ONAR Studios SS18


ONAR Studios SS18

Quality-oriented, animal-conscious, and anti-faux-fur: Helsinki-based brand Onar Studios certainly has an unexpected characteristic mix. The clothing and accessories brand specializes in leather and shearling pieces but isn’t taking the fake way out.

Designer Irene Kostas places the utmost importance on ethical sourcing and sustainability, which is exactly why she rejects the faux fur trend, which requires up to a gallon of oil to produce just three jackets. She chooses instead to use responsibly-sourced materials and traditional heritage techniques to create her distinctly modern designs. Kostas sources exclusively from materials already available; nothing is farmed; all materials are by-products of the European meat industry, are vegetable-tanned, and are 100% chrome-free. The designer uses her home countries of Finland and Greece for all of her production needs, as well as her brand’s constant inspiration.

The SS18 collection called “Movement” was inspired by the neighborhood of Sugarhill in Harlem and the musical stylings of the early 90s that reached across the ocean to tickle the ears of the young designer all the way in the small peripheral villages of Finland and Greece. As with her previous work, SS18 is full of conflict and coordination between her two vastly different location-based sources of stylistic inspiration.

The collection is made up of Onar’s signature mix of traditional materials, like Nappa leather, and more modern creations, like woven Japanese technical fabrics. Bright pinks, burning oranges, and deep forest greens cover wide, sporty styles. Nordic minimalism has a clear influence on the clean-cut lines of both color and silhouette, but the street styles of Harlem have a clear impact in the sporty bagginess of the wide shorts and rounded sleeves.

Onar translates to “dream” in ancient Greek; for now, Kostas is dreaming of Harlem.


words by Addison Anthony

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