Interview with NEIGE designer Roman Buk

We had the chance to Interview with NEIGE designer Roman Buk۔

NEIGE is a polish streetwear brand that creates unique clothes with minimalist vibes for the youth. Their perfectly fitted details are the perfect marriage of streetwear and casual elegance.

But its their responsible attitude that we particularly appreciate. They dont keep permanent stock to avoid over production. The clothes are produced on the ongoing basis so each item is unique. They focus on the quality so each piece can be used for many years to come. The production is done locally to reduce carbon footprint while providing jobs for the locals who work in good conditions and get decent wages. Let get to Roman where he talks all about NEIGE and his journey into fashion.

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into fashion?

Hi, my name is Roman Buk and I am the founder and designer of the NEIGE brand. My adventure with fashion began more than 10 years ago with several models of T-shirts that I designed and printed on a hand-made screen printing carousel. I never had a plan to become a designer, but what I did had an amazing feedback, and at the same time gave me so much fun that I decided to combine my passion with work.
Instagram @ NEIGE

2. In your opinion, what do clothes mean to us? What is important for you in the garments that you wear or offer?

Clothes have always been a showcase of a person, and nowadays they have expanded their meaning as a carrier of thoughts or ideas. Their utilitarian nature has in many cases been replaced by an artistic or sociological and cultural aspect. Personally, I like to design and wear things that I just feel good in and I know that they will stay with me for several seasons. In my wardrobe I don’t have that many things but I try to make sure that they are very good quality.

3. How important is sustainability and the concept of slow fashion is to you and how do you adhere to this philosophy and execute it in your final products?

For me sustainability is one of the foundations of a modern brand. Starting from obtaining certified fabrics that will not have a negative impact on the planet, through their reasonable use. In accordance with this direction, I use knitted fabrics and fabrics with the OEKO Tex certificate for the production of clothes, and in the case of coats and jackets, recycled wool. We have been using yarn made from used PET bottles for the production of woven labels for 2 years. In my brand, I appreciate the work of human hands and where I come from, this is the reason why I focus on local production, which takes place entirely in Poland.

4. Its really interesting that Defuze was born in the same year as Neige. How has the journey been for you and what are the biggest lessons you have learned?

Wow, great! We already have a lot of time and good work behind us.

As in every journey, there are moments when everything goes your way, but also moments when you have enough of everything. However, the most important thing is persistence,not making too many compromises and being fair with yourself. I think a good lesson for the whole brand was COVID, when many of our sales channels closed and we had to deal with it in a different way. As you can see, everything worked out and we are still in the game. It is worth not breaking down, but focusing on finding a solution to the problem, because there will always be one. As part of these activities, the clothes you order are sewn on an ongoing basis, which makes each piece unique and immediately goes to its owner.

5. What have been the proudest moments and what have been the biggest challenges?

There were many such moments, but I would choose two: the first NEIGE showroom in Paris in 2016 and orders for stores in Tokyo, New York and Amsterdam, and winning the Fresh Fashion Awards competition. Of the greatest challenges, I would choose the show of the NU NRG collection in Warsaw’s 999 club, which I organized together with my friends.

6. We noticed that you use vegan leather in your garments? Many brands that use leather give the excuse that they cant find a suitable alternative material to replace leather. What do you use instead of leather and do you think its just as good as real leather?

Yes, vegan leather is the material I come back to every season. It fits perfectly into the DNA of the brand and wears it very well. Despite this, I would not cross out natural recycled leather or those that are created as a by-product, because in many cases it is still difficult to find a good substitute.

7. Who is your ideal customer?

My ideal customer is the one that comes back to me because he likes what I do and identifies with it.

8. How would you describe Neige in three words?

Contemporary, unique, sustainable.

9. You don’t keep permanent stock. How does this system work sustainably as a business?

We try to plan production wisely by sewing very small quantities, and fulfill the rest of the orders by specific request, which prevents overproduction and at the same time makes each of our projects unique. Additionally, fabrics from previous collections are always used to the end, because we sell older collections until they run out.

I am aware that such a system is something new and nowadays with next-day deliveries it may not suit everyone. However, I believe that thanks to this, shopping becomes more thoughtful, clothes are worn longer, which has a direct impact on our environment. We approach each product individually, so adapting it to the customer’s dimensions is not a problem for us.

10. What other measures have you taken to make Neige Ethical and minimize its impact on environment? 

Sustainable actions also affect the people we work with on a daily basis. The value of the brand is the sum of the values of the individual people who work for it. Which is why we try to maintain the best working and pay conditions. Relationships, building a family atmosphere and respect are important to us. Despite the fact that we differ in age, experience or personality. I am convinced that everyone cares about the good of the company at the same level. Which is why each product is of the highest quality. Another of the foundations of our brand is the widest possible cooperation in the local dimension. Which is why we try to invite craftsmen and artists from our city or the surrounding area to cooperate. Thanks to this, all our clothes are produced in Poland.
We also cooperate with the organization called Sewing Together, to which we donate scraps of materials that are used to create hygiene products for women in Africa. Recently I also started this new project where I’m making hoodies and crewnecks for small dogs from the offcuts.

11. What do you think makes Neige stand out from the rest?

I believe that my brand is distinguished by its eclectic nature. With each collection, we try to combine the functionality of clothes with unusual solutions and art. NEIGE is a developing, searching, eco-friendly brand focused on a unisex approach to the collection. From season to season, we broaden our horizons without forgetting about our DNA. We create modern Polish fashion that cannot be closed within a specific framework. We like to go beyond our comfort zone to build a brand in line with our value system and sense of aesthetics.

12. Fair wages and carbon foot print is another issue that is being highlighted these days. How do Neige tackle these issues

 According to us the influence of fashion on the environment should be as important as its aesthetic value. That is why we choose the most eco friendly solutions. On the level of designing we try to create parts of our collection above trends and their quality lets you enjoy NEIGE for many years.

13. What lies ahead for Neige?

I see the future in developing the individual style of my brand and its social responsibility. In addition, I want to extend the stationary availability to other boutiques۔ From different cities, so that more people can see the quality of my clothes.
I am currently designing a collection for the SS24 season. It is very possible that we will appear with her at Paris FW in June. In addition, we are planning further development of our Basic line and several collaborations with Polish artists.
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