dudo studio

  Less is more

The Dudo studio is a family project from scratch. Dorota and Monika - mother and daughter - created a clothing brand guided by their love of simplicity and minimalism. For their love of linen, as well as inspiration drawn from the cultural, noble Japanese fashion, they managed to create not only a popular, original clothing line. Women surrounded the brand with sensuality, harmony and delicacy, making the clothes not only an outer garment - they are a contemplation of female beauty, meditation on everyday rush and a qualitative complement to the style of recipients aware of their choices.

Dorota Durmała, CEO of studio dudo, on the rational creation of a contemporary eco-brand, femininity and more, in an exclusive interview for Fourth Son Project.

FS: I'd like to ask about you, Dorota. Who is the woman behind the dudo brand?

DD: Marysia, this is probably the most difficult question you could ask me at the beginning :)
I am a woman, very adult, with many life experiences.
A dreamer, initiator, pragmatist with her feet firmly on the ground.

I smile at strangers, wink at the driver waiting on the red light, I like watching people.

I am enchanted by the simplicity that is visible in the quality - I mean the things that surround me. Small everyday items, clothes, tasty food and of course the espresso with which I start my day.

I dose myself items with which I surround myself, this is a form of luxury for me, I do not like excess or glitz.

For me, simplicity is a kind of everyday culture.

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FS: I hope the following questions will satisfy the curiosity of those who dream of developing their own clothing brand but do not know which strings to grab and where to get inspiration. Tell us, where did you come up with the idea of establishing a family company focused on clothing production? What have you gained and what have you lost in the initial branding process?

DD:  The idea for the studio is the result of my search for an idea for myself.  I think a lot of people do, and there is nothing innovative or super special about it.

I thought for a long time about what I could, what I would like to do in my life. The decision was neither easy nor quick. When you have almost a quarter of a century of working in a corporation and 50 years on your neck, you wonder if you really want to turn your life upside down :)

The mind wants to calculate everything, analyze everything, I would say that it stops us a bit, protects us from madness in life, and the heart tells us to go and do.

I was watching what people were doing, I was asking myself what I was after  what`s on my way and what I like every day.

The idea for a clothing-oriented brand came from the need and our love of simplicity.

Both Monika and I love classic, simple cuts and good quality fabrics. We have always thought that having a few nice clothes in the wardrobe, we are able to build the right base, which can be enriched with good accessories, that there is no need to have countless clothes.

Contrary to appearances, simplicity is extremely difficult, but it gives us great opportunities to build an everyday image.

The world is flooded with clothes, yet it is not so easy to find clothes on the market that will have certain components, such as: classic cut, good tannin, careful workmanship and a fair price.

I don't know if we lost anything by setting up the studio. I do not think so.

We've definitely learned a lot. Running even an intimate studio like ours requires a huge amount of work and commitment every day. It is by no means a piece of cake and cannot be compared to a full-time job.

This work is a continuous, incessant creative process, accompanied by emotions, excitement, joy and tears of emotion when we read letters from our clients. But also anger, frustration and sometimes even helplessness.

And we also got to know each other from a different side.

Until now, we were in a typical family relationship - mother and daughter - and now we are partners, we co-create our studio and we had the opportunity to get to know each other from a different perspective. We give advice, support each other, motivate each other or put ourselves in a vertical position, complement each other, each of us has separate areas of activity.

 

 

FS: Linen world is the basis of your philosophy, according to which you create comfortable and aesthetic urban slow fashion. In a world flooded with cheap Made in China products, a strong focus on quality is almost a rebellion in opposition to the modern, fast consumption economy, devoid of deeper aspects of processing! Is according to There is such a thing as Clothing Ethics for you? Does the market painlessly accept small entrepreneurs from your industry? And - finally - whether the modern "fast" consumer is according to Prepared for slow fashion and higher prices for your rating?

DD:  I would not say that slow fashion in our edition is a form of rebellion, but each of us decides what one wears and where one leaves its money, we have the right to do so.

Rather, it is an attempt on our part to show ourselves and our clients that you can look at your wardrobe or shopping in general, in a slightly different, gentler way.

I think that looking at how we live our daily lives, what we buy and what we wear, is a form of taking care of ourselves.

 

As for the ethics of clothing, I will answer a little teasingly.

If you go to the most popular chain store - choose for yourself what it will be - if you see a dress discounted by, for example, seventy percent and you buy it for a few zlotys, ask yourself a question,  how much is it really worth? What is the quality of this material, what are the sewing costs and how much money did the women who sew it get? Think about the margins imposed by the producers, since they are able to give such large discounts and finally, how long will you be able to wear it, because it may turn out that after a few washes the dress will not be good for anything.

I am afraid that the average client rarely thinks about it.

But, lest it be so scary, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Otherwise, companies like ours would not be possible to exist.

We are more and more aware of the society, we read labels and check the stocks. We are looking for niche products that, in addition to good design and fantastic quality, also carry a human factor, which - it turns out - is extremely important.

We are not able to compete with large clothing chains, if only because we buy linen at much higher prices than they do.

I think to myself that we don't even want to compete with them. We offer quality and contact with our clients, we can advise and personalize the dress, if necessary. These are the things our client is looking for. This is a client who is aware that sewing a dress takes several hours, that each of them has to be cut by hand and is able to wait for it. After all, it will be a dress made especially for her. We stay in touch, we talk, we send e-mails - this is an added value that large producers do not offer.

