The wish of many fashion-inspired women: to become a designer themselves, planning clothes and presenting them on the international catwalk. However,
only very few people succeed in making such dreams come true. One who did convert her fantasy into reality is Veronika Hegedűs. She proves with her new label Veronique Amati that you don’t always need a fashion school diploma to succeed: sometimes it’s enough to have a big portion of dedication and a sense for the right trends.
I was already fashion conscious as a child,” the 34-year-old Hegedűs exclaims enthusiastically. “I planned my first dress when I was six – at least on paper.” The lady, whose outfit today is leather pants with a furry waist and a designer bag dangling on her wrist, has kept all the sketches and plans from her childhood and safeguards them still. “Sometimes I go back and gather some inspiration from my old drawings,” she smiles, “I used to have really excellent ideas back then.”
Hegedűs, who is actually a lawyer and member of a successful legal office, founded her own fashion label. It’s called Veronique Amati, and although it’s relatively new and unknown on the scene, the label has already booked some important successes.
Hegedűs presented her first own collection under the name “Wearable Dreams” at the Budapest Fashion Week in November. These outfits are true to their name: materials with metallic shine, ruffled skirts, frills and loops are combined with classical cuts. Elegant evening wear is also offered, as are the suits and costumes with decently long skirts meant for everyday business life.
The idea behind the brand, Hegedűs explains, is to create unusual clothing pieces that can keep up with the quality and looks of large couture houses and are still affordable.
“There is a market niche in Hungary,” she explains. The established and renowned Hungarian designers are very expensive, and young people can’t afford them. She wants to return to the tradition where average people are still able to afford fashion that is tailored and tuned to the actual client.
Although the major strength of the brand Veronique Amati is the design of dresses for special occasions, Hegedűs also thinks that it’s important to design pieces suitable for everyday wear or the office.
However, even then she is striving for a certain extra: “It’s mainly materials such as artificial leather, fur but also silk and lace that inspire me. The first dress that I tailored in 2015 was made of snakeskin,” Hegedűs remembers. “But of course not a real one,” she adds quickly.
However, this first dress has not been presented to the public yet. Hegedűs got her first assignment from a jeweller before founding her own label. “They saw my sketches and they asked me to design four dresses for the opening show of their new shop.”
This show was a success and she is still working together with this jeweller. “When they sell a wedding ring, they send the bride to me to get her dress designed in a way that it perfectly matches her jewel.”
Hegedűs never went to a fashion school. “When I was thinking about my career after the final exam in high school, law seemed to be the better alternative. I have three academic degrees in this field and it really interests me. So I think my decision was not wrong.”
She does not want to give up her legal career for fashion. “I am glad that I do not have to earn my living with fashion design. I am not in the need of making profit. I am doing it because it’s my passion.”
While the lawyer mainly concentrates on planning the clothing pieces of her label and takes care marketing them, she takes advantage of the help of professional tailors for the handcrafting aspects such as preparing the cut patterns and the appropriate sewing. With this, Veronique Amati guarantees the highest quality in comparison with other small designer labels in the field of manufacturing too.
The lawyer in the fashion designer often steps forward
Why did she decide to call her brand Veronique Amati? For one, it has to do with her own name. Veronique is the French form of Veronika and Amati is the name of a famous Italian violin maker, which refers to the origin of her surname, “Hegedűs”, which means violin maker in English.
Another reason for using a brand pseudonym is that Hegedűs would not like to market her design under her own name. “If I decide to sell the brand later on, this could lead to confusion or legal problems,” she explains, and this is where the pragmatic, foresighted lawyer steps forward from the young Hungarian fashion
This happens often, since as opposed to many other Hungarian designer labels, the lawyer who specialised in commercial law and intellectual property rights and copyrights dedicates a lot of attention to the legal aspects of her design work too. Every now and then she gives pro bono advice to other designers concerning industry-specific legal questions.
However, Hungarians do not seem to be very engaged in this topic: “Hungarian designers are often reluctant to spend the amount it takes to get professional legal advice for their brand, and they are trying to avoid every aspect in connection with this.
“Due to this they miss to protect their brand in a legal sense and they have to rely on verbal agreements in many cases. In this aspect Hungary is far behind other countries, such as Italy, France or the USA.”
For business women who dare to be noticed
The audience of Veronique Amati consists of primarily self-assured business women or wives who are accompanying their husbands to special occasions. “If you are looking for unusual pieces, you are hardly able to find any good business wear for women in Budapest, and if you manage to find any, they are hopelessly overpriced. This is the gap I am trying to cover,” Hegedűs says.
A tailored evening dress with an individual design by Veronique Amati begins at HUF 80,000, depending on the material and the time needed for manufacturing. This is a real bargain compared to the competitors.
Her clients, however, need a dramatic touch and the attention of their environment, and this is guaranteed to them by the extravagant individual pieces of the brand. “There are women who don’t like to stand out,” the creator says with a shrug. However, for her the outfits are always a way to stand out from the crowd and express her personality – which is just as unique as her designs.
Her website is www.veroniqueamati.com and her store is “nr. 3 store” at Szervita tér in District V.
Personal style consulting by Veronika Hegedűs
She is a real multi-talented person who, besides the work in the attorney’s office, the fashion shows and the hours spent with building her brand and designing her collection, is still able to offer style consulting sessions on the weekends. The 34-year-old designer, who has a degree both in law and as a stylist, also gives shopping advice to both women and men. Thanks to her language skills, Hegedűs is able to serve international clients without any problem. You can find open slots and more information about these offers on both the Veronique Amati website and on Facebook under @veroniqueamati.ue