woensdag 8 mei 2013

Belgium label TITI+GERMAN KID

Kristien Follon is the establisher of the label TITI+GERMAN KID. She will present her wonderful work at the FASHIONCLASH Side Program.
Born in Neerpelt, Belgium, Kristien has her fashion dream since she was five. In 2007, she started her label along with her alter ego and muse 'THE GERMAN KID'. She makes all the pieces herself to make sure that everything is unique.T+TGK is more than affordable, which makes it accessible to a very wide audience.

What inspires you in general?
I get inspired the most by everything that happens on the street. People, buildings, situations, sounds and street art.

Where are you based?
Since 2009 I’ve been working on my collections in Hasselt (BE).
In January, this year I’ve opened a new studio and showroom there.

What is it like to be a young designer in your city/country?
There isn’t a big fashion scene in Hasselt, but we do have a lot of upcoming artists with different specializations such as graphic design, street art, jewelry and product design all based in the same area of the city. In this upcoming neighborhood a lot of new projects, such as Street Art Festival and the graphic festival Beyonderground, arise. This gives us the opportunity to work together and to put our work forward.

What place/city do you find inspiring?
I love to discover small art galleries in big cities.
They often show new inspiring works of students and unknown local young artists.
It’s fascinating to see the scene they are based in, their inspiration and techniques they use.

What is the concept behind your latest collection/creation?
My Fall-Winter 2013 collection is called ‘Jagger was my first love’, it’s all about music.
In the past my collections were about happy thoughts and rock’n roll translated into themes such as the circus (FW11: I ain’t afraid of no clown), kids vs. grown ups (SS12: ‘Happy Soup’), the night (FW12: The day destroys the night’), freedom (SS13:’Strangers have the best candy).
For this winter I wanted to take a closer look at the rock’n roll theme and got inspired by Mick Jagger and all rock/music from the 80’s and 90’s.

Describe your collection/creation in three words
Glitter, leather and sweatshirts!
Did you always wanted to work in the field of fashion?
As a five year old I was always knitting, drawing and cutting shapes out of my clothes and curtains. 
My older sisters, mother and grandmother taught me how to sew by hand, paint textiles, make lace, embroider, weave and braid. When I got older I tried to merge the different techniques into bags and ugly dresses for my dolls and myself.
At the age of 8 I started to draw, inspired by some books of the late 70’s my mother gave me. I always wanted to be an artist but being immersed in all these fashion techniques as I was from a very early age, I’ve grown into fashion continuing to and getting better on using these techniques on my own clothes. When I was fourteen I started fashion education in high school.  

Do you have a muse? If yes, who is it and why?
‘The German Kid’ is my muse and is a fictive person who represents my target group which are happy people who love colours, crazy themes and love to take a walk on the wild side.

Who is your favorite fashion designer?
I find Bernhard Willhelm's collections very inspiring because he isn’t following any trends and he created his own fashionscene over the years. Everything inspires him and that proves his inexhaustible creativity.

What is so far your greatest experience in your 'fashion' career?
I’ve had a few pop-up stores around Belgium in the last years but opening my own showroom and studio last January was the greatest experience so far. I love to keep close contact with my customers and see how they react to my latest collections.

What is on your music list while you are making your collection/creation?
Around every two weeks I make a fresh playlist for my showroom, with the songs that inspired me the most while working. And for every collection I make a mixtape as DJ TITI with BLACKRAINBOVV, a good friend of mine. (Visit our soundcloud page! https://soundcloud.com/titi-the-german-kid)
I love almost everything 80’s and 90’s and love to mix it up with artist as Crystal Castles, Kap Bambino, Beastie Boys, Mr.Oizo, David Bowie, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Health, Crossover,
Grimes, Laurent Garnier, T.Raumschmiere, Moby, The Knife, Weezer, Soulwax, Radiohead, The Van Jets, The Black Keys, Sébastien Tellier, Vive la Fête, Zola Jesus, Death Grips,…  

What made you smile today?
A friend of mine posted a picture of his wrinkled morning face on Instagram, it made me laugh out loud.

What is the latest thing you bought for yourself?
A light pink vintage shirt with a big bow on a market in Rotterdam (NL).
It’super cute.

What can we expect from you in the future?
This year is all about showing my brand to cities outside of Belgium such as Maastricht, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and London.
In the future I would love to sell my collections, prints and fanzines in different cities around Europe. And I’d love to continue presenting my new collections twice a year in an underground setting/location with a themed afterparty.

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