THE FIRE: WHEN YOUR STUDIO/HOME BURNS DOWN
OCTOBER 2017 - BROOKLYN
There are no words for the moment when you find out that your home is gone, your studio, all the clothes samples that I made with my own hands, the sketch books, art, all the little things you held dear, simply the fact to have a home where you feel safe.... I came back from a trip in Italy to find my studio/home loft like this, all I had left was a small hand luggage suitcase. I stayed in a hotel nearby, trying to save as much as I could, after a big fight I got a new loft in the same building, I didn't even have a bed of course, I went to buy a mattress in the neighborhood and started to order the essentials on amazon. I went to the burnt down apartment making little piles of things I could eventually save, you can't imagine how disgusting everything is, everything either burnt, full of smut or mold... I couldn't wrap my mind around that everything was gone, all my work, that my space had also been invaded by all the neighbors, there was no privacy anymore, my private, burnt down life was at display for everyone. I got very sick after 3 days, a stomach ache so bad I couldn't walk anymore, so I was working on my laptop laying on my belly on the mattress without sheets (I just had opened the BERENIK shop in Soho and had to make a collection within 5 weeks) when my neighbor called me to tell me that they were throwing everything away in my old place. When I got upstairs to my burnt down place, EVERYTHING WAS GONE. The building management just threw EVERYTHING away without my permission, including the pile I was carefully making over the last few days to clean and safe... the sketchbooks I wanted to dry, samples that I could still have fixed or used as references in the factories... it was just all gone. I really lost it....
It was hard. I knew things will change. I think it's when I realized I wanted to leave the city. I started to dream of a nice small village somewhere in Europe, a simple life, close to nature. One of the few things that survived the fire was my trekking gear because it was in a cabinet. My boots, my backpack, my sleeping bag. It was a difficult lesson, but somewhen I realized that everything I lost set me free.
I had to loose much more before I was really free, before I found my new home, it was a long transition with many moves, many doubts many fights within myself before I could finally arrive.