Tania Hanna, the creative force behind dref_by_d, is a seasoned designer with a rich history in the fashion industry. Her career, spanning over three decades, has witnessed the launch of multiple successful labels and the establishment of dref_by_d as a prominent name in the fashion world.
Sydney Social 101 recently took five with Tania to chat about all things dref_by_d and key pieces from her spring/summer collection.
Can you tell us about your design background and how you got started in the field of fashion and design?
DZYNA was established in 2000 by, Tania Hanna, with a combined total of over 30 years’ experience in the fashion industry. Tania began her apparel career in the late 80s after graduating with a degree in fashion design, working on Holeproof’s infamous “No Knickers” campaign. She
went on to launch her first label, Matana,focusing on unique, high-end fashion pieces for the bridal and race wear industries. With the success of Matana, Tania partnered with Sydney company Kakzui to launch a second label, Recur,which became a thriving nationwide wholesale business with retail stores and was one of the first Australian brands to open factories in Kowloon, Hong Kong, building strong relationships with Chinese manufacturers and suppliers that endure today.
In 2000, Tania established Dzyna in response to the high demand for her freelance design services and her experience in overseas manufacturing.
Almost 20 years later, the company has continued to grow and thrive, adding boutique fashion label dref_by_d and technology-focused streetwear brand Urban Tech to its roster. Tania’s wealth of experience in the fashion industry, coupled with her passion for innovation and sustainability, has positioned her as a leader in the industry.
What inspires your design aesthetic, and how would you describe the signature style of dref_by_d?
The past, present and future.
The past is the detail and craftmanship used in apparel I love and admire the workmanship, if you study the past you will see details that have been lost over time and I want to bring this back into our modern world.
The present to me is about attitude and being on point.
The future is about having pieces in your wardrobe that can last the test of time. I am about modern clean with attention to detail and keeping beautiful craftmanship in the product where possible.
Less is more I don’t want fuss.
The attitude in our design is elegance but bringing this to everyday wear.
Fabrication is really important, the quality of touch and feel elevates the design. What the textile is made from is important to me when we select and how it is treated.
dref_by_d is a homage to your father. Can you tell us more about this?
This is quiet deep and have not shared this to many but here we go ……
My father was a businessman and through his example of entrepreneurship, he inspired me to go into business.
I began my journey at the age of 20 and launched my first label, through life’s challenges this brand came to a screaming halt 4 years later.
I then took a back seat and assisted in building other brands successfully.
In my father’s last few years with us, he turned to me and said a statement which was not related to business but the statement was, how did we end up here?
This shocked and saddened me to the core and at that time I said to myself get back on the horse girl and launch a brand for him and I.
My father who I love dearly was a strong, dynamic man I wanted to honour him by using his name Fred.
A few weeks after his passing I was sitting with a few members of my family and discussing how I can put his name to a brand and this is what we came up with.
And, by_d represented by Dzyna (designer) being me.
How do you stay current with industry trends, and how do you balance staying on-trend with maintaining your unique design voice?
I research forecasting information and watch the market. I regroup all this information and work through a stiffing process and see what aligns with our values of the brand.
There are always the classics that are timeless and are a must-have in the collection, and there are the market trending features.
In all our range from on-point trends to our classics, we keep our values of attention to detail and quality this is not comprised.
One key feature of our brand is Gro Grain tape which will appear in most products this is staying true to our voice.
What are your favourite def_by_d pieces for spring/summer?
The whole range ….but if I have to select
- Champagne because I love the statement it makes
- Brief tee because I love a good quality tee shirt in my wardrobe.
- Eden pants, are my go-to for all occasions depending on the shoes and how you style this piece it can take you anywhere at any time. For example I could style it with both the above pieces and give me a totally different look and feel depending on what I am doing and where I am going.
What do you envision for the future of dref_by_d, and what role do you see yourself playing in its continued success and growth?
I see the brand globally as it can speak to many cultures, I have no boundaries on where this can go.
My role, I think will always be working on the product as sometimes it is hard to translate design as this comes from within.
And my other role is to build a strong team of leaders to bring this brand to market.
To check out dref_by_d’s spring/summer range head to: https://drefbyd.com.au/