What have been your biggest challenges since starting 032c?
I can’t really pinpoint the biggest challenges except the bloody obvious ones: getting advertisements in the beginning and commercial development. But it has always been a very organic growth, step by step, travelling by our own speed. We are very good at turning our disadvantages into our advantages. The disadvantage of being located in Berlin, which is completely cut off from the traditional fashion system proved actually to be very beneficial for us as we were able to develop our own aesthetic. Nowadays it is more about managing the growth and hiring the right people. We need a data analyst, web designer, accountant, junior fashion designer and patternmaker by the way. Hit me up!
What are your thoughts on current state of industry?
I think the fashion industry is in a similar state as the publishing industry with legacy media brands. They all fear about losing relevancy with new generations and it is a productive challenge for the establishment as well as for those who come up questioning the system. There are quite a lot of zombies amongst the the classical fashion houses. Let’s bury them.
What are your expectations for the industry?
I’m not an oracle. However, whatever expectations we have, we should produce it instead of passively awaiting them. A lot of the ideas we have on how things could be done are turned into practice; this is the best way to talk about the future.
When did your label launch?
It started innocently with the Youth Hotel long-sleeve for the Gosha Rubchinskiy exhibition at 032c Workshop almost two years ago.
When you look at the history of 032c it was always the idea of it being more of a platform or engine to realize ideas than just a print publication. When you observe, analyze and speculate about the future of fashion, it becomes very interesting to actually start producing apparel. Luckily my wife Maria Koch has a background as a designer for Jil Sander, Marios Schwab, et al so she started it up. We wanted to start brutally simple (that is, bootleg T-shirt) and then increase the complexity. By next year we will be presenting collections with fashion shows.
How does your work with SSENSE differ from that of 032c?
We share certain ideas and contributors, however SSENSE is sharply focused on millennials in North America and Asia. 032c is a much more personal vehicle reflecting the current ideas we are interested in exploring.
What are some of your biggest highlights from 2017?
I think we were quite productive this year. The office has grown with more people and I think it was thrilling in 2017 to see how the team works together to create an impact that resonates with our audience. We got some very special people!
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
That’s such a hard question. The short term is getting the new issue of the magazine with the Frank Ocean cover story out which is looking pretty good right now, while the long term is building up our apparel into a credible fashion brand as it also influences every other decisions in the company. It really electrifies the magazine.