“How do we know each other, actually?” We both had to laugh at the question. Maybe it really was from Sixpack, our favorite bar in Cologne. Easily ten years ago, in light of our young ages (ha!), it was probably true. The wedding of our mutual friend Pia last summer was an occasion for our paths to cross again and it was clear that she was among the more noteworthy of the guests – the woman that changed her outfit three times and looked crazy good and completely different every single time. The porcelain complexion, the dark lipstick, the mischievous eyes: Louise is the type of woman who has always fascinated me. She now has her own label and hopefully this will be the long-awaited contribution to Berlin’s overwhelmingly (as of late) sad fashion landscape. She’s already my – unchallenged – favorite!
We visited Louise Friedlaender in her Berlin-Steglitz studio (quite far out of the center of town, my dear) and asked her a few questions.
What’s happened since we last saw each other? What did you do next in Cologne?
I had a long internship with a bespoke tailor, for experience and to learn the craft – and to understand what’s behind the design. Six years ago I moved to Berlin to study.
Where have your professional experiences been? (Fashion studies? Internships?)
While I was studying I had several internships through ESMOD Berlin, for example with Capara in Antwerp and with Senselier, a business that develops product design and marketing strategies.
What was important to you at that time that is still visible in your work today?
QUALITY!!! High quality materials and excellent workmanship are one thing, but I also want to produce under fair conditions and with respect for the environment.
It’s important that we give life back to German fashion – and even more importantly: that we learn to treasure the values that we’re known for (quality, technical precision, clarity, etc.) and that this is the basis that we consciously use. We unite traditionally anchored value with modernity and this is how we’ll create the revival of German fashion and design.
My main goal is to create a connection between discreet elegance and, at the same time, comfort and functionality. I want to offer combinations that support the individuality of every woman, where the line and style of Louise Friedlaender are always recognizable.
How did the establishment of your own label come about?
It was a very natural process. I simply kept going after my studies and decided pretty quickly that it was exactly what I wanted.
What’s been the most fun for you? What’s gone particularly well? What’s gone wrong?
I have to say that in principle everything is fun, even the setbacks that I’ve suffered. It’s part of the process. You emerge from them stronger and more knowledgeable. And also, with more energy. There are always highs and lows and in the end, everything fits into the big picture.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE CURRENT COLLECTION?
The title of the collection is “As Tears Go By” and it’s inspired by fragments of stories and personal experiences. In their totality these elements and facets create something new: tears in teardrop shapes – the symbol of this collection, which is the theme of the jewelry – set the tone and form a counterpart to the muted color palette with nuances in rusty red, blue, violet or black. Wool, silk and technical materials are combined in appearance with many knits that are either very fine or very large; consuming techniques like stitching, embroidery as well as a variety of buttons and pockets provide contrasting accents partially inspired by 1970s cuts.
How do you imagine the wearer of your designs?
I see her as a modern, timeless woman. She’s on-the-go, wants a variety of outfits for her various occasions and is self-confident, independent, with a number of interest and needs. She values quality, trends aren’t important to her. However, individuality is very important. That’s her idea of luxury.
You changed your outfit several times at our friend Pia’s wedding. Why did you choose these outfits and how did you create them?
I’m always happy when there’s an occasion to celebrate – like, for example, a wedding – where I can wear clothing that there’s only rarely an opportunity to wear. I like to dress myself for the occasion. My outfits are chosen based on my mood and what’s most comfortable to me at the moment. I don’t really think a lot about it, it’s very spontaneous and natural.
Do you cut the designs of the collection a little bit for yourself in the end?
There are certainly different needs and occasions. I’d rather say that I’m thinking about what women would like to wear in general and how they’ll feel comfortable and good. Of course I often start with myself and in the broadest sense I stay true to my style. But, above all, I try to understand the needs of my clients.
What other labels do you wear? Do you have a few favorites that you would never give up?
The clothing that I inherited from my grandmother, I wear it a lot and I would never give it up. It is wonderful and, naturally, has sentimental value.
What do you see happening with your label in the next 18 months?
At the moment I’m not thinking that far ahead. First I want to have an amazing show on Wednesday at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin.
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More Updates about Louise vie her Instagram.