Mode, Trending

Designer for Tomorrow Award – Unser Interview mit Stella McCartney

Wie werden Jungdesignern zu Labels, die sich tatsächlich auf dem Markt etablieren und halten können? In erster Linie geht es natürlich darum Talent zu haben. Aber auch der innovativste Modevisionär kann es nicht allein mit Talent schaffen. Um eine Kollektion in die Läden und Onlineshops zu bringen zählen genauso auch die Auswahl der Produktionsstätten, logistische Fähigkeiten, Marketingkenntnisse und etwas, was das Brand finanziell unterstützen kann. Man braucht also Geld und ein Team – von der Schnitt-Direktrice über Schneider, PR-Berater, Buchhalter bis hin zu einem Anwalt. Um Nachwuchstalenten genau diese Schritte zu ermöglichen gibt es Förderprogramme, Talentsichtungen und vor allem Awards. Einer der wichtigsten davon in Deutschland ist der Designer for Tomorrow Award, der zum zehnten Mal von Peek & Cloppenburg (Es gibt zwei unabhängige Unternehmen Peek & Cloppenburg mit ihren Hauptsitzen in Düsseldorf und Hamburg. Dieser Artikel beruht auf einer Kooperation mit der Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf, deren Häuserstandorte ihr unter www.peek-cloppenburg.de findet.) und dem Online Shop Fashion ID ausgerichtet wird.

Der Award stellt eine Plattform für junge Designer dar, um entdeckt und gefördert zu werden. Aus insgesamt 200 Bewerbern wurden dieses Jahr fünf Finalistinnen ausgewählt, die ihre Präsentationen in der Hauptlocation der Berliner Fashion Week, dem Kaufhaus Jandorf, präsentieren durften. Die Jury um Business-Insider, wie Christiane Arp, Kerstin Weng und Jessica Weiß hat zusammen mit der Schirmherrin des diesjährigen Awards, Stella McCartney, die Finalistinnen bestimmt, die nun die Chance auf individuell angepasste Langzeit-Unterstützung haben und auf einen Pool von Modeinstitutionen, wie Peek & Cloppenburg oder der Premium Messe, Silk Relations, als Ratgeber zurückgreifen können. Außerdem wird die Sieger-Kollektion entwickelt und in den P&C Filialen, sowie online erhältlich sein, die Gewinnerin wird zusammen mit Stella McCartney auf Inspirationsreise gehen, die Möglichkeit bekommen ihre Designs auf den weltweit wichtigsten Mode- und Designmessen auszustellen und im nächsten Jahr ihre eigene Fashion Show bekommen. Die Initiative schafft Raum für Entwicklung, für Kreativität und Innovationsdenken bei jungen Designern und das mit einem Langzeit-Effekt.

Wir haben mit Stella McCartney, der Schirmherrin des Awards und einer Vorreitern in Sachen Nachhaltigkeit und Fair-Fashion, über aktuelle Tendenzen in der Modeindustrie, über Nachwuchstalente und über falschen Aktivismus gesprochen:

Currently you are the patron of the German Designer for Tomorrow Award, which means you chose and support the five different fashion design talents as nominees. This year you chose five young women. What is your main focus in evaluating their designs? Is it creativity, craft, a message?
It was just by chance that I chose five women and weirdly I chose all women last time as well. Clearly I am drawn to the female design. My main focus when I was looking at the designs is really just a marriage between creativity and modernity and also…wearability. I think it is important that you can actually wear fashion, that has always been at the heart of everything I do. I think that in a sense, it is kind of easier to design clothes that you can’t wear. I find it more challenging to create clothes that are wearable and I always aim towards that. I want to see myself in the clothes that people are designing or I want to imagine myself wearing them, just like as a designer myself I want to see people wanting and wearing my designs. The creativity of course is incredibly important and obviously the pattern cutting and is the actual craftsmanship of the garments. Basically you want to see that these contestants have a hunger to learn every aspect of fashion design and I do think it is important at this stage in their career to know how to pattern cut, to know how to drape but at the same time to have a creative edge. And of course I’m also very interested to see if anybody is thinking about being sustainable or more mindful within the next generation of designers too.  

It is one thing to be innovative and create an outstanding design but another to sell your collections to the consumer. How do you judge whether an emerging label will make it on the market?
I think the only way you can do that is if you look at their work and see somebody actually wearing it. If you could also see that it is on trend and that it’s relevant for the times that we live in. I think it is hard if you are a young designer, you are not necessarily going to look at things and have the experience of making them meet a reasonable price point or figure out how to distribute them.  But I do think that you should be able to have approachability for your customer and for me that is something that is very important. 

