Q+A Sködia: Why Rihanna & Cara Delevingne Are Smitten With New ‘Softwear’ Brand

Founders of Sködia, Jessica McKie and Fernando Martinez find beauty and inspiration in the mundane. It’s a refreshing response to the complexity of the fashion industry these days. Styled with an emphasis on the keyword ‘softwear’ this new brand have taken the ultra-wearable to a whole new level. With monochrome colours, unisex options and crushed velour sweats being their most decadent offering, Sködia have reached the highest levels of the fashion ranks.
With everyone from Cara Delivigne, to Kylie Jenner and music icon Rhianna approving of their line, this is only the beginning for Sködia. Their wears are currently ultra-exclusive to retail outlet Opening Ceremony (so be quick). We sought out co-founder Jess McKie to ask about their latest line.

What would you want people to know about Sködia that they don’t already know?

People sometimes get a little confused. Although I am Australian, we are a New York based brand and always have been. Everything is produced and made here in New York. From time to time we work with fabric mills or knitwear manufacturing in Australia to add a taste of home, but the majority is done here in the states.

The production industry is so fucked these days and although it can be difficult and expensive at times to produce here in New York, it is so important to know who is actually making your clothing and have quality control over the production process whether it is on or offshore. We love our factory and work closely with them throughout the whole process. We could not have been where we are today without them.

Did travelling abroad and changing locations help with your range of influences and inspiration? Tell us about your background and how Sködia got started?

Absolutely! You learn so much when traveling. I understand not everybody has the opportunity to do so, but if you do then do it. I’ve travelled a lot and it made me who I am today.

Learning about new cultures, demographics and just people in general really inspires me most. Whether it’s the mailman’s uniform or somebody’s dad picking up the paper in his favorite sweats in the morning. So I guess you could say I find beauty in mundane everyday things and people.

Your clothing seems really wearable. You call it part of the ‘softwear movement’. Where did this idea originate?

Softwear is about wearability, functionality and comfort which creates longevity in clothing. This is so important today in our ever changing trend based, fast fashion movement which is just so wasteful. Its all about quality, not quantity.

Who is the ideal character putting on Sködia wears?

Honestly, almost anybody. For example my nana has and wears her sweatsuit from SS15 all the time, yet Rihanna has worn the same one. Although not everybody is going to like everything, I like to think there’s something for everybody within every collection.

Walk us through your new line: an emphasis on pinks and whites, functional wear, not too flashy and accessible, a little more utilitarian? Is there a signature SS17 piece you’ve earmarked?

Although Sködia specializes in high-end basics, each season still does differ and embarks from a different theme or place. Most of the time it is very personal to me, where I have traveled at the time etc. I recently traveled around Italy when designing SS17. The collections theme was ‘business meets pleasure’ which suited our trip so well.
We also just moved to Hudson, NY which is upstate so the new season stems from country living and making things from scratch. It’s all relative to where I am at the time.
My favorite pieces from Why? would have to be the velour sweatsuit. It’s similar to something we did a few seasons ago and they did so well. They are just so comfortable but also make you feel kind of glamorous at the same time.

Having your stuff in Opening Ceremony is great and make your wear very exclusive. How did they find you and has it helped you?

Well I’ve always loved the store, I’m grateful to be working with them. O.C picked us up since my first season, which is really rare and can be a huge risk for a new brand. Now we get to work on collaborations together and exclusive pieces curated just for O.C. We are currently talking about a Sködia pop-up in the store for 2017. It’s been a great platform amongst others!

Who else is wearing Sködia’s stuff out there?

Rihanna wore Sködia while signing on at Puma to be Creative Director. This was a really big day for me, I’m kind of a fan girl.