RSS .92| RSS 2.0| ATOM 0.3| iTunes
  • Home
  • Fashion Dictionary
  • Fashion History
  • Fashion Week Dates
  • Dress Sizes
  • Terms of Use

    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Shoe Designer Ruthie Davis

    April 12th, 2017

    Interview blast from the past, October 2011, New York.

    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


    Related Articles:
    1_Versage boots worn by Denise, Streetstyle New York #8
    2_Ruthie Davis in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Ed Hardy’s beauty heel in speakfashion’s fashion style tip



    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Toni Francesc

    Januar 26th, 2017

    Interview blast from the past, March 2011, New York

    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



    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter

    November 21st, 2016

    Interview blast from the past, February 2011, New York

    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


    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Shows: Tibi’s Fall 2012 Runway Show
    2_Elke Walter in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Nomia’s Fall 2012 Presentation



    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

    September 13th, 2016

    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.


    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Katya Leonovich’s Fall 2012 Presentation
    2_Generation Love in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Mara Hoffman’s Spring 2013 Runway Show



    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with ‚BURKHALTER couture‘

    Juli 19th, 2016

    Interview blast from the past, October 2010, Geneva

    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 Headquaters

    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


    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Toni Francesc’s Fall 2011 Runway Show
    2_Burkhalter Couture in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Dior’s Fall 2012/13 Couture Show



    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with ‚Cindy Steffens‘

    Juni 2nd, 2016

    Interview blast from the past, September 2010, Vienna

    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– Headquaters in Hamburg
    Kleiner Schippsee 15 // 21073 Hamburg
    P: +49 (176) 995.010.11 // Email to Cindy Steffens
    W: // Catch up with Cindy on Facebook


    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion History Classics: Invention of the Cloche Hat
    2_Cindy Steffens in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Accessory: Bebe hat



    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    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.


    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Backstage: Interview w/co-founders of whytes
    2_ESMOD in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion History Classics: Invention of the T-Shirt



    Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Jeremy Lindberg of agent 011

    Februar 4th, 2016

    Interview blast from August 2010, New York City

    Jeremy Lindberg is the owner of agent 011 showroom in New York City. Headquartered in the middle of SoHo, Lindberg’s team retails fashion to department stores such as Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys. Founded in 2005 agent 011 is one of the most successful retailers in the field of fashion BtoB sales. The showroom carries brands like Ruthi Davis, Fenton & Fallon or S.W.O.R.D.

    Speak Fashion talks with Lindberg about the difference between trend and fashion, the future perspective of online sales and why the missing intellectual property in fashion doesn’t really matter.

    Speaking Fashion with Jeremy Lindberg of agent 011 from Speak Fashion on Vimeo.

    Thumb through the Video
    Don’t have the time to see the entire interview? Just browse through. Below we emphasize the most remarkable quotes.“Imitation is a sincerious form of flattery.” [05:40]

    “The missing intellectual property in fashion doesn’t really matter because at the time the copies come out, a true designer has moved on.” [06:30]

    “There is a big difference between trend and fashion.” [07:23]

    “In comparison with the last years fashion is getting more and more tangible.” [09:05]

    “In a future perspective online flash sales will be both, a blessing and a curse.” [09:44]

    “Designers can absolutely be successful only retailing online.” [13:09]


    Catch up with agent 011
    agent 011 – NYC Headquaters42 Greene Street Loft #4 // New York, NY 10013

    P: 212.334.5802 // Email to Jeremy Lindberg

    W: // View it on google maps.


    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Backstage: Interview w/shoe designer Ruthie Davis
    2_agent 011 Showroom in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Backstage: Interview w/Generation Love



    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    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!

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion History Classics: Invention of the T-Shirt
    2_Whytes in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Backstage: Interview w/ESMOD fabric specialist Ms. Menne



    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    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



    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,