Quality, loyalty, honesty and love for details are the main characteristics Carolin Woitke wants to give to her own brand. She takes inspiration from different experiences, each of them have to do with feelings and emotions, something that she experienced. Behind her creations there are also strong messages she wants to give through her fashion: empower women, but also men, and work against any form of inequity.
Carolin wants her idea of fashion becomes a means of communication, a sort of bond, a real bond, in a world in which to communicate to each other is getting harder and harder.
When you conceive a new idea how do you start to work on it? I mean, tell me about the process of realization from the very beginning to the end.
Most of my ideas evolve out of emotions or things I experience in my everyday life.
I also try to transport these feelings into the final garments. For example, feeling
strong or vulnerable through clothes. Then I start researching and digging deeper into the subjects I choose based on the initial idea and on the characters I imagine the collection to be made for
“For me its always satisfying to see the designs I made come to life, to fit them to a body, and see them on a catwalk. But I’m also extremely thankful for the experiences I made during my last years and the stories I can tell”
You collaborated with many masters in fashion design. What did you learn from them? Tell me about your experiences.
It was really impressive to collaborate with companies and people that are at a point where I want to be in the future. I got a lot of professional insights and hints and learned that these masters always worked with passion. They all did their own thing. At Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré I had the rare chance to touch and discover some of Ferré’s artistic pieces. His architectural approach to designing clothes made them different and in a way constructed. With Max Mara, I also had the opportunity to take a closer look at the headquarters and their giant archive of vintage pieces. There I was able to style outfits out of the vintage pieces and try out new looks and combinations and really evolve my styling skills. When I was collaborating with Salvatore Ferragamo I was doing a communication concept for them, which was quite out of my usual working field but an absolutely interesting experience. You really feel the family-kind of interaction between the people I had the pleasure to get to know. I was led through the Ferragamo Museum and then presented the finals results of the research in the headquarters. They also brought me personally closer to sustainable fashion because they showed me that sustainability is way easier to reach than it seems even for big brands. They also impressed me because they are not afraid of change, and I kind of took this with me from this experience. In the end, I somehow ended up working for Jil Sander in Milan and fell in love with clean styles and high-quality fabrics.
You realized different beautiful projects such as “Who Knows” or “Homecoming_” or even “Art.ificial”. Tell me about them, how were they born?
These projects kinda show my professional but also personal development as a
person and a designer. When I say emotions are the base of my designs, “art.ificial”
was a depiction of my impression that fashion is a very artificial world on its own.
So I took the artsy influence I got and created a provocative collection. “Art.ificial”
was one of my first collections where I used latex a lot, colored it myself, and draped
it around the female body. But I really enjoyed having the freedom to create my own
fabric and color it just the way I wanted it to be. I was kind of creating my own
“Most of my ideas evolve out of emotions or things I experience in my everyday life. I also try to transport these feelings into the final garments”
In your fashion you treat important themes such as feminism or the empowering of women. What is the message you want to give through your creations?
As designers, we have the luck to have an audience whether it is followers on
Instagram or a whole fashion show with a lot of press. I’m trying to use the platform
I have to empower women. I hope to help them find their identity and stand up for
themselves. I started this more as a natural thing with my friends and family. I kind
of wish to help people to allow themselves to be whatever they think is good,
unattached to what society thinks is right or needed. It’s important to tell people that
they don’t always have to decide who they are but just be it.
You worked in different European countries, have they affected your way of conceiving fashion?
They did for sure! Especially because Germany, Berlin as a city, and Italy have a
completely different way of perceiving fashion. German fashion is widely influenced
by sportswear and alternative, sustainable fashion concepts. In Italy, you have so
many brands with a long tradition and heritage of craftsmanship and elegance. So
Italy, for example, made me fall in love with the sartorial side of the industry, but I
still think comfort is an important part that should be thought of. I mean, I always
loved quality because I think this is what makes the difference to fast fashion and
this is where these places I lived at come together.
What is the biggest satisfaction you have reached so far as a fashion designer?
For me its always satisfying to see the designs I made come to life, to fit them to a
body, and see them on a catwalk. But I’m also extremely thankful for the experiences I made during my last years and the stories I can tell. But this moment, when I’m spending time with my friends or others and they are trying on the clothes and just have fun with it, that’s a lovely moment too.
“I’m trying to use the platform I have to empower women. I hope to help them find their identity and stand up for themselves”
Imagine yourself in ten years, what is your goal as a fashion designer?
I think a lot of designers dream of realizing their own label and bring their vision to
the people and so do I. I always imagine a place where I can work with people that
have the same passion and priorities. And I hope, that the success I gain, will
always help others too.
Follow Carolin and her journey on instagram.
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