You know, it's an analogous situation when you go to a carpenter and ask to make a table.

You are aware that you will not be ready for tomorrow and you are waiting patiently because  you know that this will be the best table and you will enjoy touching it every day.

It is exactly the same with a linen dress, you put it on and every time you stroke your belly with pleasure and feel its structure.

There will always be customers who want the product they order within forty-eight hours, but our best customer is the man who doesn't buy on impulse. He does shopping consciously. And these are the people, in my opinion, that the number is increasing.

FS: Linen is the material used to create clothing lines in the dudo. I know that Japanese culture influenced the final shape and appearance of your products. Tell me why Japan and why linen instead of silk or cotton?

DD: Linen returned to favor and for us it was an obvious choice for many reasons.

Did you know that flax is one of the most ecological plants that man grows?

Imagine this plant is so strong and weather-resistant that it doesn't need any extra irrigation or pesticides to grow tall and bloom like crazy :)

Not only that, a man can use it to the last stalk. Fantastic grains - our Polish super food, linen cloth, animal food and much, much more.

Linen as a fabric does not irritate the skin and is recommended for people, both children and adults, for example with atopic dermatitis.

I believe that nowadays we have such great opportunities that each of us has a responsibility to take care of ourselves and the planet we live on. Hence the linen.

In my opinion, linen is a fabric that improves our quality of life and raises our standards.

We had some kind of dilemma. Both Monika and I like living in the city. We like to take advantage of the opportunities it offers. And the linen tends to be a bit rustic and perhaps not quite suitable for it. We often came across such opinions. We wanted to show it from a slightly different side.

Hence the idea for an urban style. Hence the inspiration of contemporary Japan.

The Japanese seem to be very conscious, caring women.

They wear simple-cut, great-quality clothes, and in their characteristic restraint, they are confident and elegant, without the need to excessively expose their body. I think this is where the power of femininity lies.

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FS: There is undoubtedly a lot of positive energy around the brand's products! This energy, of course, comes from you - statements, photos, elegance, timelessness and pro-naturalness in every centimeter. The dudo studio is not only linen and thread, it is a unique atmosphere. When setting up the dudo, did you consciously set up the branding concept or was it rather a process during which the brand also dressed itself in a kind of philosophy?

DD: It's difficult for me to answer this question because our only assumption from the very beginning was that we only sew what we want to wear. We are models ourselves and we simply show what we are. There is nothing fake created here. If we evoke positive emotions in you and our clients, we are very happy. It is an additional incentive for us to continue working. We assumed that these would be urban style clothes for women of all ages. Let's say for a mother and an adult daughter :)

Our whole philosophy is to be ourselves. I know, not very fancy, but still :)

Of course, we are constantly developing as a brand. We, as women, are changing and perhaps this change is also visible to our audience.

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FS: Observing your actions, it is impossible not to notice how much work you put into building your image on the Internet. Is dudo studio a so-called full-time job? Are the time and work that you put into the brand measurable to the results obtained?

DD: Our studio consists of a two-person staff plus help in the person of a seamstress.

So yes, this is a two-time job and a lot of work that you can't see with the naked eye. Do I have to add that we have irregular working hours? Probably not, which means that we work constantly, even if it seems to us that we are not at work, the head is revolving around it.

If you would like to treat running such a business with the zero-one method, the amount of work involved in relation to the results is absolutely immeasurable.

We learn all the time, and we see more and more different dependencies. We like what we do and we know that the market is changing. As a result, we have more and more wonderful customers who know very well what they need and what dresses they want to wear for at least the next few seasons.

FS: How would you close the idea of the project, message, aspirations and goals in a few sentences?

DD:  Literally speaking: less is more. Simplicity is beautiful, but it is very difficult, demanding, it needs concentration and attention.

A woman who looks good, also feels good, emanates a certain energy from her, and this energy is shared by others.

Making women happy with our dresses, that's it! It is a fantastic feeling.

This is what we strive for.

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FS: What must a person who wants to start a project with a similar profile have to prepare for and are there any tips or advice that you could share?

DD: Let me just say this: systematic work and persistence, because there are moments of doubt along the way. Everyone goes through this.

Work.

There is no golden rule or golden mean, each of us is different and will face different adversities.

Financial outlays are always greater than initially assumed, this must be taken into account especially when using your own resources.

The reality shows that getting external funding is not that easy. At least we did not succeed.

FS: Can you share with us your private recipe for a perfect slow day?

DD: I don't have such a recipe, I think the most important thing is to try to find a balance between work and private life.

Some time for yourself, good coffee, simple food and some exercise.

I would say these are slow moments. No rush and peace is something that is inside you. It can be learned.

Silence is a luxury for me and mindfulness is something I learn all the time.

 

Zimorodek

"Good morning, Mrs. Dorothy (I allow myself to take this form because I treat you like a friend. I hope I am not exaggerating). The parcel arrived at the eleventh hour. I picked it up, threw it in the car and only opened it today. And ... I was speechless.

Huge congratulations - what you are doing is really top class quality. I felt like a little girl taking treasures out of a box. And these really are treasures. Once again, CONGRATULATIONS and don't change. "

Source: customer's opinion, web

dudo studio

 

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