Blog

RSS

Filtered By meetthedesigner

MEET THE DESIGNER - KAIRI LENTSIUS Lentsius Design is an...

February 28 2018


                        MEET THE DESIGNER - KAIRI LENTSIUS 


Lentsius Design is an accessories and clothing independent label created in 2013 by Kairi Lentsius, who is a versatile artist proposing an interesting combination of accessories and conceptual fashion design. In fact, her designs are symbolized by new materials and shapes, sustainability and incorporating technologies in the development of her line. On another hand, she has been developing handmade jewelleries and accessories in Estonia, in particular with her father Mart Lentsius, to create unisex Scandinavian chic and timeless pieces.

Shop Lentsius Design items at STUDIO183 Flagship Store.


image

If you were…

… A country? Estonia 

… A song? “The Time Is Now” by Moloko

… An artist? David Hockney maybe?

image

… A supernatural power? Flying

… A movie/series? Wes Anderson “The Royal Tenenbaums”

image

… An invention? A clock

… A monument? Ai Weiwei’s “Good Fences Make Good Neighbours”

… A cocktail? Gin tonic

image

… A book? The Magus

… An island? Saaremaa

image

You have been working on different projects from print designs, accessories and garments, using original materials and technologies. Do you consider that it’s important to be a versatile artist?
I find it interesting to work in different mediums and to reinvent my ideas in different materials. I also prefer to think of myself as a product designer who loves fashion!

image

Sustainability is a key feature of your work. At a citizen scale, how could we move toward an efficient sustainable development in your opinion?
Oh, I think about it every second day! It does sound like the basics but recycling should really be a part of everyones daily habits but it ain’t so. Also avoiding plastic bags is such an easy thing to do if one think that it brings benefit.
As a designer I like the idea that I produce as much as people buy from me. I don’t create large amounts of excessive trash to this world and I do take responsibility for it. We hardly create any left overs that can’t be recycled.

image

What’s your biggest influence in your artwork?
Materials and people. My brother inspired me to start making jewellery with his knowledge about aircraft engineering, my dad inspired me to incorporate wood to my collections and my friends inspire me to create things for their niche.

image

          Pictures have been shot by Getter Kuusmaa from Studio GET


http://lentsiusdesign.com/

https://www.instagram.com/lentsius/

https://www.facebook.com/lentsiusdesign/

MEET THE DESIGNER - SIMPLE COMMUNITYSimple Community is an...

February 28 2018


                    MEET THE DESIGNER - SIMPLE COMMUNITY


Simple Community is an accessory label based in Amsterdam and founded by two travel addicts sharing a common passion. Simple Community endeavours to make your daily life and journeys easier with multi-functional products. They give great importance to practicality, functionality and quality whilst keeping it simple! Their bags are originally designed, using traditional Kutnu fabric, which is made from silk and cotton and woven on the hand looms of craftsmen from Gaziantep in Turkey.


image

If you were…

… A city? Izmir, Turkey

… An animal? Humming bird

… A drink? Aperol spritz

image

… A season? Spring

… A song? Adventure of a lifetime

… One of the 5 senses? Taste

image

… A festival? Coachella

… A nightclub? Single Fin, Bali

image

… A plant? Palm tree

… A restaurant? Mangerie, Turkey

image

Could you explain to us how you founded your community?
We are two friends who are passionate about traveling and easing our daily lives by using functional products. We love collecting memories and enjoying the life to the fullest so we created bohemian products with functional designs. We hope to share this feeling in our community.

3 adjectives to describe your crew?
Travel addict, passionate, joyful.

What’s your main objective for 2018?
Unite people in a community who share same interests and bring joy and a sense of belonging to their lives by using our products.

image

www.simple-community.com

instagram.com/simplecommunitybrand

facebook.com/simplecommunitybrand

pinterest.com/simplecommunity

MEET THE DESIGNER - KINAKina is an independent fashion label...

February 22 2018


                                  MEET THE DESIGNER - KINA


Kina is an independent fashion label founded by the designer Julia Penkina 13 years ago in Hanover. She has been developing an attractive mix of functionality and efficient aesthetic using geometric forms and sophisticated silhouettes. Kina’s line firstly specialized on scarfs and shawls. Then, Julia expanded the range of products with the simple straight cuts, flowing subtle fabrics and functionality becoming characteristic of the brand image. Kina collections are focused on portability, sustainability and femininity.

Check out our selection of KINA items at Studio183, Bikini Berlin.


