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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with ESMOD Textil Expert Monika Menne

    März 28th, 2016

    What makes the perfect white T-shirt? We put his question to Monika Menne, Lecturer in Textiles at the internationally renowned ESMOD fashion school. For the qualified textiles engineer, the perfect white T-shirt has to satisfy two essential criteria: it should make the perfect visual impression and provide outstanding wearing comfort. In this interview, she also tells us what standards the perfect fabric has to meet.

    Interview by Thomas Escher

    Fashion Interview, Fashion Interviews, Fashion Designer Interview, Fashion behind the Scene, Fashion Backstage, ESMOD, ESMOD MUC, ESMOD Munich, Interview with Monika Menne from ESMOD Munich

    Mrs. Menne, tell us a bit about yourself.
    Okay, well this will need a little explaining (laughs). I’m a graduate engineer specializing in textile finishing – or, in other words, I’m a textiles engineer. It’s a profession that has become quite rare nowadays in western industrialized countries. In short, textiles engineers deal with the production and finishing of fabrics. When I returned to work after my maternity leave around five years ago, I signed on as a fabrics expert at the international ESMOD fashion school. I work there with budding fashion designers and teach them the fundamentals of textiles. My work as a lecturer is an excellent way of combining my personal enthusiasm for fashion with my professional know-how.

    You sound really passionate. As a fashion-avid textiles expert, could you tell us what, in your opinion, makes the perfect white T-shirt?
    I have a maxim that I always pass on to my students: “For the perfect design, the fabric and the cut have to complement each other in the best way possible.” This rule of thumb also applies to the perfect white T-shirt. That means that, alongside a top choice of fabric, the cut is the most crucial factor. For the perfect men’s T-shirt, I’d say this cut should be a close-fitting “slim fit” design whose collar isn’t too high on the neck and whose sleeves cover around half of the upper arm. In my opinion, aside from the fabric and cut, the most important things from a textiles point of view are the visual appearance of the material and the impression it makes. But if the cut isn’t right, even the perfect choice of fabric won’t save the design.

    “The perfect T-shirt should be a close-fitting “slim fit” design whose sleeves cover around half of the upper arm.”

    Although an impeccable choice of fabric is surely the basic requirement for a perfect design, right?
    Yes, without a doubt. Speaking from experience, there are really only two alternatives when choosing the right material for the perfect T-shirt. You can either use a very high-quality combed cotton fabric whose structure guarantees a high level of wearing comfort and an elegant look and feel, or you can go for a fabric produced using man-made, plant-based fibers. The fabrics industry has made enormous progress in this area over the last few years. The everyday term for these kinds of fabrics is “viscose.” Like cotton, viscose is made of plant fibers, mostly from beechwood or bamboo. Viscose’s positive characteristics make it a very popular choice for women’s outerwear. Personally, I think that each of these fabrics has their own appeal, and at the end of the day, the one the wearer chooses is a question of taste. The quality of today’s viscose fabrics is no longer inferior to their top-grade cotton counterparts and both are often used in fabric blends.

    If you could dream up the perfect fabric composition based on a blend of high-quality cotton and beechwood fiber: what would it be like?
    Well, if we were talking women’s shirts this would be an easy question and I would almost only rely on cellulose or beechwood fiber fabrics like Micromodal. No offense, but this is because women are generally more educated when it comes to fabric standards in fashion. For men you probably still need a blend of fabrics that consists of around 50% high-quality cotton and about 30% to 40% cellulose. But I’d guess after a while even the most skeptical men will be convinced of the advantage of cellulose based fabrics since they feel smoother and gentler on the skin. And due to the production process, those materials appear shinier than their cotton counterparts. Processed beech wood fibers are a pioneering material in fashion that last but not least is more sustainable than cotton fibers since the cultivation requires less water and pesticide.

    What key criteria are used to assess the quality of cotton?
    The quality of cotton is all about how long the cotton fibers have grown. The reason for this is quite simple: the longer the fibers, the finer they can be spun later on in the manufacturing process. This makes the thread a lot smoother, which ultimately has an impact on how the fabric looks and feels. Cheap cotton fabrics manufactured with too many short fibers often make a piece of clothing look awkward and coarse. Long cotton fibers on the other hand lend the finished product a smooth, shiny surface. So in that respect, high-quality cotton is another essential ingredient for the perfect white T-shirt. The matte sheen, the most visible characteristic of top-grade cotton, is particularly popular among men.

