When one thinks of Ibiza, a string of connotations comes to mind: EDM, disco lights, half-naked bodies and sweat. And recently also sunrise hikes, art performances, and sound baths
This summer the paradise island became home to the Nanushka Sun Series, the Hungarian label’s summer project. Why the particular destination? Ibiza is a «very openly spiritual place and the wellness scene has blossomed in the past few years», according to Nanushka’s founder Sandra Sandor. «I love their slower-paced lifestyle and how open-minded the people are».
Expanding the Nanushka universe
Hosted by El Silencio, a beach house from the Parisian brand Silencio, the Nanushka residency promises special performances, intimate dinners, and sunset soirees. Sandor’s intention was to create expansive summer experiences for the Nanushka community.
There is a shop too, but it is far from the main attraction. The idea was that, after the isolating couple of years in lockdown, «real-life connections are more needed than ever». Aimed to become an annual occurrence, the brand wants «to bring the Nanushka universe to new places», while celebrating art, gastronomy, design, architecture, music and dance, as well as wellness.
The latter is no passing fad to Sandor, who identifies as spiritual and has been practising meditation for several years «to calm [her] mind and to deal with the hectic everyday». It seems only right that she took this path to connect with the label’s customers, who she describes as «modern with a bohemian spirit».
Sandor chose Christopher Connors, leadership coach, meditation teacher, and certified psychotherapist, to host the wellbeing program. Curated activities including guided meditations, mindful hikes, and sound baths will be held throughout Nanushka’s residency from the 25th of June to the 18th of August 2022.
Take a Deep Breath, El Silencio Ibiza
The sentence decorating the bottom of El Silencio’s pool is Pietro Terzini’s idea. Terzini, an Italian artist based in Milan, is particularly concerned with the themes of fashion, consumerism and love in the age of social media. His digital art, published in a series of Instagram posts, are out-of-context excerpts of DMs. «Some are real conversations, mine or sent to me by my followers; others are movie or song quotes. [Some come] from my imagination. The general idea is to paint in words certain moods and feelings typical of my generation», said Terzini.
Sandor decided to invite the artist to collaborate specifically for his sense of humour. Keeping in mind the beachside location and holiday feel, she wanted the art to «take a lighter direction We felt that through him we can keep the mindful approach, but in a fun way». Take a Deep Breath is a double entendre: a command to make you stop and relax, alluding to the meditation sessions with Christopher Connors, but with a slightly sarcastic tone: the words line the bottom of a swimming pool, after all.
«Through this image I wanted to represent the metaphor of life, inviting us to immerse ourselves in it without being overwhelmed by fears but facing it with tranquillity and believing in ourselves», said Terzini.
Premiering a new collection
The Sun Series kicked off with a dance performance on the Cala Moli beach: a series of gentle movements evoking the Sun Salutations. The choreographer, Harry Price, is a movement director, dance artist, and filmmaker from South London whose work has been featured by The Guardian and Dance Art Journal. His recent projects include FKA twigs’ meta angel music video, which shows the songstress stumble and convulse, pierced through the heart by her own arrow. Price’s seaside spectacle for Nanushka also marked the launch of High Summer 2022, a collection of «subversive yet elevated» beachwear. It is available at the retail pop-up alongside Nanushka Beach and Swim. The garments have a «clear sense of playfulness through bold prints, relaxed silhouettes and comforting materials», said Sandor.
The aim was «to create a fun and upbeat collection» while keeping material innovation at the center of focus. The materials were «selected for minimal environmental impact» and consist of organic and recycled components, said Sandor. Some of the styles are made entirely from recycled polyester; others feature recycled nylon, but the overwhelming majority is natural: Textured-Cotton Crochet styles are made from 78% organic cotton, while Cotton Crochet designs are made from 100% organic cotton.
Committed to responsible production
The label’s ambition is to define a new kind of luxury: one based on consistent consideration of sustainability. Striving for progress is a source of pride for Sandor. «In 2019, around twenty percent of the raw materials used were fully sustainable». Just within a year that number doubled; by 2021, it reached 49%. That same year Nanushka became a signatory of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action to support the industry in implementing the Paris Agreement. The brand teamed up with RePack to offer a reusable packaging alternative made from recycled materials and, to reduce wasteful tags, partnered with EON on creating «digital product identities accessible through a QR Code». The link provides essential information about a garment’s product cycle and promotes proper repair, resale, rental and recycling practices.
Furthermore, no materials contribute to deforestation of endangered forests, ensured by signing the Canopy Commitment. Starting with the Pre-Fall 2022 collection, Nanushka will use a new fabric to produce all ready-to-wear vegan leather garments. OKOBOR, exclusive to the label, consists of 56% recycled polyester and 44% polyurethane. To produce it, an GRS-certified dry process is implemented to reduce water consumption by 80%.
Sustainability is more than eco-friendliness alone. It is a holistic consideration of one’s environment. For that reason, Sandor chose to place 60% of production within 300 km of the brand’s Budapest headquarters to support the local economy.
It is where Sandor hauls from and where her loyalties lie. Though she boasts a diploma from London College of Fashion, she did not think twice about moving back. «I always knew that I wanted to return to Budapest after graduating. Living in London was a great
experience and I love the city but Budapest is my hometown».
The connection she feels to her roots provides an endless source of inspiration via Hungarian architecture, art and design. What started as a graduate thesis related to the Bauhaus movement became core to the brand’s DNA — particularly the Bauhaus principle Form follows function.
Nostalgia is key to Nanushka. Even the name itself has a sentimental backstory: Sandor’s father gave her that affectionate nickname in her childhood. There is also an influence from the mother’s side: back in the iron curtain days, she founded one of the first childwear businesses in Hungary.
Growing up surrounded by clothing, fashion design seemed like the natural choice for Sandor, but she felt no rush to conquer the global market. Nanushka, founded in 2006, was consciously kept small for the first several years. It was only sold locally in Budapest, later slowly opening up to international e-commerce.
The breakthrough came in 2016, when Peter Baldaszti, Sandor’s life partner joined Nanushka as CEO. They decided to aim for a global presence; subsequently, the label joined the New York Fashion Week schedule in February 2018. Critics and clients received the presentation with equal enthusiasm. As of 2022, the brand has over 200 stockists worldwide, including Selfridges, Net-a-Porter and MyTheresa.
As for the future? It looks bright; sunny, even. The Nanushka Sun Series will have their sequel in 2023, said Sandor. «We would like to create an annual celebration of connecting with our communities all over the world to explore new and innovative ways to enter into a dialogue with them».
Nanushka Sun Series
Taking place in El Silencio Beach Club in Ibiza from June 25th to August 18th, the Sun Series are a wellness program curated by life coach and mindfulness guide Christopher Connors and Nanushka founder Sandra Sandor.