Wanda Nylon

Wanda Nylon

Johanna Senyk

This year alone, you took part in two of the most prestigious fashion contests on the planet—and won one. How would you describe these experiences?
As surprising and strange as It may sound, I was pleasantly shocked.
I’m stuck between home and the studio. People I see outside of work and the same people I collaborate with. My job is also my life. I live with my business partner, who is the father of my child and the president of Wanda Nylon. I’m really close with my PR agent Ottavia. I invite people from the ANDAM to diners I set up. The friends I hang out with are musicians and graphic designers I work with. I don’t really have a life outside of Wanda Nylon.
One thing that surprised me during these contests, was that I met kind people who look after you. I had a lot of preconceived ideas at first and wasn’t expecting it at all.
There’s so much success gathered in one room! These jury members have nothing left to prove. We meet people who know about us and about the challenges we face, and they are here to help us. They look after you, they are interested, they ask questions. Talking about your work with smarter and more experienced people is great.
The energy you get from it is incredible.
At the 2016 LVMH Prize contest, you were one step away from meeting the jury, notably com-posed of J.W. Anderson, Marc Jacobs, Phoebe Philo and Riccardo Tisci. Does being judged by fellow designers bring a special feeling or pride?
It definitely does. I have the utmost respect for them and the panel of experts who met us and selected the finalists. Unfortunately, you don’t bond with people after a 3-minute conversation.
Right now, I’m really happy about my relationships with ANDAM’s Nathalie Dufour and [the president of Chloé] Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye. Following my ANDAM Fas-hion Award win, I couldn’t have hoped for a better mentor. He watches our growth, comes by the showroom. I can talk to him and ask questions. He’s very hands-on. And since there’s nothing at stake, we have an awesome mentor/protégé relationship.
WANDA NYLON won the 2016 ANDAM Fashion Award Grand Prize, awarding the brand a €250,000 grant. What do you invest that money in?
The first thing you do is thinking about that everything you couldn’t do, the technical items you couldn’t make. For instance, the ANDAM Fashion Award allowed me to make the jewels, sunglasses, handbags and shoes of my Spring-Summer 2017 show.
With money, you are more free to move. You can also do things quicker. Whether you like it or don’t, money is the sinews of war, even more when you’re that young.
Taking part in the LVMH Prize and the ANDAM Fashion Award, you faced Kering, LVMH and OTB as jury members. Would you consider joining one of their groups, if offered the oppor-tunity to?
Who knows! At powerhouses such as the ones you mentioned, you can take advantage of their substantial assets. I want to know more about their work methods, about the possibility to develop things on a bigger scale or the making of major advertising campaigns that you couldn’t fund yourself.
As a group-owned brand, your communication is different. You don’t create with the same freedom. I’m very curious about that, because It’s in my nature to be excited about trying things out of my reach at the moment.
Right now, thanks to the ANDAM and the excitement around Wanda Nylon, I have a lot to experiment by myself prior to being fully satisfied and feeling like I had enough fun. I’m launching and doing things for the first time. I create new things everyday. I don’t know what the future holds. Wanda Nylon might keep on growing. We’ll see.
It’s also a matter of meeting people. The human factor is very important to create properly.
"With money, you are more free to move. You can also do things quicker. Whether you like it or don’t, money is the sinews of war, even more when you’re that young." [Wanda Nylon]
The Wanda Nylon RTW SS17 show was one of the most anticipated events of Paris Fashion Week! Did you feel any type of pressure prior to this specific show?
I need nobody to put pressure on myself, and I never took anything lightly. Every show was the most important one of my life, and the next one will also be the most impor-tant. Of course, the ANDAM Fashion Award had an awesome impact. But next season, It’ll be something else.
We take nothing for granted. In this job, you reassess yourself every six months and restart from scratch. In my case, there’s no time to rest. There’s always more at stake, more stress, I want to do more every time and I hope It’ll stay that way. I’m of Slave descent, and we amplify everything!
Being initially known for your see-through rainwear items, how easy or difficult was it to grow out of it and bring attention to a full line?
It was as easy as It was difficult.
Initially, I wanted to come on the market with only one product, get in stores and then diversify. It was easier for me.
First because I didn’t start with a lot of money. I’m from a humble family, and when you’re young, you fund your own projects. I wasn’t financially able to create a full col-lection or deal with 80 different fabrics. And because when you only make one thing, buyers and press know what they’re getting and everything goes faster. Starting, It was my strength, but It became difficult to get out of the box I put myself in.
In order to do the trick, I knew I’d need a fashion show, which is a more complete way of expression than a look book. Following our first one, we were picked for the 2016 LVMH Prize.
Every strategy has to be true, according to timing and to your desires.
Celebrities with an undeniable input in fashion, and a few of them fell for your designs. What do you think when you see Rihanna or M.I.A wearing Wanda Nylon?
It’s definitely flattering, but I’m not impressionable.
We don’t chase celebrities, but seeing them wearing Wanda Nylon makes me happy. As happy as going out to watch a play and seeing a random woman wearing our clothes. It actually moves me more. I was moved to see Vogue Paris’ Emmanuelle Alt wearing Wanda Nylon during Paris Fashion Week. That was a moment, the ultimate fashion endorsement.
I love M.I.A., the girl and her work. Rihanna bought the first Wanda Nylon item she owned, at Opening Ceremony. Arielle Dombasle stopped by the showroom and picked clothes for a music video, actress Monica Bellucci wore a see-through raincoat for a photoshoot—too bad her nipple was blurred. It’s cool that people appreciate what we do, and I’m happy that women who came to us and chose items to wear are strong women that I’m friends with, or could be friends with.
He is not a woman, but styling Snoop Dogg in Wanda Nylon [for the Peaches N Cream video, released in March 2015] was very fun. Growing up, I was a fan of his music.
We have a lot of requests, especially for music videos, and choose who to collaborate with instead of looking for influencers.
As the head of a promising brand, what advice(s) would you give to your younger self and upco-ming creatives looking up to you?
I would give advice to nobody, because I’ve been given a lot and you hear any and everything. You learn by doing mistakes—which I did a lot—and by trying. Messing things up allowed me to learn and grow.
If you want to create, do it freely and you will make mistakes and It will be ok. You’ll fall and bounce back. You need to be spontaneous and follow your gut.
Actually, this is my advice: don’t listen to advices!
by IGGY NKO