    “A matte sheen of the fabric is particularly popular among men.”

    And the perfect look and feel also has a lot to do with how the material is made, doesn’t it?
    Absolutely. This is what we in the trade call the knit – in other words the method used to produce a fabric. In my opinion, the best material for a high-quality men’s T-shirt is a classic “Single Jersey” knit fabric. The reason for this is simple: clothes worn regularly come under a lot of strain, so it makes sense to choose a stretchy fabric. Knitted fabrics automatically have a certain stretch factor because of how they are made. A small amount of spandex – usually between 2 and 5 percent – also benefits the fit. Furthermore, Single Jersey fabrics boast a certain firmness – yet another important component for the quality of a men’s T-shirt.

    And surely one that benefits the durability of the T-shirt.
    Yes. Although it has to be said that a cotton T-shirt can never be as durable as a pair of jeans, for example. I’d particularly like to emphasize this point, because it’s relevant to the way we take care of the product. The perfect white T-shirt will only stay perfect if you look after it properly. I often hear my students saying things like: “Cotton? Well, I just throw it in the washing machine.” Often at 60°C and with a spin cycle of 1,400 rpm. Any T-shirt will have had it after going through that kind of torture.
    There are many areas where the consumer can play a part in how long a product lasts.

    “The perfect white T-shirt will only stay perfect if you look after it properly.”

    So what’s your expert advice for washing high-quality cotton textiles?
    Ideally, you should choose the delicates program on your washing machine – a maximum of 30°C and a spin cycle of 600 rpm. There’s still a common misconception that shirts washed at a higher spin cycle will end up with fewer creases. The opposite is in fact the case: the lower the rotation speed during the spin cycle, the fewer creases your shirt will have. After washing, pull the T-shirt into shape and leave it to dry. If you want to be a perfectionist, you can dry the T-shirt flat – that way it will retain its shape for longer and will end up with hardly any creases at all, even if you don’t iron it. By the way, your choice of detergent makes a huge difference, too. I’d recommend a liquid detergent for washing delicate items. Liquid detergents don’t contain bleach, so they are gentler on your clothes and on the environment, too. Liquids are also easier to measure out – a benefit that really shouldn’t be underestimated, especially for men. (laughs)

    You might have a point there. Finally, can you tell us the maximum amount of money you would spend on the perfect T-shirt?
    That’s difficult to say. Price sensitivity varies in this respect from person to person. For me personally, a decisive factor when it comes to price is to consider how I’ll be able to use the item in question. If I were a man, I’d expect to be able to wear a T-shirt in all kinds of situations, whether as an undershirt or as an alternative to a button-up shirt. I’d put a T-shirt meeting those criteria somewhere in the 50-euro price category. Of course, you’ll also find T-shirts costing more than 100 euros, but I’d say the market volume for that kind of product is pretty low.


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    3_Fashion History Classics: Invention of the T-Shirt


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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with the Co-Founders of Whytes

    Januar 19th, 2016

    Whytes, the Lifestyle Brand for Men on the Quest of Designing the Perfect White T-Shirt.

    whytes, Interview with co-founders of whytes, whytes the perfect white t-shirt, the perfect white t-shirt, perfect white t-shirt, t-shirt, white t-shirt, Thomas Escher, Nadia Botzenhard, Made in Germany, Fashion Interview, Fashion Interviews, Fashion Designer Interview, Fashion behind the Scene, Fashion Backstage

    What makes the perfect white T-shirt? We put this question to the co-founders of the German lifestyle brand whytes. Read on what the fashion experts have to say about their start-up, fabric quality and design.

    Interview by

    Nadia, Thomas you’re both the Co-Founders of the German Lifestyle Brand Whytes. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

    Nadia: I’m a Tunisian-born, professional Fashion Designer, who’d been working in New York’s bustling Fashion Industry since 2009. I started my fashion career as a Sales and Marketing Consultant at “agent 011″, one of New York’s finest lifestyle showrooms located in the fancy neighborhood of SoHo. When John Richmond, one of England’s top tier ready to wear designers, offered me to lead his US-Sales Department out of New York, I took the opportunity with both hands. A career step that got me acquainted with the who’s who of New York’s fashion scene. Today, I advise several European fashion brands in all aspects of their sales strategy and market my own collection throughout selected retail boutiques across Europe. I hold a business degree from the “University of Cooperative Education (UCE)”, a Fashion Illustration Certificate from “FIT” and I’m  fluent in Arabic, French, English and German. An advantage that I’m eager to use, in order to establish “whytes” as an exclusive lifestyle brand for fashionable men around the world.

