I met with Iris Loeffler (pictured above, left) at her studio in SoHo where she allowed for a rare glimpse in to her life as a Fashion Designer. Take a look at my interview of Iris Loeffler below as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of current and upcoming collections from Iris Loeffler, featured only here on YOU ARE WHO YOU WEAR.
Iris Loeffler greets me with a wonderful smile. Her locks are crispy and blonde, as if she has spent a majority of the summer at the beach. This is not the case and Loeffler makes it clear that she spends a majority of her time working. “My mind never stops” she says, “Even when I just sit, designs and work are going through my mind.” This is not hard to believe, especially since her studio and home merge in one apartment in SoHo. She lives and breathes her work, often preferring to work in the mornings where she finds that her work is produced best. Loeffler is a shy character and at times seems completely oblivious to the fact that her work is incredibly well received despite the fact that demand for her design has increased tremendously. The designer has found herself having to choose between living space and design space. Her apartment is completely submerged in designs something that I suspect actually aids this young designer in the design process itself. Loeffler did not create her own collection until 2007 and her work consists of minimal designs, simple silhouettes and fabrics. “I don’t like too much detail.” this comes from a person who seems incredibly complex and more importantly very private. When I mention that she does not have a biography listed on her official website (www.irisloeffler.com) she simply replies, “I would rather have people look at my work.”
Many women dream of being a Fashion Designer in New York. The life is considered glamorous but Loeffler’s arrival to New York City in 2007 was anything but that. She arrived in the U.S. (where she would become an intern for the following designers: ThreeASFOUR, then VPL/Victoria Bartlett, and later ZERO/Maria Cornejo) but two weeks later, she woke up and found herself paralyzed from the neck down due to a herniated disc in her back. Unable to move, she spent Christmas and New Years Eve in the hospital. Several doctor’s told her to move back to her native country of Germany but the then 26 year old intern remained persistent. “A lot of people visited me and were concerned. They brought DVD’s and cake.” one would not think that a simple cake or a DVD could make a difference in a persons life, however, it made a difference in Loeffler’s. She decided to stay in New York City despite being paralyzed twice more following the first incident. “I never thought of going back. I was here.”
Loeffler considers herself a professional artist not a designer and it seems she feels an ounce of discomfort when speaking of her work. “Sometimes I think that other people believe more in me and what I do, then what I believe in myself.” Maybe this is the case because of the fact that Loeffler became a designer by accident. She never intended to nor did she want to be a designer. Her mother forced her to attend Esmod, a Fashion Design School with locations all over Europe and Asia. She studied in Munich where she was raised and later in Berlin. “I knew then, that I would be a designer.” she says with a certainty in her voice. Following her enrollment at Esmod, Loeffler soon began working at an Opera in Germany where she helped design costumes. “That is where I learned the importance of detail. Everything had to be perfect. If a shoe lace was black and it had to be brown, it would be noticeable.” and despite fashion design not being her first love, it is something she is good at and in the end truly enjoys doing. “I would like to grow and establish myself. Maybe find my niche. It would be great to establish myself in the United States. Success is very important but I would just like to continue.” and with upcoming projects such as Designers Against AIDS and her participating in Fashion Week this September, I am sure Loeffler will do just that. There are no “maybe, ifs or buts” about Loeffler’s collections. It is straight to the point: feminine yet edgy, clean cut yet sophisticated. Just like Iris Loeffler herself.
Take a look at the exclusive behind-the-scenes photos below:
View the rest of Iris Loeffler’s collection here: www.irisloeffler.com
Source: Iris Loeffler
Special thanks to: Mr. Ryan Urcia @ State PR as well as Mr. Paul Hwang @ PH Solutions & Dazed Digital.