by Jennifer Nini
Fashion designers are really just creative tastemakers who set the style scene with their brilliant designs. The best ones are observant of culture, communicating their thoughts about the modern environment through the medium of fashion; often playing detective to uncover moments in history that they can weave into the story-telling of their current collections.
Case in point: COSSAC’s AW17/18 ‘Retro Simplicity’ collection.
The collection can simply be described as a fusion of historical and modern influences, engaging subtle maximalist retro styling with voluminous shapes, without surrendering the contemporary minimalist styling the brand is known for. The result is an eco fashion collection that hints at retrospection without being consumed by it, all the while allowing its simple tailoring and tasteful colour hues to come to the forefront.
In line with the theme of its current collection, I interview Agata Kozak, the founder and designer of COSSAC, this time to learn more about her home city and her past, to get a clearer picture of how it influences her pragmatic approach to sustainability and eco fashion, if it influences it at all.
Agata Kozak hails from a small town in Poland called Lublin, a town whose history – like many in this part of Europe – is steeped in war. It has since undergone an economic transformation to become a thriving regional centre, and since it is the largest in eastern Poland (home to roughly 350,000 residents), Lublin also serves as its cultural capital.
Although Agata left Lublin at age 19 to pursue a design career and stake her claim in the global fashion industry, she explains she will never forget where she comes from. Since leaving Poland, she has become much more patriotic but readily admits that she doesn’t feel that “close” to it, considering herself a world citizen instead.
“I consider myself and my brand to be ‘citizens of the world’. I am a multi-local. I am really just a local wherever I happen to be living because I have lived in so many places, not just Poland.” The understanding that comes from living in different places is why Brexit has affected her so much. “Because of Brexit being able to travel like that won’t be possible anymore and especially my hopes of staying in the EU.”