The grandmother dressed Mirtha Legrand and other movie divas; she launches into global fashion
“The world is yours”: that’s how it is written, in light blue neon letters, reflected in a post on the brand’s social networks. And more like a certainty than a premonition, that expression could undoubtedly be a mantra for the owner of the firm. The fact is that the French-Argentine designer Sayana González Agtseribbe accepted her wishes as a child, and as soon as she finished high school, she came out after them. With the conviction of wanting to dedicate herself to fashion, she moved to Europe to study at the Parsons The New School of Paris and then complete an MBA in Luxury Brand Management. Those were the beginnings of the business raid that led her to cross to the other side of the hemisphere to work in a firm specializing in prints on fabric and another in clothing, both in India. He then did the same as a stylist and organizing shows, until he finally founded DeWAR in New Delhi in 2017.
“If my grandmother saw me she would tell me to stop being so serious and have a little more fun. I think I would be proud “
But that’s not all because the blood draws and the hedonistic journey of the 30-year-old designer too, and above all, had to do with revisiting the ways of doing and expressing her ancestors to recover the knowledge of the women in her family maternal and revalue clothing. As did his French grandmother, the renowned Vanina de War, iconic creator of the golden decades of Argentine national cinema, although before, at the beginning of the 20th century, his great-grandmother, Lyska Kostio de Warkoffska, had already done it. Born in Azerbaijan, the actress-turned-designer stood out for the extravagance in her way of dressing, as well as being an assiduous organizer of tango dances and avant-garde in Belle Époque Paris, opening her first store in the second half of the 1930s. Recognized for the designs in fabrics and also in crochet, according to the account of the journalist Michael Henri Oréal in the publication Cost of War, Édith Piaf, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, among other celebrities, would have dressed their creations. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the French Museum of Decorative Arts preserve pieces of the signature collection.
“Now I look at it as a small imaginary world to which I want to return,” says Sayana –from Dubai, where she has lived since the beginning of this year– about the visits she made to her grandmother’s atelier, set up in a petit hôtel in Barrio Norte . There was the emblematic Vanina de War boutique, right on the corner of Arenales and Talcahuano (where today the Mihran decoration house works). “We were very buddies,” he says, and longs for the ritual they shared every week. On Wednesdays specifically, when he left primary school at the Jean Mermoz French High School and settled for hours in that dreamy space. Without knowing it, in that place Sayana began to project her future, amid the glamor inspired by the rolls of colored fabrics, the feathers and the models who came and went while they tried on their clothes.
As the chronicler Victoria Lescano remembers it in Costume TestVanina de War was frequently in charge of the film costumes for Mirtha Legrand and Amelia Bence, among other divas of the moment. It was usual to see his name in the credits of the most remembered films of the 50s and 60s: Under the same face and La patota, among others. A solero dress in black gros, another in yellow crepe with embroidered spherical beads to the tone and a cape made of pink taffeta, are some of the designs that are currently treasured in the collection of the Museo del Traje in Buenos Aires.
And while Sayana is momentarily settled in the Middle East, she travels continuously to New Delhi, where she arrived to work on the Pashma brand and ended up staying for seven years. On the industrial scene, he was able to acquire practical business knowledge that he had not found in college. Shortly after landing in India, at just 23 years old, he made production with fifteen people in charge, and he got fully into the clothing industry. “Experience is what really counts,” he now acknowledges at the head of his company and the workshop with which he also manufactures finished products for other clothing brands. “Since I have memory use for me it was something natural; I always wanted to have this brand, to recreate this environment again ”, he reflects on the birth of his project and the way in which he chose to take over, as a family inheritance, of a firm, which already has more than 80 years of history in the fashion world.
After living and traveling through cities as diverse as Buenos Aires, Paris, Brussels, New Delhi and Dubai, she is a declared fan of Argentina
Although he began thinking about dedicating himself to high fashion, ended up specializing in garments “ready to wear high-end ”(as defined by the creator). A brand that is also considered vegan because it does not use animal leather and focuses on the subtlety of tailoring, on models with a simple line and contrasting textures. “I would not like to be a designer with crazy prices, but I want them to be pieces to wear daily, of good quality, that are well made and that when wearing them one can feel good”, she emphasizes. So far, Sayana participated in the last edition of Paris Fashion Week, which was held in person prior to the start of the pandemic, and markets its products in the United States, France, the United Arab Emirates and India. And although at the beginning the idea was to attract local clients, the most recent collection is inspired by a global idea: “it is based on the current panorama, I define it by introspection, fragments and power,” he says. Introspection refers to gratitude for the time spent by Covid-19, the one that allowed us to really look inward again and put the emphasis on the brand’s DNA, which it considers “comfortable and chic”. The fragments, because they try to represent the state of the world today, and power, in short, is the feeling that he wants to convey to his clients every time they wear any of his designs.
Married to an Indian, she is totally familiar with the habits and cultural traditions of that country, she even learned how to make some typical dishes. Even so, and after living and traveling through cities as diverse as Buenos Aires, Paris, Brussels, New Delhi and Dubai, she is a declared fan of Argentina. She acknowledges that she is always listening to national rock, and that when the dog goes for a walk, the sound that accompanies it is one of her favorite songs from the Bersuit Vergarabat. Music, mate and food are key issues in their day to day. “I love being in India, I love it, there is my work, my team, but the truth is that it is a quite extreme place, it takes you a lot of energy”, he confesses. In addition, from there, it revalues freedom, independence and above all the advances in the rights that women travel to this side of the world. What would Vanina de War, her grandmother, say to her if she saw her now? “Stop being so serious and have a little more fun. I think I would be proud “, synthesizes