Who is MyHolymoda?

An interview with the mind behind the secret student project

What makes merchandise desirable, and perhaps most significantly, how does it fit into a fashion institute such as Polimoda?

MyHolymoda sweaters and tote bags have been spotted on everyone in the hallways. Olivier Weber, a Master in Creative Direction student, sat down with the individual behind the enigmatic fashion label to learn more about the "exclusive" project Polimoda students have been whispering about.


Master in Creative Direction student Olivier Weber interviews the founder of MyHolymoda 

A popular topic of conversation in the hallways is who is behind MyHolymoda - does your participation in this interview imply that you are putting a face to the concept? 

No. I'd like to state unequivocally that the reason I've been attempting to remain unseen is to present a more joyful experience without preconception. I could be more visible starting from this interview, but who I am isn't necessary for us to have fun together, is it?

Does MyHolymoda being "identity-less" make it more unique, and so could one conclude that this carries the power of the project? 

That is correct. "Identity-less" may also be used to pique people's interests. However, in some circumstances, people tend to be more concerned with "who did it" rather than with "what is going on." So, I'd like to encourage people to simply feel and enjoy the moment. Polimoda's community is the one that has been leading this project. Without them, MyHolymoda would not exist. "Let's not think about it. Let's just enjoy it!" is the message I would like to share with MyHolymoda.

"I'd like to state unequivocally that the reason I've been attempting to remain unseen is to present more joyful experience without preconception. I could be more visible starting from this interview, but who I am isn't necessary for having fun together, is it?"

Where did the concept originate? 

"Identity-less" objects, such as UFOs, have always been extremely mysterious and fascinating. Banksy and Helmut Lang are excellent examples from the worlds of art and fashion. But sometimes, less is more interesting. MyHolymoda is a bootleg fashion label; technically, it is a copy of the original. It refers to items such as modified logos or famous slogans of Polimoda that have been creatively replaced by newer but nearly identical visual themes.

Please explain when you say MyHolymoda is an "exclusive" souvenir store. 

MyHolymoda appears to be exclusive, but it is not. As you can see, the word "exclusive" is enclosed in quotation marks - I hope this reflects MyHolymoda’s community nature. The term "souvenir store" is intended to elicit an emotional response rather than a rational one. The market for souvenirs is distinct from the fashion market. Customers in this marketplace are less price and quality sensitive than those in other marketplaces. On the other hand, customers report experiencing a significantly higher level of satisfaction due to their purchase. And so, MyHolymoda allows for an easy and friendly connection with its community.


MyHolymoda tote bag and hoodie photographed in the garden of Villa Favard

What was the most significant obstacle you encountered during the project? Perhaps it was even the Polimoda identity? 

Naturally, one of the difficulties is Polimoda's prestigious status and copyright regulations. The primary obstacle is striking a balance between fun and seriousness. I occasionally have to deal with contentious fashion issues and must take them seriously to have a fruitful conversation and reach a useful conclusion. However, the process should not be overly serious or tedious. So I'm constantly experimenting with the most enjoyable ways to bring up various subjects and garner attention. 

Additionally, there is the budget. MyHolymoda’s activities are not for profit. I've invested my own money and created as many products as possible. I wish I could create and distribute our products much more widely than I can at the moment, but reality has its limitations.

The students' involvement is critical to the project's success. You've allowed Polimoda students to participate in photoshoots and open discussions on fashion issues - how does this establish a pivotal element in MyHolymoda’s communication? 

The most key terms are involvement and interaction. MyHolymoda, I anticipate, will serve as a platform for creative students to discuss and share their perspectives on a variety of topics, as well as showcase their talents. Additionally, I'd like to demonstrate how ideas, opinions and skills are gathered and transformed into creative outputs.


While this may seem self-evident, why are Polimoda students the primary audience? 

MyHolymoda covers a variety of subjects related to the fashion industry, and students at Polimoda are unquestionably the most fashion-conscious and knowledgeable. Everyone, I believe, benefits from considering contentious fashion-related issues and sharing their perspectives. Additionally, they exude an incredible amount of positive, creative energy.


Olivier taking notes as he interviews the secret creator of MyHolymoda in the garden of Villa Favard


How involved can the students become to the development of MyHolymoda in the future? 

MyHolymoda has been inquiring about future items and color selection, and their interest in joining us as a designer, illustrator, photographer, or model. As I previously stated, MyHolymoda is for everyone, and the students are the true leaders of the project. Please do not hesitate to send us DMs with any suggestions if you read this. MyHolymoda has a clear strategy for the near future, but in true MyHolymoda style, I'll keep it a secret for the time being.

"MyHolymoda, I anticipate, will serve as a platform for creative students to discuss and share their perspectives on a variety of topics, as well as showcase their talents."

The students who participated in the MyHolymoda project all appear to place a high premium on both luxury and sustainable fashion - both of which are touted as attributes of MyHolymoda. Do you believe that this focus on luxury and sustainable fashion is a characteristic of young fashion enthusiasts? 

Those, in my opinion, are not the characteristics of young fashion enthusiasts. However, as emerging fashion industry leaders, I believe we should pause and consider whether we truly understand the meaning of those two phrases because these two words are difficult to be defined in today's fashion industry. That is why those two themes were included in MyHolymoda’s initial launch. I do not wish to use this conversation to define those two terms; however, each point of view should be respected and shared in order to gain a better understanding of them.

As you inquire of your followers, I inquire of you: What represents luxury fashion? 

In today's world, I believe that the upper-class lifestyle depicted in the older movies does not represent "luxury." Previously, it was all about the materials' quality, the finish, and the brand's history. However, I'd argue that it's all about the brand experience currently which begins with the search for a product and concludes with the purchase and use of the item.


MyHolymoda tote bag pictured on one of the tables at the Villa Favard bar

Where does a sense of community fit into a luxury concept, as well as a concept of school merchandise? 

Having a community can help brands gain a better understanding of their customers' needs and desires and improve their brand image and direction. The strategic focal point could be the distinction between the luxury market and MyHolymoda in terms of community. Generally, the primary focal point of a brand community of luxury market is customer retention and fostering brand loyalty. However, MyHolymoda one is centered on a sense of belonging. By establishing spontaneous and creative communities, we can develop an emotional bond or affinity for one another. As a result, it will be significantly more enjoyable while we are together.


What are your thoughts on MyHolymoda’s growing popularity – and on its future? 

I am truly grateful and thrilled that more people are discovering and enjoying MyHolymoda. MyHolymoda enables the Polimoda community and me to interact with everything around us with more fun. And I believe that anything is possible as long as we confidently keep moving forward towards our creative goals.

MyHolymoda
Instagram: @myholymoda

Interview by Olivier H.N. Weber

Instagram: @iamolivierweber
Email: o.weber@olimax.eu
Website: Iamolivierweber.com
 
Soorhee