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Vejas Dazed 100
All clothes and accessories by VejasPhotography Rachel Chandler, fashion Tom Guinness

One of the most exciting designers to come out of New York’s new underground fashion scene within the last year is Canadian designer Vejas Kruszewski. The Toronto-based maverick’s eponymous label made its debut for AW15, when Kruszewski partnered with stylist Marcus Cuffie to showcase a tough-yet-tender take on futuristic, genderless dressing at New York Fashion Week. A battalion of bare-breasted, post-apocalyptic survivors (including one Hari Nef) walked the runway with oil-streaked faces, a look inspired by the horror-movie concept of the ‘final girl’. It was clear this newcomer had the fierce ambition, unique vision and assiduous dedication required to herald a brand-new take on luxury, and even make a legitimate business of it.

Kruszewski keeps his approach to the brand practical and logical. “My designs have to be recognisable and distinctive in every sort of way with a quality to match,” he says. “Everything has to be wearable, too. It’s not just about making things because they’re great to look at, but also because they actually work in real life.” Balancing seasonal pilgrimages between Toronto and New York, 12-hour work days and painstakingly demanding budgets, Kruszewski is proving to be a powerhouse. Hours upon hours of solitary drafting, cutting, sewing and fitting are dedicated to handcrafting something perfect enough to put his name on – what Kruszewski describes as “a perfect top-stitch, the finished product... The object, tangible but still fantastical.”

Where the poetry truly lies, however, is in the creation of clothing that is able to provoke and inform the evolution of oneself. “Isn’t the idea of being, in body and mind, in constant transformation so appealing?” he asks. “That we are never fully formed entities? How far can we will our bodies and lives to take on the ideal forms we imagine for ourselves?”

Text Veronica So