During the opening of Berlin Fashion Week, Fashion author and former personal assistant to Isabelle Blow Martina Rink launched her second coffee-table book titled Fashion Germany: Kreative. Storys. Trends. As a German native and fashion insider, Rink’s experience in the fashion industry is incomparable to others and her pride of the ever-expanding German fashion industry led to her second book. Her written celebration and tribute to German fashion talent is brimming with exclusive interviews, unseen photography and personal contributions from Peter Lindbergh, Angelica Blechschmidt and Johannes Huebl amongst a few. The previous lack of German fashion exposure no longer exists and ‘Made in Germany’ has steadily but surely made a name for itself in the world of fashion.
We caught up with author and fashion connaisseur Martina Rink to discover why Germany should not be overlooked in the international fashion industry.
Do you believe that German fashion could eventually rival others? If so, how?
I think as a whole; – NO! (Simply due to the fact there is no cohesive German fashion industry. In our country, different cities compete to be Germany’s fashion capital. Munich, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and most successfully, Berlin. Until this disharmony is solved within Germany, we cannot become one German fashion industry).
However, Germany is home to many talented individuals who already work alongside the best international fashion talents out there. Taking a closer look, it is clear that Germany has what it needs to become one of the major names in international fashion.
You mentioned that today a label reading ‘Made in Germany’ denotes quality, durability and attention to detail… could you explain what makes you say that?
This is based on the Jil Sander Generation. Put simply, what we Germans are known for internationally is good craftsmanship and excellent quality, and this is a commonly acknowledged theme running through all major German industries.
How would you explain the fashion in Germany? What makes it memorable/ what is it that precisely puts it on the style map?
Quality, simplicity, purity, authenticity.
You describe your latest book as an indispensable ‘behind-the-scenes book’, what makes it indispensable?
Reading this book, you will come across individuals you have never come across before. We have carefully chosen to focus on individuals who have worked highly successfully behind the scenes in this industry for many years. The lesser known talents of German fashion.
What makes ‘Fashion Germany’ the ideal coffee table book in comparison to others?
I try to develop close communication with my readers in order to gather feedback on the reception of my books among their target audience. I have been fortunate enough to be told often that my readers never stop looking back at my work, flicking through the pages and re-reading favourite sections.
I have been told, for example, that my book on Isabella Blow, published by
Thames & Hudson in the autumn of 2010, now resides permanently on the coffee table of a certain British rock star. It is a special style object, like a
candleholder or an expensive vase. This reassures me that my books are
slightly different. Slightly special. I enjoy the fact that my work can be kept on display on the most beautiful coffee tables, in private households and pubic places worldwide.
Your latest book includes exclusive interviews from Peter Lindbergh, Angelica Blechschmidt, Johanes Huebl and Tomas Maier, amongst many others. Are these artists whom you admire and figures that have influenced you?
I try to be neutral when I start working on a book as well as contacting guest contributors, but of course I always include some personal icons of mine in each of my books. In this case; Peter Lindbergh, Anna Bauer, Tomas Meier, Angelica Blechschmidt, Yasmin Heinz & many more. I get influenced by every single contributor as I dive into their world by bringing them into my book.
Your first book ‘Isabella Blow’ was a tribute book to the late Isabella, would you say that your latest book is also a tribute?
This is exactly what it is meant to be – a celebration of German Fashion!
Would you consider yourself as an influential person in the German fashion industry? If so, why?
I suppose that I am a writer who tries to make a strong point with her work and this inevitably means that I influence people to a certain extent with my writing. I would like to think that my work moves the reader, however, rather than simply influencing.
Who, in your opinion, is a German designer that epitomises beautifully the German sense of style?
Jil Sander in the past, Karl Lagerfeld still going strong, and Dorothee Schumacher, René Storck and Damir Doma are the future!
Why is drawing attention to the influence of German fashion important to you personally?
I grew up in Germany, I lived, studied and worked in London & Paris and returned back to Germany, I think I wanted to show the world that we have wonderful creative talents working all over the world in the fashion industry with German roots.
Why is it important as a whole for Germany to be represented in the international fashion world?
Germany and Germans always have been very strong in the international fashion and textile market. Nevertheless, we are very modest in what we do we are a less obvious presence when it comes to fashion, lifestyle or entertainment.
Only when it comes to cars and technology do we allow ourselves to brag a little!
Words / Jennifer Matthews