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BENCE CSALAR on Creative Freedom and the Future of Fashion and Media

Bence Csalar’s recent literary venture made this one say “books are for me!”. In his work titled “Behind The Scenes” (available both in English and Hungarian), fashion-journalist-turned-author explores the influences of rich and fascinating Hungarian fashion.

In the recent interview with GAHSP, Csalar opened up about creative freedom and spoke to us about the future of both fashion and media.

How did you break into publishing as a creator? Why did you decide to publish the book both in Hungarian and English?

Writing has always been important to me. Basically, I studied journalism at university, and then I focused only on fashion. The idea of my book is the result of a long process. I was lucky enough to work with a wonderful team from Boook Publishing. Together, we thought that the book should be published in English as well, as it represents the values of contemporary Hungarian fashion.

What inspired you to write your book? Did you have a Hungarian or an international audience mostly in mind?

My love of Hungarian fashion and the need for such a book inspired me the most. When it comes to the audience, and this might be interesting, I believe as much in international readers as in Hungarian ones, as there are a lot of open and creative people among us.

What does the future of media look like? Online vs. print?

They used to say that online media will overtake offline media for good. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. An online format will never replace a good magazine or book. For example, reading for me is a meditative process/state of mind, and I don't like staring at the screen when reading.

Social media is getting more and more saturated with content, how to overcome that problem as a creator? What are some obstacles that you had to face when creating content? Does the audience’s expectations limit your creative freedom?

During the pandemic, noise in social media has significantly increased, and therefore it is indeed harder to select valuable content. Still, we must learn how to do this. To be perfectly honest, I've never been a compliant person, so as always, in this case too, I was trying to find my true voice. I also consider myself lucky because my readers' expectations are based on my creative freedom. This helps me create new things all the time.

What are some of the problems in fashion media that you believe should be eliminated or at least addressed in 2021?

Although fashion media is full of sustainability and environmental awareness, all in all, I can still see a lot of evasion. Quite a few brands are trying to mislead their customers with green washing. I think this phenomenon needs to be more transparent, and the audience should be educated about how the fashion industry works.

What was it like to work with one of the most successful models, Eniko Mihalik?

Eniko is extremely nice and professional. It was a great experience to work with her and I also love the result. It was one of my favorite photo shootings from the past 10 years.

How do you address the ‘Past’, the ‘Present’ and the ‘Future’ with your work?

The Past by evoking the most memorable Hungarian designer collections, the Present by incorporating my intuitions into my work, and the Future by numerous ambitious plans, which - despite the pandemic - I'm still trying to accomplish.

This interview contributes to a new media format, where Creatives are in full control of their narratives. By exploring alternatives to narrative journalism, GAHSP starts unconventional conversations, emphasizing values and problems that shape our lives collectively.

Written and Edited by Julia Horvath and Gennady Oreshkin

Image Courtesy of Bence Csalar


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