Photo :
M.I.A. in a Wanda Nylon FW16 lurex sweater, via Facebook/Wanda Nylon. November 2016
Portrait of Johanna Senyk, ©Julia Champeau
Wanda Nylon Spring-Summer 2017 ©Filippo Fior
Wanda Nylon Fall-Winter 2016-17, ©Shoji Fujii

Wanda Nylon

Johanna Senyk

This year alone, you took part in two of the most prestigious fashion contests on the planet—and won one. How would you describe these experiences?
As surprising and strange as It may sound, I was pleasantly shocked.
I’m stuck between home and the studio. People I see outside of work and the same people I collaborate with. My job is also my life. I live with my business partner, who is the father of my child and the president of Wanda Nylon. I’m really close with my PR agent Ottavia. I invite people from the ANDAM to diners I set up. The friends I hang out with are musicians and graphic designers I work with. I don’t really have a life outside of Wanda Nylon.
One thing that surprised me during these contests, was that I met kind people who look after you. I had a lot of preconceived ideas at first and wasn’t expecting it at all.
There’s so much success gathered in one room! These jury members have nothing left to prove. We meet people who know about us and about the challenges we face, and they are here to help us. They look after you, they are interested, they ask questions. Talking about your work with smarter and more experienced people is great.
The energy you get from it is incredible.
At the 2016 LVMH Prize contest, you were one step away from meeting the jury, notably com-posed of J.W. Anderson, Marc Jacobs, Phoebe Philo and Riccardo Tisci. Does being judged by fellow designers bring a special feeling or pride?
It definitely does. I have the utmost respect for them and the panel of experts who met us and selected the finalists. Unfortunately, you don’t bond with people after a 3-minute conversation.
Right now, I’m really happy about my relationships with ANDAM’s Nathalie Dufour and [the president of Chloé] Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye. Following my ANDAM Fas-hion Award win, I couldn’t have hoped for a better mentor. He watches our growth, comes by the showroom. I can talk to him and ask questions. He’s very hands-on. And since there’s nothing at stake, we have an awesome mentor/protégé relationship.
WANDA NYLON won the 2016 ANDAM Fashion Award Grand Prize, awarding the brand a €250,000 grant. What do you invest that money in?
The first thing you do is thinking about that everything you couldn’t do, the technical items you couldn’t make. For instance, the ANDAM Fashion Award allowed me to make the jewels, sunglasses, handbags and shoes of my Spring-Summer 2017 show.
With money, you are more free to move. You can also do things quicker. Whether you like it or don’t, money is the sinews of war, even more when you’re that young.
Taking part in the LVMH Prize and the ANDAM Fashion Award, you faced Kering, LVMH and OTB as jury members. Would you consider joining one of their groups, if offered the oppor-tunity to?
Who knows! At powerhouses such as the ones you mentioned, you can take advantage of their substantial assets. I want to know more about their work methods, about the possibility to develop things on a bigger scale or the making of major advertising campaigns that you couldn’t fund yourself.
As a group-owned brand, your communication is different. You don’t create with the same freedom. I’m very curious about that, because It’s in my nature to be excited about trying things out of my reach at the moment.
Right now, thanks to the ANDAM and the excitement around Wanda Nylon, I have a lot to experiment by myself prior to being fully satisfied and feeling like I had enough fun. I’m launching and doing things for the first time. I create new things everyday. I don’t know what the future holds. Wanda Nylon might keep on growing. We’ll see.
It’s also a matter of meeting people. The human factor is very important to create properly.
