woman leaning on a grey leather sofa
portrait of a woman with her eyes closed wearing blue eyeshadow
woman wearing a white dress leaning back in a check print sofa

Not too long ago we came across Desert Sun Brand. It struck us with its intensively captivating designs – as if we just had a vivid 70s flash-back. Their use of collaged photographs on their instagram and website made the brand ever more compelling. Yet, it also felt somewhat mysterious. But this seemed as a vital ingredient of a good storytelling and we were prepared to explore it step by step.

Without a doubt the designer Anna Lakatos must be the key. As the front person of the brand with such a strong visual message she must embody everything Desert Sun Brand encompasses (or so we thought). However, in the times when you can find all about a person in the world wide web there was so little about her that it made us even more confused. The most rational step seemed to contact the designer herself.

analogue picture of woman wearing a white dress
hands of a woman holding a branch

Desert Sun Brand has distinct American road-trip vibe, yet, it seemed that Anna has lived all around the world. As she explained over a conversation “I grew up in various cities such as Brussels, Geneva, Budapest and Paris so even when someone asks where I’m from I never really know what to answer first”. She continued by telling that later on she lived in London, Paris and New York and at the moment she is visiting LA to make it a bit more puzzling. Finally, to our clarity we got to know that on the passport it says she is Belgian.

So why America and why 70s, we were contemplating?

As all of us who grew up in pre-social media world we drew our inspirations mostly from music, movies and books and so did Anna who was strongly influenced by American culture. “I believe these images you have of a place that you are not living in makes your vision somewhat idealised and that is definitely the case with my collections.” she explains. Yet, the references she gave us didn’t made much sense at the first glance. Crime movie Badlands from 1973 featuring Sissy Spacek, child horror stories Goosebumps and a cult of Source Family from 70s LA. But then Anna put it all together:

“When people look at the clothes it might be just corn but actually it is inspired by this romantic crime movie on the one side and a horror movie on the other. In my mind I see a corn field and you don’t know what’s in it –  the midwest kind of image.”

Incredible, we thought. How different we are and how different are the associations we make.

woman wearing white dress looking in the camera
woman wearing white dress
woman wearing colourful eyeshadow looking in the camera

As with all of our conversations sooner or later we come to the question of sustainability and what it really means. After some while researching this area we know that there is no black or white in sustainability but it is a term that has a lot of grey area.

And Anna has a point: “I believe that there are no set rules and people tend to have too much of a fixed idea on what is good and bad when it comes to being green. For example if you set your mind on being 100% green and stick to the idea that your clothes can only be produced from dead stock fabric, but that roll travels the entire world because you have it shipped from another country, that may not be more eco-friendly than just buying a roll from your city’s fabric store.”

She knows that sustainability is a process and means making the best possible choices that you can at the stage you are at and with the budget you have. Designer says: “It wouldn’t make sense to make everything 100% sustainable and then close the shop after one collection. In my opinion it is better to be increasingly more sustainable with every collection.” As a small brand based and making their clothes in Europe she sees that slow fashion is a lot about not over-producing but focusing on the whole picture of making well fitted quality clothing that is not designed with a fast changing trends in mind. “That is why we don’t have specific Spring and Fall seasons at Desert Sun, but rather new collections every year that are added to the previous ones. That is also a creative decision, as I believe customers will be able to see a common thread through the different collections and almost ‘discover’ a story through it.” she adds. In our mind, we are thinking ‘The Handmaiden’ meets a westernised scenography of ‘The Dressmaker’. It will be the best thriller you have ever seen.

woman wearing a white dress looking down
woman sitting on grey leather sofa wearing a white dress
woman wearing white dress and blue eyeshadow

Anna has background not only in fashion but as well in music management, no wonder she draws upon a deeply fascinating references. She also has the sweetest voice and such a friendly aura. But there still is just that right dose of mystery surrounding her as we haven’t yet met her face to face. We finished our conversation with a promise to meet when she comes to London or we visit her in Brussels. As they say in movies – to be continued. We leave this book open for the next time when our stories will cross their ways.

DESERT SUN BRAND | womenswear

ETHICS | High quality clothing ethically made in Europe

MODEL: Nadia Khivrych at Novel Models | PHOTOGRAPHY: Madara Freimane | MAKE-UP: Melanie Christou |ARTICLE: What’s Your Legacy

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