    Thomas: I’m a German-born award-winning Information Architect, who’s been developing digital products for over a decade. I started my career in 2001, when signing up to work as a Marketing Manager for Hubert Burda Media, one of the biggest publishing houses in Europe. In 2009, I took a leap of faith and moved from Munich to New York City, where I started to work as a Digital Consultant for renowned agencies and freelance clients. During my career, I’ve been developing products and services for brands such as Audi, Mercedes, Microsoft and Fujitsu. I hold a Marketing Degree from the “University of Cooperative Education (UCE), several Marketing and User Experience Certificates from New York’s General Assembly and I’m  fluent in English and German. For me, nothing is more sinister than poor quality and bad craftsmanship. I’m eager to eliminate both of these pet peeves by putting all of my career learning’s into beautiful physical products for lifestyle-loving men.

    That sounds great. So, tell us how you came up with the idea of starting your own business. Why white T-Shirts for men?

    Thomas: At first I was in doubt. Could it really be? I mean, it’s the 21st century after all. We are about to invent the self-driving car but can’t tackle the problem of designing a white, slim fit T-Shirt for fashionable men? I started to dig deeper, chatting up fashion bloggers from around the world, asking them for advice. The more I talked to those guys, the more obvious it became: there was no such thing as a slim fit, well sewn white T-Shirt. At least not one, that wouldn’t break the bank for the regular guy.

    So what happens when you realize you can’t find something you’d like to have? Right: you start creating it yourself – or at least, tinkering with the idea. Especially when you have a partner in crime that’s been working in New York’s fashion industry for years and knows a thing or two about design, quality fabrics and cuts. And so we did. Over the course of 18 months we’ve gathered feedback from a couple of hundred men, by asking them one simple question: “What does the perfect white T-Shirt look like for you?” We tested as much as 22 fabrics and more than a dozen patterns until we came up with something we believe is the perfect white T-Shirt – for now. Because we won’t stop here and hope our audience won’t either. With their help we’d like to make our product even better over time.

    Ok, what makes your white T-Shirt perfect?

    Nadia: Well, it’s the fabric and cut of our T-Shirt. Let me dive deeper into it. Finding the perfect fabric was a rather hard nut to crack. After we’ve put 22 different jersey fabrics to an intense washing test, there was only one that matched our ambition: A European made premium lightweight blend of Combed Cotton and Micromodal. Combed Cotton is a refined version of cotton, where slim brushes are used to pull out any impurities and short cotton fibers to obtain only the purest material. Micromodal is a rather new fiber made from beech wood and spun into ultra-fine yarns to give our T-Shirts the perfect fineness and a super-soft feeling. Micromodal is feather-light and makes the shirt almost feel like a second skin. Our luxurious blend is more absorbent than regular fabrics and ensures that our T-Shirts don’t shrink or stretch.

    During an extensive 18 months prototyping session, we’ve created over a dozen different patterns. Our pre-final product was put to the test last summer, when we had 150 random guys in Munich’s English garden to finally try it on for the first time. Our research obviously paid off: we’ve gathered great positive responses on the overall slim fit style – especially the mid-length slim cut sleeves. But the real stunner for our testers was the fact that we are offering two different lengths for each size. Something so many of them had been looking forever. We also got a thumbs up on our signature black collar ribbon – which obviously isn’t only a distinctive design element but also stabilizes the cut and keeps the shirt in shape after so many washes.

    Wow, that’s impressive. And you guys produce your Shirts in Germany, right?

    Thomas: That’s absolutely right. High quality and expert craftsmanship are the core values of our brand. If you’d have to think of a country that stands for exactly those principals, what would you come up with? See, there obviously is no alternative, is there? And since one of us (laughs) was born and raised in this quality loving land of perfectionism, it felt even more natural to find a local manufacturer for the production of the perfect white T-Shirt. Especially since our fabrics are made in Western Europe as well – a fact that guarantees an easy, fast and emission-conscious supply chain.

