A couple of weeks ago we introduced you to Anne Gorke, the German designer who stole our heart during Berlin Fashion Week with her Spring Summer 2015 collection, Too Cool for Cruel. So when the opportunity popped up, we didn’t hesitate about interviewing her for our Fashion Talks section and to find out more about her life and work. Keep reading if you want to know it all about the creative process involved in the design of a collection and about the up and downs of running one’s fashion label.
An understated exoticism surrounds your new collection. Tell us a secret: in the creation process, what came first? The parrot motif or the blue hues? Or was it something completely different?
It is one dynamic whoosh: one idea or feeling that always affects the others, and they change again and again until it becomes one precise picture. First it was the wood that you literally find in the wood structure of the light blue fabric. Then there was blue macao that later changed into the red hue of the final print, but I kept the color of the parrot the colour of the parrot. So that impulse split up into two. Step by step the whole setting of the collection comes together. You sort of move in with the atmosphere of the collection and it develops constantly.
We jumped backstage right after the show where we learnt that your SS13 collection is being sold in Kazajstan. Tell us a bit about the acceptance of your creations in that market.
We just finished the first season there and everyone is thrilled of how well it went. Our business partner there just placed a second order for winter since there are so many people asking for the brand. That is very exciting to us. We get also very good response in the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries.
We had the chance to sit front row at your latest show “Too cool for cruel”, where we saw all your amazing creations so close that we could even reach them! This made us wonder where the materials are coming from, and where the production of the items is made. Could you tell us a bit about it?
To me it is very important to understand where the materials come from and who was involved in the process of their making. So we know a lot about our materials. The cotton comes from a Swiss company and it is manufactured in Switzerland. The company uses organic cotton from the US. We also work with another company that works with Turkish mills where they use organic cotton from Turkey. Our silk comes from a fairtrade project in North India, the distributor we work with in Germany goes there twice a year to have a look at the situation. Our leather comes from German cows and is vegetably tanned by a family business that works like this since more than 20 years. And the production so far is completely made in Germany as well. Generally we just really want to know who we are working with and how they work themselves.
Putting together all the resources and strengths to build up a label is something really tiring. But it must very encouraging to see that you’ve got an increasing audience who loves your creations. From your personal perspective, what’s the best and the worst part of it all?
The best is really to see real women wearing something you created and really wearing it, in every day life. That thrills me. And when they give me direct feedback it is the best. Another great thing of having your own label is having a great business partner, I got very lucky. I could never do this without her. And I got fantastic friends who are always there to help me… All of this gets you through the worst part, the doubts that everyone has from time to time when starting, I guess.
What’s next for your label? Any super exciting plans for the upcoming year that you would like to share with us?
Later this year we will maybe participate in another Fashion Week other than Berlin to introduce the TOOCOOL collection there. So we are quite excited about it! Until then we throw ourselves into sales while the next collection starts already popping up in my mind…
Credits: Special thanks to Anne Gorke for providing us with the images of her Fall Winter 2014 collection (above). Picture of Anne Gorke by Getty Images.