Vena Cava Collaborating with Uniqlo

Sophie Buhai  Lisa Mayock Vena Cava
Photo: Getty Images
Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava

It’s been two weeks since Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock showed their ’90s-inspired Fall 2011 collection during New York Fashion Week, but the cult design duo already has their next big project lined up.

“We’re about to do [a collaboration] with Uniqlo,” Buhai said at the February 23 Fashion Group International–hosted panel discussion on entrepreneurship at New York’s Milk Studios.

Buhai and Mayock are no strangers to the collaboration game. In February 2009 they unveiled a shoe line for Via Spiga, and in May of the same year they put their spin on khakis for Gap as part of the brand’s CFDA initiative.

Last fall, Vena Cava created a line for the Bloomingdale’s in-house brand Aqua, and earlier this month their new (and most unconventional) partnership was revealed: Vena Cava for condom line Proper Attire.

“We just want to make sure whatever we do has our stamp on it,” said Buhai. For example, when it came to the Gap khaki project, she said, “Vena Cava is not a khaki brand. We had to think of defacing khaki … [it’s about] making sure things are in line with our brand.”

Added Mayock, “It’s an opportunity for us to articulate our brand in a way that’s more mass.”

Mayock and Buhai, who started their line fresh out of Parsons in 2003, said trying new things is key to keeping their business moving forward.

“Lisa and I were at a point where we felt like we were getting stagnant,” Buhai said, noting that they’re interested in all aspects of the fashion industry, like “how to design shoes, how to make a zine, how to blog.”

“Fashion is cyclical,” she continued, “but when you add in different projects, you feel like you’re learning again.”

Uniqlo has previously collaborated with the likes of Steven Alan, Alexander Wang, Costello Tagliapietra, and Phillip Lim, and offers a recurring collection by designer Jil Sander called +J.