Deirdre McQuillan reveals 10 things you might not know about German fashion
Put German fashion on world map
The queen of clean, Jil Sander, from Hamburg, became one of the most successful international fashion designers of the 1990s, known for her austere minimalist aesthetic, a counterpoint to the glitz of the period.
In 1999, Prada bought 75 per cent shares in her company, but the partnership foundered and was eventually terminated in 2004 when Sander returnedto the helm of the business having in the meantime designed successful ranges for the Japanese company Uniqlo.
Now aged 70, she told Elle magazine in March the three items she could not live without were a white shirt, dark jeans and a tailored navy coat: “In serious economic situations like this, people opt for understatement; they don’t feel like dressing up.”
owned by a reclusive German family
Cofounded by Malaysian-Chinese shoemaker Jimmy Choo and then Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon, Choo sold his share for £10 million, in 2001, and Mellon went on to become one of the richest women in the UK.
The label was bought in 2011 for £500m by Labelux, a German luxury group owned by the reclusive billionaire Reimann family, who also own Coty. Mellon has left the company and Labelux plans further international expansion for the brand.
Coy about German identity
One of the most successful and best known global menswear brands, it was founded in 1924 by Hugo Boss originally producing sports and rainwear, but later supplied the Nazis with uniforms. A reference to this by Russell Brand at a recent GQ Men of the Year event in London sponsored by Hugo Boss to the tune of £250,000 ended in uproar.
The company does not stress its heritage but prefers to describe itself as international and has over 6,000 points of sale in 124 countries. It is sponsoring an exhibition of David Bailey’s work at the National Portrait Gallery in London next February.
One and only Irish connection
Manufactum is a German retailer with nine spacious stores focusing on durable household and garden goods made using traditional methods. It also sells furniture, baths, computers, bikes, shoes, food and clothing apparel. Founded in 1988 by a former managing director of the Green Party, Manufactum’s weighty catalogues have an almost cult-like status in Germany. The only Irish company in its vast portfolio is Inis Meain on the Aran Islands, whose updated traditional island knitwear is stocked in all Manufactum stores around
Sponsors fashion all over the globe
The German car maker sponsors more than 30 fashion events across five continents, most notably New York Fashion Week. It has been supporting fashion events for more than a decade in LA, Berlin,
Milan, Stockholm, and Amsterdam, but never in Dublin.
Über cool eyewear with celebrity fans
An über cool, award-winning German brand whose innovative eyewear, in flexible stamp steel, without screws or joints, has acquired a cult status among hipsters.
Fans include Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Bruce Willis. From its lovely little shop in Mitte, Berlin, it now manages seven others in Tokyo, Berlin, Milan, Zurich and Paris and New York. After Sarah Jessica Parker wore gold framed Mykitas designed by Bernhard Willhem, sales doubled overnight.