If you were…

… A city? St. Petersburg

… A monument? The statue of Lenin

… A season? Winter

… A painting? Black square

… An animal? Snake

… A sport? Shooting

… A book? Idiot

… A movie/series? Das Leben ist schön “La vita è bella”

… A song? New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

… A nightclub? Studio 54…;)))

Why did you choose to focus on making scarfs when you launched Kina?
Scarves are the basis for each garment… But at KINA* they do anything but boringly hang around the neck - they are spiced up and become favourite pieces… I wanted to jazz up outfits already existing and not be forced to buy a whole new outfit…

You are proposing a sustainable production that highlights an eco-friendly spirit. What are your ideas to minimize the environmental impact of textile industry?
The whole collection is made without any remains of material, because the cuts are in rectangle form. In addition all the materials are not synthetic and are gained from renewable resources. The message of the label is to be found in the name - handmade, locally produced favourite pieces far away from cheap mass production – notmadeinKINA*… Also KINA* offers a lot of possibilities for teaming the pieces of this collection with different accessories. This makes it easy to combine favourite pieces and wear them several times at any occasion - whether it is for office use, casual in the leisure time or nicely styled in the evening. Same but different!

What’s your favourite Kina’s item?
The scarf that covers the shoulders, the “Ärmelschal”.


www.notmadeinkina.com

www.facebook.com/kinastyle

https://twitter.com/notmadeinKINA

https://www.instagram.com/notmadeinkina/

MEET THE DESIGNER MELLOW JEWELLERYMelita Rus, tell us a bit about...

September 02 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER MELLOW JEWELLERY


Melita Rus, tell us a bit about yourself and the development of your jewellery brand MELLOW.

I am the designer of MELLOW by Melita Rus. It is a contemporary jewelry brand, which is eclectic, unique and unexpected. All the pieces are made by using construction and household materials, like screws, bolts, cables and other elements I find in a household shop mixed with Swarovski crystals, Baltic Amber, mineral stones or silver pieces. I like using clashing materials in one piece, like melted plastic and Baltic Amber stones, it gives a nice mix of edgy and classy, and that is what makes my jewelry so eclectic and alternative. Every single piece is unique and handmade in my studio in Vilnius, Lithuania.

image

These jewellery pieces opposite to hardware tools can be associated with a daring lifestyle and impeccable style. Mellow jewellery is made for the ones who embrace every second of their exciting lives ‘here and now’, the ones who value uniqueness, not the number of carats and hallmark. Not everything that is worth having has a hallmark, and not everything that is eye-catching has carats. These statement jewellery is made from cables, construction glue, silicone and screws, which are accentuated by carbines and cable tightening details. We believe that unusual details can become a tool to create beauty and style and that jewelry could be more just a thing. So every piece is one of a kind or limited edition. Every Mellow piece has it’s own life code.

image

What about your inspiration?

It is funny, but for me the best place for inspiration is a car service, so it’s always good news for me when I have to take my car there. Also, buildings under construction and construction material shops. I can be inspired by a car engine, a vacuum cleaner or a broken washing machine. I even found myself inspired when I touch different surfaces e.g. various packages of food. I always was a little bit strange. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep because the inspiration just popped up in my head.

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

The values and the message I want to spread to the world through my pieces are the most important for designing a collection. Every collection reflects the strength I gain through the years.

image

You work with construction and household materials and mix them with precious stones. Tell us a bit more about the idea behind it!

The message behind it is that the boundaries of the world have vanished, we visit each other’s countries and exchange cultures because we love to give and to get. We do not divide ourselves into any separate groups because it suddenly makes no sense anymore. We do not judge the beauty and the value by the number of the carats or the hallmark but by what it stands for.

image

What are the references were you working with for your new collection?

Colors, shapes and silhouettes of pieces.

What exciting plans do you have for the year ahead?

I am working on the new collection, that will be very different to the previous collection and can’t wait to show it to the world.

image


Social media links:

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mellowjewellery/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mellowwear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mellowjewellery/

Website: www.mellowwear.com

MEET THE DESIGNER ALMA DE PIEDRACould you please introduce...

August 22 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER ALMA DE PIEDRA


Could you please introduce yourself and your brand?

I’m Sofia Carrillo, from Guadalajara, México, founder and designer of Alma de Piedra. Alma de Piedra is a jewelry brand, handcrafted by Mexican artisans and myself. I like to create unique pieces using most of all raw gemstones trying to highlight the beauty and natural qualities of their elements. Each stone has a different meaning and energy and people buy them regarding their very own character.

image

Where do you find inspiration for your collections?

I find inspiration in nature and in life itself, but I could say that most of my inspiration come from each of the stones that I carefully select, each one of them inspire me to do something unique with it.

You use natural materials and stones in your designs, your jewelry has an earthy, powerful aesthetic. How would you describe your connection to Mother Nature?

Nature is everything. The stones come from the the depths of the earth and my jewelry should reflect the calm feeling you have when you walk in nature. 

