Hailed for her originality and nonchalant, sophisticated style, Agi Jensen is part of a new breed of fashion designer putting Warsaw on the map…
How did it all start…
I lived abroad for eight years, first in Copenhagen and then Dublin: two distinct cultures with their own sense of fashion. When I returned to live in Warsaw I just couldn’t find the fashions I’d experienced – the shops had nothing I wanted to wear. Basically, I started sewing my own clothes. One night I invited some friends over to my place for a ‘mini fashion show’ and found that by the end of the night I’d sold nearly all of my creations! So that’s how it began…
Did you have any formal training?
Actually, I studied political science, though I did have experience with the fashion world as both a model and a make-up artist so I was already familiar with the industry.
Were you always fashion conscious as a child?
I attended ballet school as a child. From a young age I was always training, I didn’t even know who Michael Jackson was. Instead I grew up listening to Chopin and Tchaikovsky, enjoying things like the smell of the theater. I think those experiences taught me to look at things a little differently.
Describe your style…
I appreciate minimalism and simplicity in design. I think that the people who wear my clothes have a very feminine side but at the same time are also looking to express their inner-selves. I think my clothes are also versatile in that three dresses are enough for your wardrobe – I want to prove you don’t need 25 dresses in different colors of the rainbow.
Any inspirations in the world of fashion?
I’m not the kind of person who sits in front of Fashion TV; I’m not inspired by other designers, I prefer to listen to my own intuition. Honestly, I don’t really have any icons, I prefer to wear my own clothes: I always say I’m my own best customer!
What are your fashion no-no’s?
For sure I wouldn’t go in for those tight, sexy dresses. I believe you can show your attributes far better by wearing something discreet. Neither would I ever recommend wearing five different designer pieces – you see people like that who think they’re really fashionable, when in actuality they just look like a Christmas tree. Fine, take one thing maybe, but then combine it with other items. Be discreet I always say, don’t show you’re obsessed with fashion.
What advice would you give to a designer starting out in the industry…
Be true to yourself. Do what you feel. Don’t imitate others and don’t think about sales. You’ve got to feel this from the bottom of your heart. Most importantly, surround yourself with loyal people who have good energy.
Who would you love to see wearing your creations?
I love Halle Berry – without question, she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. I’ve already got lots of Polish celebrities who wear my clothes, but I think I get just as much pleasure from seeing someone on the beach wearing something I designed. The other day I met a woman in hospital who was wearing a coat of mine – that’s a heart-warming feeling.
What are your feelings towards the high street labels?
I understand people buy things from the high street because it’s cheaper, and I recognize that some people can’t afford my designs. If you use your imagination you can create a good look. Of course, what we don’t know is how the clothes have been manufactured, how many tears are behind that dress. Myself, I only manufacture in Poland using Polish fabrics.
Where is Warsaw fashion compared to other cities?
We’re growing and developing here, and I’m certainly a supporter of Polish design: there’s a lot of potential and talent. It’s hard to compare it to different cities though because everyone has different styles, different wallets… But Copenhagen stands out. Not just in terms of clothes, absolutely everything feels fashionable there. The Danes have a fantastic concept of design: it’s like honey for the eyes!
Agi Jensen Design