EMYUN, Swiss made running Couture active wear brand, was just launched in Zurich with Co-Founders Salvatore Mandrà and Rodolphe Huynh. The event was held at the Widder Hotel with food curated by the Widder Chef and Blogger/ Model Sylwina. The sunny weather, beautiful guests, delicious snacks and of course the location, all contributed to the event’s success.
Salvatore Mandrà and I got to chat a little while waiting for the guests. Salvatore is a busy gent! Just six months ago he launched his new brand with designer Mélisande. Immediately got into Bongénie Grieder in Lausanne and Geneva and is now launching in Zurich. Not to mention his side passions which involve food and watches!
What does EMYUN stand for?
EMYUN was inspired by the word “Immunity”. Immunity is about giving more power to the body. But having said that we didn’t want to use the word in its normal context. Immunity to us is about being immunised against boredom. That was our very first step, then we started playing with the letters which happen to be our initials. It was the perfect synergy between our initials and what our brand stands for. We want to be something that cannot be found on the market for active wear. Our designs can be worn not only to workout but also to go out.
Are you also a designer?
No I’m not a designer.
Did you have a brand before?
Never? So how did it all come about?
It all came about in an elevator! You know a lot of things happen in elevators! The idea of EMYUN was literally born there! I always wanted to create something since very young. My father was in the sports industry but I never wanted to follow his footsteps and instead wanted do something by myself.
Three years ago while in Los Angeles I took the elevator in my hotel. At first I was alone then on the 3rd floor came in five guys who were extremely well-dressed. I felt awful because I was wearing super casual clothes. At that moment I wondered why I was feeling so bad. I analysed the feeling and quickly realised why I was feeling that way. Sportswear shouldn’t have to be frumpy but could be elegant and stylish. For the first time I realised that there was nothing on the market for that segment. Why could Active Wear not be in the same category as Prêt-à-Porter? That moment ignited everything.
The week after, we met our first Designer from Active Wear in Hong Kong. They had designed for Nike women. And today our designer is Melisande and it’s a match made in heaven!
How old is the company?
We have been on the market for 6 months. We sell at Bongénie in Geneva, Lausanne and now Zurich.
Now I will start a sentence and you finish it.
Luxury is … about me having quality time with people or when visiting special places.
Being Glamorous is … something you cannot attain but can only dream about.
To me comfort is … being in my living room, having a nice dinner with my family and close friends.
Can comfortable be glamorous? If I can think of Glamour as something to dream about then I dream about this kind of Comfort every day which is a Luxury!
The biggest challenge in getting the brand off the ground was…to work with the right people.
It’s very difficult to find the right people especially because in the beginning there is not a lot of budget. You must find the best talent but you cannot pay them a lot so in exchange you have to offer something more than money. Something that would keep them excited. You can offer the hope of success, a positive and creative atmosphere and great projects.
You also need to have the right connections around the world. To sell, to market and to manufacture you need the best network possible.
Where is the brand made? How many pieces do you have?
Made in Italy. Created in Switzerland, and the sheep comes from New Zealand!
We have twelve models in five different colors, mainly designed for men but our small sizes are gender neutral. All of our garments are made out of Merino wool, a thermo regulator.
My favourite Designer is … Dries Van Noten.
My style Icons are .. anyone who inspires me. I love the work of Yves Béhar but I also love the mind of Steve Jobs. I am also very impressed by Jean Claude Biver, President of Watch Division at LVMH. It’s such an honour to be part of his team.
My favourite city is .. Napoli.
My greatest fashion moment is … when I can mix my own label with other designers that I love.
Every man should own … time! I always try to be disconnected from material property. I prefer to share than to own.
To be a good designer it is important to … understand people, their culture and their needs as your customer. But it’s also crucial to be present and pay attention to what happens in the world and to be connected with your time. Most people think that functionality and beauty are key to design but in my opinion the key is to understand the needs of people and create an emotion.
Right now I’m obsessed with … A lot!! These days I’m obsessed with food! I love to understand the properties of food. I’m obsessed with fasting which I do once a month but I’m also obsessed with good food. Every Sunday my partner and I invite ten of our friends over and create new recipes. Food is a connector and seeing the light in my guests eyes right after they tried our creations brings me the biggest joy.
Anything you’d like to add?
We use a material that everyone wonders about. Is wool adapted for Active Wear? We only use what is produced in high mountains. Merino Wool not only regulates temperature but also does not smell. It’s truly a revolution for washing sports clothes. All you need is to put the garment in water then hang it. Detergent only needed once every five to six washes. The water removes all the minerals and bacteria cannot enter the fabric because it’s resistant to bacteria.
Photography, courtesy of PR/Ticular!
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