INTERVIEW WITH FASHION DESIGNER PHILIPP LICHTENFELD
PHILIPP LICHTENFELD is a contemporary womenswear brand specializing in the creation of highquality products with a focus on details and fine materials such as wool and cotton. Strong shapes, in combination with functional details, are the main feature of this unique fashion brand. Their passion is to redefine classical forms in womenswear by providing them with new context and modern proportions. We interview founder and designer Philipp Lichtenfeld about his brand.
Currently, I’m living near Stuttgart, Germany. It’s an exciting place to live and work because right now there are so many different styles and cultures mixing into fashion and streetwear. It is an inspiring time and opportunity to create my own perspective through all these mixtures.
As a son of a tailor, I have always been into fashion, the idea of creating something inspired me even as a young child. I still can remember sewing my own spiderman costume at the age of 12. If you ask me, it looked horrible, but I had the freedom to create it myself.
Before graduating from Hochschule Pforzheim / Design PF (Germany) with a bachelor’s degree in womenswear, I did a complete education as a tailor. It was important for me to understand the fundamental basics in fashion, like the aspect of a simple collar or rever.
I created my first piece of garment in 2013, it was an experimental costume – almost looking like a sculpture with metal and strings. The outfit was shown at the fashion week in Berlin. It was beautiful to see how people interacted emotionally with this costume, and I learned an important fact about how vision and emotion can impact people in and outside of fashion.
In 2018, I started my own fashion label PHILIPP LICHTENFELD. I never thought whether it’s the right time because I have always done fashion, but I also wanted to become a label officially, so it was more the time to act and not to talk about “someday…” The launch of the label didn’t take a long time, but it took almost a whole year from designing my looks until the production of the first pieces. It is crucial for me that quality goes effortlessly into the design, so finding a manufacturer who could bring up the quality standard I wanted was not easy to find.
The most challenging part of starting my own label was the effort to work more than a simple schedule, especially in the beginning. I remember the days of sleepless nights where I had to work part-time in a restaurant and, at the same time, calling with agents and customers.
My friends and family weren’t that surprised about me starting my own fashion label. Most people understand that I belong to where I am now. I am happy to have so many people around me supporting me and, of course, my family in believing me.
Currently, I manage the most creative part, as a designer and owner of my business. I have some people who help me in design and especially in quality from making patterns until the production of my pieces, as well as assisting me in marketing and working on my online shop that will be launched this year. I am so thankful for this help, and looking back, the team is slowly growing. The idea of PHILIPP LICHTENFELD starts to affect people and designers.
PHILIPP LICHTENFELD is a contemporary womenswear brand, which is a decision and reflection over the last 11 years of experience. Haute couture is wonderful, and it would satisfy a personal ego of mine, but Ilearned that fashion is common sense. I have more fun in working with different minds and actually seeing a woman on the street wearing PHILIPP LICHTENFELD instead of only looking at it.
Quality and sustainability are at the core of PHILIPP LICHTENFELD. After a long process of design and experience, our philosophy is to supply our design with sustainable garments. We are using lyocell fibers that are certified as compostable and recycled polyester from our suppliers in Italy. The environmental balance from regenerative materials, in combination with strong shapes, is the central core of the reliable quality of our brand.
Providing new context and functional details is one thing, what makes our brand PHILIPP LICHTENFELD stand out from others is that we redefine classical forms of womenswear into modern proportions. Details like a romantic baroque arm are fused into a futuristic shape, classical garments like virgin wool become a new interpretation of a futuristic nomad, blending classical beauty and postmodern art into wearable pieces is our prophecy.
In the next five years, I would like to grow and to have more people in my team. I want to learn and teach at the same time and create a space for different minds. Working with a team would make me really happy and also going international. However, right now, we are focusing on doing womenswear; there is so much more to provide and learn about it that menswear is not scheduled, but we also receive requests from men so we are curious about what we can do in the future.
My advice for fashion designers hoping to start their own label is to do it. There is no right time to start, and even if you fall, learn from it and try again. The most important part is to stay loyal to yourself and never let money change your heart and your vision.