    Made in Germany. That sounds expensive. What does a perfect white T-Shirt cost and where can I get it?

    Nadia: (laughs) – Our perfect white T-Shirt won’t cost you a fortune, even though it is “Made in Germany”. It’s a premium T-Shirt and can be worn as an undershirt as a basic or a stand alone shirt both in summer and winter. It’ll cost you 32 EUR plus shipping (depending on what country you’re living in) and can always be bought on our eCommerce website: Right now, you’ll find us at several offline retailers as well, for instance at Daniels Moden in Munich and Cologne. There we offer our fashionable interested men two different shirt styles: our V-neck and crew-neck in 10 different sizes.

    You guys really thought this through, didn’t you? What are your future plans, anything you want to share with us today?

    Thomas: Sure. First of all, we’d like to share with you that our start-up whytes made it into the February issue of the German Playboy. We’re really happy about it and appreciate their trust in recommending us. That’s just great. Of course, we’re working on getting more press coverage from other magazines as well.

    Nadia: With that being said, we’ll keep up the hard work Marketing- and Sales-wise to spread the word of our start-up. From the design perspective, we’d love to extend our white T-Shirt to more different fashion products on the long run.

    Awesome, we’ll keep the fingers crossed for you guys. Hard work pays off. Good luck to you and thank you for the interesting interview!

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    3_Fashion Backstage: Interview w/ESMOD fabric specialist Ms. Menne


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    Fashion Backstage: Speakingfashion with Catherine Malandrino

    August 19th, 2013

    catherine malandrino, malandrino, fashion designer malandrino, catherine malandrino interview

    Once upon a time in the 70s of the last century, a young Fashion Princess lived an untroubled childhood in the idyllic French Alps. Along with her three sisters, the young girl enjoyed pastoral life in her native city of Grenoble in France. Skiing was the princess’ favorite leisure time activity. When her 12th birthday rolled around, her desire to distinguish herself from all the other skiers on the slopes began to burn strongly within her. And so, one night, she crept stealthily down to her mother’s sewing kit and removed a needle and some thread. With it she tailored a ski suit that was a thousand times prettier and a thousand times more ornate than any that had ever been seen in the land. The ski suit made with silver and gold-colored fabric instantly transformed the young Fashion Princess into the star of the slopes. A heady moment during which the young girl became aware that her self-made fashion bestowed her with a secret power, a power that singled her out. And she began to fantasize about using this secret power on all the young women of this world. Today, some 30 years later, this very French Princess rules the Fashion Capital of the world: New York.

    speakfashion: Catherine, your first encounter with the world of fashion almost sounds like a fairy tale. Have your ambitions changed while you grew up?

    Catherine Malandrino: No not at all. I grew up with this dream of changing women, to empower them. I first realized that when I got all these compliments from strangers adoring my uniquely designed ski suit. All of a sudden I was somebody. The suit made me feel like a superstar on the local slope. This experience triggered something. I knew back then, that the right design would bring confidence and strength even to the most insecure individual.

    speakfashion: Is it safe to say that the feeling of being special through a unique piece of clothing basically triggered you to become a professional Fashion Designer?

    Catherine Malandrino: Yes. I wanted to share this feeling with all the women in the world. I wanted them to have the same, wonderful experience. So when the time was ripe to leave my beautiful hometown I applied for a scholarship at ESMOD in Paris. And sure enough, I got in.

    “Everything was falling into place. The man gave me wings to really fly.”

    How come that a Parisian trained Fashion Designer hops over the pond and tries to make it in New York?

    Catherine Malandrino: Well, that’s another story (hearty laughter). After I graduated from ESMOD I worked for Dorothée Bis, Louis Féraud and Emanuel Ungaro, before I started off at “Et Vous” in 1998. The latter send me over to New York on a business trip where I met Bernard Aiden, then a Manager for “Et Vous” America and – well, fell deeply in love with him. So much so, that I decided to leave my life in Paris behind and move to New York for good.

    speakfashion: Wow, that sounds like a true adventure. But obviously, it did pay off well for you. So it definitely was the right decision, wasn’t it?

    Catherine Malandrino: Yes, absolutely. I moved here and my career basically exploded. As a matter of fact, one of my first dinner parties was an invitation from Diane von Furstenberg who, at the very same evening, asked me to be the Head Designer for her new collection. Everything just was falling into place.

    speakfashion: When did you first start thinking of establishing your own brand?

