FASHION IS A VISUAL STATEMENT OF WHO WE ARE
Interview by Leticia Bordoni
Liesa Maria Lettau was never satisfied with fast fashion when going to an event where one girl out of 20 just wears the same stinky Top Shop Top. Now, she is the Founder of Lettau Art Fashion. Lettau l|. is a Berlin-based, flashy, body-conscious and extroverted fashion brand.
When Liesa Maria Lettau was 15 years old, she took notice about a story going around in her schoolyard about a girl that bought a jacket at H&M and when she removed the thread from the pocket she found a note in childish handwriting saying “HELP!”. Whether the story was true or not, ever since she was suspicious towards this massive (fast) fashion stores.
Tell us more about the story of your brand and its mission.
I was never satisfied with the offers in shops. Either the stuff was generic and cheaply produced. The designs were cool but the materials cheap, and the quality sucked or simply everybody was wearing the same stuff.
I started very early to sew my own or to pimp up some 2nd hand clothes. After school, I decided to study fashion but during my internship at Ali Thompson Couture, I decided I was more interested in enhancing my crafting skills and how to make pieces that look like real clothes you can buy in a shop. I didn’t finish my apprenticeship due to going through some rebellious phase and getting into trouble in school and with colleagues.
But also at this time, I decided that I have to do my own thing and developed my idea and the style of my brand. After that, I came to a lot of efforts to step into the business, getting my designs into shops and becoming more serious and secure about it.
Which are your main sources of inspiration?
That can be very different. I can be inspired by anything. My motivation: to bring more uniqueness to the way that people dress. I was never satisfied with what I would find in shops or couldn’t afford high fashion and it’s so annoying to go to an event where one girl out of 20 just wears the same stinky Top Shop Top.
And that’s really why I started to work in making clothes and somehow evolved to make this my living and make my own brand. I want to bring more soul inside peoples wardrobe.
I think loveless (mass) produced clothes really reflect on the consumers wearing them. It’s a little bit spiritual but I think you get the message.
What’s your relationship with ever-changing fashion trends?
In general: I think trends are spinning around in such a ridiculous speed that I don’t really believe in that model anymore. Seasons and pre-season and all that stuff. I think the customer of the future will be an original or individual developing their own styles without changing their wardrobe every three months just to be “trendy”. On a scale of fast fashion or huge production, I’m also concerned about the impact on our environment. Ever-changing trends are mostly bond to producing a lot of waste. If it doesn’t sell it’ll end up in the garbage.
Concerning my biz, I produce very small handmade units of my collections As they are limited and more unique I feel I don’t have to chase trends or worry much about my pieces being outdated. I don’t really have to deal with producing huge units of clothes and not selling enough till the end of the season. The pieces on my online Shop are made to order. If someone buys a Lettau piece he can be sure that there is less then 50 of the same out there, or it’s even a single item, which in my opinion already gives it a timeless character.
Taking into account that you are a creator that works with challenges every day, what’s in your opinion the biggest challenge of the fashion industry today?
Planning and production as well as marketing in a way that fits with a new type of consumer. Taking businesses online while staying in touch with your customers would also be a big challenge.
The circumstances in the production of fast fashion are extremely sad to me. I hope that more and more people will choose unique and fairly produced and long lasting favourite pieces before chasing a fast trend.
Virtually all major clothing companies have a work in progress in the field of sustainability. What makes your brand stand out?
No mass production. My collections will always come in small units and be handmade and unique. I believe that you can produce clothes fair and locally on a small scale and still making a good living for yourself without exploiting people. I want people to dress unique again and be original through their looks.
What does the future hold for your brand? Any plans you could share with us?
The ideal would be to only work with sustainable materials. My preferred material is Lycra, because of its flexibility – through the average Lycra is 100% plastic. Technology is advanced enough to produce sustainable Lycra and some huge brands are already working with it. For a small production like mine, it’s not possible at the moment to step my foot into it. I actually see a huge gap here, because production circumstances of fabrics are as worrying as the making of the clothes itself when we look towards fast fashion. But honestly, I think as the market is changing, sustainable fabrics will start being available for everybody too. So that would be something achievable for the future.
Read the original interview here.