"With money, you are more free to move. You can also do things quicker. Whether you like it or don’t, money is the sinews of war, even more when you’re that young." [Wanda Nylon]
The Wanda Nylon RTW SS17 show was one of the most anticipated events of Paris Fashion Week! Did you feel any type of pressure prior to this specific show?
I need nobody to put pressure on myself, and I never took anything lightly. Every show was the most important one of my life, and the next one will also be the most impor-tant. Of course, the ANDAM Fashion Award had an awesome impact. But next season, It’ll be something else.
We take nothing for granted. In this job, you reassess yourself every six months and restart from scratch. In my case, there’s no time to rest. There’s always more at stake, more stress, I want to do more every time and I hope It’ll stay that way. I’m of Slave descent, and we amplify everything!
Being initially known for your see-through rainwear items, how easy or difficult was it to grow out of it and bring attention to a full line?
It was as easy as It was difficult.
Initially, I wanted to come on the market with only one product, get in stores and then diversify. It was easier for me.
First because I didn’t start with a lot of money. I’m from a humble family, and when you’re young, you fund your own projects. I wasn’t financially able to create a full col-lection or deal with 80 different fabrics. And because when you only make one thing, buyers and press know what they’re getting and everything goes faster. Starting, It was my strength, but It became difficult to get out of the box I put myself in.
In order to do the trick, I knew I’d need a fashion show, which is a more complete way of expression than a look book. Following our first one, we were picked for the 2016 LVMH Prize.
Every strategy has to be true, according to timing and to your desires.
Celebrities with an undeniable input in fashion, and a few of them fell for your designs. What do you think when you see Rihanna or M.I.A wearing Wanda Nylon?
It’s definitely flattering, but I’m not impressionable.
We don’t chase celebrities, but seeing them wearing Wanda Nylon makes me happy. As happy as going out to watch a play and seeing a random woman wearing our clothes. It actually moves me more. I was moved to see Vogue Paris’ Emmanuelle Alt wearing Wanda Nylon during Paris Fashion Week. That was a moment, the ultimate fashion endorsement.
I love M.I.A., the girl and her work. Rihanna bought the first Wanda Nylon item she owned, at Opening Ceremony. Arielle Dombasle stopped by the showroom and picked clothes for a music video, actress Monica Bellucci wore a see-through raincoat for a photoshoot—too bad her nipple was blurred. It’s cool that people appreciate what we do, and I’m happy that women who came to us and chose items to wear are strong women that I’m friends with, or could be friends with.
He is not a woman, but styling Snoop Dogg in Wanda Nylon [for the Peaches N Cream video, released in March 2015] was very fun. Growing up, I was a fan of his music.
We have a lot of requests, especially for music videos, and choose who to collaborate with instead of looking for influencers.
As the head of a promising brand, what advice(s) would you give to your younger self and upco-ming creatives looking up to you?
I would give advice to nobody, because I’ve been given a lot and you hear any and everything. You learn by doing mistakes—which I did a lot—and by trying. Messing things up allowed me to learn and grow.
If you want to create, do it freely and you will make mistakes and It will be ok. You’ll fall and bounce back. You need to be spontaneous and follow your gut.
Actually, this is my advice: don’t listen to advices!
by IGGY NKO

Photo :
M.I.A. in a Wanda Nylon FW16 lurex sweater, via Facebook/Wanda Nylon. November 2016
Portrait of Johanna Senyk, ©Julia Champeau
Wanda Nylon Spring-Summer 2017 ©Filippo Fior
Wanda Nylon Fall-Winter 2016-17, ©Shoji Fujii