    Catherine Malandrino: Well, I didn’t have so much time to think back then. I was busy designing for Diane but knew that I wanted to have my own label at some point. So I worked at DVF during the day and on my own collection after work and on the weekends. Back then I was working on the iconic ‘Flag Collection’ which turned out to be a perfect fit for Americans in the aftermath of September 11th. The collection combined American patriotism with European elegance. It certainly was the breakthrough for my career and an important milestone for my own label.

    Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013

    speakfashion: In your collections today you still play with the controversy of the two cities you love most: Paris and New York. Is that something we will see continuing in the collections to come?

    Catherine Malandrino: Yes, no doubt about it. I am still in love with the French elegance, its romanticism and sentimentality. On the other hand though, I get this tremendous shot of energy every time I land and one of New York City’s airports. There is a big contrast between the two cities and I try to put this tension together so it appears almost as one united state of mind.

    “I cannot imagine being anything else but a fashion designer. “

    Besides your dream of combining the identity of these two inspiring cities, what else pushes you to work as a designer every day?

    Catherine Malandrino: Honestly, I cannot imagine being anything but a Fashion Designer. I get so much pleasure out of designing new pieces every day and even more so because I know, I’ll bring pleasure to others. Fashion to me is about expressing a moment. It’s a part of your personality. And I feel very lucky to help so many different women to progress their personalities every day. Can you ask for more inspiration?

    speakfashion: Most certainly not, Catherine. Thanks a bunch for sharing your story and all the best for the future.

    A feature story version of this interview recently appeared in the international Lifestyle and Design Magazine ‘The Brander‘, written by our very own Thomas Escher.

    Catch up with Catherine Malandrino
    Catherine Malandrino – NYC Headquater
    275 W 39th St, New York City, Phone: 212.840.0106 ext. 125


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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Fiona Paxton

    Januar 11th, 2013

    Fiona Paxton, Fashion Backstage, Fashion behind the Scene, fashion designer interview, Fashion Interview, Fashion Interviews, Jewelry Design, Jewelry Designer, Accessories Designer, Fashion Designer London, speak fashion, speakfashion, speaking fashion

    speakfashion: Fiona, you are quite a newbie in the field of jewelry design. What took you so long to find this passion and step into the business?

    Fiona Paxton: Yes it’s strange. Over the years I became inspired more by accessories and realized there was no jewelry on the market that I wanted to really buy, so I decided to try and fill that gap.

    speakfashion: Why jewelry?

    Fiona Paxton: It is something anyone can wear, any age, any size and it always makes you feel good.

    speakfashion: Before you established your own brand you’d worked for widely known garment designers – what’s the biggest difference between designing garments and jewelry?

    Fiona Paxton: It is all about details. When I design jewelry I always think about what you would wear it with and the shape it makes on the body. In that way it is not so different. The biggest difference is in the materials though. Using hard metals and trying to get them to drape and be soft on the body is a completely other ballgame than working with smooth and soft fabrics.

    speakfashion: After you opened up your own design studio in 2008 your success quickly skyrocketed. What’s the secret behind your major success story?

    Fiona Paxton: I think it was the right time, the right product and the right place. I love ethnic and tribal designs and jewelry pieces that are made by hand. I guess that’s a passion lots of people share with me and therefore didn’t hesitate to buy into the concept. Individual, handcrafted designs become more and more a trend in a world, where anybody buys their coffee at Starbucks, gets their interior from IKEA and wears clothes from either H&M or Zara. In a globalized world, every so often we need something unique that makes our personality stand out of the crowd.

    Fiona Paxton - Fashion InterviewFiona Paxton - Fashion InterviewFiona Paxton - Fashion InterviewFiona Paxton - Fashion InterviewFiona Paxton - Fashion InterviewFiona Paxton - Fashion InterviewFiona Paxton - Fashion InterviewFiona Paxton - Fashion Interview

    speakfashion: We couldn’t agree more, Fiona. Since you mentioned H&M and Zara: do you think that fashion has become more tangible due to the fast fashion trend and if so, are accessory designers in general the main beneficiary of this development?

