Thursday 13 July 2017

Rico Berger - FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017

Rico Berger is a German fashion designer currently based in Stockholm, Sweden. He graduated from the University of Arts and Design Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, Germany and consequently began working as a designer for kidswear at H&M. He presented his menswear collection “Dieter´s Diary” at FASHIONCLASH Festival.

Can you tell us something about the project you presented at the FASHIONCLASH Festival? My project “Dieter´s Diary” is based on a short novel I wrote 2 years ago. The protagonist Dieter grows up in a white, clean and technological future and feels like not fitting in at all. After running away from home, he finds a group of outcasts that use the advanced technology to create their own walking city where colors collide and fun rules. It is a coming-of-age story wrapped in a Utopian novel. The outfits that I created are my ideas of how these people in the future could look like. Neither white and technological nor dystopian and scruff. But just colorful and free to express themselves in any way they want.

When did you realise you wanted to work in a field of (fashion) design?

I think it just kind of happened over the years. I was always drawing a lot, every day since I was a small kid. At some point I realized that I mostly drew fashion and outfit ideas, so I thought: “well, why not trying out this path then?”

What are so far your main achievements in your career?
One day a friend of mine told me that she got a lot of energy from my fashion show and found her inspiration for her own graduate collection. I felt truly touched by this. For some people, awards and prices and money are their biggest achievements. But I feel the proudest when I know that my fashion, my art touched some people.

What are your biggest struggles as a young designer/artist?
Working full-time in the fashion business at H&M. It takes a lot of effort, energy and discipline to get home and start working on my own projects. I think time management is crucial when you want to get things done.

What do you love the most about your profession?
When I come up with an idea, I work on it, refine it and at the end there are people that say “Rico, I love what you did.” Making people happy with design is what makes me happy.

What fascinates/inspires you and why?
I am fascinated by people in their everyday life. The way they interact, talk or do random things is the fuel to my imagination.

Finding your own distinctive voice can be difficult, where and how do you find your personal creativity (before you start designing/during the design process)?
When I start with a new idea, I take an afternoon just for myself and go to a café in the city. Sitting there and watching people passing by sounds boring to most people, but I truly enjoy it. Imagining their life, their stories, their joy and loss and struggles gives me the ideas to my little stories.

What challenges did you face during the design process?
Usually time management. I am a very ambitious person but I am also very bad at planning how much time I need for a project. Usually the last week before the deadline is filled with lots of coffe and neither sleep nor social life. But it’s the only way I can work so I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
What do you want to communicate with your work in general? My personal motto in life – and this sounds the cheesiest way possible – is to give love and get love. I hope that when you see my work, you smile for a second and just feel a bit better than before.

Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?
Why wouldn’t I? I love the excitement of a fashion show and it is a great opportunity to show my work to a bigger audience.

Does fashion make sense to you?
People use their senses to get ideas and create fashion. So therefore, any fashion makes sense – no matter how ridiculous it seems.

What are your thoughts on making ‘fashion’ more environmentally-friendly?
It is an ambitious goal to make the second-biggest cause of environmental pollution eco-friendly. If we rethink the way we shop and only purchase what we really need, we all are doing a big step towards that goal.

What are your thoughts on the senses in relation to the human body?
Stop thinking about your senses and use them instead! It feels good to feel your body working.

Do you think that fashion can contribute to a better world / better well-being, and what do you do to make a difference?
Definitely! If you feel good in the clothes you are wearing, you will automatically have a better mood and more confidence, too.

Instagram: @studioricoberger

All pictures by Team Peter Stigter

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