“Slow Fashion Go Fast” in this new series by label Richert Beil. 480°C, the latest from Richert Beil, is the label’s reckoning with the circumstances of the pandemic and how it has affected the landscape of fashion today. The series features five different t-shirts packaged in a custom takeaway box, all available for same-day delivery in Berlin thanks to Wolt. In our exclusive interview, the creative minds behind Richert Beil detail this new series, what it represents for the label and what the innovative brand seeks to accomplish in the future.
You’ve said this project is inspired by your experience with COVID-19. So, simply put, what was your experience with COVID-19?
Changing times need changing inspirations and concepts. It was less the experience with COVID-19 than the change that was accompanied by it. The lockdown and all the sudden restrictions hit us right after our last runway show UTOPIA on March 6, which normally is the beginning of the season and sales for us. We had not launched our Webshop yet, appointments got cancelled and also, which is very understandable, people had different things to take care of than fashion. Usually we spend the whole of August in Italy, which gives us an easing of tension and strength for the rest of the year, and we couldn’t go last year and unfortunately won’t be able this year. Our TICKET shirt print, for example, is inspired by the maut license ticket of Autostrada in Italy, which we still had from our last trip. Our DREAMS shirt stands for all the dreams people had in the beginning of the year 2020, which kind of collapsed but are still there — in a cloud of hope hanging from the ceiling. Our RICHERT and BEIL shirts play with the theme of an ongoing low financial situation through the whole year (RICHERT) but still finding resilience and mobilising strength within the situation (BEIL). Last but not least the AMERICAN DREAM shirt: I think there is no need in explaining that one with everything that happened in America over the last year.
The first thing that will immediately grab audiences is the presentation — a takeaway pizza box. What inspired this decision?
Takeaway food and its packaging, of course. We love packaging; we really got into this topic over the last year, and there is a lot more to come. Also, we wanted to find a way to offer a joyful product which is easy-going and relevant at the same time. And now, we are able to offer one day delivery within Berlin right in time for spring. But no worries: we also ship worldwide.
Tell us more about the five shirts featured as a part of this series.
In addition to the inspiration above, it is important to know that they are limited editions of 200 each and made in Portugal. The RICHERT and BEIL shirts are both made of 100% heavyweight cotton. The AMERICAN DREAM is made of a sporty lightweight piqué jersey which is also great to wear underneath a blazer or jacket. Our TICKET shirt is a heavy, high-quality rib tank top, and our sustainable option DREAMS shirt comes in ocher and is made from an organic cotton mesh fabric.
480°C boasts “Slow Fashion Go Fast”. What does that mean with regards to how the pieces are produced?
All of our pieces are produced with the highest social standards in Europe. It is a limited edition, and the designs are not produced for mass market. Also, the slogan refers to the challenge of smaller brands that compete with big companies timewise. With a “take away“ product, we are more flexible.
What can our readers expect from the pieces in this collection?
T-shirts that carry a message, but are also supposed to be fun and easy to wear. You can style them casually or super chic with a blazer or even a suit. That’s what is important to us — we want to create pieces that last in terms of quality, style and message and work for several occasions.
How do you think RICHERT BEIL has changed since its launch in 2014?
RICHERT BEIL has grown up and now has a strict structure to follow. Back in 2014, we did everything very impulsively and also sewed a lot by ourselves. Now, we have a great team of professionals and productions around us. Personally, we have changed profoundly with the day when we both shaved our heads in 2019, and with it, also our commitment to other people’s expectations. Therefore, it’s an ongoing statement.
Creatively, we found our inner voice during the years of experience and know what works for us and what doesn’t. What has still not changed so much is our personal opinion about fashion, which makes things complicated from time to time. We still don’t want to work seasonally, and we don’t want fashion to be exclusive, but rather, inclusive. Luckily in 2021 we are now self-confident enough to follow our own rules.
What’s been inspiring you lately?
Packaging design and industrial graphics and fonts. The music of Donna Summer and the soundtrack of Hair. We started our first sustainable denim project in Turkey which we will drop next. And still have a crush on old leftover materials from the army.
What’s next for RICHERT BEIL?
We recently started to work on our new series, Richert Beil seen by X, where we give photographers and their teams the possibility to interpret our collection very personally with their own point of view on diversity, inclusion, gender fluidity and freedom of identity, to show fashion in all its potential for being progressive and about more than just stereotypical ideals of beauty. The project starts in Berlin and will continue all over Europe with various artists and finds its way up to New York, hopefully still in 2021.