The Minimalism of Florian Wowretzko – An Interview
A KALTBLUT exclusive editorial and interview with award winning fashion designer Florian Wowretzko! A few month ago we met London based designer Florian Wowretzko for the first time at the Baltic Fashion Award. He was for me the clear winner of the event and I am a fan of his design since that day. He spend the last month in New York to work on his new collection.
Together with photographer Matthew Pandolfe and dancer Steven Hill aliasBones the Machine, he produced the black and white editorial. Welcome to the “Minimalism of Florian Wowretzko”.
Name: Florian Wowretzko / Age: 23 / Country: England / Label: Florian Wowretzko / Founded in: 2011
KALTBLUT: Tell us something about yourself. Where you from? And how did you grow up?
Florian: My name is Florian Wowretzko. I’m a Fashion designer and I live and work in London, but grew up in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
KALTBLUT: How did you become a fashion designer? Was that something you always wanted to do?
Florian: It just fell in a place. I’m quite happy that it turned into something, because every day we never know. I didn’t fancy fashion at all. I wanted to be an artist so I came to the conclusion to look out for something artistic when I graduate High School and fashion seemed to be the most reasonable choice.
KALTBLUT: Did you go to a fashion school? And if so, which one? If not: How did you start to design?
Florian: I went to a trade school in my hometown which was fantastic for the technical part of the industry. I learned how to make pattern and sew, besides designing and developing concepts. You don’t appreciate the course much when you stuck in your German surrounding, but once you leave Germany you actually notice how much you have learned. It helped me creating my collections all on my own.
KALTBLUT: What was the first item you have ever designed? And what for?
Florian: I started destroying, ripping and redesigning Jeans when I was younger. Maybe early teens, around 2006. Everyone wanted a pair when they’ve seen it on me. It’s almost ironically that nowadays I hate Jeans.
KALTBLUT: Your collection is offering lots of great pieces. How long have you worked on it for? And what was your inspiration?
Florian: My new collection in particular is entirely black. I play with texture, geometry and materials. It depends on the workload I have, since I work for a different designer as well, but I usually try to keep up with the fashion industry schedule which means every 6 months. Right now I’m pretty much into the music by this polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. His music from the late 60’s early 70’s is blowing my mind and it works well with the stories I’m trying to tell over and over again.
KALTBLUT: What kind of materials did you use for this collection? And what is your favorite fabric to work with?
Florian: I have a lot of natural materials like Lamb-, Pig, Calf & Cow leather, as well as Neoprene, Cotton and Nylon. I wanted to keep it all black to bring out the texture and surface.
KALTBLUT: What we miss in Germany is young, talented fashion designers getting government support. What’s your experience in that field? Do you get support from your government/school or family?
Florian: I’m very lucky to have received a certain amount of support from foundations as well as my school & family. It would be impossible for me to move anywhere without a backup. I mean, really, if you’re 20 and you come from Ludwigshafen, it’s hard to make people believe in you when you have such an outstanding voice compare to everyone else in your hometown.
KALTBLUT: I have seen your last collection during the last Baltic fashion Award. Congratulations for winning it. Winning awards like that. How important is this for a young designer?
Florian: I believe the first couple of years in the industry you just have to be supported by those Awards and I’m super lucky that they exist and that I was one of the winners.
KALTBLUT: Where else have you shown your collection?
Florian: I don’t believe in showing a collection if you’re not selling. At least you have a runway collection that is just created for the effect or if you have the budget for showing. So far, I can’t complain at all. I’m happy where I am right now and work more to go to the next level. I don’t rush anything.
KALTBLUT: Where can we buy your design? Online shops? Stores?
Florian: Once I have finished the Lookbook for the new collection I will submit it to some stores to see if there is interest in having me. Unfortunately I’m not someone that likes to ask for anything.
KALTBLUT: Where do you see yourself in 10 years. As a label and as a designer?
Florian: I hope to stay true to myself and I won’t try to fit into anything out there. I like to be radical. Even -being more radical and avant-garde – I have to work on; I feel I’m way too safe and sweet. Maybe that’s where I’m going to be in 10 years. I want to move, I want to be somewhere completely else. Maybe Asia. I want to be my very own brand. I love meeting people and working with people. It’s the most joy of the industry. You will always meet people that do all these negative things to you, but you will meet people that are truly loyal and support you with all they have. I’m grateful that I’ve met, meet and will meet them on my future path.
KALTBLUT: You are based in London! The typical style of your country, what is this for you?
Florian: I arrived in June 2013 and started interning for Gareth Pugh and now I’m with another great designer and I feel super comfortable being surrounded by those craftsman’s. Typical style of country for me is just creative independence. I totally have that here in London. I have all these designers living and working in my neighborhood, isn’t that delicious?! What used to be so far away as a student is now just on the corner. I have a factory here where I can go to and a fabric store on my street. I didn’t idealize anything, it’s almost wonderland – the country I want to live in.