Young, talented and ambitious, German designer Saskia Reggel loves designing fur collections simply because she considers fur to be the epitome of haute couture. She has a chilled, timeless style that highlights architectural volumes. She graduated from Berufskolleg für Design in Stuttgart and learned to use fur well before she embarked on her studies, while she has also worked with several manufacturing companies. Her participation in the REMIX Fur Fashion Design Competition 2019 (where she was among the 10 finalists) gave her the opportunity to start a collaboration with the German Fur Federation, while at the same time completing her Bachelor’s programme in Fashion and Design at HS Pforzheim. I caught up with her and she talked to us about how she managed her time during lockdown and how she envisions the future.
So tell me Saskia, how did you manage your time during lockdown?
I am actually at the moment at home and spending the time with my family. The semester started out as normal just all online. In the beginning it was kind of weird but now I don’t know how it’s going to be not being online in the future. It didn’t feel like I was missing out much. It’s kind of weird not being able to see my friends in person or being at the university.
Was it a creative time for you or not?
I would say it was much harder being creative. But I am learning a lot more about myself. Being creative just staying home can be very challenging. I like to get inspiration from people on the street, or just from living life. You get with this a completely different perspective and you see stuff differently. Not taking things for granted. But everything slowed down and that’s such a nice change. Even though the stress didn’t get less, not rushing with everything helps to clear my thoughts.
Your Instagram stories featured many videos in nature and outdoors.
Is your relationship with nature a source of inspiration or an escape?
I would definitely say both. I love taking my dog for walks and just taking a break from everything and getting new energy. Also nature is such beauty and I love taking it all in as inspiration for my designs. Being a part of a sunset is so magical and mind blowing. It’s nature showing us how colors can change our mood, or even rain with the intense noise.
And now? How is your comeback to your daily routine?
I am going back to university soon. We are going to have a couple of lessons in the classroom. I am looking forward to seeing my friends and having more social contact. Still working on my semester project and excited to present it in July to my professor in person.
As a young designer, you have declared your love of fur and use it without reservation. With so many negative voices all around, are you concerned about this choice of yours?
No, not at all. Actually I try to spread a positive word for fur. People mostly have a negative opinion for the wrong reasons. Not everyone needs to wear fur, but I think everyone has the right to wear what they want. Fur is such a sustainable product and mostly it’s underrated. The craftsmanship is so traditional and unique. No other product lasts over generations. Fur brings a texture into a clothing piece which makes you stand out and feel so confident.
How important is it to you to make your own “fur stories”?
Very important. I want to show how versatile fur can be. A lot of young designers ask me where they can buy this fluffy material because it looks so great. They’re surprised as soon as they find out it’s real fur and then they have right away negative thoughts because the media only showed them that. It helps lots to talk to them and show them it’s way more than that. I started working as a furrier so it’s always going to be a part of me and I love being a part of this industry. There are so many talented people. I want to create a twist between fashion design and traditional fur craftsmanship.
Do you prefer custom-made or ready-to-wear collections?
I definitely prefer custom-made because it’s highly creative. Pieces that only exist once in this world make it very special.
The upcoming fashion weeks will be digital and all designers are now turning to digital applications and innovative digital sampling methods. What do you think about this new reality?
I think lots is possible only online, but a lot needs to be done in person. Like fabric samples or fittings can never be solely digital. However, I feel through the virus crisis we have seen what is possible in the digital world, which is a positive development for the fashion world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to some unprecedented challenges.
As a young creator, how do you envision the future from this point onwards?
I think it’s a new chance to start fresh and do things differently. Before the pandemic everything went so quick and you never had the chances to think about doing it a different way. We as the world are now all in this together and I think it shows we need to continue more of this thinking.
By Sofia Symeonidou
Photo Credits: Luca Froehlingsdorf