“Different themes provoke new designs which keep the working process fresh and exciting”

-Tell us about your background,and project you have done

Silvia Hillmann’s background lies in fashion, schooled in London where she assisted Boudicca, and later worked for Edward Griffiths, who at the time was creating leather jewelry for Clements Ribeiro and Emanuel Ungaro. Katrin Wiens has training in graphic design and branding; she draws from her travels on an art grant in Japan, and her pattern development for clients like Heatherette, Just Cavalli, Calvin Klein and more.

-Tell us about brand (How did you come to know each other? How did you come to establish the label? Concept of the brand, role of each designer)

We were introduced by a German stylist friend. We both are creative minds and we were in the mood of trying something ‘new’ besides the fulltime job, we were in need of a creative adventure. We initially started out rather naively, not knowing where it would take us or how serious we would quickly become.

-Do you feel that brand concepts and seasonal themes are important in expressing a collection image?

At least for us it is of high importance. Our versatile seasonal themes are what our customers are looking forward to by now; it has definitely become part of our image. Different themes provoke new designs which keep the working process fresh and exciting, too.

-How would you describe your customer?

Mid twenties upwards…. someone who can have fun with fashion and isn’t stuck in conventions.

-What is design for you?

Something that is arranged to someone’s taste to evoke a specific expression or feeling.

-When do you most feel the presence of design around you?

When you are surrounded by bad design, also when you look at a design that is truly amazing and you are in complete awe! When you are in an unfamiliar environment so that your perception is enhanced.

-What are the source of inspiration in your fashion and graphic design?

Each season we decide on a playful theme or image rich story to base our collection on. For further inspiration we research books/ literature, photo material, second hand clothes etc. Draping allows developing garment details and new shapes straight from loose inspiration pictures, rather than finished design sketches. It’s a far more creative, “accidental” process. Elements of the textile prints are further translated into bigger scale embroideries or other embellishments. They also lead to silkscreen prints, appliqués, color blocking and even entire garment shapes.

-Do you view fashion/graphic design as a means of expressing yourself?

Of course. Design is like styling… arranging elements to achieve a certain feeling or look. It’s the same in fashion as it is in graphic design; whether you assemble typography or fabric you are still creating a visual experience of some sort.

-How would you describe your own personal style? What do you place the most emphasis on in your design?

Fashion forward, youthful attitude, playful yet sophisticated. We are both detail fanatics and we do love colours as much as we love black. Style can change and that’s the fun of it!

-Is there any artist or creators that had a strong influence of your career?

Museums are always a source of inspiration. Japanese art is inspiring for graphics. Elsa Schiaparelli was an amazing fashion designer way ahead of her time.

-How did you start designing?

Always loved crafts…

-What does NY mean to you and what sort of influence has it had on your creations?

People keep telling us that our label does not look very ‘NY’ but much rather European, I guess that’s because we are both German. Maybe NY provokes us to be even more European? We just do what we like… but still with the American sensibility of creating what’s comfortable and wearable.

-What do you think about fashion and design scene in NY?

We both agree that the design/ fashion scene is more exciting in Europe, London for example than it is in America. NY is different and inspiring, though America in general is very commercial.

-What is your plan for the future?

At the moment things depend on the economy and the financial side of business. Our plans are basic right now, we want to grow sales and press.

Interview & Text:Masaki Takida

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