Slovenia is well on its way to becoming one of the big centers of the fashion industry with a plethora of new talented designers immerging all over the country like daisies in spring.
Cliché Shop Gallery
Ljubljana-based Cliché Jelena Pirkmajer is one of the most intriguing fashion labels in the so-called ‘new Europe’. The designs are all created using a principle of FQ, or Fashion Intelligence Quotient, which promotes the longevity of forms and compatibility of pieces from new collections with previous ones. Cliché’s shop and gallery on Novi Trg offers both collections from its own brand, as well as complimentary accessories from designers based in Europe, the US and Japan.
Damski Kotiček – Lublanska & Margaret88
This small shop, hidden away in the courtyard of a centuries-old townhouse just off Cobber’s Bridge, is home to the unique, handmade creations of two young Slovenian designers working under the labels Lublanska and Margaret88. Focussing exclusively on women’s fashion (‘damski kotiček’ translates to ‘ladie’s corner’ in English), they pack a wide selection of jewellery and clothing into the small space. The Lublanska label is distinguished by a mix of urban modernity and vintage romance, while Margaret88 gives style for elegant, sophisticated and unique aluminium fashion things. Prices are quite reasonable, with earrings starting at only €12 and elegant, one-of-a-kind dresses from €60.
Hand Weaving Mrzelj (Ročno tkanje)
The beginnings of the Mrzelj family hand weaving tradition date back to 1970. Majda Mrzelj was a designer and a weaver by profession and her husband carefully and diligently planned and made looms based on the available museum exhibits. Upgrading, improving and perfecting the traditional techniques of weaving was a challenge for the unique designer, her daughter Katarina Mrzelj, a landscape architect. Katarina started weaving in a unique and experimental way combining both the present and the past. Mrzelj hand-woven linen clothing attracts and astonishes with its elegant harmony, fairy-like femininity, amiability, naturalness; with its delicate structure and artistic accent of the fabric texture, but also with the natural materials and their primary colors. Katarina’s independent style, her vision and visibility speak of elegance with style for every occasion.
Smart suits, shirts and a range of stylish accessories from a local brand pioneered by the designer Zlata Zavašnik, Sens designs and manufactures in small batches ensuring both quality and exclusivity. With surprisingly friendly prices, these almost unique clothes come highly recommended for anyone trying to make an impression whilst supporting local small business at the same time.
What could be greener than turning trash into useful stuff? Well, that is exactly what the creative folks at Smetumet (or roughly translated, ‘trash art’) are all about. Indulge in consumerism guilt free at this not-for-profit store that’s more an activist boutique than shop, running workshops on recycling and stocking a great range of waste transformed into really well made and beautiful items, from fashionable bags and jewellery to unique homewares and upcycled stationary, plus much more. Smetumet is the perfect place to find interesting sustainable gifts and you can even order custom designs in advance.
Teja Jeglich Design
Teja Jeglič is a young Slovene designer who has managed to turn her interest in art and design into a business making and selling a growing collection of handbags, clutch bags, cosmetic bags and more, including jewellery and bow ties. This last item is an indication of the wit and individuality that Teja brings to her work. Trained at the Faculty of Design in Ljubljana, and then at Leeds College of Art in the UK, all the bags that Teja Jeglič puts her name to are handmade from high quality materials. Tucked into a courtyard on Petkovškovo Nabrežje just down from Dragon Bridge, be sure to take a look at these one-of-a-kind designs and take home more than just a bag.
Peter Movrin is a world renowned Slovenian designer who won a number of prestigious awards in his not so long career. Even Lady Gaga wasn’t immune to the appeal of his creations, and wore several of them. Born and raised in small town of Kočevje in Slovenia, Movrin, a son of a butcher, continues to draw inspiration from his origins. As a young boy, Peter would use meat and transform it to make his creations. Even now, meat is one of the major inspirations in his career, and his designs that feature leather and wool ooze harshness with a dash of romanticism. The latter springs from his childhood love of perfumes. As much as he’s a fan of traditional and natural fabrics, he’s no stranger to synthetic ones and unconventional means of treating them.
Petja Zorec is a Slovenian designer of ready to wear men’s fashion. Upon finishing MA in Fashion design at Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering at University of Ljubljana, Petja got a job as an assistant at the said faculty. She started her brand of everyday men’s wear in 2014, and is a regular at Ljubljana’s fashion week. Some of Petja’s numerous awards are WOW award for Best collection (Ljubljana Fashion Week), Belgrade Fashion Week Award (Fashion Scout London), Elle Style Award (SOTO), OpenMyMed Prize 2017 & 2019 (Marseille), Design (Dis)ability, and many others.
Matea Benedetii (Benedetti Life)
Matea Benedetii, one of the leading Slovenian fashion designers, started her career in the opera and theatre, as a costume designer. Matea’s passion for sustainable fashion opened many doors for her, as she started her fast growing brand Benedetti Life. Her creations not only satisfy the need of our aesthetics but also help protect the ecosystem.
Another renowned Slovenian fashion designer is definitely Urša Drofenik. Urša uses materials of high quality to create her extraordinary designs, popular among celebrities and regular folk alike. Over the past ten years, Urša received numerable prestigious awards in the fashion industry. In her creations, she combines fashion, prestige and individuality, which makes her designs ooze sophistication.
One of the top Slovenian designers, Nina Šušnjara, is steadily becoming more and more popular in the world. Although young, Šušnjara has a long history of creating, which she started at the very early age, when it was recognized by her aunt who urged Nina to pursue her talent, quickly, even her friends were asking her to create clothing for them. Nina’s work is inspired by the 70s era, music, film, art and her surroundings.
One of the most rewarded Slovenian designers is certainly Maja Ferme. Her designs are favourite among celebrities, such as Monica Bellucci, wearing Maja’s jewelry, as well as recognized by international companies such as Unilever, BSH Group and Warner Bross entertainment international. A born explorer, Maja Ferme never stops searching for more inspiration and knowledge, even after attending two universities.
Janja Videc’s fashion is aimed at all age groups, regardless of the season. Through her clothing Janja expresses her own knowledge and interest in various topics. Particularly prominent is pagan shamanic tradition, to which she feels closely connected. Janja is an advocate of slow fashion and doesn’t like mass produced items. Body positivity movement and empowerment of women has a large impact on her clothing.
Drawing her inspiration from everyday life and using her accumulated knowledge in the textile industry, design, styling, unique item design, cosmography, etc. paved way for Tanja Zorn to become one of the top Slovenian fashion designers. In her she designs mixes timeless elegance with beauty of imperfection thus creating miracles.
Julia Kaja Hrovat
Canadian born designer Julia Kaja Hrovat, originates from Slovenia and s one of the top Slovenian fashion designers. Julia had an amazing opportunity to gain education in several large European cities, she studied Fashion design at the Academy of Design in Ljubljana, during which she completed one year exchange program in Istanbul at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, as wel as two internships, first one in Stockholm at Minna Palmquist and the second one in Antwerp at Christian Wijnants, she got her Master degree in Fashion design at the Faculty of natural sciences and engineering. Her designs add style and elegance to everyday wear.
Giving new meaning to street wear, Sari Valenci well earned her place on the list of top Slovenian fashion designers. She explores youth subcultures in her work drawing inspiration from them and adding her own personal touch to each creation. Her designs are a mix of art and functionality with a marvelous outcome.