Kata Szegedi and Daniel Benus make up the creative duo behind the magnificence of the fashion brand Kata Szegedi, founded in 2009. They talked to Vanity Teen about their experience in the fashion industry, their muses, the FW21/22 Collection they presented during the Milano Fashion Week, and much more.
While reading this article, let us see what they have to tell us through clothes.
Kata Szegedi and Daniel Benus | Exclusive Interview
VT: It has been over a decade ago when Kata Szegedi came to the fashion world to stay. How has been this journey? How do you balance the past and the future of your brand?
KS: It has been a wild ride, and we enjoy it a lot. We grow together with the brand. We have a recognizable aesthetic. We challenge ourselves to give more and more of these attributes each season.
The past, memories, objects, and stories are the most important in our process. We filter in these influences to create the present and the future. It is a way too emotional experience with failures and success at the same time, memorable moments.
VT: How is Hungary represented in your collections?
KS: We love Budapest, which is an incredible city: eclectic, bittersweet, and sentimental, a place that has so much to tell. So, these impressions are represented in every collection, with architectural lines, sensual silhouettes we call moving sculptures.
Things to tell through clothes
VT: What are the perks and challenges of being part of a creative duo?
KS: Sharing the same vision about creating objects: “Objects of Desire”-this is our main quote-. We founded this namesake brand right after graduation, and it came out with the first collection in 2010. We met in high school almost 20 years ago; we both had the same idea about creating fashion and art, so we became best friends.
Many years ago, we started working together, and we believe that we have many things to tell through clothes about our heritage, surroundings, and the way we read art. During the creative process, we have ups and downs, we don’t agree on everything; but, that’s how new ideas come into life, experimenting a lot.
VT: What is the importance of showing human diversity and multicultural approaches in your collections?
KS: As a curvy, so-called big girl, I really enjoy creating clothes that work in every size and every occasion; I love to wear our pieces and mix them with vintage and other Hungarian designers, and it was never a question that diversity is something which is a part of our daily life.
We were invited to Helsinki Fashion Week for 4 seasons; we learned there a lot about sustainability, diversity, and the importance of having our voice in these matters and using it as much as we can.
KS: One of our greatest experiences is Róisín Murphy wearing our pieces several times, on her tour, personal life, and her own garments from us in a super cool interview. She is one of our true muses, is fresh, full of freedom, always ahead of others, very emotional and caring at the same time, just like our aims with our collections.
The brand is very lucky to have had such great opportunities during these years.
Our Hungarian client base is also full of incredible people who are self-assured and proud of their individual image.
The Fall- Winter 21/22 Collection
KS: We always get full support from the team. Showing our collection at Milano Fashion Week is a dream come true; this was our second season, and we feel it was a huge success and a great experience. Budapest Select is a milestone. Presenting the coolest Hungarian designers to the international fashion scene is a great thing; surely, we have a lot to tell, and slowly but surely, we will get on the map.
VT: Let us talk about your collection for the COLLECTIVE FASHION SHOW – FW21/22. What do you like the most about it?
KS: The Fall- Winter 21/22 collection of Kata Szegedi is an ode to artisan craftsmanship filled with emotional memories, meaningful flashbacks from the past 10 years.
This season, some of the most iconic and recognizable statements were re-invented from the past years, just as in our Spring Summer 2021 collection.
Sculptural objects made from cashmere, wool, silk satin, and organic cotton, creating a one of a kind layered texture, ending up with perfectly cut garments, blazers, pants, coats.
It is a new era for the brand, we are focusing more on developing fresh, unique textures and silhouettes. Knitwear and a jewelry line are added as well from this fall. Jewelry in collaboration with Balázs Kiss, a Hungarian designer, we share the same vision when it comes to powerful looks and feels.
Breathtaking works of Frank Stella, Louise Bourgeois, and the world of Thierry Mugler in the ’80s were a guiding light and an endless inspiration in creating all of our moving sculptures.
We love creating coats and blazers, the power, the heritage, modernism, comfort, eye-catching details which make them recognizable and desired. These are not for just one season, and we have an endless curiosity about how our clients wear them, how they get them into their wardrobe; that’s a very interesting and inspiring thing. They give life to our sculptures.
Being open and curious about life
VT: What can you tell us about the prominence of craftsmanship in your latest collection?
KS: Craftsmanship handmade details make the objects even more personal. This fall season, handsewn cashmere and hand-knitted details are in focus, mixed with a custom-made digital print we made from an image shot by our dear friend, the Hungarian photographer, Gergő Pejkó. He took the photo of our statement golden cut-out pants during the first lockdown.
VT: Which advice would you give to all those teenagers who are thinking about starting a career in fashion-related activities?
KS: We both give lectures in Krea Design Institute Budapest to the next generation of stylists, designers, and make-up artists. Our main advice is to be open and get as curious about life as possible. In our point of view, that’s the first and most important; also, to understand others, and their surroundings, and wanting to learn more and use our good or even bad experiences in creating something new.
Before we go
We know fashion brings us together, and Kata Szegedi has been proving it for over a decade. Therefore, Kata Szegedi and Daniel Benus inspire us with their synergy, their emotion, the fashion statements of their clothes, and the way they use their experiences to embrace change while mixing classic and modern pieces in every new collection.
Thus, even when life might not be the way we expected, let us remember the Kata Szegedi message: we should never stop creating, the things we live might become into something candid, inclusive, that irradiates the beauty of loving what you do and staying true to whom you are.