DeWAR's first boutique, owned by Vanina de WAR, opened its doors in Paris in 1938. During the Second World War the brand fled Europe and moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maison deWar enjoyed great success but, unfortunately, once Vanina de War passed away, so did her brand.
Sayana Gonzalez - Vanina’s granddaughter - showed great interest for fashion at an early age. For the last 10 years she has had one goal in mind: to reopen deWAR, and with it, those fantasy childhood years spent between fabric roles and needles. After pursuing her studies in Paris and working both in Europe and Asia, Sayana Gonzalez reopened Maison deWar in 2017.
"In the past, deciding what theme to pick at the start of every collection was always a bit nerve-racking! I had too many different ideas, paths I wanted to explore, and I would put a lot of pressure on myself not to go off topic."
We love the story of this family business with the first boutique opened in 1938 in Paris. Tell us about your passion for fashion, how and when it started? It was my greatgrand-mother, Lyska de War who first started deWAR. I can’t really remember the exact time I fell in love with fashion. When I was a little girld my grand-mother used to take me to her atelier and it quickly became my absolute favorite place. It seemed to me, like it was a separate world, full of joy and beautiful things. There was no place I would rather be. I think I understood early on fashion s ability to create a fantasy world and that’s what really drew me in.
What are the inspirations for your creations? In the past, deciding what theme to pick at the start of every collection was always a bit nerve-racking! I had too many different ideas, paths I wanted to explore, and I would put a lot of pressure on myself not to go off topic.
Now, my process has become much more organic I ll draw inspiration from my daily life, what I am watching, what I am reading, what I am eating, and I focus more on how I tell my story, on the progression and on the different chapters of the collection. It's not so much about what it is about, it's more about how its s told.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is that along with the collection I always create a little imaginary world, and rules to go along with it. I am fairly methodical in everything I do, for example this current collection’s measurements are all pair numbers.
What are the stories you would like to share with your customers behind each creation? It’s not a story but I do want my customer’s to known the obsession that goes into creating every piece. What is your favorite time of the day? The very early morning. Black or white? Black, no doubt. What is the best compliment you have ever received? Tanja Beljanski, in an article she wrote about deWAR in L’officiel Arabia said: “ I will never forget the day I met a beautiful young girl at her home back in Brussels. She was smiling, talking friendly, and bringing joy in each and every moment of our first conversation. But there was something much more to this, someone could say, simple afternoon meeting. Some time later I have realized it - this girl has the world in her eyes!”
I will be forever grateful for these words.