Albert Kriemler enjoys drawing inspiration in the world of art: for the spring / summer 2017 collection, the Big Apple, with its versatility and a very special artist, served as a source of inspiration. During a visit to the new Whitney Museum, which already caused a stir with its imposing structure and views over downtown Manhattan, the St. Gallen fashion designer was almost magically attracted by a work of art by artist Carmen Herrera : "Blanco y Verde" - a picture in Off-white with a green, arrow-shaped triangle.
The artist Carmen Herrera was born in 1915 and lives in New York. Her artworks stand out through abstract expressionism and have their own sense of color and proportions. Exactly this exerted a fascination on Albert Kriemler , and so it came to Carmen Herrera's 101st birthday, to a meeting in her New York studio, laying the foundation for cooperation was laid.
The spring / summer collection transfers geometric shapes in women's clothing and balances strict, yet artful lines with feminine forms. As a tribute to this great collaboration and source of inspiration of the city of New York, Akris , who has shown his shows in Paris so far, presents the first show during Fashion Week in New York.
L'OFFICIEL Switzerland: In our March issue we are dedicated to the icons of the fashion world. Of course, Akris, as the only Swiss high-end fashion house, plays an important role in this. What makes Akris so unique? How does the Swiss stage serve the traditional couture house?
Albert Kriemler: Switzerland has a long history in haute couture, something you always have to remember. Fabric makers like Abraham in Zurich have endowed Parisian haute couture with the finest and most glamorous creations. With Gustav Zumsteg, the boss of Abraham, Yves Saint Laurent went out to dinner in the Kronenhalle. Schlaepfer has made the sequins what they are today, and those who are allowed to take a look at the archive of the textile company Forster Rohner in St. Gallen immediately realize how much Dior, Givenchy or Prada is from there. Helmut Newton worked for Forster Rohner as a corporate photographer before he became famous. There has always been a very precise sense of the best here. Now Vetements moved from Paris to Zurich - so we are not singular.
How did the artist Alexander Girard come to inspire the Spring / Summer 2018 collection?
I visited the Vitra Museum in Weil am Rhein and visited the exhibition about Alexander Girard there, three times, also with my team. His sense of color, his exuberant creativity and the joie de vivre that speaks from his designs have inspired me. He was awesome in his urge to make the lives of as many as beautiful as possible, with every detail of each object in each project.
Sustainability is a hot topic in the fashion world today, and many brands are committed to following that trend. What is Akris's attitude towards this topic?
I do not know if this is a trend. This is a long-term commitment that must be part of every corporate culture. But it is often not clear who understands sustainability. We produce every single part of the collection in our own company, so we have absolute control here. But the principle applies: The most sustainable design is that you do not have to replace. I design the collections in such a way that they consist of many investment pieces that you want to wear over many years.
Which muse is currently inspiring you?
No specific. It is the modern women who want to make something of their lives.