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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.

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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 23rd, 2010

    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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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with ‘BURKHALTER couture’

    Oktober 26th, 2010

    speakfashion: Stéphanie, what encouraged you to enter the glitzy and glamorous world of fashion?

    BURKHALTER couture: Well, I’ve already developed a special interest for classic drawing and oil painting in my earliest childhood. Being a very reserved and solitary child, I spent entire days in my room for drawing, contained in my world of fantasy. At the age of 16 I began an international Model career which made me travel in every corner of the world. With this experience I decided to unite fashion with drawing and I attended the prestigious fashion school ‘Marangoni’ in Milan. I obtained my diploma in 2005 and worked with many Italian fashion companies ever since. During this time I started to draw my own collection. In 2008 BURKHALTER couture was born.

    speakfashion: How would you describe your label and what’s the basic style of ‘BURKHALTER Couture’?

    BURKHALTER couture: BURKHALTER couture proposes a sensual timeless line, handmade in Italy. We understand ourselves as no season Haute Couture label with juvenile tendencies maintaining nevertheless some classical and luxurious style. Within this understanding I mainly design cocktail and red carpet dresses using typical high quality fabrics like satin, silk, taffeta stretch, and cadi revers. Our intense Haute Couture style addresses especially women who are sensual and sure of themselves. Although my collections are not limited I mostly create dresses since I love the fact that woman only look perfectly feminine in a dress.

    speakfashion: For you personally, what’s the biggest challenge in designing couture?

    BURKHALTER couture: The biggest challenge is always the transformation of my ideas. It is sometimes slightly tricky to get these crazy and nonspecific thoughts into an actual dress. After I have an idea in mind I usually start to work with materials, touch them, feel them and try to get them to work on the mannequin. Then I have to draw some sketches that are similar to the original but a little less crazy but more wearable.

    speakfashion: Is Haute Couture truly wearable for average people with an average lifestyle or is it still kind of an artsy hobby for wealthy women?

    BURKHALTER couture: I would say that basically everybody could wear Haute Couture. However, the haut couture approach is very expensive and requires a very wealthy target group for this reason. That means that the actual Haute Couture target groups are jet set women between 25 and 65 who are living literally in the high societies around the world. And that’s the good news though: Haute Couture won’t die because there always will be very wealthy people around.

    speakfashion: Ok, let’s talk about the budget then. What’s the price range of your actual collection?

    BURKHALTER couture: My collection starts with pieces for 1.500 Euros and can go up to 4.200 Euros depending on the actual piece, fabric and sewing. My best seller is actually this beautiful dress in gray cadi revers which I gave the name ‘Purity’ because of its clear line. My customers love the clarity of the line that gives them the opportunity to wear this dress for different occasions.

    speakfashion: Compared with ready to wear fashion what would you say: Is Haute Couture the true trendsetter that dictates the rules for upcoming Ready to Wear styles?

    BURKHALTER couture: Haute Couture is high end of sewing, high research and therefore the high end of a Ready to Wear. Haute Couture is the one and only trendsetter particularly because it comes out earlier than ready to wear and works as sort of the genesis for new collections. Both of them are working with the same base but the craziness and the ideas are truly pushed by Haute Couture designs. Although Ready to Wear is certainly the trendsetter for Fast Fashion.

    speakfashion: Well, that sounds obvious. Thanks for sharing with us. Would you let us finally know what’s next for ‘BURKHALTER Couture’?

    BURKHALTER couture: I’m thinking of moving into another country right now. I’ll probably go to the U.S. sometime soon since there are still a lot of opportunities to promote and evolve my label. We’ll see.

    speakfashion: Well, good luck then if you really going to hop over the pond and thank you for this interesting chat.

    Speaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter Couture
    Wanna touch base with ‘Stéphanie Burkhalter’?
    BURKHALTER couture – Geneva Headquater

    BURKHALTER couture // 129, Rue de Lausanne // 1202 Geneva
    P: + 41 (0) 22 732 47 85 // Email to Stéphanie Burkhalter

    W: // View it on google maps.