To be able to create pieces with beautiful stones that are full of energy is something very special, I like to think that somehow it also connects the people who wear them with nature.

image

Do you have an ideal woman in mind you design for? Who is your muse?

I design for all women, I like to think that when they wear my jewelry this inspires them to feel free, powerful, beautiful and comfortable with themselves as they are. 

I get deeply inspired by any woman who lives her life in her own way, who is in touch with herself and embraces her true self.

Any woman who live like this is a muse for me.

image

Your pieces are handmade by you or Mexican artisans. Could you please tell more about your sustainable production process?

Since I started the brand 4 years ago I worked with a lovely family of artisans in Mexico, where the workshop is. Every item is made individually by hand. I design all the jewelry and choose personally each of the stones we will use. I am with the craftswomen and men a lot to control the process, and of course to exchange ideas, and I also make some of the items myself.

image

What exciting plans do you have for the year ahead?

Travelling is just the most inspiring source for creating new things. I was in berlin a lot, went on some roadtrips to Scandinavia and Italy and now I am very happy go get back and start working on the new collection.

I have a clothes brand as well which I have to take care of. My plans are to continue travelling the world finding new stones, designing and making new pieces and grow the business in a very healthy, sustainable way.


Social media links:

Instargam: https://www.instagram.com/almadepiedrajewelry/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joyeriaalmadepiedra/

MEET THE DESIGNER DOLINERCould you please introduce yourself and...

August 19 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER DOLINER

Could you please introduce yourself and your brand?

My name is Gili and I am a detail explorer and maker, originally from Israel.  I graduated with a BA in jewellery design from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Tel Aviv. 3 years ago I moved to Berlin where I am currently based.

I define myself as a detail explorer & maker because this describes best the essence of my practice which is expressed in all of my designs. My pieces stand on the fine line between art and design therefore you can find them in design stores like Studio183 and in galleries or art jewellery exhibitions, such as Joya Barcelona.

image

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

I don’t relate to the idea of creating seasonal collections. I choose to look at it more as a “growing collection”, quite like a personal jewellery box that you have at home, which contains jewellery from different periods in your life, and is characterised by various aesthetics.

What connects all the pieces together is simply the fact that they were all curated by the same person, who found a reason to have/keep each and every one of them. They are all connected in a way and hold different stories and memories within.

image

Your jewelry pieces are sometimes playful in design, or a mix of ancient heritage and very modern. Where do you find inspiration?

My creative process starts with eyes wide open. I collect and document moments from my life and in my work I see the world through the enthusiastic eye of a child who’s experiencing things for the first time. I try to maintain this childish enthusiasm by provoking the viewer and by creating objects with Kinetic elements and hidden details, which trigger him or her to experience the same curiosity that I’ve experienced and transform them into material, into jewelry.

image

For example my Chicken earrings, when not being worn, they are literally sitting and functioning as an object on a shelf with a lot of character.

Then, while functioning as earnings, they stand upright. I love to see the surprise on one’s face, as he discovers the hidden function of this Object-Earring.

image

I also like the fact that they don’t just fulfill their job as earrings and go into a box. Each Chicken is made from many tiny parts and take a long time to make. It’s almost like being in a meditative state. I’m always happy with them. They make me smile.

image

Your pieces are handmade and cared for with great attention to detail. Could you please let us know more about the production process?

To be honest I refer to “great attention to detail” in an almost obsessive way. My starting point are the small details, they are my trigger for creating. It can be a mechanism or a tiny piece of metal, I then find the extension of the thing that triggered me and express it in the piece.

My table is cluttered with tiny pieces and I work simultaneously on a few things at the same time. It might be connected to my A.D.H.D but the design process for me is like riddles that I keep inventing and which need solving. This is why when a “solution” appears in my mind I abandon the rest of my work and put all of my attention on finishing the piece.

What exciting plans do you have for the year ahead?

The next thing coming out is a new series of rings, the collection deals with expressions and moods. I can’t wait for them to be out! I promise you will also be able to find a couple of pieces in the lovely Studio 183.

I inform my customers about new pieces on Facebook & Instagram, you can follow me for updates.


Website - www.gilidoliner.com

Instagram - www.instagram.com/gili_doliner

Facebook - www.facebook.com/dolinerdesign

MEET THE DESIGNER VIS A VISCould you please introduce yourself...

August 12 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER VIS A VIS


Could you please introduce yourself and your brand?

VIS A VIS is a street wear label based in Vienna. The label was founded by 22 year old Andrea Kerber in April 2016. VIS A VIS represents the interaction between noble an urban clothing. The apparent contrasts blend together perfectly and create a signature look. Another feature of the brand is the cozy and simple cuts, which ensure wearability and comfort. The label focuses on quality, craftsmanship and timeless design.

image

Where do you find inspiration for your collections?

