06.05.2020 Interview

“In times of uncertainty there are more important things than fashion.” “In times of uncertainty there are more important things than fashion.”

The renovation of a showroom, development of an online shop and mask production: The Berlin-based designer, Natascha von Hirschhausen makes the most of the current crisis.
Natascha von Hirschhausen © Kerstin Jacobsen
Natascha von Hirschhausen © Kerstin Jacobsen

With her fashion label, the designer, Natascha von Hirschhausen produces sustainable and fair luxury fashion. All garments are handmade and adhere to the highest social and ecological standards.

Her master’s thesis at the Weißensee School of Art already dealt with the contemporary topic “ethical fashion design”. A lot has happened since then:  Ms. von Hirschhausen is highly committed to providing a network for young designers in Berlin and the whole of Germany. Therefore, she is one of the cofounders of the platform AETHIC, as well as the “Verein Berliner Modedesigner”.

As we interviewed her, she told us how she is dealing with the crisis, what projects she is currently working on, as well as what concerns she has regarding the pandemic and the possible long-term changes it could cause in the fashion industry.

What has changed for you due to the measures, which have been put into place during the corona crisis?

Pretty much everything. Until last week, all stores were closed and some were even insolvent. The online sales have also collapsed. I totally understand that. In times of uncertainty there are more important things than fashion. Especially, since social and societal life is extremely limited, fashion as a socio-cultural good is not the highest priority at the moment.

But, I’m quite lucky. We do not have our own shop, but work together with boutiques and concept stores. So, I only had to pay the studio rent and less personnel costs over time, which of course was a great relief for me. Of course, I continued to pass on orders to my master tailor with whom I work with during these times. Many friends of ours have struggled much more than we have and I sincerely hope that they can manage it. Without claiming completeness, I would like to raise awareness towards the following labels and stores: Möon, Mazooka, SYLD, KONK, Wertvoll, Homage, Corvera Vargas, Quite Quit, ZAMT, Folkdays and many more, who certainly need all the support they can get.

How are you dealing with the current situation?

We have used the time to implement projects for which we usually wouldn’t have much time. Such as the renovation of the studio and showroom, a new sustainable designer network, accounting and establishing the new online shop. Now we also have the time to do nice things like creating new designs. We also sew masks made of fabric and offer them at cost price. There is always plenty to do - even if we are not able to sell well at the moment.

I’m really looking forward to our new online shop being launched with the new collection in July. I’m also very curious to see how the whole situation develops until then.

How do you think the corona crisis will influence/change Berlin’s fashion industry in the long run?

I think it’s too early to tell. My concern is that we could lose what Berlin stands for: a great variety of independent design, creative perspectives and sustainable concepts. To me, the large number of independent, small companies with innovative and creative concepts are one of Berlin’s strengths. Which is why, I work hard on sustainable networks which bond these companies. Together we are stronger!

Weitere Informationen:

Natascha von Hirschhausen Website