From Avant-garde one-off pieces to simple and timeless everyday wear – here are five Kosovan/Albanian brands to get acquainted with
by - Geralda Cela

The fashion world has recently seen the rise of ethnically-focused, body-positive, female-led brands. And it’s better off for it.

Here are just a few Albanian/ Kosovan designers that we’re loving at the moment in no particular order.

Besë Studio

Romantic, feminine and strong– New-york based brand Besë Studio captured our attention on instagram a couple months back with their bold and playful designs that mould around the female form of any size perfectly.

Block colours, handwork and couture techniques form the basis of most designs and are built through layering sheer and thicker materials together. Something which the designer, Kosovan-born American-based Besa Neziri Rugova, states is inspired by her childhood days in the Kosovan countryside and ‘the dire economic situation in the struggling war-torn country’ which required ‘a lot of creativity if and improvisation for anyone with the desire to dress in style.’

Both wearable and artistic this brand strikes the right balance:

DORRÈS

Single-handily designed, sourced, shot and styled by London-based content creator Rrez who we interviewed last year, this London-based detail-driven brand ticks all the boxes when it comes to style and comfort. We love the versatility of pretty much each piece that can either be layered under other garments or worn completely individually.

The asymmetric, blunt cuts give DORRÈS a futuristic feel, whilst the hand-sourced materials hug the body in the right places. This is a designer who knows how to flatter the female body.

This is one to check out if you’re into dressing down as much as you are dressing up. Oh and the materials look sourced to perfection! Here are some of our favourites from DORRÈS.

KRENARE RUGOVA

With a mission to “create with care for the environment and community while remaining contemporary and bold,” there’s very little not to love about this Parsons-educated Prishtina-based designer.

Architectural shapes and sharp cuts meet throughout Krenare Rugova ethically-minded designs that make for a distinguishable industrial avant-garde style. This is not a brand for the faint-hearted as each piece demands certain confidence and power to pull off. Here are some of our favourites from Krenare Rugova.

ESH

Spirit, satin and structure are three things that come to mind when I think of this Peje-base brand. Not afraid to mix materials, patterns and also incorporate photography into the pieces, ESH is everything that makes fashion exceptional. They are all about self-expression and experimentation whilst also embracing traditional and culture. And recently created stunning pieces as part of the Marubi Museum presentation which fused Marubis photography and a philosophical feel that is testimony to the brands’ Art. Esh is one of those brands that reminds you of the unlimited power of creativity.

Here are some of our favourites from ESH:

Venera Mustafa

Minimalistic Magic. I love the classic yet contemporary, fresh feel of this charming Prishtina-based brand, Venera Mustafa. Clever shapes, double layering and embroidery techniques make for quirky quintessential pieces that accentuate the female physique. Venera Mustafa creates clothes for women aware of their power and potential.

Here are some of our favourites from Venera Mustafa: