Repositioning a brand: ”You build your reputation, even if it’s just a small one, but it can crumble and this is what you fear“ says designer Goetze

Design & Product / PR & Sales

The image and reputation of emerging brands are fragile. A repositioning can be dangerous. At Berlin based label Goetze they took the risk and tell us how it went

 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to establish a new brand in times when most relevant names are backed by corporate heavy-weights like Kering or LVMH. All the more difficult must it be to decide to re-position a still young and emerging brand whose reputation is still fragile.

Berlin based menswear label Goetze did just that. It was founded by Sissi Goetze in 2011 and in 2015 she decided to take a break to reflect and re-think. Lars Paschke is Associate Professor for Fashion Design at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and also friends with Goetze. He is her support when it comes to strategic development and image direction.

In this conversation, Goetze and Paschke tell us which changes have worked, which haven’t and whether the relaunch was a success.

(Title image spring summer 18)

 

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Ecoalf founder Javier Goyeneche on recycling fabrics: ”We clean up waste – we don’t burn any more resources“

Design & Product / Technology

Recycling fabrics is a good start to produce clothes that are more sustainable. However, there’s more steps in the value chain that need to be re-thought. Founder of label Ecoalf Javier Goyeneche is doing just that.

 

Last Wednesday, the Madrid based label opened their first German store in Berlin – of course, in an eco-friendly building with recycled materials. The sourcing for the product starts on coasts around the world where Goyeneche asks fishermen to bring back the waste that gets caught in their nets. This is how waste that otherwise would go back into the sea is brought back to life and ends up as jackets and bags in stores like La Rinascente, KaDeWe or Lane Crawford.

Javier Goyeneche talks to HFT about re-imagining the value chain, giving up margin and fighting windmills.

(Looks in header image from a collaboration with designer Sybilla)

 

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Dash magazine’s NoéMie Schwaller: „It’s illustration which captures our gaze“

History / Publishing

London-based Dash magazine celebrates fashion illustration as an art form. Editor-in-chief NoéMie Schwaller talks us through significant pieces of their archive

The diffusion of an image of a new collection usually starts at the end of a catwalk. A professional photographer takes a picture that is then sent off to newspapers, magazines, bloggers and PR agencies. In addition, since the introduction of the smartphone and social media, the same looks are being posted through various other channels, only from a different angle. The result: We basically see the same pictures over and over again.

A fashion illustration on the other hand has its origins in the brain of an artist, and thus, becomes so much more than only the depiction of a runway look.

NoéMie Schwaller is co-founder of the London based magazine Dash which is dedicated to the journalistic genre of fashion reporting and illustration as an art form. „In this visually saturated and fast-lived world, it’s illustration which captures our gaze for longer than any snapshot does“, she says.

 

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Illustration by Mats Gustafson

 

A fashion illustration can do what a mere picture of a runway look cannot: it reflects a point of view and becomes commentary rather than an objective report. An illustrator can lead our focus to what he or she believes is the point of an entire collection by exaggerating it or leaving out the less important bits: maybe it’s the silhouette that is more important than the colours or the fluidity of a fabric that is more telling than its texture.

We asked Schwaller to dig in her archives to discuss why she loves fashion illustration so much, why they are important and which ones touch her the most.

(Illustrations in header: François Berthoud (left) and Cecilia Carlstedt (right))

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Stylist Christian Stemmler: “Fashion should be political”

Photo & Styling / Publishing

Styling is more than merely picking clothes for editorial or commercial shoots. According to Christian Stemmler it can be a political act. In this interview, he tells us about his job: a lesson in how trends emerge

A good stylist can elevate the most basic piece of clothing, let’s say a white polo shirt, into a desirable product, all by putting it into context.

Stylists need to have a fine sense of what is going on around them. They are the ones who connect a designer’s work with the audience and as such they need to know what their cravings are at a particular moment in time.

What is the feel of the moment? Want more edge? Put said polo shirt on a skinny boy with a shaved head, button it up and combine it with a pair of black laced leather trousers and moto-cross boots. Is the mood more country club? Loosen the top button, choose a pair of khakis and put the outfit on a man with a side parting.

 

One of Stemmler’s preferred labels to shoot: KTZ

 

When I first met Christian „Stemmi“ Stemmler more than ten years ago, he was an assistant, carrying a big blue bag, (you know, the ones you get at Ikea), collecting samples from Berlin designers for a shoot.

Today, Stemmler is well over the stage of being an apprentice. He is not only a renown freelance stylist and creative consultant for various fashion brands in his own rights, he is also fashion editor-at-large for the German edition of L’Officiel Hommes.

So what is Stemmler’s feel of the moment? „Stemmi“ feels political responsibility, regarding diversity and the blurring of the genders. And Berlin club kids. Read on for a lesson in how trends emerge.

(Credits both header images: Kristin-Lee-Molmann for L’Officiel Hommes)

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Robert Bartholot: “I’m not looking to capture reality”

Photo & Styling / Publishing

How do you make an image count in times of Instagram? Make them as elaborate and unique as you can. Artist Robert Bartholot says he is not a photographer, his camera is merely a tool: “It’s about the image, not photography.”

As with everything else in this world, digitalisation has its pros and cons. A pro: I can publish this article without having to move from my desk or hammock and still reach a worldwide audience.

Before digital, you’d either be part of an editorial office (for a print publication or a broadcaster) or you’d literally spend hours at the copier to put together your fanzine (probably the analogue equivalent to a blog) – and then, your audience would be very limited.

A con: since copying and pasting is no longer a matter of hours at the machine but rather a matter of a click, we are being exposed to an endless stream of information, at every moment of the day.

We are being bombarded with images. What’s a picture worth these days? And why bother making them yourself if reposting the ones of others brings you just as many likes?

 

Robert Bartholot: never being boring

 

Because someone has to. Otherwise we’ll be drowning in endless repetition and, eventually, die from boredom. The artist Robert Bartholot is one of the people who make sure this is not going to happen. The elaborate compositions he photographs are far from the random Insta-snapshots that are out there in abundance.

Bartholot gave me two hours of his time and this is the essence of we talked about. Take a glimpse at how creativity happens – picture by picture.

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