    Fiona Paxton: I hope that is true. I realize that more and more people spend their money on long lasting pieces of accessory rather than on short term fashion trends. On the other hand I’m also convinced, that the days of buying things and wearing them once have gone. Fast fashion definitely makes our products available to many people who didn’t have the possibility to shop for trends before. Nevertheless, I think cheap products that only buy into trend are not necessarily good on any level.

    speakfashion: We always try to advice our readers: In your professional opinion, what differentiates good designed jewelry from cheap junk?

    Fiona Paxton: I like all my pieces to drape and hang beautifully on the body so they are easy to wear and flattering. The length and the closures, the finish and the little details make all the difference. That’s something you have to keep in mind when buying accessories.

    speakfashion: That sounds plausible. And what kind of jewelry should definitely be part of every woman’s drawer?

    Fiona Paxton: Anything that makes you feel special when putting it on.

    speakfashion: What are the future plans for our brand?

    Fiona Paxton: To build on what we have developed, improving the trade mark styles and adding new and exciting materials but always abiding by the handmade philosophy and the unique identity of our pieces.

    speakfashion: Thanks Fiona and good luck for everything to come in the future.

    Catch up with Fiona Paxton
    Fiona Paxton – London Headquater
    Unit 224 Aberdeen Centre, 22-24 Highbury Grove,London

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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Tina Schenk of “Werkstatt”

    November 21st, 2012

    speak fashion, fashion backstage, Tina Schenk, Werkstatt NYC, Sample Room NYC, Sample Room New York, Pattern Maker NYC, Pattern Maker New York

    Catch up with Tina Schenk

    Tina Schenk – Werkstatt Headquaters NYC
    347 W 36th Street, Suit 1003
    New York, NY 10018
    Visit the Corporate Site of Werkstatt
    Catch Tina Schenk by eMail

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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Lumete Eyewear

    August 19th, 2012
    speakingfashion, speakfashion, speak fashion, fashion designer interview, fashion backstage, Lumete, Lumete Eyewear, Lumete New York, sunglasses, sunglasses designer, Barbara Warren, Carla Herrera

    Thumb through the Lumete video

    Don’t have the time to see the entire interview? Just browse through. Below we emphasize Lumete Eyewear’s most remarkable quotes.

    ‘I wanted to design something that I wanted to wear but couldn’t find anywhere.’ [03:27]

    ‘Making a point in designing sunglasses is challenging’ [04:42]

    ‘We don’t follow trends. That’s something very important to me.’ [05:11]

    ‘Our sunglasses are all handmade, which means they are not injection molded like most other glasses on the market.’ [08:52]

    ‘Our sunglasses are very friendly priced for handmade sunglasses.’ [11:10]

    ‘The sunglasses industry is mainly dominated by one company.’ [12:03]

    Catch up with Lumete Eyewear

    Lumete Eyewear in the digital cloud:
    Like or tweet with Lumete Eyewear on Facebook or Twitter
    Chat with Barbara Warren and Clara Herrera on Lumete’s Blog
    Visit the Corporate Site of Lumete Eyewear

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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Shoe Designer Ruthie Davis

    Oktober 13th, 2011

    speak fashion, fashion backstage, Ruthie Davis, Shoe Designer Ruthie Davis, Ruthie Davis Shoes, Shoedesigner, Shoe Designer, Ruthie Davis Interview

    Thumb through the Ruthie Davis video

    Don’t have the time to see the entire interview? Just browse through. Below we emphasize Ruthie Davis’ most remarkable quotes.

    ‘Well, if a Manolo Blahnik and a Nike had a Baby, what would it look like? The answer to this question was my original brand concept.’ [01:54]

    ‘What I am attracted to in a shoe is actually its construction and therefore the heel.’ [03:28]

    ‘I am usually inspired by buildings, sidewalks, fences – things that are sort of industrial looking.’ [04:23]

    ‘No, I do not think that men are better Shoe Designers.’ [08:37]

    ‘I have a new quote which is: Entrepreneurship equals Design’. [09:01]

    ‘I think it’s starting to happen that Designers now realize that they need to have the business skills.’ [09:25]

    ‘A new Fashion Designer first and foremost needs one basic skill: experience.’ [10:29]

    ‘What’s the bigger picture? A lot of people tend to have this one idea and don’t think about the overall concept.’ [13:46]

    ‘I do think there is a need for great men’s shoes.’ [14:15]

