Let’s take a look at fashion and design locations in Kraków. Shops selling major brands line the Main Market Square and streets of the Old Town, while the tangle of streets and squares in Kazimierz is filled with myriad local boutiques, vintage and antique stores and artists’ workshops.
The legendary studio founded after the Second World War by master tailor Józef Turbasa is continued by his son Jerzy. Józef’s motto was “The line of cut must be beautiful”, and in the 1960s he was even approached by Pierre Cardin who offered him a position at his Parisian atelier. During the dark days of communism, wearing Turbasa’s designs made Cracovians feel like they had access to top quality attire, and allowed them to forget – even briefly – about the grim reality and empty shelves. Over the years, some of Turbasa’s clients have included Anna Polony, Czesław Miłosz, Stanisław Lem, Tomasz Stańko and Andrzej Wajda. The latter even picked up his Honorary Oscar wearing one of Turbasa’s suits.
The story of the brand MISBHV, run by Natalia Maczek and Tomasz Wirski, is an example of a spectacular international success. Thanks to their creative approach, the rapidly-developing Cracovian brand soon became recognisable at home and abroad. Their collections have been shown at prestige events including the New York Fashion Week and the Paris Fashion Week, and their designs have been worn by stars such as Rihanna, Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner, showing that Polish design can set global trends!
Pat Guzik, graduate from Kraków’s acclaimed School of Art and Fashion Design, is one of Poland’s most creative designers, bringing a fresh look to sustainable fashion. She is rapidly gaining acclaim at home and abroad: in 2017 she was the winner of the EcoChic Design (now Redress Design) Award for sustainable fashion. Pat presents her collections at the London Fashion Week and the Berlin Fashion Week, and her outfits – designed in collaboration with the illustrator Mateusz Kołek – can be found at concept stores all over the globe.
The modest courtyard at Rakowicka Street hides the Vanda Novak studio, designing shoes beloved by celebrities at home and abroad. The founder Dominika Nowak studied at the acclaimed Studio Bercot in Paris, and has designed shoes for brands such as Trussardi and Jimmy Choo. She has been running Vanda Novak for a few years; naming it after her grandmother symbolises her love of global trends, the art of creating beautiful objects and local handicraft.
Elena Ciuprina, the acclaimed fashion illustrator based in Milan and working with brands such as Fendi, Casadei, Max Mara and Bvlgari, also studied at the School of Art and Fashion Design in Kraków. Her illustrations are admired by some of the greatest fashion designers around the globe.
Hey Dog Co. design hand-made accessories for our four-legged friends. The local brand has grown to become a major international success, and Cracovian leads and collars are worn by fashionable pooches all over the globe. The designs created by Anna Pirowska, graduate from the School of Art and Fashion Design, are another great local success story.
Klaudiusz Iciek’s brand Claudius is based at a tenement house at Floriańska Street. The stylish interiors, modelled on English private members’ clubs, are the perfect setting for trying on jackets and blazers made of the finest fabrics. And if you fancy more of an image change, head upstairs to the Claudius Scissor for a beard trim or fashionable haircut.
Kraków’s magical atmosphere continues to inspire new generations of fashion designers, including the acclaimed shoe designer Anka Letycja Walicka, Monika and Patryk Łobos (Lobos handbags), Magdalena Tekiela, Waleria Tokarzewska-Karaszewicz, Anna Załucka-Kuczera, the award-winning designer Wojciech Morsztyn, Iga Węglińska, Kata Haratym, Piotr Popiołek, Michał Wójciak, Sandra Stachura, Anna Maria Zygmunt, Klaudia Klimas and Laura Filip who runs an atelier in Vienna. If hats are your things, head to the Le Szapo boutique at Stradomska Street, steeped in a Polish and French atmosphere. Another graduate from the School of Art and Fashion Design is the costume designer Karolina Luisoni; based in Lausanne, she won the costume competition for Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”.