Photography: Andy Boyle
With her brand, Jahnkoy, Russian designer Maria Kazakova focuses on merging cultural heritage with contemporary design. Her most recent collection, “The Displaced,” which she presented at the Parsons MFA show this week, was inspired by global consumerism, emphasizing the importance of cultural preservation through sustainability. By reworking sports jerseys, secondhand clothing, knockoffs and found materials into thoughtful designs, Kazakova voiced the danger of fast fashion, urging a transition towards “slow fashion and conscious consumption.”
“‘The Displaced’ is envisioned as an unapologetic celebration of the beauty and wisdom of the world’s cultural heritage that were left out of globalization,” the designer said. “The collection defines humanity, craft, culture, the people’s hands and beauty as a way of life,” she continued, adding, “Each piece is created to exist as a visual message that states, ‘To change everything, we need everyone.'”
With pieces ranging from masks to shoes, Kazakova’s attention to detail bred a complex collection with an important political message. As NYFW at times feels increasingly about hype, Jahnkoy was a refreshing dose of artistry combined with social consciousness—the clothes themselves political, adorned with patches reading messages like, “Don’t Bring Shit To Africa,” and “Post-Freedom.” The designer’s meditation on consumer culture and insistence on sustainability made the collection feel that much more powerful, and solidified Jahnkoy’s place in the future of fashion.
Check out the presentation, below.