More and more labels are appearing on the fashion landscape, which consist of a design collective. Do you think that it is an alternative for the traditional head designer-structure and is it a zeitgeist-reaction which could last?
We live in a day and age where there are more and more human beings on the planet so therefore; more and  more  industries feel crowded. But at the end of the day, the arts are very appealing to people and I think that’s a great thing and I think that. Now more than ever people can see that fashion or anything in the creative arts can also be a business. It is one of the greatest exports that we have in Great Britain for example. I think that’s it is really important to respect the design and the creative and also the business, when the two of those work hand in hand , then I think you can have a great success. 

Cars, expensive clothes and designer bags are exchanged for organic food, yoga and riding a bike as status symbols. That is the vibe we are getting from Berlin people. Your label stands for elegance, high fashion, self-confidence as well as a vegetarian-approach to sustainability. How does the drive of new generations for a more conscious life affect your work?
It is something I’ve done from day one, and I’ve been doing it within my business for over15 years, well I’ve actually been doing it since day one when I left Saint Martins in 1997. For me this is what I do, it is in every single pore of my body to be sustainable, responsible and mindful but at the same time not compromise in any way shape or form, luxury or design. It is just who I am and my approach to my business. I’m very blessed that it’s my point of difference, but at the same time I do wish it wasn’t my point of difference. Because at the end of the day more businesses in fashion have to start thinking this way, for the future of our planet. It is the thing that makes me the most modern in the fashion industry, I don’t think that the luxury fashion sector is particularly modern in its approach, the fashion industry is working with medieval materials and a medieval way of manufacturing and it has to change. I’m very blessed that I’ve always done this and this has been my approach. I think that it does connect me to a younger audience and I’m really so proud and grateful and I appreciate so much that it looks like the next generation of people on the planet are thinking this way in everything that they do. Like you said, it is not only food or transport, it is just a more conscious way of consuming and I don’t think that fashion should be outside of that. I think it is very much part of it. I’m proud to say I’m at the forefront of that approach. 

Fashion is all about image and USP, especially political and sociological messages are often selling clothes instead of design – what do you think about brands and labels that try to hop on the feminism or sustainability-trend, merely for marketing reasons?
I think that every industry is trying to hop on something merely for marketing and I don’t think it is only reserved for fashion. You can look at anything from politics to architecture to transportation to media, you know everything is trying to stand out and have a voice and service and marketing. Sadly, people can use cheap tactics and it is disappointing. But I don’t think the customer is stupid and that they read through it. The proof is in the pudding and I’ve been doing this forever and this is clearly what I believe in, it is in the heart of everything that I do and I just have a real belief in the consumer that they can see when people are just flirting with something for PR, I don’t think that it works and is a very fleeting moment. For me I’m more interested in a more “staying power” approach and I’m also not doing it for myself, I’m doing for the planet essentially and for the right reasons. I think people see that, when it is honest they see it. 

Often those labels are doing the right thing for the wrong reasons but could this be a starting point for a conversation?
I think doing the wrong things for the right reasons is ok. I don’t think that we are in a position to judge. I think something is better than nothing and I would like to encourage people to do the right things for the right reasons of course, but if you are doing things for the wrong reason , even if why you aren’t doing it is completely right at least you are trying to do something right. And then if you can see from that process that people react in a positive way or that you can sustain a business at the same time from approaching in a mindful correct manner, then maybe you will change your entire business structure based on that one moment that you chose to do it for the wrong reasons. I really don’t think that judging people or making people feel bad for doing something good is the right way to approach life.  I would like to encourage anyone to do something better in their place of business and you know even if it was only for one season, it was better than doing it badly forever. 

Die Gewinnerin Lara Krude hat uns dekonstruiertes, reinterpretiertes Tailoring gezeigt, das von der männlichen Schnittkunst abgeleitet wurde. Die Kollektion mit dem Namen “Was bleibt” widmete sie ihrem Großvater, der Maßschneider für Herrenanzüge war. Und auch die Inspiration bekam sie von ihm: Als Ausgangspunkt nutzte sie die Suche nach alten Schnittmustern und Stoffen ihres Großvaters, die jedoch nicht auffindbar waren. Daraus entstand die Geschichte eines Mannes ohne Schneider, der sich ohne nicht zu kleiden weiß. Wir sehen versetzte Knopfleisten, doppelte Revers, asymmetrische Längen und unübliches Layering. Die Kollektion zeigt neue Facetten der Herren-Schneidekunst, die gerade auf internationalen Laufstegen eine Renaissance erlebt, und ist somit stilistisch, handwerklich als auch ästhetisch aktuell.