Ania Kuczyńska /
Ania Kuczyńska is me
Fashion designer Ania Kuczyńska talks to us about fous, the art of taking it easy and admiration of life
In conversation: Bożena Kowalkowska
Photos: Maciek Niemojewski
Do you keep a calendar?
The old school calendar I use (I always get the same one) resembles a diary to me. I like writing in it, making notes and drawing. I design my world basing it on everyday rituals – keeping an analogue calendar is one of those rituals. It allows me to plan my time better, organize my thoughts, it’s a link connecting the virtual sphere with my beloved analogue world. The diary I buy for the upcoming year has a symbolic value to me – it signifies a new beginning, a new opening, a blank, open future.
Do you have any system or rules you follow?
The process of creating a line – designing, planning, production and sales are scheduled a long time in advance, often a year in advance. The perception of time and seasons becomes very relative, time runs faster. Which is apart from scheduling my daily meetings I making broader plans. I set weekly, monthly and quarterly goals – it makes the future seem more amicable and closer.
It seems you are someone who’s got quite a lot going on, right?
I split my time between my professional life and family, work and free time evenly. Maintaining this delicate balance requires a lot of self-discipline. My lifestyle is quite intense, but paradoxically an excess of responsibilities really puts my life in order, leaving no time for coincidences.
How do you plan all that?
I keep my focus on the here and the now, I set priorities. I finalize projects before starting new ones. I know that days have a limited buoyancy. I often work a lot and very intensely, so every now and then I’ll take a moment for a coffee or a walk. Variation benefits me.
My work requires creativity and freedom – too much routine kills them.
You’re hard working and ambitious. Are you able to take it easy sometimes?
I focus on things I consider important and pleasant, things that I enjoy. I’ve created an intimate little “world of my own”, which I protect and where I feel really good. I’ve learned to say no and to let go. I think it’s really healthy.
“Breaking away from seasonality, limiting production in a conscious way express my attitude towards time, but also towards the environment.”
How do you relax?
I studied and lived in Italy, I’m still going about a lot of things the Italian way. I’m really passionate about my job, but I’m equally about my time off. The best of my ideas come to me when I’m either relaxed or bored. The luxury of doing nothing is essential for my creative process. I’ll throw myself into a work vortex, but I’m equally devoted to the “dolce far niente”.
How does that work?
I think I’ve found a happy medium. Myself, as well as the brand I have created, are both balancing between the professional and private spheres, which naturally overlap, creating a harmonious whole. I try to design clothes and accessories that articulate my feelings and convey the values that are important to me. Breaking away from seasonality, limiting production in a conscious way express my attitude towards time, but also towards
the environment. Less really means more to me.
How do you feel about closing your flagship Mokotowska street boutique after 10 years?
Today, after over a dozen years of developing my brand and a decade of running a store on Mokotowska the pandemic has really put things in perspective, re-evaluating the way the brand has functioned. AK has always been avant-garde, and I hope we will keep that up. I have often made decisions that weren’t commercially viable or obvious. I feel like the present is really unstable, it forces us to really redefine our personal and professional lives. Partial border closures and fear of the unknown have really shrunk our World. I’ve decided to move my brand into the online space, which has no borders and is allowing my brand to breathe. Ania Kuczyńska isn’t a physical space – it’s an aesthetic, a style, a philosophy of life, which remains unchanged, regardless of space. A decade in Mokotowska brings a very important chapter of my life, and of my brand’s development, to an end. I think that change, especially in the world of fashion, is good, refreshing, inspirational and important.
Is there anything you’re short of time for?
I like spending time on my own – today I consider this to be my biggest privilege and a luxury.
What do you do when you’re finally on your own?
As I’ve mentioned before, I like a bit of boredom. I like to look at the sky and the clouds. I think we all lack that in our lives.