“While I am a tongue-flame,
A fire that has begun to burn
And will not cease to blaze
And scorch.”
(Edvard Kocbek, Microphone in the Wall)



We were reading the controversial Slovenian poet’s lines the first night in Ljubljana. Strong, suffered, passionate words: words of warning and hope together. Words that embody the spirit of a population that, like it or not, tells the old, never nostalgic history of Mitteleuropa.

In its cultural meaning, the concept of Mitteleuropa recalls the specific civilization experienced by the multinational Hapsburg world just before and after its dissolution. It’s possible to identify it with the constraint that, behind the individual nationalities, joins all populations and creates a production that, in every field of thinking and art, reaches apexes.

We had the pleasure to appreciate the aforementioned talent during the three days of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. In a country where the art of fashion still has a marginal role, we stayed enchanted in front of the efforts made by those who believed in the event. The showed collections were coherent, sometimes with new sprints, related – and we are happy about that – to the idea of handmade tailored, custom-made fashion. It is a traditional but still young fashion: it’s an EMERGING fashion.

We had the pleasure to speak with Sašo Radovic, program and artistic director for MBFWLJ, Nataša Peršuh, founder of SQUAT (a group of young designers, where Nataša provides professional guidance and opportunity to showcase the collections at selected fashion events) and Sofia Nogard, brand. Theirs are three different views, three different lives… Enjoy!

Sašo Radovič, Program and Artistic Director of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Ljubljana


FUCKING YOUNG! – Hello Sašo! How and when born the idea of a fashion week in Ljubljana? And the partnership with Mercedes-Benz?

Sašo Radovič – After two decades of creative work on Slovenian fashion scene, I had a distinct privilege to produce a wonderful fashion, design and beauty experience in the form of international premium fashion week Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Ljubljana. Since its first inception, the creative team has been producing high quality events, which feature catwalks, fashion performances, video projections, photo exhibitions, discussion panels and a great platform for industry professionals and guests to advance their ideas. MBFWLJ is always about setting new standards in Slovenia and the region. We strive to find excellence in everything we do and to integrate multiple forms of art and expressions in these events. I think this was one of the key elements that intrigues Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week platform to support us in our creative endeavours.


F.Y! – How do you choose the designers who will take part the three-day event? What are the characteristics they must have?

SR – First and foremost Originality. From avant-garde to classic tailoring, impressive and powerfull storytelling, and sophisticated professional insights. The latest novelty is that the designers are able to choose the collections’ season they would like to present. This is in the trend with other big fashion shows where they also chose the See now // Buy now option.


F.Y! – What can MBFWLJ offer more than others an “emerging” platform as Ljubljana?

SR – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Ljubljana is an international premium fashion week and is the clear trend-setter in the country. It takes pride in being original, progressive and the most visited fashion, design and beauty event in Slovenia. Its defining characteristics are creativity and desire to flirts with the future, new technologies and putting on great performances.


F.Y! – According to you, today what is really FUCKING YOUNG!?

SR – To Dare. To Have your say. To go Beyond the known.


Nataša Peršuh, fashion designer, professor at Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, founder of Squat


FUCKING YOUNG! – Hello Nataša! Tell us about SQUAT.

Nataša Peršuh – SQUAT is association of independent authors, a cutting edge highly creative lab that pushes the limits of contemporary fashion design in Slovenia. Trough group dynamics it produces creative solutions supported by strong concepts, radical aesthetics and interdisciplinary approaches.

Squat is running the initiative YOUNG@SQUAT, which is a platform for discovering and supporting young fashion designers recognized by Squat as high potentials. Squat provides mentorship and resources. Designers are “trained for the real world” within the various artistic and client related projects. They design also the common collection under the name YOUNG@SQUAT twice a year.


F.Y! – What is the link with MBFWLJ?

NP – We consider Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Ljubljana as a super relevant platform for presenting our work to national and international public. MBFAward winners and finalists are also some of Squat designers (Sari Valenci, Maja Leskovšek, Timi Bistan, Barbara Vrbančič).

SQUAT Spring/Summer 2017

F.Y! – Today, is there talent among young designers?

NP – Squat is constantly in search for the rough talent which we believe still exists, especially among the young designers from “non – fashion – metropola” schools and regions. We believe in talent but even more in developing, growing and polishing the talent.


F.Y! – According to you, today what is really FUCKING YOUNG!?

NP – Individuality, personal specifics and bold creative approaches considering own tradition and local knowledge within concept, realization and presentation. YOUNG@SQUAT!


Mija Curk and Bostjan Mljac


FUCKING YOUNG! – Who or what is Sofia Nogard?

Sofia Nogard – Behind the brand we are two fashion designers, MIJA CURK and BOSTJAN MLJAC, both from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Design of Textiles and Clothing at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and both with master fashion design degree – Mija at UIAH/Helsinki, Finland and Bostjan at Istituto Marangoni (now Marangoni school), Milano, Italy.

In 2006, we joined forces and begun the Sofia Niggard story – women’s collections (clothes and leather accessories) for a virtual, imaginary woman, who lived in our thoughts but was made of our reality and everyday life. She was a multi-faceted personality, which was (and still is) to herself the best friend and enemy at the same time, mother and daughter, role model and rebel, yet unique in her complexity.

Today the brand expanded also in menswear, and at the MBFWLJ we showcased a mostly unisex collection.

Sofia Nogard Spring/Summer 2017

F.Y! – Why to participate at MBFWLJ?

SN – MBFWLJ is a great opportunity to showcase collections with an absolute “freedom of speech” with the help of the most valuable team of professions who can portray our vision at its best.

In just three editions Mbfwlj has become the most important fashion event in the country and has brought international guests (designers, buyers, bloggers, journalists…) that can spread the word worldwide…


F.Y! – With the SS2016 you have diverted the direction compared to the past triggering a sort of new revolution. Tell us about the Collection and the reasons for this change.

SN – Compared to the previous collections, this collection is more “free”, the strict line between feminine and masculine has been (almost) erased, she can wear his clothes and he can wear her clothes, there is no daywear and eveningwear, no casual/formal or informal, no definitions that defines…

IT’s just a collection for people who dare and want to have/wear something nice.


F.Y! – According to you, today what is really FUCKING YOUNG!?

Bostjan – For me fucking young is to be free. Free from prejudice, free from stereotypes, free from influences. Fucking young is someone who has its own opinion, doesn’t follow the masses, stands out in the crowd and just wants to be- free.

Mija – It’s a kind of a new wave of rock ‘n roll. Free from prejudice, with his own mind and word always in search for a new wave to come.