April 23 2015
Famous for it's fierce warriors and vast, intimidating landscapes, Mongolia, it's safe to say, doesn't immediately conjure up images of premium cashmere. Nonetheless, this ancient country gave birth to one of the softest and most luxurious textiles the world has ever known. Today, no brand captures the nomadic spirit and exotic origins of cashmere like Oyuna. Led by Mongolian-born creative director Oyuna Tserendorj, this line of understated luxury is both a study in heritage and ultra-chic defense against the cold city streets.
When and why did you decide you wanted to work with cashmere?
I came to London and was wondering what to do here. I grew up wearing cashmere. It looked like there was not much interesting happening with cashmere for home, so we started with the Home collection and then launched WW later.
Talk to us about your Mongolian heritage and the role it plays in your designs.
I guess the ability of Mongolian nomads to strip down everything superfluous and just concentrate on the core meaning of things has carried over into my aesthetic. Also, growing up in socialist Mongolia, you learn to deal with all kinds of situations, e.g. turning disadvantage into advantage or making do with what’s available. That mentality is inherent in my designs.
With cashmere pieces becoming increasingly accessible due to mass production (think Uniqlo etc.), how do you envisage the material retaining its luxurious, premium image in the public eye?
Cashmere is like any other material or object. Take a simple loaf of bread or a glass of wine: One can find really bad bread or one that tastes just like life, with so much love put into it.
List three adjectives that best describe the Oyuna brand:
Simplicity. Comfort. (Personal) Luxury.
Which of your pieces found in Roztayger's selection do you love the most and why?
The Daya Travel Blanket in soft grey is a great, versatile piece—lightweight and luxuriously warm at the same time.
Are there certain pieces in your collection that you wear daily? If so, what are they?
I wear a cashmere black coat from our AW13 collection all the time. Outdoors and indoors. It is knitted, but it does not look knitted. It’s constructed as a woven tailored garment, but offers the amazing comfort and lightness of knitwear. It travels so well and transforms into a small, light bundle. Anyone who starts wearing our cashmere knitted coats will get so used to the comfort that I think it will be difficult for them to go back to rigid and heavy woven coats.
Name three things you cannot live without.
Nature. Wine. Cashmere.
If you could pick anyone in the world to wear your work, who would it be?
The girl next door.
Cashmere is a fall and winter classic. How do you interpret this material for spring?
We interpret the lightness and softness of cashmere into featherweight cashmere-silk mixes, cottons or linens for summer.
If you weren't a clothing and accessory designer, what would you be?
An industrial designer or architect.
Shop the Oyuna collection at Roztayger HERE.