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Croatian designer makes her way to New York Fashion Week: ‘It all started as a hobby’

Croatian brand VENA candy debuted at New York Fashion Week

Vjerana Stipetić

Colorism and playful accessories – Croatian brand VENA candy debuted at New York Fashion Week

“Opportunities like this show me that even small brands can play a big role in the world of fashion and that makes me ecstatic,” says Vjerana Stipetić, designer behind VENA candy.

The list of Croatian designer handbags recently got a new name: Vjerana Stipetić. With an address in the Netherlands and roots from Croatia, Vjerana designed and then hand crafted her own collection of handbags and accessories. Branded under the playful name VENA candy, which suits  its eclecticism and strong coloristic expression, makes the collection all the more recognizable in its signature and aesthetic.

Croatian brand VENA candy debuted at New York Fashion Week

(Photo: Promo)

Evidence that her expression piqued attention came soon after the launch of her latest collection, when she was recognized and invited to exhibit at one of the world’s largest fashion fairs – New York Fashion Week. When asked how the collaboration with NYFW came about, Vjerana answered:

“In December last year, I started selling at a multibrand store in New York, which is officially participating with its own fashion show as part of NYFW. Certain designers were chosen as “The Ones to Watch” and invited to participate in the show. I was among them.”  

Croatian brand VENA candy debuted at New York Fashion Week

(Photo: Promo)

We asked her what it was like to exhibit her creations at one of the world’s biggest and most famous fashion showcases.

“Given that fashion is still dominated by big fashion houses, it was an indescribable refreshment to see so much talent in one place, all from small, independent brands like VENA candy. All the designers who participated in the show were “merged” with other designers into a beautiful fashion entity and this created one wonderful symbiosis.”

Croatian brand VENA candy debuted at New York Fashion Week

(Photo: Promo)

What are your next steps?

“The next big step is showcasing the brand at Miami Swim and Resort Week this summer. It’s one of the biggest events in the US and its focus, as the name suggests, will be on summer fashion and related accessories. After a successful collaboration at NYFW, this was my next call and actually a great step for additional brand recognition in the foreign market,” explains Vjerana.

Croatian brand VENA candy debuted at New York Fashion Week

(Photo: Promo)

The quality of her final products is not surprising considering that Vjerana perfected her knowledge and experience in making handbags at one of most renowned Italian fashion schools – Arsutoria School in Milan.

“So far my models have been made of high quality eco leather from suppliers from Italy and Germany, but I also plan to have genuine leather collections. I individually choose which type of material is most suitable for each collection. Also, before each collection, I make a prototype that I wear for a while to make sure that I have chosen the best possible material, but also the shape of the model. Since I sew the beads onto the bags by hand, for simpler models I need at least 5 days of work and for slightly larger or more complex models it takes me up to 2 weeks or more.”

Croatian brand VENA candy debuted at New York Fashion Week

(Photo: Promo)

Playfulness, joy, fun and colors are the key words associated with this brand.

Croatian brand VENA candy debuted at New York Fashion Week

(Photo: Promo)

Croatian brand VENA candy debuted at New York Fashion Week

(Photo: Promo)

“I have a great desire to invite my audience to join me in my world of imagination and fun. Fashion can be a fun opportunity to express yourself. Very often, details like fashion accessories play a special role here. It may sound like a cliché, but life is too short to wait for special occasions or special moments. We need to wear what makes us happy, no matter the day of the week and year,” Vjerana tells us.

You can check out more on the website.

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