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In the Spotlight

Zankov - a New York knitwear brand whose design is reminiscent of Piet Mondrian's compositions

by Tina Lončar

February 20, 2024

A strong visual language based on geometric compositions, patterns and energetic colors, luxurious natural materials and special knitting techniques make up the DNA of the New York brand Zankov, transforming everyday clothes with simple silhouettes into pieces that stand the test of time with their aesthetics and quality.

Because of all of the above, even though it has only been on the fashion map for a few years, it attracted the attention of the fashion media in record time, and the talent and vision of its founder Henry Zankov in 2023. CFDA and Vogue recognized him by awarding him the prestigious second prize.

Zankov Fall 2024, Photo: Jimi Franklin, Zankov

After graduating from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Henry Zankov, a native of Saint Petersburg, began building his fashion career working for big designer names such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Christopher John Rogers and Tanya Taylor. In the desire to breathe a new dose of excitement into everyday, wearable clothes, and to make traditional ostrich adds a modern twist to the technique in 2019. he decided to become independent and start the Zankov brand. Inspired by art and graphic design, but also by architecture, sports and street fashion, he injected boldness into the brand’s aesthetic codes with bright colors and patterns, making them particularly striking by combining geometric compositions reminiscent of the works of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

Zankov Spring 2024, Photo: Johnson Lui

But although the color element, with color blocks, is the most noticeable in the brand’s creative handwriting, at the heart of Zankov is knitting. Alpaca wool, viscose and merino wool make up the majority of Zankov creations made with horizontal knitting and the intarsia technique, and Henry pays special attention to the origin of the fabrics and their processing in order to meet ethical standards. In order to justify its status as a luxury brand, Zankov pays great attention to every detail, quality and finish, making sure that the inside of each garment with his signature looks as good as outside.

Zankov Spring 2023, Photo: Ivan Bideac

The focus of the brand is certainly fashion, but Zankov also takes care of contribution to the community with its work and to help preserve and strengthen trades and crafts that, all over the world, are sinking into oblivion very quickly. In addition to often collaborating with young up-and-coming designers (like the young London illustrator Helen Bullock), in order to enrich his design with fresh ideas, he also often relies on craftsmen whose workshops are real treasures of traditional knowledge, techniques and skills. One of his recent collections, for example, was created in a collaboration with a women’s cooperative from France in which 18 women breed a special breed of sheep and produce a special type of wool.

Zankov Fall 2024, Photo: Jimi Franklin

The last collection for the recent warm season is called “Lighten Up”, and Zankov dedicated it again to his typical “color seduction”. But what’s different is that he made it a little “lighter” and more airy, exploring new techniques and new silhouettes, playing with knitwear that, in summer style, reveals the skin at times, creating the perfect summer outfit for chic walks along the coast. At a low start, we expect what they will have in store for us for the winter.