By Alice Butterlin

Most of the world has been in lockdown for over a month now due to the COVID-19 crisis. A moment frozen in time, when people are faced with solitude, grief or anxiety and see their daily lives shift for the better or the worse. In this time of extreme uncertainty, we can also take the time to reflect, create and enjoy the passing of these strange elastic days. We thought it would be interesting to ask artists around the globe how their creative process has changed during the quarantine and if it has been an inspiring or rather daunting experience… with a quick snapshot of themselves in lockdown. Known as the co-creator of Wanda Nylon, a womenswear brand born in 2012 which sadly closed, Johanna Senyk has launched a new project named Françoise. For Françoise Hardy and Françoise Sagan, two iconic French women whose style and personalities have transcended eras. While Wanda Nylon focused on outerwear (with transparent plastic trench coats as a staple), Françoise showcases more classic and feminine pieces all made in Italy. With craftsmanship and timeless elegance at the center of the new project, this house is set to last. Discover how Johanna Senyk has been spending her days.

How has your daily life changed since lockdown began?

My relationship to time has changed dramatically. For years I have been running around holding my breath, never stopping, since the pace of fashion seasons and collections never gave me a moment to step back. Strangely enough, I feel like the days are going by quickly and I’m rediscovering certain pleasures such as reading or simply taking care of myself. It’s certainly very likely that this experience will leave a mark on the way I live and manage my priorities.

Have you had to rethink the way you create?

No, because I was already thinking hard about my process while creating the FIRST line at FRANCOISE using exclusively recycled materials and accessories. That already made me independent for the current production cycle since the raw materials already exist. I’m fortunate to be working with a family business in Italy, which will ensure my production goes ahead. However, I hope to take this concept even further by working as closely as possible with local craftworkers and expertise. That’s how I’m planning to align my production and values.

Did you realize anything in particular during this time?

Yes, and I don’t think it’s over. Every day is a time for reflection.

Are you worried?

No. On the contrary, I’m full of hope. I feel like I’m witnessing a major historical event and that our children will now have the weapons they need to fight.

Do you feel more inspired or paralyzed by the lockdown?

I was completely paralyzed for the first month; it was impossible to think about volumes or colours… It seemed totally useless in the face of the major event we are all living through together. Now my urge to share and create is coming back little by little. I know I want to present my summer collection next September.

Have you started or returned to any activities that you do not normally have time to do?

Since I never had time for anything before, I started doing everything again. I’m sleeping long and peacefully with no guilt, because I know I’m not missing anything…

What do you think you’ll take away from this shutdown?

I’ve set new priorities, because sharing is also about spending time with the people you love. The strong ties that unite me to my loved ones seem even stronger than before.

How do you see life after this crisis?



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