Voo Visits: Kasia Kucharska

Isabel Barletta
Saeeda Shabbir
Voo Visits: Kasia Kucharska

Kasia Kucharska kindly opened the doors of her studio in Prenzlauer Berg for us. She shared the journey behind founding her own brand, discussed how latex designs are gaining attention beyond the Berlin club scene, and described how she initially connected with Voo.

Voo Store: How did the brand Kasia Kucharska come to life?

Kasia Kucharska: The positive responses following my graduation show back in 2019 were so encouraging that I decided to give it a try. I teamed up with my friends from school, Wanda and Reiner, and we began refining techniques together. The first year was mainly about finding manufacturers who were willing to experiment with us and find a way to make my vision work. I always wanted to have my own creative space to try things out and work on my own terms.

V: Would you like to tell us how you came to Voo Store?

K: It happened like this: During my master's thesis presentation at UdK, Thibaud was on the jury. I remember it vividly. At that time, I didn't know where my path would lead or if I wanted to continue to work in fashion. But I recall Thibaud giving me a wink. A few months later, we connected on Instagram. He expressed admiration for my work and interest in stocking it at Voo Store. That was the turning point. At that moment, all I had was my Readymade collection, and I realised I needed to figure out how to reproduce it.

V: How would you describe the production process?

K: Initially, we relied on a small industrial oven, which is about 1.20 metres high, and made everything by hand using silicone. It then had to be dried in the oven. At the beginning of 2020, we started looking for manufacturers who were willing to work with us and experiment with our ideas because nothing like this existed yet. There are machines capable of printing various plastics, primarily utilised in industrial design. When the pandemic hit, even Thibaud couldn't fully predict its impact on retail. He waited briefly, but it was clear that the order would come sooner or later. This was to our advantage because we had time to figure out how to make the products reproducible without pressure. By the end of 2020, we had a finished product and we delivered it at the beginning of 2021.

V: Are there specific artists, movements, or cultures that have influenced your work?

K: We’re inspired by old craft, historic garments and high-tech gear. Translating the old into the here and now is what challenges and excites us. Growing up in the south I was surrounded by mountains and lots of different sports. All the sports equipment and clothing renews itself every season and I remember always being fascinated by how the stuff technologically is made. On the other hand it‘s a very traditional region with a long history of traditional costumes which also excites me. I was always fascinated how these contrasts can coexist and I think they absolutely continue to coexist in my work as well.

V: How did you venture into re-working lace, working with latex and plastic? What fascinates you about these materials?

K: We are working with the natural material latex (that’s not plastic! Its natural rubber!) Here again it’s the clash of old techniques and contemporary material which makes the translation so exciting. I just visited different rubber tree plantations in India where I collected the milk myself and could trace the journey the material makes. That was such a satisfying journey to follow.

V: Wearing a latex outfit and breaking into dance all day – that sounds like a unique challenge! How do you tackle the comfort aspect, especially for those who love to move?

K: Well, have you ever tried a latex garment? If you want to feel comfortable you got to wear a tracksuit ☺

The garments are not made to feel comfy in the first place but they give you this feel of extra fierceness. Our garments are eccentric and revealing. They are made for dressing up! I promise you your dance moves will be even better.

V: Is there someone who you would love to dress?

K: There are quite a few. It also varies depending on who I am currently following or what music I am currently listening. Right now, for instance, Róisín Murphy. I've been a fan since I was young. Also, Bianca Censori. She is super hot!

V: ...and what would she wear?

K: Nothing. Just a flower, perhaps nipple patches. Or a full-body suit. We've also discussed dressing Madonna once. A stage outfit would be fantastic.

But in general, we like people with a sense of humour. People who don't take themselves too seriously.

V: Do you aim for your items to be wearable in daily life or are they only for special occasions?

K: We're slowly starting to make things wearable for everyday life, taking latex—mainly known from the fetish context—out of that niche. It should still radiate sexiness. When we put the clothes on, we want to look hot, but not in a 'fetish' way or a full look with a catsuit. For example, the hoodie with an integrated corset can be combined with other items such as a shirt or a jumper, something that everyone would usually have in their

V: ...or even the T-shirt you're wearing...

K: Yes, exactly. It is also interesting to see how our Japanese and Korean customers style our items very differently, often making them very suitable for everyday wear. Seeing these diverse interpretations is always refreshing. We have customers who confidently wear the full look, while others opt for a more playful and subtle approach, perhaps with lace accents, trousers and shirts. Both styles are beautiful. The versatility of our products is quite amazing. I like the fact that there are no rigid rules on how to wear them.

V: Do you have any plans for this year or next year to expand or reach other markets?

K: Our goal is to take time for research and craftsmanship. We aim to work with different materials while still incorporating latex but also venture into craftsmanship. We see ourselves much more as a crafting lab, and that's been somewhat lost in the last two to three years while operating as a brand. Constantly releasing new collections, managing showrooms, handling orders, and production – we've been trapped in this schedule.

V: The trend of avoiding separate gender presentations and adopting season-less designs has gained popularity. What are your thoughts on this, and do you showcase your designs on fashion weeks?

K: We want to revitalise these old techniques and use them innovatively. That's the most exciting challenge for us as designers.

Voo Visits is a series introducing new and old friends of Voo, like-minded creatives and people from Berlin who inspire us.