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. Besides refining his collection for FASHIONCLASH Festival, he works on T-shirts and brooches that he plans on selling at markets in Stockholm during the summer of 2017.
Rico Berger’s work can be seen at FASHIONCLASH Festival on Friday June 30 at 20:30, during Show 2 at SAMdecorfabriek. Get your tickets here.
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.
Can you tell us something about the project you will present 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.
What do you try to communicate with your project?
I want to show a future that people can look forward to instead of being afraid of.
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.
FASHIONCLASH is already working on future themes. What are the topics you find interesting?
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.
What senses are engaged in your creation process?
Mostly the sense of tasting because I eat all the time while designing. But seriously, of course all senses are involved in making fashion. Just picture this: you lie in the grass with your sketch book, taste the salty sea breeze on your tongue, seagulls squeaking above you. And there it is: an idea. My design process only works naturally with all my senses.
How does technology change your creation process?
I do more and more work on the computer and I enjoy that. It is so much faster for instance to change a pattern in Illustrator instead of doing it all over again on paper.
What’s a standard day for you?
I get up at 5 which is horrible because I am a night person. Then I work out, check mails and eat some breakfast. Usually, I start work around 9 and finish mostly at 5 or 6. After work I either hang out with my friends or work at home on my own projects.
Vegan, vegetarian, healthy diet or any food will do?
I am currently in a 30-day vegan challenge with my flat mate but I already broke it couple of times. Can’t have a Pizza without a good cheese crust…
What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Conrad by SOHN. I just love his voice so much.
Best Tv-show/movie at the moment?
Obviously RuPaul’s Drag Race
What is your bad habit?
Believing in true love but looking for it on Tinder.
Are you a people's person or a loner?
When I am at work or at parties, definitely a people´s person. But when I work on my own projects I need to be all by myself.
Do you have a pet?
Your favourite quote?
I’ve got too many to choose a favourite. Right now I have a picture on my wall of a quite gay love scene that says “DREAM BIGGER”. I think that is a quote many people can live by.
What’s your favourite city?
I always enjoy being in Berlin for a few days. It’s still a very wild and independent city.
What/Who do you miss the most when you are not at home?
I miss German food so much. Thank God there is a LIDL in Stockholm so I can get my comfort food every now and then.
If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I always wanted to live in New York for the exciting club scene but well, just look at the clown sitting in the White House right now. No chance I will go there any time soon.
What do you enjoy the most in life?
Being surrounded by people that enjoy my company.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I always eat in my bed and I think that is one of the reasons I am still single.
Who is your biggest example/idol?
My mom because she fights for her dreams so much, it is incredible.
Your favourite hashtags #?
You favorite social media app?
Instagram account you think deserves more attention?
Can I say mine? No kidding, I think you should check out my friend @freddabjurg, he makes really nice ceramics and glass art.
More about Rico Berger’s work can be found on Instagram: @ricoberger_illustration.