The Bionic collection with Reka Lukoviczki
Tell us a bit about yourself! Who is Dora Domokos?
I graduated as a fashion designer in 2013 at the Mod'Art International Institute of Fashion Design and Management in Hungary. While I was designing my diploma collection, I realized that I would love to work with steel in the future. This material was already familiar to me as our family business has been processing and working with steel for over 20 years. I remember when I was child, I spent long hours in the workshop playing with scrap. These childhood memories played a big part in the creation of the brand, because metalwork is in my blood.
How did you get into accessory design?
Well, it was a godsend. In my diploma collection, I experimented with the fusion of classic ladies wear and functional accessories. Then I discovered that I could use a unique string art technique on the surface of the metal which was sewn into the clothes. After I finished school, I decided to preserve this method but in a brand-new way, so I started to design stainless steel jewelry, which is covered with string art patterns. This was the moment when my own brand, DELACIER was born.
Talk to us about your new collection! What was the inspiration?
The inspiration of DELACIER’s newest collection is much more different from the inspirations for my previous collections, although it still represents a special female character. I was inspired by the story of a young girl, who is actually a role model. Her story and mentality can be a huge motivation boost for all of us. A year ago I read about Reka Lukoviczki’s story in an interview, where she talked about her car accident and leg amputation. After this harrowing experience she focused all her forces on rehabilitation and with hard work she got back on her feet in a short time. Despite walking with a prosthesis now, she does sports and lives an active life. She turned the desperation and sadness into positive energy and she prompts others to do so through her blog and courses. Her way of thinking was so motivating for me, that I immediately knew, my new collection will be based on her personality.
What do you aim to achieve with this collection?
As a designer, my priority is to value creation. This is the purpose of the brand as well. For me it is also important to work together with people who have similar passions. Cooperating with Reka is the perfect example for this. In the BIONIC collection the powder painted steel and metal coloured leather became the synonym of the prosthesis and the human body. Thanks to the matte tones and the unique leather straps, every single piece of jewellery has a dynamic contrast on its surface just as on Reka’s artificial limbs, which she wears as average accessories.
What message do you want to tell/communicate with your work?
The DELACIER brand is inspired by the modern woman, who combines strength with tenderness. She has got a strong character, individual taste, while she is self-confident and single-minded. This complexity is embodied on the surface of the jewelries and showpieces, where the string art technique and the raw steel make a unique fusion.
What are some of the issues/problems you have faced since starting your accessory brand?
The biggest challenge is to find and reach future buyers and some of the important questions I have to ask myself include how can I address these buyers? How can I tell them the story behind the brand? Why will they love my brand? Here, in Hungary, people associate jewelry with small and shiny pieces made from precious metals. I create big and spectacular cuffs and chokers which require a certain personality type to wear. If someone chooses designer jewelry, she does it to express her style and confidence. I think, Hungarian people are less brave than, for example, Austrians, and they hardly see the creative process behind jewelry. Fortunately there are quite a few counterexamples. I’ve never thought that I would have so many regular customers, who have reached the age of 60. But yes one of the biggest issues I face is trying to communicate the ethos of the brand and also marketing it to a wider demographic of buyers.
How have you overcome these challenges?
I’m my own biggest critic. I don’t release anything from my hands, until I’m 100% satisfied. If I want to achieve success, I have to do my best. But if the product will be good at the end of the day, that is worth all the effort. And as long as I’m true to myself, I can say, that all of my jewelry is about self-expression. On the other hand I’m very lucky, because I can see the jewelry making as an outsider. I came from the side of fashion design, so I learnt how to think conceptually, how to launch entire collections and how to add additional meanings to my work. This helps me to focus on creating and not just producing something new.
What would you say is wrong with the industry today?
I think, the consumer society is the biggest problem. It is encoded, that we have the buy one object after another and we forget about the value that we have with a product, which is the result of mass production. I think fashion should slow down as well, because if you are forced to create 2-4 collections per year, you don’t have time to immerse in the creative process. That’s why I create only one collection a year. We all know that inspiration doesn’t knock on the door that often. I have to experiment and find people I want to work with, because my collection is for long term. Unfortunately, big brands only focus on the profit, which causes pollution and exploitation. And this has also a negative side effect to our thinking: we just want to acquire things and not understand them.
What positive changes would you like to see take shape within the industry?
It would be great if people could be educated on how to appreciate art. Not just fashion. Any kind of art. I don’t know much about how customers think in Western-Europe, but here in Hungary we miss this way of thinking. At least, this taught us, that we need to fight harder. For me, the next big step will be to go global with the brand, because I’d really like to see how Western-Europeans relate to my jewelry and what they think about the stories behind them.
What advice would you give anyone interested in the field of accessory design?
Being an artist is only recommended for masochists. You have to make lot of effort for just a tiny outcome. Sometimes you feel that you have to solve everything on your own, and you rarely find anyone who has already gone through this process. But after this you realize, your family and your friends will always support you and success is sweeter if you fight for it so do not give up when you start out and you feel that you are not achieving anything. Anything worth having does not come easy. My advice is keep at it and believe in your product and never give up.
What makes you Fearless? What does fearless mean to you?
As Andrew Feldmar, the Hungarian-born Canadian psychotherapist says: “If we try to define the word courage, we define it as vitality, which is absolutely necessary to reach our goals and overcome obstacles. This needs endurance and honesty as well regarding ourselves and our purposes. Because we face dangers and try to beat them.” I think, this is the perfect definition of what fearless means to me.
Interview by Thomasina R. Legend
Photography: Oláh Attila
Model: Lukoviczki Réka
Styling: Kiss Márk
Hair Stylist: Hevesi Krisztián
MUA: Tóth Rozita
Published in VMM Volume 3, Fearless