VIS A VIS draws its inspiration from music, different fabrics, people and icons. The diversitiy in Vienna concerning different cultures and people affect VIS A VIS. During drinking coffee and listening music, I watch people passing by. But also some special fabrics are able to trigger a new idea.

image

Your collections are modern and feminine, perfectly encapsulate the character of the contemporary woman. What is the ideal woman you design for like? Do you have a muse?

The ideal woman I design for is a self-confident and strong. The idea behind VIS A VIS is to dress women who want to look fashionable and find comfort important at the same time.

My muse is definitely Caroline de Maigret.

image
image

You created a jewelry collection with jewelry brand Nadine Now, which we also have in store, and also asked a few questions from the designer, Nadine on this blog. Could you please tell a bit more about how the collaboration came into life?

Two years ago Nadine and I met up in Vienna searching for a flat. We stayed in contact and when we launched our labels and became self-emplyed, we decided to create a collaboration.

image

What exciting plans do you have for the year ahead?

In September I am part of the Vienna Fashion Week, so for now I have to prepare all the looks for the Show.


Instagram: www.instagram.com/vis_a_vis_official

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Visavis

Website: www.fashionvisavis.com

MEET THE DESIGNER TAM ARACould you please introduce yourself and...

August 08 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER TAM ARA


Could you please introduce yourself and your brand?

Hi, I am Tamara Bodnarova and I create womenswear under the TAM ARA brand. I have always been tempted by fashion and I decided to produce clothing so I could change the way of thinking about quality and style.

image

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

When thinking of a new collection, I always start with the material. That is most important to me. We wear clothes all the time, so they should feel pleasant on the skin.

You really attend to the needs of women while designing your collections. Your pieces are made from natural materials such as wool, silk, cotton and linen, so that they would be comfortable to wear. Could you please let us know more about your ideal woman to design for? Do you have a muse?

I do not have a muse in particular. When designing, I like to think of a busy woman, who quite often has to spend all day wearing the same clothes and wants to feel comfortable and a little more distinct too.

Natural materials are great for day-long wearing because they are breathable. My personal favorite, wool is a great insulator and repels water and dirt. These materials are also very pleasant for me to work with. I tend to design minimalist clothes and play with patterns. Sometimes, I put in a bright color to balance the bald cut. I want my garments to be able to stand out or to nicely complement the look, depending on the wearer’s mood.

image

Where do you find inspiration?

My desire to create originally came from the love for textiles, so I usually let fabrics speak to me. Besides that, the inspiration comes from the streets as I love watching people. And there are still plenty of ideas stuck in my head and some pop out during the creative process.

image

Your pieces are created under sustainable practices. Could you let us know more about the production process?

I strive for sustainability in several areas. I use natural materials as they are biodegradable. I try to use local suppliers as much as possible. For example, the cotton I work with was mostly woven in the Czech Republic and I buy locally produced threads and haberdashery.

The working conditions are very important for me. I hate the idea of a huge amount of people working in a terrible and dangerous environment. All my products are made either by me, or by a seamstress in the Czech Republic. This way I know exactly who made which piece and moreover, it helps to reduce travel costs. I like to have limited collections and not to produce too much stock of one type of garment, the clothes are then a little more exclusive and less waste is produced. When I have any excess material, I try to think of some other way of using it.

image

What exciting plans do you have for the year ahead?

My brand is still very young, so everything is exciting and new for me. What I would like the most, though, is to make women (and men too) think more about what they wear, what it is made of, where and how it was produced. And, to think more about themselves, who they are and if what they wear reflects that. I am here to help them with all this :)


Instagram: www.instagram.com/tam_ara_praha

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TamAraPRG

Website: www.tam-ara.cz

MEET THE DESIGNER NADA QUENZELPlease introduce yourself and your...

August 04 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER NADA QUENZEL


Please introduce yourself and your brand!

As a product- and photo designer I’m combining two of my passions, featuring faces and showcasing handcrafted design. To transform the traditional millinery into a new and individual context, I’m spending a lot of time experimenting with different techniques and hat shapes. My designs underline the individuality of the wearer through a clear design. All models are carefully crafted in my studio in Berlin.

image

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

Many of my hats are unisex … timeless, puristic and universal. I pay special attention to wearing comfort. The summer hats are light, breathable and adapt themselves to the headshape of its wearer through their braided structure.

image

For my Autumn/Winter collection I’m using fine hair felt, mainly in velour, smooth hair and melusine. Those materials not only impress with their classy optical characteristics and a soft grip, but furthermore they are warming, windproof and water-repellent.

image

What inspires you the most? Do you have a muse?