    Catch up with Ruthie Davis

    Ruthie Davis in the digital cloud:
    Like or tweet with Ruthie Davis’ on Facebook or Twitter
    Read from Ruthie Davis with Love on Tumblr
    Find more Ruthie Davis Shoe Designs on Blogger
    Visit the Corporate Site of Ruthie Davis Shoes

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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Toni Francesc

    März 18th, 2011
    speak fashion, fashion designer interview, Toni Francesc, New York Fashion Week, Ready to wear

    Speaking Fashion with Toni Francesc was brought to you

    Thumb through the Video
    Don’t have the time to see the entire interview? Just browse through. Below we emphasize the most remarkable quotes.

    ‘Before I create a new collection I have to feel its spirit from the bottom of my heart.’ [02:30]

    ‘I consider my style made for being worn on the street.’ [03:01]

    ‘I’m convinced that simplicity is in the beauty and therefore I look for the beauty in the simple.’ [04:43]

    ‘I was looking for a concept that would provide me with a smaller and more localized idea of the European Phoenix.’ [06:04]

    ‘In my mind everybody is able to change his own nature and state of mind at any given time.’ [07:00]

    ‘For any stage Garuda goes through I created a counterpart within my collection.’ [08:00]

    ‘Fashion design and therefore fashion designers are already somehow universal.’ [09:36]

    ‘Being a designer means to suffer and a global competition makes it even tougher.’ [11:38]

    ‘Therefore I think the only way to become successful is to work hard every day.’ [13:26]

    Catch up with Toni Francesc
    Toni Francesc – Barcelona Headquater

    Juli Galvé i Brusson, 9-11 // 08918 Barcelona, Spain

    P: +34 93 460 56 68 // Email to Isabel Muñoz

    W: // View it on google maps.

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Shows: Toni Francesc’s Fall 2011 Runway Show
    2_Toni Francesc in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Backstage: Interview w/dress designer Elke Walter


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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter

    Februar 1st, 2011

    speakfashion: Elke, as far as the story goes did you step into the fashion business accidentally since you couldn’t find the right garment for yourself. Is that true?

    Elke Walter: Absolutely. It happened during the 90s while I lived in France, certainly the designated mother country of high fashion. Ironically I couldn’t find my dress of all dreams even there. So I decided to create one by myself. At this very first experience with fashion design I experienced the beauty of fabrics. This was the start for me as a fashion designer.

    speakfashion: Back then you didn’t have much experience either in design or in working with fabrics. How did you teach yourself into all that?

    Elke Walter: Honestly, I hate being taught. But I have a good taste and a very good feeling for high quality. And learning by doing is very often the best way to approach an unknown territory. So it took me some hard days and sleepless nights at the beginning before something wearable came out. But after all people started asking me where they could buy those dresses. At this time I knew I’m on the right track. I’m not very good in sketching but I know what I like and what makes women look beautiful. I’m a natural born designer.

    speakfashion: Sounds very dedicated. But since you don’t have all the typical skills fashion designers learn while studying, how do you create your designs then?

    Elke Walter: I choose the fabric I want to work with and have my mind go into it until I know what has to be done with. Then I start my creation as a courageous act: I take my scissors and I cut. I never draw. I never make sketches. I create sculptures. This is how I started and I’m still working within this unusual design process. Finally the cut will be made after my first sculptural prototype.

    speakfashion: Since you have lots of experience as a self-taught designer: What’s the most important skill for upcoming fashion designers?

    Elke Walter: In my mind the most important skill for a fashion designer is to work out his own design signature. A very unique handwriting combined with passion and diligence is probably a must have for future success.

    speakfashion: And what’s the biggest challenge designers have to struggle with when they start their own business?

    Elke Walter: All designers are challenged by the same uphill struggle which is to design a beautiful head-turner that is both comfortable and wearable at the same time. A great garment has to be stunning from all sides. It doesn’t make sense to work on a beautiful front and ignore the back for instance.

    speakfashion: Talking about stunning dresses. What’s your design all about?

    Elke Walter: All my Ready to Wear and Couture dresses are made out of a rectangular piece of fabric. That’s my individual design signature. I decided to work with this rectangular structure because the base of all things is simple. Why shouldn’t be the base of fashion design simple either? The simplicity keeps open all the possibilities to proceed later on. For me there is no other way of cutting. It has become sort of a personal dogma. It makes my designs very special, very comfortable and there is a new challenge in designing different items every day.

    speakfashion: A special design sounds very tempting. Are all your pieces still handmade too?

