with an abstract b/w print, an off-white temcel suit with brown details and a belted camel tencel coat you can also wear as a dress.
– What are some of of your favorite stores?
Hm, I really have no idea, I actually have no time to go shopping! But I have a new favorite one, that’s our brand new BERENIK Boutique
– In the end, please tell us something about Zurich, where your company is based? Which places (restaurants, shops, bars, …) near by would you also recommend?
For anybody who knows Zurich a little bit, Langstrasse would tell them something. It’s a great, lively neighborhood, not the most fancy one and not particularly a shopping area – more in the middle of the redlight district and well, we have to say drug dealers’ favorite spot. But we are happy to have found this great location in the – for us at least – most interesting part of Zurich and we are convinced that it will become more fancy in the future.
The Palestine grill near by is doing the best Falafel ever and you can enjoy Langstrasse with a nice cup of coffee or a drink at Casablanca bar
. We love the Hot Pasta
restaurant and our recommendation for a shop near by is ARNIKO
, producers of hand-carved skateboards from Nepal.