INTERVIEW: BERLIN BASED WUNDERKIND MARINA HOERMANSEDER
If you would compare Austrian born designer Marina Hoermanseder with a force of nature she would definitely be a tornado – without leaving a scene of destruction of course. In the shortest amount of time she swirled up the Austrian and German fashion scene and blew all the old dust away. Her creations are fresh, slightly inspired by her time at Alexander McQueen, very feminine, vanguard and wearable at the same time. The storm of enthusiasm recently hit international realms: FKA twigs, Lady Gaga and Peaches like wearing her garments. She designed the new uniform for Austrian airlines and even collaborated with Nike for the Nike Women’s Run 10 km Berlin. But enough of introduction! Marina told us everything you need to know.
Since founding your label in 2013 you already achieved so much. What do you think is the reason for your fast success?
Sometimes I read about my work that I had created something new that has not been seen before. But actually I just do what crosses my mind, follow my creativity and try to realize my ideas. Perhaps I have given leather a new dimension of style in a way.
And it definitely has something to do with ambition! Are you ambitious in other parts of your life like for example sports?
I am ambitiously in almost every part of my life. Whether it is in Sports, career or friendship. People are very important to me so I aspire to do the best for everyone in my environment.
You collaborated with Nike for the Nike Women’s Run 10 km Berlin – a cooperation that doesn’t seem to fit at first sight. Why are you a good match nonetheless?
I think it was a match made in heaven. I´ve already chosen the Nike Air Force 1 for my SS15 fashion week show because I wanted to give the collection a sporty touch. The bracelet represents that. It is in rosé gold as well as my trademark: the buckles. The gymbag with its sportive elements is a very good completion.
What are your favorite songs while exercising?
I prefer classics like Michael Jackson or Otis Redding but no specific songs.
And while designing?
At work I mainly listen to audio book. Currently it is the historical novel “1913”. It really makes me calm down. Pop music would make me moving around and being less concentrated. If I am fed up with audio books classical music is a good substitute.
Your collections are a hybrid of contrasts. What’s the idea/fascination of that esthetics?
I think it is an automatism. By combining leather with fabrics like silk or woven cotton I want to show that leather is wearable in different ways.
Is your personality/character rich of contradictions, too?
Well my zodiacal sign is the Gemini so my friends would probably say that I have two faces. I am a pretty persistent person sticking to what I say and do. But then people would never expect a chocolate eating hello kitty fan behind my collections.
The fashion business is a tough one – did your studies of International Business help you so far?
Absolutely! At the end of the day it is our aim to sell our fashion. Studying business helped me to build up a business. Knowing the whole taxes and dry business facts is very useful to know how to act on the market.
However it’s not only hard regarding the commercial side. After your AW15 presentation there was a lot of talking about the fact that you used real fur. How do you handle criticism? Does it influence your future work?
Criticism is very important as long as it is constructive. In my opinion you also have to take a look behind the scenes. For my collection I used green fur which means that wild animals have been shot in the woods by regulation laws. There is a huge difference between wearing a long pink chinchilla coat or using elements of natural resources.
Did you ever have doubts about your profession? How do you get rid of those unbeautiful thoughts?
I think every designer has doubts at a certain point. That’s what this job implies. When something does not work like planned you just need to shake it off and continue following your dreams.
Where can we find you on a hot summer day in Berlin?
If you won’t find me in my atelier I probably go walkies alongside a lake with my dog peanut.
What’s your favorite dish?
Wiener Schnitzel – It gives me a feeling of being home. My grandmother made the best one and she taught me how to do it by myself. Whenever I receive special guests I cook my favorite dish for them.
And what do you do when your brain just needs a bit of relaxation?
I get my dog and go for a good run.
What was your biggest dream when you were a teenager?
To become a renowned fashion designer and I am very thankful to be headed in the right direction making this dream come true.
The most awkward goodbye-phrase:
“Mach’s gut” or even “see you”. You better never say this to me.
All photos via Instagram @marinahoermanseder
By Marieke Fischer