    Catch up with BURKHALTER couture on Facebook or Twitter

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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with ‘Cindy Steffens’

    September 25th, 2010
    speakfashion:Cindy, before we talk about your hat-designs, just tell us quickly about yourself and how you came up with the idea of an own fashion label?

    cindy steffens:
    Well, since of my childhood ‘art’ and ‘design’ was surrounding me. I’ve known very early that I’m going to do something creative. After I finished my university entrance diploma in 1998, I started a fashion design education and afterwards I completed my fashion design degree 2005 in Hannover.

    Why did you decide to design hats?

    cindy steffens:I’ve done two different internships during my study where I discovered my love and passion to hats. I was so obsessed creating my own hat-designs and nothing changed until now.

    speakfashion:What’s the basic idea behind your style? Or in other words: What distinguish ‘cindy steffens’ from other hat designers?

    cindy steffens: On one hand I emphasize a certain technique in designing my hats. I knot feathers, twirl silk or I’m tearing fabrics to follow them up with the famous ‘bobbin lace-making’ method. On the other hand I’m using different and unusual materials like glass, metal, silk, hair-felt or real hedgehog-needles, root ages, lacquer, leather and rubber. Every so often I also reprocess real branches and original veil from the 30s.

    speakfashion:What’s the biggest challenge in designing hats?

    cindy steffens: The biggest challenge in designing hats is definitely to keep the hat in its usual and basic form. It is very exhausting and hard to deal with that. In this case I’m always working with hot water-steam, at least when I’m using hair-felt. On one hand I really like working with this material but on the other hand it is also very difficult to handle it correctly. It could happen that you get some wholes and bumps by accident for instance.

    speakfashion: How does your main target group look like?

    cindy steffens: My clients are on average between 25 and 45 years old. But I also have a client who is already 85. They all have one thing in common: They love to emphazise their personality by wearing an appropriate hat. Handsome women, trend-setter who set themselves apart from the general public.

    speakfashion: What’s the price range of your hats?

    cindy steffens: My prices start at a minimum of EUR 55,- and they can go up to EUR 150,- which is the more usual price of a hat since they are all hand-made in my shop in Vienna. And every hat has its unique design. That means, there is no best seller which I’d fabricate over and over again. If you buy a particular design you can be sure that this is the only one. Because of this uniqueness there is certainly no price limit to the top.

    speakfashion: Wearing classical hats were an indicator of social status in the olden days. When do people wear your hats basically these days? Is there a certain occasion for ’cindy steffens’?

    cindy steffens: Lots of my clients want to have an appropriate hat to a certain dress. The ‘Vienna balls’ are often a particular occasion for my designs. My clients are wearing my hats to weddings as well, whether the bride by herself or simply the wedding guests. And some of my clients only try to escape from their daily grind in wearing my sophisticated hat-designs as a nice accessory.

    speakfashion: Do you have already shown your hat-designs during a fashion week?

    cindy steffens: Yes, last year twice in Berlin and Vienna. This year I’m going to present my designs in Vienna as well. But I’m also attending different exhibitions in Europe during the year.

    speakfashion: What are your plans for the future? Any secrets you want to share with us today?

    cindy steffens: I’d like to extend my store in Vienna with a second person who can help me out in designing and merchandising my hats. I also would like to offer my designs in more cities and countries like Dublin for instance because I really love this city!

    speakfashion: Sounds great Cindy. Thank you for the chat and keep us posted on your story.

    Speaking Fashion with Hat Designer Cindy SteffensSpeaking Fashion with Hat Designer Cindy SteffensSpeaking Fashion with Hat Designer Cindy SteffensSpeaking Fashion with Hat Designer Cindy SteffensSpeaking Fashion with Hat Designer Cindy SteffensSpeaking Fashion with Hat Designer Cindy SteffensSpeaking Fashion with Hat Designer Cindy SteffensSpeaking Fashion with Hat Designer Cindy SteffensSpeaking Fashion with Hat Designer Cindy Steffens
    Wanna touch base with ‘Cindy Steffens’?
    Cindy Steffens- Headquater in Hamburg
    Kleiner Schippsee 15 // 21073 Hamburg
    P: +49 (176) 995.010.11 // Email to Cindy Steffens
    W: // Catch up with Cindy on Facebook

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