Real Ways Not Runways: Mona Kowalska

Last week I attended a Real Ways Not Runways discussion at Manufacture New York, featuring one of my favorite designers, Mona Kowalska of A Détacher. Mona approaches her designs as a form of self-expression, which translates into beautifully unconventional clothing that is well worth the investment. After seeing a dozen designer discussions over the years, I found Mona’s honesty about the industry and her experiences refreshing.

Manufacture NY, Real Ways Not Runways, Designer discussion with Mona Kowalska of A Détacher | DeSmitten

It amazes me that she is able to run a storefront, produce the collection and handle the wholesale end of the business with a small team of just three people. Unlike most designers, Mona drapes all of her own styles and even grades the patterns for production. She expressed that she would design differently if she had to sketch her clothes and hand them off to a pattern maker because she can’t sketch the things she drapes. I feel the same way about my work, the silhouettes take form organically when I drape them, something that can’t happen in a two-dimensional drawing state.

To learn more about Manufacture New York and their Real Ways Not Runways designer discussions, visit them here.


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