Screen Shot: Henotique
City Based: Bucharest, Romania
What inspired the brand name?
The brand’s name comes from the greek word henotikon and it means an act of union of different beliefs. Having this affinity for multiple domains like architecture, conceptual design, fashion and film we never decide upon one of them, so we see our brand like something that encapsulates the blend between all of these practices of various schools of thought. So the word HENOTIQUE stands for reminding us that instead of choosing one thing, it’s ok to work all of our different interests from a similar angle and to place ourselves in these interstitial spaces, embedding everything we know into something that is universal, like a piece of clothing.
At what moment did you realize you wanted to start a brand?
We are still students, in our final year at University of Architecture in Ion Mincu, so our focus was never only on fashion. We didn't even think about creating a start-up or something of our own back then. Back then, how long ago that sounds, but really the brand has surfaced about a year ago, sometime during autumn. We've had a passion for fashion since high-school, but our streetwear gene has developed during college, but to be honest our first love will always remain sneakers. So, this hunger for design has kept growing and growing inside us, being refined by working on multiple architecture projects during college, till we have finally realized that all our knowledge that we've accumulated in Architecture School we can turn it into something useful, something real, we can merge our education with our passion. That's how Hénotique was born.
What helps you get over creative blocks?
Looking at our creative process, we avoid working until it’s perfect, cause it’s never perfect, we avoid overthinking about something being wrong or right, but we also put some pressure on ourselves, setting a deadline. Usually we have an idea and we try it even if we know how to do it or not. So as long as we have an upper vision, it doesn’t matter so much the execution. As long as it’s about doing it, the creative blocks are no longer an obstacle cause you don’t have the time to think about that, you’re focused only on your idea. Bearing in mind that there is no finish line, we always push ourselves and move on to the next idea, questioning every time and adopting different perspectives. One of the lessons we learned in school was to step back from time to time and to take a good look at our process to find the right balance of work habits for our creative to thrive.
Favorite color to use?
Black, of course. It's every architect's favorite color.
ARE THERE ANY RETAIL SHOPS YOU WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU BRAND IN?
ANOTHER BRAND THAT INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
We try to make our work authentic rather than completely original, being inspired by artists and brands we greatly admire. To name a few: Cav Empt, Raf Simons, Margiela, Kim Jones, Heron Preston etc. But our main inspiration still remains Virgil Abloh. We resonate with him due to our similar path, Architecture School-streetwear scene, and we do have the same conceptual design approach, to simplify and to take things out of context in order to justify a concept. What we love about him it's his transparency, which we think it's his main reason of success and he has proved us that anything is possible and even someone without fashion education can still make it starting with only screen printed tees. He came in Bucharest about a year and a half ago, but we didn't make it to his event, so we still hope that someday he will hear about us or at least a meeting will be great!
Where do you see yourself and the brand in 1 year and 5 years?
In 1 year, we hope we will have defined our architectural identity or at least a glimpse of it, which is starting from now on, considering the previous collections only experimental designs and approaches in our creative path. In 5 years, we hope we will have defined our target market and will have the financial and production power to create everything we can think of. Of course, our dream still remains that in the near future we can expand our brand overseas and it will no longer be considered just a streetwear brand, having ramifications also in architecture, music and film.
In 5 words or less describe your brand?
Unifying different beliefs.