Designer Spotlight: Area

Designer Spotlight: Area

In A New Column For V, Mathias Rosenzweig Highlights Up And Coming Designers To Know Now. Here, New York City Faves Area

In A New Column For V, Mathias Rosenzweig Highlights Up And Coming Designers To Know Now. Here, New York City Faves Area

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

In the world of fashion, offbeat recipes tend to bring about the most original results. Take the grouping of Kentucky native Beckett Fogg and Polish Piortek Panszczyk, who joined together to design their brand Area in NYC.

After meeting at Parsons, they discovered that Fogg’s background in architectural design and Panszczyk education in fashion design, paired with a ton of mutual cultural interests, would work quite harmoniously together. The duo made a name for itself after becoming recognized as two of today’s premiere embossing aficionados.

It’s this attention to detail that helped the duo land Swarovski as an official collaborator, adding to their shiny, hyper-feminine aesthetic. Their collections weigh heavily on dreamy pink pastels, but also include lamé strapless dresses, body suits, and exaggerated thigh high boots—something we can see Rihanna donning without a second thought. We spoke to the duo about their work with textiles, a shared love for Lil Yachty, and how social media plays a role in their brand.

What makes your line unique from other?

Area focuses on textile manipulation—our inspirations are drawn mainly from American subcultures. We have concentrated on developing a strong visual identity so that our clothes have a recognizable aesthetic.

Specifically, we do a lot of embossing. It’s a literal way of stamping our identity or signature into fabric. We use lots of other methods of manipulation though…it’s all about taking raw material and changing it into something else. That is really what we love to do.

 How did you two meet and what are your respective backgrounds, either in fashion or otherwise?

BF I’m originally from Lexington, Kentucky, and completed my undergraduate degree at The University of Virginia, studying architecture design with a concentration in multi-disciplinary studies.

PP I was born in Poland and raised in Holland, where I studied fashion design at the Artez Institute of the Arts, before working at Chloe in Paris. Beckett and I met while pursuing our Masters in Fashion Design and Society at Parsons. Beckett was one year ahead of me and went on to work at Calvin Klein Collection. We joined forces in 2013 to launch Area once I graduated.

Why did you decide to pursue fashion and design professionally?

BF My undergraduate degree is in architecture, where I elected to take a multi-disciplinary track of the program, which taught me how to think critically about space, form and proportion. I graduated at the height of the recession in 2010, so decided to look into other design opportunities outside of Architecture. Piotrek has a more traditional fashion background, with formal training in pattern making and fashion design. Piotrek grew up in Poland until the age of 5, when it was still a communist country, in an apartment with his mother and aunts. They were captivated by beauty and fashion, but unable to dress how they desired unless they made the clothing themselves. So he was exposed to pattern making and sewing from a young age.

What movie or music video has the best style and why?

BF Terrell Hicks’ “Silly.” Hype Williams and June Ambrose were a legendary combo.

Who or what are your primary inspirations?

BF We don’t usually have one person we think of; it’s usually more of a group. Most recently, it’s been Naomi Campbell, Prince, Nadja Auermann, Outkast, Christy Turlington, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Rei Kawakubo. We are constantly visiting exhibits and galleries, and pulling references from the city in general. We don’t really focus on a specific theme. Generally speaking, we are interested in the idea of creating “texture,” and the way we arrive there can be all over the place. We love to research; we like to process a lot of information and then filter it out into something that feels more concrete and direct, yet surprising. It’s about looking again.

What is the hardest part of Your job?

BF Time. It’s difficult to launch a brand with a limited amount of funding. And we are constantly battling the clock, which is the most difficult aspect of what we do. It’s also very challenging to create something that isn’t so obviously commercial. So it takes time to create that visual identity that people can start to relate to.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?

BF We hear the word “no” so often, so whenever we hear a “yes,” we really appreciate it. Being named as a finalist for the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund was definitely the biggest “yes” moment to date.

If you could have anyone be the face of your line, whom would you choose?

BF Bella [Hadid]

What is the most exciting thing happening in the world of fashion right now?

BF I think the industry is in a really interesting place, where everything is changing and everyone seems to be trying out a new way to play the game. So we are excited to see how these different approaches play out for everyone over the next year.

It’s been horribly muggy in New York lately. What is your go-to-outfit to stay cool in the summer heat?

BF Perforated Area t-shirts and shorts from our capsule collection!

 

Do you listen to music while you design?

BF Yes, music is constantly playing in the studio. Piotrek is mainly in charge of it—we play everything from Soulection radio to Jeff Mills’ playlist for the Concert Hall in Amsterdam and Lil Yachty.

What makes you feel the most successful?

BF We really appreciate the personal messages and encouragement received on social media. Customers and clients are obviously our priority, but there are also so many passionate spectators out there who really care deeply about fashion. Their encouragement means a lot to us. We are about to launch e-commerce with several of our past season earrings and accessories to offer fans a more accessible way to buy into our brand.

Why is fashion important?

BF Fashion for us is about aspiration, which is what we find most interesting about the industry.

UP NEXT

We Waited Forever for Frank Ocean's 'Blonde'—But It Was Worth It