ARTIST INTERVIEW: Hannah Byun of Hansel from Basel
Los Angeles-based artist-turned-designer Hannah Byun created Hansel from Basel in 2007 as a way to apply a sense of much-needed zest to everyday legwear.
Originally inspired by Hannah’s childhood nickname (“Hansel”) and her fascination with Switzerland (therefore “from Basel”), the collection is forever and always finding inspiration in every nook and cranny of life, from the mundane to the magical. Their line of socks, tights, and accessories is spirited and special.
We spoke to Hannah about the journey that led her to create Hansel from Basel.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art?
My background is fine art…and socks. I studied art at UCLA during an amazing time – Charles Ray, Russell Crotty, Nancy Rubin, Paul Mccarthy and others were all teaching. Being so young, I didn’t understand in full what was happening around me but the exposure to different thought processes and artistic practices certainly informed the way I currently work and think. Additionally, my family background is sock making. My family owned a sock factory back when manufacturing was strong in the US. I had always aspired to live a creative life and making socks seemed the most tangible way to get there…it’s been 9.5 years of Hansel from Basel!
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
In ways that I sometimes don’t realize. My color schemes are always very “Californian” and I have a very relaxed approach to designing each season.
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
Gingkgo Biloba – much needed these days!
Postalco snap pad with graph paper