The sources of my inspiration are very diverse, ranging from classic movies like Fellini’s 8 ½, to impressions from my travels as well as targeted searches for special materials. I found many rarities in old, traditional shops in Paris, for example.

image

Could you please tell a bit more about the production process?

I produce my hat collection by hand, using traditional hat makers techniques, with special attention to high quality, natural materials. For example, for the braiding I’m using renewable raw materials, like paper yarn and parasisal straw. Paper yarn is made from silk paper, which is cut or torn into stripes, then coated with celluloid (bioplastics composed of cellulose).

image

For parasisal straw, fibers from sisal agave are used. Handwoven hat bases, dyed in Italy serve as a starting material. Many of my hat models are developed on very old wooden hat blocks. Only a few models I’m shaping by hand. It takes time to create a perfect hat.

What exciting plans do you have for the year ahead?

The Autumn/Winter collection ‘17/18 will definitely be extended by a few models for men!

MEET THE DESIGNER TANJA CHRISTIANI Please introduce yourself and...

July 11 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER TANJA CHRISTIANI


Please introduce yourself and your brand!

My name is Tanja Christiani, I’m a Berlin-based fashion designer focusing on womenswear.

After a term abroad at Central Saint Martin’s in London I graduated at the University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW Berlin) and founded my eponymous label at the end of 2015.

image

What or who inspires you the most?

Modern Architecture has always been a big inspiration for me. My graduate collection was inspired by buildings of Mies van der Rohe, Frank O. Gehry and Zaha Hadid, thus when I founded my label I just went on. Usually I just pick some buildings or their layouts, trace parts of it on transparent paper, deconstruct it and put it on the body. I would say architects and their work inspire me the most.

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

My love for architecture and sculptures which influences the shape, colour and textures of my designs. I deconstruct and distort given forms to merge them into something new. The first sketches of a collection are always quite opulent, with a lot of unnecessary details - for my taste. So I downscale these details until the garments are wearable. Besides wearability, quality, femininity and fit are the most important things in my collections. Clear cuts and feminine silhouettes are made from high-quality fabrics. I renounce the use of fur, leather, silk and wool and everything from sample to the final garment is made in Berlin.

image

How you would describe your affinity and your interaction with the materials you used in your collection?

It is important to note that all the fabrics are high quality and vegan. I especially like working with volume, cuts, textures and colors. I love black, it is timeless and goes with everything, that is why I use black in every collection and pair it with other colors from my research and my inspiration.

image

Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

We just shot our Spring/Summer ‘18 collection and in September the Autumn/Winter ‘17 collection “Városkép” will be on sale. In 2017 we want to start to develop and find more stores outside of Berlin to sell our collections.

MEET THE DESIGNER ALMAAlma, could you please introduce yourself...

July 01 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER ALMA


Alma, could you please introduce yourself and your brand?

I am Alma - owner, brains and the boss behind the brand Alma. Not only is it my name, but the name identified with my work, and I think it’s really cool that people identify me with both. I am 39 years old and I have a super cute daughter, we live in a small town just 10 minutes outside of Frankfurt.  

The brand, Alma is a labor of love and very close to my heart. My grandmother’s name is Alma, and translated in Spanish -what I love- “alma” means SOUL - which every piece has.

image

My background is originally in interior and home decor, and I also worked in gastronomy for many years. Two years ago I decided to focus solely on Alma, and since then it has been growing steadily.  My brand is a mix of streetwear with hand-drawn designs, and I also make an array of nice geometrical jewellery, including sexy, handmade body chains.

image

I really love to put my ideas on shirts and sweaters - and then to design different styles for men, women, and children. And of course it’s also utterly important for me to use ethical, fair-trade, and environmentally friendly products.

My concept is based on limited collections and many single pieces - each with their own different look. My clients are often quite surprised by my work, as it is rare to find hand-drawn designs on clothing. I believe it makes my label stand out from the crowd, and also gives me a unique proposition.

I now have a small atelier in Offenbach with 2 other designers. This is an important and exciting new step in my business direction, as I no longer produce my products at home - which means no more working in pajamas :)

image

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

Usually, I have an idea which I put directly on the product and the result is a small collection. I am spontaneous and creative. I focus more on making a collective creation then a specific Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter collection, but obviously there are no dresses in Winter!

What or who inspires you the most?

Oh, I am inspired by my everyday life, my travels in Europe, my hometown Frankfurt and my daily interactions with friends. And it’s not just that, it’s a lot of different inspiration - it’s hard to explain! I have my own unique style, and i think that it carries through each of my jewelry and clothing collection.

image

What has been the best compliment/comment some one has given your work?

The best compliments I get are personal feedback from customers during a fair or at a pop-up shop. Especially, when they admire my things and then finally decide to buy something. I love it when I see customers wearing my products, or when customers immediately recognize me and my brand.  

