Two weeks ago, we featured luxury eco-friendly fashion designer Johanna Riplinger in our “Career Woman Monday” Post. After meeting Johanna in Paris this week-end, I got to learn and bit more about her designs and future plans for her brand. Check part two of the interview below. If you miss part 1, you can catch it here.
What are some of the most important challenges and advantages that you have experienced in establishing your personal label?
Creating a new fashion label is a long complex process, and time is one of the greatest challenges, because the fashion world as such is a very fast moving sector. But also, for me personally as designer and entrepreneur, there are so many things to do, and it is important for me to do them correctly and in the right order. Of course, at the beginning of any new business, there are always drawbacks and obstacles to be overcome, but these represent challenges that stimulate creative thinking and acting. Sometimes when I feel disappointed that things are not working out the way I had planned them, I later realize that, all in all, the answer that I ultimately settled for was in fact, the ideal solution that I would not otherwise have hit upon. Increasingly I am learning to be patient and to take my time in building up my business and in designing my creations – accordingly to the proverb “good things take time”– and thus I try to do everything in the best possible mood and with carefully measured energy.
One of the major advantages that I have enjoyed in the course of establishing my label is the numerous marvelous encounters with all sorts of people on the way; these encounters have led to new forms of collaboration, to manifold inspiration and assistance, and, above all, to great new friendships.
Who is the woman that you design for and what is the message that you are trying to convey to her?
I design for a broad spectrum of very individual women worldwide. Basically, I have in mind a woman with wide-ranging tastes and interests with a strong aesthetic sense that enables her to appreciate both refined sophistication and natural harmony. Such a woman is confidently self aware; she is conscious of her choices and of her impact; and she actively participates in the life of her society. She is able to stand up for her convictions and to assert herself in public as well as in private life. Her style reflects her appreciation of luxury, in the positive sense of comfort, enjoyment, and wellbeing. All in all, there is more to her than meets the eye.
The message I want to communicate to her is that she can be herself and believe in herself, and that she should bring out all her hidden talents and latent forces – in short, that she should be confident to be the woman that she is. Thus, the clothes I design for her are meant to encourage and to assist her to appreciate and to express her genuine femininity, both inwardly and outwardly, in her own individual and personal way.
I am very inspired by women and love to create for real women, not only for models. Anything can look lovely on a model but it’s more challenging to create something which beautifies each woman with her own truth. I try to find cuts and shapes which women can immediately relate to, feel good in and feel truly themselves.
I try to find cuts and shapes that real women can easily and immediately relate to, can feel good in, and can truly be themselves.
I know that you are planning to enter the US Market can you give us more info about it.
I plan to enter the US Market in 2014 with my collections. At present, I am looking at different platforms in order to find the right one and the right way for me to enter the overseas markets, e.g., the right locations, the right people and the right partners, in order to reach not only professional buyers but also the final customers. In taking this step, I am also looking forward to getting back to a part of my origins, for I have American as well as German roots. Soon, part of my collections will be available online.
Retailers are currently stacking up for the fall and winter seasons: what can we expect from you this fall? Are there any key pieces in your collection that you think every woman should have this fall?
I think it’s important to choose well among the new fall and winter pieces and to match them with one’s existing wardrobe. Among my favorites for this winter are the angora pullovers, which really keep you warm. They are made of 100% French angora, the rare naturally powder-colored wool of rabbits, which are raised in a natural manner by local breeders in the center of France. It is soft as feathers and the finest fur, and wearing it is a most luxurious and sensual experience!
Where can people buy your clothes and stay connected with you?
The best way to connect is by signing up for my online newsletter and by following me on one of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and most recently Pinterest. Soon, part of the collection will be directly available online in addition to being sold in various European multi-brand and concept stores or in temporary pop-up stores especially in France and Germany. Furthermore, if you subscribe to the online newsletter online I will keep you informed throughout the year about private sales and trunk shows which I organize regularly.
For the professional audience I will be exhibiting during Paris Fashion Week in the well selected high fashion fair MeMy which takes place just off the prestigious place de Vendôme in Paris.
Special thanks to Johanna for taking the time to meet with me in Paris. If you would like to get in touch with Johanna Riplinger, Follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook and Pinterest. Most of all, support emerging new talents.
Photos courtesy of Phil Dera