This season marks the 10th anniversary of BERTHOLD – and founder Raimund, definitely knows how to make a statement. With a pronounced emphasis on quality and craftsmanship, the BERTHOLD brand is characterised by precision and silhouettes that resist defined shapes. We sit down with the Austrian-born designer as he explains why the traditional fashion calendar is unsustainable and what we can expect from his next move.
CT: Tell me, after 10 years of following the traditional fashion calendar, what made the brand move away from it?
RB: The two season fashion cycle is outdated, restrictive and unsustainable. I want the freedom to release smaller, focused collections more frequently and when they are in the right season and by that I mean, weather appropriate! I want to work on different collaborations too across disciplines. The traditional format of a catwalk show and a seasonal collection doesn’t feel right in a fast-paced, eco-conscious global world. I just had to step aside from all of that.
CT: So – what can we expect from the BERTHOLD Core collection?
RB: 14 pieces, distilled from styles that friend’s and I keep wearing. There will be outerwear like a bomber, a neoprene parka, oversized raincoat, shirts, technical knit, t-shirts and bags. All in black – my favourite colour. Confident but unshowy, functional but elegant, the Core collection is, in effect, the BERTHOLD uniform.
CT: And all of your collection is non-gendered – was this important to you when designing or was it a just natural inclusion as a designer?
RB: This was a natural progression as many female friends started wearing the brand and stylists started shooting on all genders for editorials and social media. I love it – it’s not just a modern approach, it is the only approach looking forward.
CT: Research is essential in your inspiration to designing a collection, how did you start for the CORE collection?
RB: Usually I start with random, slightly dark image research, meaning that the pictures we collect can look quite dramatic and sinister but this is never how I look at it. I start sketching from these and will interpret them all differently, sometimes I could be looking at a photograph we have found in an old newspaper but I am reading it for its texture, or shape. I might look at an art work but more for its mood – not its visual appearance. CORE was different, we took several weeks to go through archive pieces and ended up with a tightly edited capsule that really focusses on the things we are about like fit, shape, texture.
CT: What was the most important thing you discovered about yourself while establishing your own business?
RB: I’m good at problem solving when it comes to design and the making of a collection. But you also discover many shortcomings about yourself too when you are starting out on your own. You have to learn to ask for help.
CT:How has the industry changed and developed since starting out?
RB: The market has become much more global and immediate. If you only offer Summer or Winter clothes you are missing out so much of the world. It’s always hot or cold somewhere around the globe; I don’t think you can just rely on bricks and mortar stores to sell your collections anymore. That was how it used to be.
CT: I have to ask – what designs you wearing today?
RB: I am wearing a BERTHOLD black, high-neck t-shirt with black jeans, a black sleeveless oversized BERTHOLD jacket and orange/green Instapump Rebook trainers on my feet.
CT: What is next for you and the brand?
RB: Drops throughout the year – and that can be anything from knitwear to outerwear to tables or lamps! Exciting new collaborations, jewellery, bags etc.
CT: Home is where?
RB: London, SE1
CT: What do you collect?
RB: Contemporary art
CT: Most iconic part of London to you?
RB: Anywhere along the River Thames
CT: Favourite food?
RB: Always the one I haven’t yet tried
CT: Signature fragrance?
Discover the CORE collection by BERTHOLD