I’m proud of my label, and it’s super cool to share my enthusiasm with others.

image

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…

More local small business with good attitude for ethical products.

Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

I do have some plans! I would like to be more creative with my designs, but I’m still not exactly sure what comes in the near future. I love collaborating with other designers, and I believe you can find success by doing what you love.

Website: www.almastore.de

Facebook: www.facebook.com/almaffm

Instagram: www.instagram.com/almaffm

MEET THE DESIGNER BLACK ANAARPlease introduce yourself and your...

June 24 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER BLACK ANAAR

Please introduce yourself and your brand!

My name is Frances Stafford and I have been living between Berlin and Bahrain for the last three years. I first came to Berlin via my work with the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities: my coworkers and I were placed on a project to meet all the big players behind Art Berlin Contemporary and Berlin Art Week in association with the Goethe Institut.

I had been living and working in Bahrain as a curator, producer and cultural programmer since 2010 and designing my own clothes was simply a hobby. I also used to model for Arabic and Indian fashion designers in my free time and worked with many artists, photographers and creatives in general. On the trip to Berlin I met my now fiancé and have been living here permanently in Berlin since December.

image

Can you please tell us where did your first inspiration come from for your label?

Black Anaar was born from my final large-scale cultural project I produced and directed in Bahrain.

“Little India”, revealed the historical significance of the first non-Arabs who settled in Bahrain and looked at the connectivity between the two cultures. I was responsible for beautifying, highlighting, and developing the Indian sector of the central market, or Souk, in Manama, which included conserving the exteriors of 12 historic houses, creating public spaces where markets and festivals could take place and adding outdoor museum signage to share the rich history of the area.  You can imagine the color, food, songs and dancing that we experienced while mounting the project launched publicly in December of 2016.

image

While working on the project with the local community, I was plunged into the vibrant world of the over 200 year old traditional marketplace that boasted a mix of Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Jewish traders and craftsmen. I was most impressed with the community of tailors who created garments from the plethora of fabric present in shops and along the sides of streets. It was from these bustling alleyways that I designed and created my first Black Anaar pieces.

I spent hours looking for vintage fabric and special pieces and was pleased that there were many hidden treasures from the 60’s and 70’s. I also worked with local fabric dealers I know to search for special fabric I was keen on using. I created pieces with some beautiful hand dyed linens and vintage Tussah silk while at the same time used special arabesque printed fabric blends to create some loud oriental pieces. I spend a lot of time looking for unique woven shawls and embroidered material as well. Every piece I make is one-of-a-kind and I hope the special nature of the designs will allow their owners to keep them as collector’s pieces.

image
image

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

I continue to spend my time between Bahrain and Berlin, and am finding new inspiration in this diverse city, while I continue to draw upon my memories from the Gulf. I am also selling my garments in boutiques and concept stores in Bahrain - mostly to Arab clients who wear abayas- the style of long open coats also present in my collection.

As we have seen Arab women experience a sort of fashion revolution, many women are choosing printed or patterned abayas instead of the traditional black garments the Gulf is known for.  I am taking that one step further and presenting these garments as unisex to completely break the gender stereotypes that are so restrictive in the Gulf.

image

I also have my studio here in Kreuzberg now and am having fun making these traditional type garments with very unusual types of fabrics. Berlin is also a very relaxing place to create. The freedom here is a nice alternative. It is this permutation between the two worlds that has amalgamated in my label’s cross-cultural form of style.

I characterize Black Anaar as Middle Eastern inspired, urbanized fashion that encompasses a diversity of dress, as I try to balance these two divergent cultural poles I am constantly referencing.

Each individually crafted piece enlivens the history of its design, fabric and story with every articulation of its wear and I love sharing the cultural reference points or history of the pieces with my clients. I think now more than ever, it is important to have a realistic understanding of the vibrancy and life that is present in the region - which is unfortunately darkened by incorrect media coverage.

image

Can you explain a bit about the mythological concept behind your label?

The concept behind Black Anaar comes from the myth surrounding the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and the subsequent first dressing of Adam and Eve. The contemporary legend that Sumerians described Bahrain (ancient Dilmun) as this garden “paradise” lives on in local folklore.

Its reference can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, although scholars have not supported the local legend. Bahrain was once very lush and had fresh water aquifers throughout the island. It was always an important point of trade with a strong history of settlement throughout the ages and is in close connection with its surrounding area of Saudi, Iran and North Africa in general.

image

I wanted to use the icon of the original “forbidden fruit” or anaar - meaning pomegranate in Farsi, Urdu, Hindi and other ancient languages - in the name of the brand to call this story of Adam and Eve to memory. By default the story touches on the important inception of “clothing”, unfortunately linked to shame when in actuality clothing had an important protective qualities- shielding humans from the elements, insects and damaging flora.

