Interview with Bohyne Designer Colleen Bankovich

“It’s time for a revolution in this industry – it’s time to stop thinking so small,” says Colleen Bankovich of the larger purpose behind her new Bohyne (pronounced “BO-HEN-YAY”) wedding and ceremonial line. Branded by a Czekoslovakian term meaning “god/ goddess,” every “timeless traditional” Bohyne design intentionally blurs the lines between classic and modern, high-brow and accessible, “he” and “she.” 

Described as the “anti-bridal wedding collection,” Bohyne defies the overly-gendered confines of traditional bridal, daring to re-imagine a more broadly inclusive concept of ceremonial fashion – inclusive of all genders and people, inclusive of the Earth and its creatures. “Sustainable” is no buzzword here. “As a mother, I’m responsible for the legacy I leave behind for my children,” says Bankovich, “I’m a designer at heart, and it’s my responsibility to stand up for the right things in my industry.” 

For Bankovich, that means bold transparency in every tiny step of the design process, starting with manufacturing. Sourcing materials from unused or over-purchased stock, Bohyne strives to help reduce existing industry waste, saving yards of beautiful fabric from landfills or burn pits. When it comes to craftsmanship, each thoughtfully crafted piece is handmade at certified fair-trade co-ops committed to ethical environmental and labor practices. “When you purchase a gown for $100, you’ve got to think about the implications of how the dress was produced,” Bankovich urges, “I believe nobody should suffer so that I can wear a wedding gown or ceremonial outfit – no living thing should be caused pain.”

Expect to see a little bit of everything in the new Bohyne collection, from trousers and jumpsuits to cami tops, dresses with ornate overlays, and more formal gowns. Each machine-washable piece is built to last, purposefully designed to be reworked and worn again. “We’re offering something more conscious and thoughtful than what’s out there,” explains Bankovich. Rather than an investment in a one-day event, “this is an investment in future generations and the people who craft these items. Every step we take is a step toward progress.”

Let’s build something together.