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Dusseldorf is certainly the fashion capital of Germany and one of the most important fashion destinations in Europe. The world’s first fashion fair was held in Dusseldorf back in 1949, and today the city hosts several fashion fairs every year. While developing itself as a hub of international luxury brands, Dusseldorf also actively promotes home-grown talent in the fashion field. Consequently, several gifted fashion designers from Dusseldorf have come to the forefront.
Thomas Rath is an incredibly talented German fashion designer and fashionist. He is a juror at Germany’s annual Next Topmodel show. This 50-year-old designer is self-taught and started designing at a very young age. After working with famous brands like Windsor, Jil Sander, Mulberry, and Escada for several years in his youth, he founded his own label, Semi-Couture, in 2010, headquartered in Dusseldorf. Under this label, he designs premium apparel for women. He also designs trousers for the reputed German trousers brand, Gardeur. He was awarded the German Lifestyle Award for Fashion & Marketing in 2013 and the European Design Ambassador for Germany in 2014. His designing style is timeless, romantic, extravagant, and elegant. In his own words, “My style is couture on a celestial level. Fashion means presenting one’s self with confidence and making a statement through one’s appearance.” He often draws inspiration for his designs from the city of Dusseldorf.
Gifted fashion designer Tina Miyake has found immense success in the city that embraces cutting-edge fashion. Tina Miyake started her label in 2004. The label is known for its beautiful knitted and woven fabrics, vintage kimonos, long dresses with apron-style belts, and asymmetric Merino dresses. Her favorite materials to work with are soft wool and stiff silk. She says, “It’s like trial and error. I think every designer must invent their own style – I am very inspired by material and the way it flows. It’s like I’m a sculptor.”
Stella Achenbach is the face of Stella Achenbach Identity Goods, a range of irresistible leather handbags and accessories. Her products are characterized by clean lines, intricate and elaborate designs, and many of them are laboriously hand-painted. She has her finger on the pulse of contemporary fashion world and draws inspiration for her designs from just about anywhere – be it people, nature, or daily life. For her, Dusseldorf is the perfect city for a rising fashion entrepreneur. As she puts it, “It is all about the numbers. Advertising happens in Berlin, but the sales go down in Dusseldorf.”
Designer duo Leyla Yalcin and Sena Isikal took the fashion world by storm with their range Lift Off. This line of clothing is not like anything anyone has seen before. It was designed to suit life on Mars! As scientists agree that multiple factors might make the planet Earth uninhabitable in a not-so-distant future, this label is probably more relevant than it might seem at first. The range includes wearable sleeping bags, reversible jackets, and clothes with lots of pockets and detachable sleeves. Lift Off is characterized by oversized clothing and bright, glamorous colors.
Young designer Nadja E C Bamberger interned for People Like Us, Uta Raasch, and FelderFelder before starting her own business in 2014. She has collaborations with Schoppel Wolle, Uta Raasch, and Eskrima International. Nadja plays with unique combinations of materials in her designs. For example, feathers are combined with denims, or leather with jersey. The aim of her design is to blend the natural world with the urban contemporary world. Many of her designs exhibit the rough texture of bark.
Alessa Joosten has carved a niche for herself in the field of fashion jewelry design. This young designer creates pieces that are unique, contemporary, and eye-catching. She aims for pure, simple lines in her statement jewelry. While designing, she often plays with overlaps and is not afraid to experiment with material, color, and size. One of her most popular designs is the one-piece necklace made out of a two-dimensional powder-coated aluminum sheet and free from soldering or connecting parts.
These two sisters launched their shoe and handbag line, JANIKO, in 2010. These young women work immensely hard to ensure that each item they design is elegant, sophisticated, of superior quality but affordably priced. Their products are handmade and thus available in very limited quantities. The sisters constantly innovate and invent to bring to their customers brand new, unique designs. In their words, “It is very important for us each pair of shoes to be something special, always focusing on detailing and new material combinations.”