I find it interesting that in Greek and Roman myth the pomegranate was also symbolically linked to birth, seasons and cycles. When these genesis stories were transmitted to the west there was no reference point for the pomegranate as the fruit did not grow there…and so the symbol was changed to an apple.

I like looking at this example of appropriation, translation and the blurring of facts and truths as a mirror of our current global society. It is this reference to sharing and appropriation between cultures, traditions, global patterns and modes of expression that is explored in the label.

image

How would you describe your affinity and your interaction with the materials you use in your collection?

For me the anaar is the cultural cacophony of shapes, colors, and textures whereas the black alludes to mystery, the alternative and the subversive, but also to Berlin’s most common palette in fashion.

Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead? 

This year will be really exciting as I will be working on a fashion film and will be planning a runway show in Bahrain as well as Berlin. I will also be creating a new collection.


website:
http://www.blackanaar.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackanaar/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackanaar/

MEET THE DESIGNER JORINDE NISSEPlease introduce yourself and your...

June 22 2017

MEET THE DESIGNER OIL BY OLIVEPlease introduce yourself and your...

June 20 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER OIL BY OLIVE


Please introduce yourself and your brand! 

I’m Olive - from OIL by Olive. I was raised in NY, but have been residing in Berlin for the last 3 years. I just released my third collection, which explores the freedom of expression - where style is no longer defined by gender, class or sexuality - and we have the total ability to define ourselves.

image

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

Comfort - not only in the pieces themselves, but for the wearer, to be comfortable in their own skin. I want my clothes to make someone feel great about themselves, to help them feel confident and beautiful, sexy and powerful.

image

What or who inspires you the most?

I draw influence from the world I see around me, in which no one can be defined by a single term. My collection represents a specific point, where him and her, gay and straight, trash and elegance all meet and can be confused for one another.

image

Do your clothes also convey a political message about society? How important is it for you to offer an alternative regarding gender norms?

We live in a world that often tries to label us and pressure us into acting one way or another. We’re asked to choose our identity based on limited options.

At OIL by Olive we reject labeling. My aim is to provide an alternative, to let people stand out and stand above, to be their true selves.

image

How does Berlin influence your aesthetics?

I think I still retain a lot of my aesthetic from my time in New York. But being in Berlin has greatly opened my mind to the many different forms of self. I’ve met so many intriguing characters in Berlin - who feel free experimenting with their identities in this open and accepting environment. I’ve realized just how limiting popular culture is, which is why I want to offer an alternative for those who crave the ability to express themselves freely.

image

Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

At the moment, OIL by Olive is dedicated to sustainability - everything is hand-made and produced locally in Berlin. By doing so we reduce waste and avoid unethical production processes. As we grow and evolve, I’d love to dedicate more to environmentally-conscious practices, such as using only surplus materials and renewable energy. Because without the future of the planet, there is no future for OIL by Olive.  


website: http://oilbyolive.com/

instagram: @oilbyolive

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oilbyolive/

MEET THE DESIGNER ELIZABETH LEFLARPlease introduce yourself and...

June 17 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER ELIZABETH LEFLAR


Please introduce yourself and your brand!

I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, currently based here in Berlin. Raised by two artists, I always knew that I was meant to make things, but for many years, could never quite figure out exactly what. Jewelry design is something I sort of stumbled into but it left me completely enchanted.

image

My label comes out of that enchantment. It’s born out of curiosity and guided by an instinctual design aesthetic. The precise inspiration behind the line is mysterious to me and takes many forms, but in the end, I think the greatest inspiration goes back to that idea of transformation - from the physical transformation of the materials, to that feeling when you put on a piece of jewelry, the stories it may carry with it, and the sense of empowerment all that can make you feel.

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

“Would I love to wear this?” So much design - fashion or otherwise - has turned to mass appeal, but I was raised to trust my eye and my creative instincts, so if I’m not personally excited to wear a piece myself, then it has no place in my collection.

image

In your most recent collection, the Tidal collection you use organic shapes and natural materials, like pearl, sterling silver, and brass. How does nature inspire you in your designs?

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, my family spent a lot of time outdoors and on the Oregon Coast, so I’ve always felt a really strong connection to that area.

For this reason, the Tidal Collection is probably the closest to home for me, drawing its inspiration from there. Dancing down the windswept beaches, climbing the rocks and peering into tidal pools - there’s so much rough and rugged beauty. As a child, I always had sand in my shoes and a beach agate in my pocket. I loved the idea that this all could be reinterpreted and incorporated into something to wear, still to treasure.

image

You employ ethical practices in the production process. Could you please explain about it a bit?

