Elisa Paulina Herrmann is a Unisex fashion designer from Germany. After doing her Bachelor’s degree in fashion design at Pforzheim University, School of Design in 2017, she went to Italy to do a Master course in Knitwear Design at Accademia di Costume e Moda in Rome. She graduated in Spring 2019 with a fashion show at Pitti Filati in Florence and just won the European Fashion Award FASH 2019.
KALTBLUT: Hello. Welcome to KALTBLUT. Why have you decided to participate at FASHBerlin 2019? Elisa Paulina Herrmann: Hi, thank you! I participated at FASH2019 because I think it is a great opportunity for young designers to show their work to a professional, international audience and to get to know other designers. I met so many great, interesting people during the two days in Berlin and I am really glad that I had been chosen as one of the finalists.
KALTBLUT: Can you tell us something about the collection you presented at the FASHBerlin 2019? What was your inspiration? Elisa: I presented different collections from the past years, most important being my BA graduation collection „WEAR PF“ and my MA degree collection „I just want you to love me“. While „WEAR PF“ was about Pforzheim, the city where I grew up in and studied first, the MA collection was about everything that influenced me in the last year – a production of the opera Carmen, traditional sweaters and cross-stitching alphabets, Amish people and the question that we all just want to be accepted as we are.
KALTBLUT: What kind of material did you use for the collection? Elisa: In general I use a lot of cottons, linen, and wool that I often like to combine with something synthetical like nylon or tulle. I love the contrast of natural, more traditional fibers next to materials that have a kind of „modern“ touch.
KALTBLUT: What challenges did you face during the design process? Elisa: For me, it is always difficult to justify to myself that I contribute to an industry that is so problematic in terms of sustainability and working conditions, an industry that has so much power but doesn’t really use it in a fair and sustainable manner. Why do I need to make another garment when there are so many out there already? But if I start asking myself these questions I don’t get very far. I just want every piece I make to tell a story and to be really well done… In the past clothes used to grow with their owners – today we have fast fashion, waste, and overconsumption. Let’s take some time to really appreciate every single piece!
KALTBLUT: How would you describe your self and your work? Elisa: I am a very impatient person, the only things I am patient with are knitting and handmaking things which I have been doing since I was a child. My collections are about rediscovering the almost forgotten and transforming it into something new for nowadays – the focus is always on classic crafting techniques like knitting, embroidery, and crochet. All my fashion is UNISEX. Anybody who wants to wear my pieces and feels good and confident in them should do that.
KALTBLUT: What would you say that is the biggest influence on your design process? Elisa: The fact that I want all my pieces to be special and wearable at the same time. As soon as I myself would not wear it anymore it doesn’t make any sense to me. Also, I am of course influenced/inspired by the people I see and the things I experience in everyday life.
KALTBLUT: If you had not become a fashion designer, what would you do instead? Elisa: I’ve always dreamed of being an opera singer!!
KALTBLUT: What can we expect from you in the near future? Elisa: Right now I am a design Trainee at Gucci in Rome in the Men’s Knitwear Department, I really want to stay in this great city for a while and develop some new projects.
KALTBLUT: Can we buy some of your pieces somewhere? Elisa: Hopefully soon!! I am always accepting custom orders for handmade garments so in case you’re interested to feel free to contact me through my website www.elipah.de