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Meet David Hojnik, the fashion designer who shapes Slovenia's fashion

On the shores of the Adriatic sea, Slovenia has quietly developed an impressive creative scene.

Even though it is best known for its sports achieve­ments such as alpin­ist Davo Karničar who is the first and only per­son to ski down Mount Ever­est, there is some­thing grow­ing up through music, food, arts, and espe­cial­ly fashion.

Today, Slove­nia might just be Cen­tral Europe’s most uplift­ing loca­tion to have an eye on. To dis­cov­er one of its gate­keep­ers, you have to cross the coun­try and set­tle near the Aus­tri­an and Hun­gar­i­an bor­ders. In Mari­bor, fash­ion design­er David Hojnik makes unique and hand­made clothes and jew­el­ry in a very dra­mat­ic way and is the one who defines what fash­ion means in Slove­nia. He tells us about his label DH Fash­ion, how cre­atives are shak­ing things up in his home coun­try, and why he col­lab­o­rat­ed with neubau eye­wear for his last collection.

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What is your first fash­ion mem­o­ry?
When I was about six years old I start­ed with bal­let class­es. Dance was a part of my every­day life for about twelve years. Although I’ve switched dif­fer­ent dance styles through the years, dance has always remained my pas­sion. And when it came to dance cos­tumes I dis­cov­ered an even big­ger one: fash­ion. I guess it was meant to be, because my grand­moth­er is a seam­stress and I was prac­ti­cal­ly liv­ing around a sewing machine.

Despite the fact that as a child I often tried to make dress­es for my sister’s dolls and all the enthu­si­asm about spe­cial glit­tery danc­ing dress­es, I lat­er start­ed to study media com­mu­ni­ca­tions, because the fash­ion scene in Slove­nia as I saw it did not show a great poten­tial. It was only dur­ing the stu­dent years, when I start­ed work­ing as a styl­ist, I began to think about cre­at­ing my own fash­ion brand and design­ing jew­el­ry at first and quick­ly after­wards also the clothing.

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Can you describe your label in three words?
There is so much more in every unique and hand­made piece we cre­ate, but first there are dreams, pas­sion and devotion.”

Why did you choose neubau eye­wear to accom­pa­ny your lat­est col­lec­tion?
As a guy who was wear­ing con­tact lens­es for a decade, not feel­ing con­fi­dent with frames on his face, neubau eye­wear came to my res­cue. I imme­di­ate­ly con­nect­ed with the brand, their phi­los­o­phy and fell in love with their style in every aspect. After becom­ing a local hero’ of neubau eye­wear I quick­ly saw the con­nec­tion between my fash­ion label and neubau prod­ucts, so our col­lab­o­ra­tion was inevitable.

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What makes the clothes and jew­el­ry you cre­ate spe­cial?
Every piece I cre­ate rep­re­sents a part of me and my vision of beau­ty and aes­thet­ics in the world. I am open-mind­ed but firm­ly on the ground, so my designs are dreamy, extrav­a­gant, glit­tery on one hand and wear­able on the oth­er. It is most­ly about dra­mat­ic mate­ri­als, sexy cuts and provoca­tive mes­sages pre­sent­ed as every­day style.

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Why did you not set­tle your busi­ness in the Sloven­ian cap­i­tal, Ljubl­jana?
I did not plan this to turn into a seri­ous busi­ness, I was just devel­op­ing my hob­by and pas­sion for fash­ion, while liv­ing in Mari­bor. But already after one year my cre­at­ing has over­grown. It is not a secret that Mari­bor, which is the sec­ond largest city in Slove­nia, is any­thing but a fash­ion cap­i­tal. But pre­cise­ly that con­vinced me to open a fash­ion stu­dio right here. It was some­thing new, fresh and for some even exot­ic’, but that is exact­ly what I used as an advan­tage and cre­ate rec­og­niz­able fash­ion brand, based in Mari­bor. For­tu­nate­ly, Slove­nia is a small coun­try, so we are approach­able to everyone.

Blog 1709 Meet David Hojnik The Fashion Designer Who Shapes Slovenias Elegance

Tell us more about the Sloven­ian fash­ion scene: is it hard to get in as a new­com­er? What are cur­rent trends that are spe­cial for Slove­nia?
It’s hard to tell which is the right way to become a part of fash­ion scene in Slove­nia. Some­times I feel that I cre­at­ed my own. My designs made me rec­og­niz­able so I choose to work hard instead of just wait­ing and pro­mot­ing myself. I think that major­i­ty of our scene has not yet fig­ured out, that the pur­pose of being a design­er is to cre­ate for peo­ple, get clos­er to your cus­tomers through your ideas. Only peo­ple can pour the life in your designs, not hang­ers. And there are peo­ple on the oth­er hand, that rarely sup­port and appre­ci­ate local, because the things over the bor­der are always bet­ter”. But luck­i­ly this trend is slow­ly but per­sis­tent­ly chang­ing, so there are more and more Sloven­ian designs that you can spot on the streets and go extreme­ly well with pop­u­lar world trends.

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What oth­er cre­atives should we have an eye on? Do you con­sid­er Slove­nia as a hub for cre­ative peo­ple?
Despite the fact that we are most­ly known as a sports nation with a lot of suc­cess­ful ath­letes, there is more and more space for cre­ative peo­ple, cul­ture and art and it’s get­ting more appre­ci­at­ed every day. Next to tal­ent­ed design­ers you can find amaz­ing musi­cians, dancers, actors, painters,… some of them also world known. Togeth­er we prove from day to day that there is always a space for cre­ativ­i­ty and art, regard­less the size of a coun­try… and mind.

What do you expect for the future?
I am very well aware that in order to dreams come true, a lot of work needs to be done. I have a lot of plans for the future which can some­times get a lit­tle over-ambi­tious, but I believe from my past expe­ri­ences that I can make it through any­thing and become big­ger and bet­ter, start­ing from Mari­bor to the world.


Watch DH Fashion’s AURA film :

08 Sep 2017 · neubau eyewear