Studio Tour: VYF Budapest
location: Budapest, Hungary
founder/CEO: Tamas Szecsi
pattern designer: Viola Balazs
"Scarves are really nice surfaces to show full stories on, but also wearable when you only see small details, colours."
Tamas Szecsi may own an award-winning textile brand, but art wasn’t a childhood pursuit. “I’ve always been into art,” he says, “but didn’t really realize it until high school, when I felt pressure to choose a career.” He decided to apply to the textile design department at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest. “I failed twice before finally being accepted,” he says. But as karma would sometimes have it, the timing worked to his advantage, as he met his present business partner, Viola Balazs.
VYF takes the prize
In 2014, the two students entered an accessories competition run by Mercedes Benz and sponsored by the Hungarian government. After some brainstorming, they decided to build a small scarf brand, and to present their first collection, called Bar Mleczny. “And we won the main prize!” says Szecsi. Practically overnight, VYF was born.
Both have worked a variety of jobs while growing their brand — swimwear design, teaching, hospitality, catering. So goes the life of the working artist!
storytelling on silk
That very first collection, now somewhat iconic, represents how an inspiration becomes a product. It’s inspired by the Polish canteen culture of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Bar Mlecznys, so-called milk bars, were opened to provide mass catering at low prices, and to reduce alcohol consumption.
“All the little details in the scarf were originally paper cuts, handmade drawings, and in some cases, photographs — the crescent roll, the checked tablecloth, the napkin,” explains Szecsi. “The prints are then transformed digitally for serial production.” All the patterns are printed on pure silk in Como, Italy, and the finishing touches are made in Hungary.
"The most important aspect of our designs is humor."
the garden studio
Szecsi and Balazs don’t own a studio, but they do have a lovely workspace — a store and cafe called The Garden Studio. “It’s a creative hub where talented artists display and sell their work,” says Szecsi, “They also serve nice coffee and new-wave vegetarian dishes,” he adds.
“If you visit Budapest, it’s definitely a must-go-to place to have the best brunch in the city.”
Tell them Tamas sent you!
Shop VYF scarves
all photos provided by @vyf_budapest