By UY – Unisex Futuristic Brand
We know that UY is ran by a duo: who’s behind the brand?
Idan, 26 from Tel Aviv Israel, and Fanny 24 years old from Stockholm, Sweden.
We are the co founders, we are everything; Art directors, Photographers, Designers. We are the backbone of the brand and we do nearly everything by ourselves.
Do you think that the mix of cultures in UY is what makes it so interesting? Tel Aviv and Stockholm meet in Berlin. Tell us how this made your brand what it is.
Well there is a really different way of thinking, a different style, different perspectives because of the places we came from. We think this mix is what makes it different from the other designers, and makes our brand unique.
A lot of Middle Eastern elements are incorporated in terms of cut, layering, hiding certain areas in the body, a bit of mystery. But on the other hand you see a lot of clean lines, futuristic cuts, geometric shapes, and balance. In terms of colors; black and white, some leather.
So I think this mix between the two different cultures is what makes things a little bit more interesting, and we are always presenting UY in a way that makes it really unique – you can see in our photo shoots, our models as well.
Definitely Berlin is the place in the middle. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Tel Aviv and also reminds Fanny a bit of Stockholm because it’s really close. It’s still Europe.
The combination of the two cultures comes together in Berlin. Berlin is a really young, openminded city which allows us to express it even more. So we are exaggerating our state of mind, and letting it grow even more then what we are used to.
What’s the philosophy behind UY brand?
UY is our philosophy; we are standing for a few facts, and some of them are honesty, purity, unisex, futuristic.
Futuristic because in the future there will be no difference between sexes, and therefore we made a decision to make everything unisex. All the sexes are mixed into each other; guys, girls, gay, straight. People don’t want to label themselves. It’s the same with us. We don’t want to label ourselves with age, season, sex, etc.
Honesty because we don’t want to be pretentious. We have the garments the way that they are, and what you see is what you get. I mean, of course we are trying to make the garments as futuristic as possible, but I guess for me, the best way to describe it is honest, simple, draped. A simple shirt, a simple skirt or simple dress, could fit anyone and can be made to look different depending on the styling.
Another philosophy for us is value for money. We are buying fabrics and materials all over the world. There are no suppliers. We don’t order hundreds of meters of fabric. We are buying our supplies from all over the world. Berlin, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Stockholm. Everywhere we go, we are buying a little bit of fabric and that’s how we are designing. We are trying to buy the best quality for the best price so we can make our brand affordable for everyone.
UY is our philosophy. We are standing for honesty, purity, unisex, futuristic.
We love that you chose to use natural fabrics and vegan leather. Why did you make this choice?
Natural Fabrics is not exactly right to say, but we are eco friendly. We are trying to avoid as much as we can things like mass production, big factories, child labour, we aren’t using fabrics produced in China or other major production countries controlling the fashion world. We really strive to buy fabrics that are locally made in Europe or in small villages.
Vegan leather was an amazing invention, which is a fake leather of course made from natural fibers to look like leather. The quality is amazing, it feels very very soft so we just said why not, let’s support this. The people in Berlin are really open minded and really stand up for this eco friendly movement, which is also very futuristic and really takes us back to one of our brand values.
Do you think more brands should go eco-friendly in the future?
I definitely do. I can see that brands are going more and more in this direction, and the leather industry isn’t necessarily going down, but more and more small labels have decided to give up using real leather. I guess use of genuine leather is starting to be for the bigger brands who don’t care about losing customers, and don’t care as much about the earth, or about the future, and just care about the fashion. There are some people who want leather, but on the other hand there are more and more people who have more awareness about what is being done in the leather industries and are aware of the impact on the earth and our future.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Both of us get inspired mostly from our environment. The people that are surrounding us. I think because Berlin is new for us, we haven’t lived here that long, it’s really inspiring for us. The people in the street, the quiet, the peaceful. But alongside that, the huge crazy nightlife. This contrast that is happening in this city is really inspiring. You can meet two people who are so different from each other, but what makes them so “Berliners” is that they are going with their true old ways. They don’t care to put like huge diamonds on their hair, crazy outfits, and at the end of the day, they are all the same, talking to each other, sitting with each other. It’s very very inspiring. Basically, we find inspiration from the daily things that happen to everybody – nothing more special than that. The smallest things can really inspire us.
Our latest collection, the white collection, was inspired by children and baby wear. It was inspired by a friend of ours. He acts like a child: the way he looks, very naive and very childish. Then we met his group of friends, and they were all kind of children. We met them in a dark place, and it was such a contrast – so when we came home we started talking about it and it’s inspired us to create a full collection of 20 looks.
We decided to make everything unisex. All the sexes are mixed into each other: guys, girls, gay, straight. People don’t want to label themselves. It’s the same with us. We don’t want to label ourselves with age, season, sex, etc.
Do you have any favourite big designers you look up to?
To be honest Fanny and I don’t really like the kind of fashion designers that are up to date with everything that’s going on in the fashion world, it’s sad to say, but we are not really familiar with that world. Of course we do have some big designers that we are aware of, and that we do like their work more, but in general, we don’t have so many. I could say that I like Boris Bidjan, he’s one of my favourites. Craig Green from London is a new up coming amazing designer that I kind of follow, but we are really trying to avoid this major fashion world. I don’t think it’s so healthy.
Who do you think is the ideal customer of UY?
We started making clothes for ourselves, and when we started to price things we started to ask each other: “Would you pay 60 euros for this t-shirt?”, so I guess the target and the customer is US. We are always asking ourselves: “Woudl we buy it?” or “Would we wear it?”. We are just random people, normal people, who could would be found anywhere on Earth.
There is no time, there is no age. It’s people who like the clothes. Kind of open minded, kind of strong or fierce person who’s not scared to wear what he likes. Not afraid to have people look at them in the street. People who like wearing comfortable things, they care about the way they look, but they don’t have to be dainty or kind of very poshy, just comfortable with the way the look. The sex does not matter, age doesn’t matter, so it could be anyone.
Fanny and I don’t really like the kind of fashion designers that are up-to-date with everything that’s going on in the fashion world. We are not familiar with that world.
What is your dream for UY brand? Where do you see the brand in 10 years?
Where do I see it in 10 years, oh my god. Well to be honest, I would like to develop UY Home in a few years; for interior design for the house, for events. We see UY as a lifestyle, not just clothes or just fashion – we would like to have it all.
We would like to thank Idan and Fanny for this inspiring and interesting interview, and Jessie from The Arcana Agency for making it possible. You can find UY on Facebook and you can shop UY at By-UY.com . Watch a video of an UY catwalk here.
About the Author
Hey, it's Elisa, founder of styleonvega.com. I'm a social media strategist & consultant by day and blogger by night (honing my multitasking skills since 2006 ;). I'm an atypical Italian, freedom lifestyle advocate and modern spirituality enthusiast. Feel like we could get along? Join me just above this box or get in touch with me on Facebook or Twitter.