You were by a tailor, when was this?

That was ten years ago when I was 17. I quit school and had a chance through a friend to do a tailor apprenticeship. I took the offer right away and was there for 1 and a half years before I quit and decided I wanted to study fashion design, but that didn’t work out.

It wasn’t your thing?

Yeah, there was too much theory.

You were a lot further than the other students, correct?

Yeah, from my handwork skills, but also from ideas I wanted to go in a different direction. It’s an advantage when you come from a different background, when you do not come from the same background as all of the others, and you can develop your own style. When you work for yourself instead of working with a hundred people together with the same influences and the same teachers, that’s why I left and started a bit with screen printing and wood working, everything in traditional handwork. I didn’t do
too much with clothing, there was a few years break where I did not have any desire to do clothing. I was also quite young, when you’re 20 it’s hard to decide exactly what you would like to do. I was more into skating, smoking, and partying. One has to be quite disciplined to make clothing and want to achieve something. It’s a very difficult business, like all businesses. You have to really be into your work and not be doing it just as a hobby.

What was the key to get you back into making clothing?

I was busy with free art in some form and at sometime I became interested in clothing. Plus it’s easier to make money with making clothing than it is with art because everyone needs clothing.

Do you have any influences?

When I was 16, when I first realized I liked fashion, I saw a Gaultier fashion show on television, about 10 or 15 years ago Gaultier was really militant oriented. I was impressed because I thought that’s also a way with fashion. I was also really fascinated with Gaultier as a person. Later came Commes des Gar 輟n because a friend that I lived with had a lot of money, this was about ten years ago. Every year he bought some Comme des Gar 輟n and therefore I could always see the pieces and that was also a totally different thing in fashion, and was also a big influence.

And now has that ended a bit?

No, I still find them good and as for other designers I’m not totally impressed with. There are really not so many I find interesting. I look at a few magazines but I really do not look at them too often. I am more interested in work cloths and old war films. With the second-world war I find super cool stuff and in general film. Sometimes things on the street but in principal my biggest influence is film; at the moment war films from the 50’s or 60’s. Sure classics and the old Paris films. Also Catherine Devenue is the ideal picture of a lady, although you do necessarily not see it in my clothing, but it will come.

You have two labels, 77 and E-1027/BERLIN, how did you get these names?

With E-1027/berlin I started about half a year ago and did not make too much with clothing and then decided to start with it again. The name comes from a furniture designer Eileen Grey. In the thirties she lived in Paris, I lived in Paris a half year ago for one year, and I saw her work in a gallery. I was very fascinated because that is the style of my clothes at the moment, at least the style of E-1027/berlin is the like the furniture of Eileen Grey: minimal but useful. She also built a house and that is called E-1027 in Paris. I read about it and thought it was a good name. The 77 line is more for men but not so expensive. They are also clothes that are in the direction of work clothes, more practical. These are not so expensive. The E-1027/berlin are also limited, there are only a hundred or two hundred pieces, and are stamped with the number on the back. The 77 line is more industry oriented and can be ordered for bigger men. It is of better quality than what is available.

What are your favorite colors?

I like gray and rose a lot. But for me personally I like pink and neon colors. But for fabric I like all the colors you see in the city like a gray stone color from a bunker.

What are your plans?

I would like to make a store in Berlin. I would like to make something in Germany and Berlin offers a lot more than the rest of Europe. It’s just a major big city and there’s a lot of influence there. Also in Berlin it is quite difficult, in Paris and London there’s a lot of young designers, and they’re able to sell quite easily. In Germany it is a lot more difficult. In Germany you hardly sell anything easy; the competition is smaller but you still do not sell anything. The Germans do not realize when they have something good in their own land, they want to orient on what’s going on outside, they always want something out of London or Paris. They do not see that there is good art and good music.

Text and Photo: Jeremy Tai From FORK Unstable Media

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