On a brisk evening during Berlin Fashion Week, one of Germany’s most beloved brands, Marc Cain, hosted fashion’s finest—including Sarah Rafferty, Yvonne Catterfeld, and Joy Denalane—at its Fall/Winter 2019 presentation, done in collaboration with designer Katja Konradi.
Set in a stylized train station, fluorescent neon tones illuminated the catwalk, in combination with neutral winter pastels and palette-cleansing hues of beige. An array of tailored suits with attention-grabbing black and white ensembles, accented by signature animal prints, exhibited the classic Marc Cain allure of simplicity, elegance, and quality.
Here, Katja Konradi, the woman behind the collection, reveals her inspirations, her experience designing in Germany, and how it felt to work with Marc Cain.
COLLABORATING WITH MARC CAIN
“It has always been a brand that stands for elegance, femininity, and high quality. Marc Cain has a very unique and individual style that makes it recognizable, which I personally like very much. There is something very recognizable about the clothes, such as the leo print, knitwear pieces (which are part of the company’s DNA), and bright colours. What makes Marc Cain special is how future-orientated the company is, and that innovation is a very important factor— that makes it one of the few companies that could actually be a global player from Germany.”
THE FALL/WINTER 2019 COLLECTION
“The love is in the details, which shows in many of the pieces in the collection. We designed this with a focus on Marc Cain’s ‘Made in Germany’ knitwear, which consists of items that are that are produced and fabricated entirely in Germany. We also wanted to value what’s important for the brand, and that is the focus on high-quality clothes, which is why we used soft and elegant fabrics like cashmere and silk, as well as sturdy wool and leather. The collection is divided into different colour themes all containing strong and bright hues. All in all, I think it represents Marc Cain’s unique style through the contrast between soft fabrics and bright colours, as well as prints combined with strong materials such as leather or faux fur.”
“I really enjoy travelling and discovering new cultures and cities where
I find inspiration, especially in what people are wearing on the streets. When it comes to my designs, I always prefer creating wearable and understandable fashion. I like to talk to my friends and I look for conversations about fashion and what might be missing in their wardrobes—like a reality check to understand what women might really need. My other main source of inspiration is art—going to the museum might lead to new colour charts or prints for upcoming collections.”
“There are different design and production steps to achieve the final result. The designers are responsible for the script and can be seen as the author of the movie. Following the script, the product managers are the ones to create the structure of the collection. They function as an interface between the design and distribution, more like a director. The marketing department is responsible for the communication, promoting the movie, or in our case, the collection. Interior is in charge of the stores and the presentation of the clothes—the final step for our clothes to get to our customers. With this visualization, you can see just how many steps are part of the whole process, which is initiated by the creative design.”
STAPLES FROM FALL/WINTER 2019
“My personal highlights are the suits in bright colours such as pink or orange, as well as a sophisticated black. The collection also includes a suit that comes with shorts, which makes it very comfortable for warmer days. It exemplifies how important good tailoring is, and how these items can make a woman feel comfortable and fashionable at the same time. Other highlight pieces from the collection are the ‘100% Made in Germany’ essentials, such as the grey maxi knitwear dress, which is a true eyecatcher.”
DESIGNING IN GERMANY
“For me as a designer, it is fascinating to see pieces being produced in-house. The things Marc Cain creates, such as the ‘100% Made in Germany’ knitwear, are produced two floors below in the headquarters. You can experience how your thoughts—your designs—become reality, which is very unique in Germany.”