While looking for some exciting and distinctly Hungarian jewelry, I recently came across Lokalwear. Inspired by Hungary's vibrant culture, rich folk art and ancient legends, Lokalwear is a beautiful combination of old craft techniques and contemporary design. Their jewelry line, based on traditional Hungarian floral patterns, lends stylish elegance and a romantic touch to any outfit. And within each piece lies a unique story. The Matyó Collection pays homage to the Matyó embroidery, now enlisted by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, famous for its colorful and densely patterned flower designs. The Csodaszarvas Good Luck Charm depicts a beloved Hungarian mythological animal, the 'magical stag' that - according to legend - helped the Magyar tribes migrate to the Carpathian Basin, which is present day Hungary. The new Richelieu Collection is based on yet another emblematic piece of folk art, the French Richelieu technique of lace making mastered in Hungary's Kalocsa region.
Lokalwear's new take on traditional design comes from the creative mind of owner/designer Bruna Seve Patkó, a Rio-born New Yorker now living in Budapest. The New York Fashion Institute of Technology graduate fell in love with Hungarian folk motifs on her first visit to Budapest, some ten years ago. She worked in Brazil and at major fashion houses (Tod's and Celine) in the USA until following her heart to Budapest. Before launching her own line, Bruna helped rebrand the former communist cult sneakers, Tisza Cipő, and she also worked as the country marketing manager for Nike.
Lokalwear was born in 2010. It's "a bit Brazilian, a bit Hungarian, a bit American", faithful to the local artisan traditions and yet in style. It's a new interpretation of the age old technique merging the elements of folk art with cutting-edge design. Their white, red, blue, green and black colored earrings, cufflinks, necklaces and bracelets make for nice gifts. While the brand is mostly focused on accessories, they also offer super comfy 100% organic cotton t-shirts. Inspired by the Matyó flowers and the iconic Kalocsa Richelieu lacework, the patterns for the t-shirts were designed in collaboration with American surface designer Diane Kappa.
Lokalwear's lovely studio and showroom is located in Pest, close to Margaret Island, and is a great place to visit. You'll be surrounded by beautiful earrings and necklaces, and as an added bonus you'll likely meet the owner. Her passion for fashion, design and re-discovering cultural gems is truly captivating. Check them out, I think you'll fall in love with their products.
Showroom: Pozsonyi út 25 (buzzer 24), Pest, District 13
Throughout December 2012, Lokalwear's showroom offers extended opening hours every Wednesday and Thursday, from noon to 8 pm.
Photos courtesy of Lokalwear.