In the lead up to Vancouver Fashion Week, which has a fairly strong men’s offering, we caught up with German menswear designer, Hannah Kliewer, who will be showing for the first time on the Canadian catwalk.
Already piquing international interest, Hannah Kliewer won first prize at the European Fashion Award FASH 2017 at the Bode Museum in Berlin with her first menswear collection, Steife Brise. Comprised of modern, cocooning knitwear with exaggerated collars and comfortable basics, the collection is “a shelter from the storm of social media”.
The European Fashion Award FASH 2017 is underwritten by the Stiftung der Deutschen Bekleidungsindustrie (SDBI), a non-profit foundation that was founded in 1978 with a mission of securing and perpetuating the future of fashion. The 2017 award theme was ‘Get Real’ in reaction to social media, it’s driving force and tendency of over-exposure. The jury was looking for the designer that best unified the ‘emotional, touching, mysterious and surprising’ elements of modern fashion.
One of the competition’s judges, Thomas Steinbrück, Creative Director for Reebok in Boston said, “Hannah Kliewer’s menswear collection is perfectly in tune with the times. She captures the age’s deep desire for closeness, comfort, and safe spaces. Hannah Kliewer uses rough edges and flaws in order to create a frame for displaying one’s personality. Hannah Kliewer gives a young and modern twist to knitwear and provides much needed innovation for both streetwear and luxury. Her great execution and her excellent use of traditional crafts have both been underscored by her training in bespoke tailoring. Her detailed analysis of the zeitgeist and the poetry of her documentation are both excellent and gets right at the heart of things. A collection of original works with a creative force that is immediately noticed and makes us want more.”
Menswear designs were for me always driven by tailoring, tradition, authenticity and details. Even though it was my first time to design menswear, I think I managed to combine these four aspects in Steife Brise.
What’s your favourite thing about design?
It is hard to select one favourite part, but to see something emerge through playing with colours and materials really excites me. This excitement inspires me to design and create more and more.
Your knitwear is incredible. Where do you normally derive your inspiration?
Thank you. For this collection I was inspired by my hometown, Hamburg with the Hanseatic influence. That is why Steife Brise, with its classic colours and handmade knitwear, represents the traditional way of living in Hamburg.
Who would you like to see most wearing your collections?
People who already feel a connection to the timeless, comfortable and protecting look. Additionally, people who are aware of their environment and therefore want to wear clothing that is sustainable.
Will spring/summer 2018 be your first runway show at Vancouver Fashion Week?
Yes, it is an honour to be invited, especially to Canada, because for me it symbolises the wearer of Steife Brise.
What are you looking forward to most about Vancouver?
To present my collection on a runway in such an international environment. And to have the possibility of seeing a great variety of runway shows.
Vancouver Fashion Week's 30th consecutive season takes place from the 18th to the 24th of September. For more details visit the official website.
Vancouver Fashion Week is known internationally as the ‘Gateway to Global Fashion,' and the event is held in the capital of Canada’s most creative and international province: British Columbia. Seeking out and supporting innovative, cutting-edge talent from around the world, Vancouver Fashion Week is committed to being one of the world’s greatest international incubators of innovation and talent.
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