    Elke Walter: In the beginning I did everything myself. After a little while I got some helping hands working in my Hamburg based design studio. But 2011 will be the year where we have to outsource the production to specialized German production companies.

    speakfashion: That means you’d broaden up your fashion line in the past since you need more and more outside vendors to help you out?

    Elke Walter: Yes, definitely. Meanwhile I’m running four lines. My all-time bestselling line ‘TOKYO’ which is made of black Japanese polyester and sold by retailers worldwide. ‘ADAN’, an abbreviation for ‘All-Day-All-Night’, is a line where I design street wear. I also have a highly exclusive line which is what it says: ‘Elke-Walter-One-Of-A-Kinds’. All designs are custom-made for special occasions of special clients. To bridge the gap between the lines I’ll put on another one this year ranging from street wear to cocktail and evening dresses.
    As for the fabrics I love modern yarns that make fabrics better to wear and more beautiful. Oh and I have to confess: I am a polyester maniac.

    speakfashion: So it seems you found yourself a niche where customers are willing to pay for sophisticated designs rather than to go for widely known fashion brands?

    Elke Walter: That’s true, yes. But you have to be able to react really fast to market changes if you want to survive in this niche. Do what big companies can’t: React fast to changing demands of women and you can get decent prices for your designs. Speaking of the reproducible lines my designs start at 300 Euros and go up to 1,500 Euros. My unique pieces range between 2,500 and 10,000 Euros.

    speakfashion: Did you experience a distinctive taste in different countries since you market your clothes all over the world?

    Elke Walter: Today there is no difference between the countries. Fashion is international. It is the attitude of women that makes the difference. In general I would say that women everywhere have the same token: Dressing up to be beautiful.

    speakfashion: This statement pictures a bright future for fashion though. What’s your plan for the upcoming season?

    Elke Walter: Oh there is a lot going on in 2011. First of all I’d like to bring out my men’s line. To broaden up our sales promotion we’ll open up a showroom in Milan and get some promotion assistance from our US and Japanese agent. In March we will have a runway show in the German Embassy in Tokyo as well. So stay tuned and keep an eye up for Elke Walter designs.

    speakfashion: We will Elke. Thanks so much for sharing all these ideas with us. Enjoy your trip to Tokyo.

    Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter
    Catch up with Elke Walter
    Elke Walter – Hamburg Headquater

    Eppendorfer Weg 235 // 20251 Hamburg, Germany

    P: +49 (40) 47.29.65 // Email to Elke Walter

    W: // Visit Elke Walter on facebook

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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Roni Hirshberg of Generation Love Clothing

    Dezember 10th, 2010

    Interview blast from the past, December 2010, New York

    Roni Hirshberg, co-founder of fashion label ‘Generation Love Cloting‘ is convinced, that anybody can become a Designer if he’s really passionate about his idea. ‘If you don’t feel it from your soul it’s not going to go to the next level’ Hirshberg acknowledges in her fashion chat with Hirshberg and her partner Audrey Bressa definitely feel their inner voice. What started as a crazy idea over beers its going to spread out all over the world in the meantime.

    Speaking Fashion with Roni Hirshberg of Generation Love. Brought to you by

    Thumb through the Video
    Don’t have the time to see the entire interview? Just browse through. Below we emphasize the most remarkable quotes.

    ‘I think if you really love something, it translates.’ [01:13]

    ‘You might have a lot of ideas but if you don’t feel it from your soul it’s not going to go to the next level.’ [02:09]

    ‘We are really about the girl who wants to look casually chic from day to night.’ [04:17]

    ‘At the end of the day it comes to detail, quality and the craftsmen ship. That’s what’s gonna last.’ [05:33]

    ‘Anyone can become a designer no matter what background he might have.’ [07:11]

    ‘We definitely want to get carried out all over the world, that’s our future plan.’ [08:17]

    Catch up with Generation Love
    Generation Love Clothing – NYC Headquater
    434 East 79th Street// New York, NY 10065
    P: 212.600.4384 // Email to Roni Hirshberg
    W: // View it on google maps.

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