A KALTBLUT production. Our Editor in chief Marcel Schlutt lensed Andrea Tausan signed at ICONIC TALENT MANAGEMENT. Anadrea is wearing fashion by Berlin based designer LEAF alias Lea Fauth mixed with items by Nico Sutor, Levi´s, Nike and Dr. Martens. Styling by Nico Sutor. Hair and make up by Angelique Waltenberg. We had a chat with designerin Lea Fauth.
She founded her label LEAF in 2013. Lea studied fashion design in Berlin and moved to Hamburg and Paris to work in fashion. Now she is back in her studio in Berlin Kreuzberg and designs cloth that suit a womans body the best way and gives her the possibility to wear cloth in more than one way. Very important for her is that all her cloth and products are MADE IN BERLIN under fair conditions.
KALTBLUT: You studied fashion in Berlin. Was this always the plan?
Lea: Hmm … it was more a childhood dream, not a real plan.
KALTBLUT: Being a fashion designer is quite hip now. Would you do it again ?
Lea: Yes, because I believe that you should always do what you love. And I just love to design fashion and to realize my designs. Fashion design was always a part of my life, but since the first day of my studying it became an addiction – I don’t know if I can do without?
KALTBLUT: You’ve worked in big companies, which produced in countries as China. With LEAF you produce locally in Berlin, was this one of the reasons to start your own business?
Lea: Yes, but this was only one of many reasons. But please don’t get me wrong, I admire the Chinese suppliers I worked with. I had the great pleasure to get to know them personally on my many trips to china and we worked very close. They have great knowledge, they are real experts, they are fast and super curious about everything they do. But we have the same knowledge here in Germany, I want to support local companies. We don’t need to ship the goods all around the world. We have enough experts over here, for example there is one manufacturer called 110%ig in the centre of Berlin Kreuzberg. A young team full of power, full of creativity, they produced the current collection of LEAF. They have done a great job!
KALTBLUT: you love to give a twist to your cloth, there is always a second level to your design. is this something you missed while working for mayor labels?
Lea: Yes, definitely! The labels I was working for cancelled every detail which was not essential. No extras, no innovations. In my collection I want to offer more than an accumulation of simple styles. Many garments of my collections are multifunctional and allow variations by personal affection — buttoned or unbuttoned, reversible or wrapped. Hence, each piece provides a variety of different looks in combination with other garments. I love to create those ideas, it’s the cream of the crop!
KALTBLUT: How do you define your style?
Lea: For me it is very important to get the perfect mix between a ‘special look’ and a ‘wearable style’. The styles should be multifunctional, but not confusing. I design cloth for everyday life, mainly I design tops (jackets, coats, blouses, sweaters) which you can wear with a simple denim for example. My designs are more sporty than elegant, not crazy but clever and most of them are washable in your washing machine.
KALTBLUT: What inspires you?
Lea: Where my inspiration comes from is difficult to define. Sometimes I have a picture of a difficult shape for a coat in mind which I want to realize, then I start sketching it and search for a clever solution. Or I have a problem with some kind of clothing which I want to optimize. For example I love big knit jackets, but the cold wind is always getting through the holes of the big knit – so I combined the big knit with warm and cosy fake fur. That way I created the perfect knit coat for the wintertime, which is even reversible! Now you have 2 Jackets in one, a knitted jacket and a fake fur jacket.
KALTBLUT: Describe a typical LEAF day in 3 words:
Lea: Coffee, work, play with the dog.
KALTBLUT: You live in Kreuzberg, what’s so special about Kreuzberg and what’s your favourite place?
Lea: Kreuzberg is very relaxed – if you want to walk the dog in your pyjamas or in an evening dress, you can do so, nobody really cares. I have many favourite places in my neighbourhood, for example to walk along the river at Maybachufer, to get some Ice-cream at ‘Fräulein Frost’ or eat the ‘Ringel Pommes’ at Ankerklause with good friends ….
KALTBLUT: You lived in Paris, any designers dream. Do you miss it sometimes?
Lea: Yes indeed, sometimes I miss Paris. It is a very beautiful historical city, the tiny streets in the Marais, the amazing quality of food in the restaurants, the well-dressed people everywhere … I really enjoyed my time in Paris, but I always missed Berlin. I don’t really know why Berlin is so special to me, maybe it is the space you have here in Berlin. It feels like there is enough space for everybody and for each personality. In other cities I was often restless, in Berlin I feel home.
KALTBLUT: You have a little quadruped mascot, tell us about him.
Lea: Oh! My love! My little sidekick! I have him since I’m my own boss. You have to know, there were always two wishes since I started studying fashion design in Berlin. My first wish was to found my own label, the second wish was to have a dog. Now I live my dream! His name is Bruce, he is a French bulldog (I named him after Bruce Wayne aka Batman) All day long he is sleeping next to my table, snoring gently while I work. When we meet friends he is getting crazy! He is so full of love and life, it is so much fun being with him. I take him everywhere I’m allowed to, we are one team!
KALTBLUT: Where is LEAF in 5 years?
Lea: Still in Berlin, as a big player in fashion, with lots of fans, with much more manpower, a big team, with great success!