Again, my entire childhood had a backdrop of forest and ocean, so this is something important to me. In an effort to reduce my ecological footprint, I use recycled metals whenever I can, sustainably sourced pearls, and I work with local suppliers at every opportunity.

image

Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

I’m currently finishing the prototypes for my upcoming collection, which will play with light, some bolder shapes, and finally introduce a little color! This time inspired by our beautiful planet’s transformative nature, it plays with organic versus geometric form. It will definitely be something new for the line and I can’t wait to share it with Studio183 soon!


website: www.elizabethleflar.com

instagram: www.instagram.com/elizabethleflar

facebook: www.facebook.com/elizabethleflardesign

twitter: www.twitter.com/elizabethleflar

MEET THE DESIGNER MOONKIDPlease introduce yourself and your...

June 15 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER MOONKID


Please introduce yourself and your brand!

I am Anja Mrakovic, the founder and designer behind Moonkid Jewellery Design, Berlin based contemporary jewellery label.

Everything started as a personal side project while I was still working as an architect in Zagreb and Montreal. After moving to Berlin I decided to finally pursue it as a full time profession. If I should briefly introduce the brand, I would say that the brand tries to combine different expressions - it is bold in one way and minimalistic in another. Combination of color applied to a pure geometric form is what makes my jewellery striking but simple at the same time.

image

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

So far, with color as the hallmark of my first collection, I was constantly introducing new items to fit into the existing span of various colors and patterns. I am still just in a phase of experimenting with some new techniques and materials for the new collection while my main concern is to stay original - staying inside the same aesthetic range but avoiding the trap of repeating myself.

image

Who is your muse?

It is hard to talk about a specific person that influences my designs. I wouldn`t say that there is some specific “muse” that inspires me… It is more about various influences that come from my background, many of which maybe even I am not aware of.

Also, very often people ask me if I was inspired by Africa or Egyptian jewellery – although it was never a conscious decision, my love for travel has to have something to do with it.

What kind of craft techniques do you use when creating your unique pieces?

The process is strictly mechanical – no soldering or welding, only “dry” joints. Some pieces are also industrially premade, which I then assemble into small structures. At the moment, I work mostly with copper and cotton thread folded in different patterns, a process that requires great precision and time.

image

How does your background in architecture influence your designs?

I would say that the influence is mostly visible from the fact that I approach each of my pieces as a structure made of different layers: a body that consists both of inner “skeleton” that keeps the form and an outer  "facade".

The skills, tools and insights acquired from architecture education are definitely something that allowed me to quickly scale down to jewellery, considering I had no formal training as a jewellery designer.

image

Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

My main wish for the future is to continue developing new jewellery and skill sets, but the main preoccupation right now is to increase the online presence of the brand, and expand to markets outside of Berlin and Germany.

Website: http://www.moonkidjewellerydesign.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoonkidJewelleryDesign/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moonkidjewellerydesign/

MEET THE DESIGNER BIJOUX INDISCRETSPlease introduce yourself and...

June 13 2017


MEET THE DESIGNER BIJOUX INDISCRETS

Please introduce yourself and your brand!

I am Elsa Viegas, the designer and co-founder of Bijoux Indiscrets.

Bijoux Indiscrets is a trailblazing company in the market of erotic chic products. From the time it was founded in 2006, in Barcelona, the brand has achieved position as a European and worldwide referent in the sector; and it’s currently present in over 40 countries all over the world.

image

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

From our products, to events, to side-projects, our whole brand is centred around celebrating women and female sexuality. Throughout history, female pleasure has been treated almost as if it doesn’t exist. Women have been denied the right to feel pleasure on our own terms, yet our bodies are designed for it. We want to reclaim our power!

Being a designer and a woman in a woman-founded company gives me a very feminine approach to the development of new collections, and when I design new pieces I’m not only doing it as a designer but also as a critic and user.

image

Your collections convey a sensual feel, seduction, and exude confidence. Who is your muse and ideal woman you design for?

I guess there’s nothing more powerful than a sexy woman, because it is not about how you look but how you feel. Self confidence. Sense of humor. Elegance. Intelligence.

There are so many women I look up to and all for different reasons: Monica Bellucci, Emma Watson, Madonna, Serena Williams…

I love powerful women.

image
image

What dreams and fantasies would you like to fulfil?

I would love to have our products featured on the cover of Vogue, worn by one of these powerful women!

I would also like to see a day when women and men, irrespective of gender, are treated as equals, in all aspects of life (career opportunities, education, wages, sexuality, etc…).

image
image

Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

I love what I do. I love being a designer. And right now my plans are to keep designing accessories full of sensuality that empower women and break established prejudices and taboos, questioning social roles and rules!

website: http://www.bijouxindiscrets.com/en/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bijouxindiscrets

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bijoux_indiscrets/

twitter: https://twitter.com/Bijouxindiscret