Irene Kostas will be FCINY’s artist-in-residence in May–June 2017. She is the founder and head designer of Helsinki-based fashion house ONAR. ONAR, which translates to “dream” in ancient Greek, is the fusion of unlikely matches. In ONAR’s collections, richness of texture meets minimalism, organic meets plastic, tradition meets futurism and the stark Scandinavian lines meet the mystical. ONAR specializes in leather and shearling garments, accessories and bags.
ONAR is a pioneer in its field; all materials are natural and ethically sourced. For ONAR, sustainability means transparency of processes and local craftsmanship. The label uses only ethically produced Italian shearling and all tanning of leather is chrome-free. Every item is handcrafted in Finland or in Greece.
According to Kostas, multiculturalism, urbanism, sustainable values, courage, valuing handicraft and genderless thinking are characteristics of ONAR. Kostas’ designs are a homage to club music and contemporary art – two worlds Kostas is deeply influenced by, which serve her as a never-ending source of inspiration.
During her residency in New York, Kostas will work on her ONAR MAIN SS 2018 collection and produce imagery for New York’s fashion week next fall. In addition Kostas will continue her collaboration with New York-based concept stores and plan future projects.