Graduating with First Class Honours from Westminster in 1997, Markus Lupfer quickly created a buzz in the industry when his entire graduate collection was bought by London boutique Koh Samui. While this was a remarkable vote of confidence in the designer, Lupfer drove his design ethos forward. “I don’t think I felt like I had nailed my aesthetic when I left college. I see it rather as an evolution.” he told The Culture Trip in a recent interview.
The German-born designer had dreamed of going into fashion since he was a teenager. “It was my absolute dream to work on my own designs and to show them on a catwalk.” Lupfer tells us, “I used to hand knit and I loved it,” explaining that the first piece he can remember making was a hand knitted jumper. Unsurprisingly then, it was knitwear that took centre stage when the designer launched his label in 2001. At this time, Lupfer also won sponsorship from British Fashion Council’s coveted NEWGEN award – a prize that has helped to launch other fashion royalty including Craig Green, J.W Anderson, Sophia Webster and Simone Rocha. Lupfer went on to win ‘Best Designer of the Year’ at Spain’s Prix de la Mode Awards in 2008.
Not content to rest with knitwear, Lupfer’s brand has expanded to encompass menswear and accessories as well. Ensuring that the whole brand remains fresh, the designer tells us that it’s important to “stay active and curious. Introduce something that is different, and the seasonal search for beauty. Knowing what is happening culturally [and] basically being in tune with current trends.” Citing time and constant deadlines as the main challenges to running your own brand, Lupfer has remained focussed on keeping a sense of humour at the core of his aesthetic, in spite of a hectic schedule. “The goal is to enjoy fashion, to make you feel good and special.” Amongst playful knits, vibrant prints and fabulous collections of 60’s inspired sunglasses, an oversized pompom dress in raffia is what Lupfer declares to be his most outrageous piece.
For SS17, expect to see themes which include a desire for nature, a meadow full of surprises, a sense of individuality, ease and a youthful spirit. The presentation will also embody these themes. “It’s all about nature taking over,” Lupfer says, in long and slightly ominous parentheses.
In spite of the brand’s global success, Markus Lupfer appears remarkably grounded. “I still get excited when I see someone wearing one of my designs on the street. I hope I create things that make people feel really special, happy and confident when they wear them.” With work already in motion for both men’s and women’s AW17/18 collection, the designer is staying focussed on producing innovative and flawless collections. “It’s more about what I can do rather than how big the company can become.” As another powerful collection makes its debut, it’s clear Lupfer won’t be compromising on either anytime soon.