Design lovers have long known that taking a look beyond the international fashion capitals is always worthwhile. Mode Suisse which recently took place in Zurich, Switzerland, is one example among many. Initiated 2012 by show producer Yannick Aellen, the Mode Suisse provides Swiss designers a platform to present their collections to a professional audience twice a year in Zurich and Genève with special editions in Paris, Milan and Peking. Contrary to many fashion events which have turned into commercial cocktail events, the Mode Suisse has certainly established itself as a serious event in the calendar of buyers, journalists and fashion designers from home and abroad. On the occasion of the 9th edition of Mode Suisse in Zurich, we talked to three up-and-coming Swiss designers about their approach and perception of the Swiss fashion landscape.

 

 

BLANK ETIQUETTE BY TOSCA WYSS

After studying at University of Arts and Design in Basel, Switzerland, Tosca Wyss graduated with a Master’s Degree in fashion design at University of Arts and Design, Berlin- Weißensee in 2014. It was her second show at Mode Suisse.

PLATEA: What does it mean for you as a designer to show at Mode Suisse ? 

Tosca Wyss: A lot. The Mode Suisse connects the manageable Swiss fashion scene to an international market. I also appreciate the highly artistic and individual claim of Mode Suisse unlike more commercial fashion weeks.

 

Local anchoring or international approach – what is your focus?

Tosca Wyss © Heike Overberg

Tosca Wyss © Heike Overberg

My market is of course international. The global diversity is of interest to me, and so I see the clients of Blank Etiquette. Nevertheless, Switzerland is relevant to my work. There are important

funding for design and fashion in Switzerland, f.e. the “Swiss Design Award” or the “Pro Helvetia Foundation”. Furthermore, the Swiss fashion industry is quite well-structured and personally what I find is very pleasant. I guess a reference to the homeland is always maintained, no matter where you position yourself in the world, where you live and work.

 

It can be observed surprisingly few new names in the Swiss fashion design scene. Does Switzerland suffer from a crisis in young design? 

I do not believe that this is due to the Swiss fashion landscape, but rather to the crisis in the fashion industry itself. Luckily, there is a lot of moving at the moment that encourages and at the same time opens up new perspectives.

 

What is your next goal ?

We are about to reconsider our sales system to escape the problems of the current market by own ways, so we can distribute Blank Etiquette directly, meaningful and sustainable. In addition, I want to buy an embroidery machine to expand the embroidery for our customers.

 

 

ADRIAN REBER

Swiss menswear designer Adrian Reber launched his company in 2006 but took a break due to a Head of Design position at HUGO. In 2014, he relaunched his label. Thanks to his high-quality processing and the use of finest materials, he has already made a name in the national scene. It was his 4th show at Mode Suisse.

PLATEA: What does it mean for you as a designer to show at Mode Suisse ? 

Adrian Reber: The Mode Suisse is the most relevant platform for fashion designers in Switzerland and for me the only way to show my collection on the runway.

 

Local anchoring or international approach – what is your focus?

To me it is first of all important to grasp foot in Switzerland and then conquer the near abroad. Since my whole collection is “Made in Switzerland”, the prices are relatively high for the European market. Once a good basis exists, Adrian Reber will also show in Paris or Milan.

Adrian Reber © Simon Wyss

Adrian Reber © Simon Wyss

Swiss designers often maintain a strong attachment to domestic textile manufacturers. How is it with you? 

I am strongly connected to Swiss textile manufacturers. However, the production becomes increasingly

difficult due to the fact that fewer and fewer factories exist. The materials I use are therefore not only from Switzerland, but also from Italy, Austria and Japan.

 

Surprisingly few new names appear in the Swiss fashion scene. Does Switzerland suffer from a crisis in young design?

Most young designers have studied abroad and are therefore better known abroad than in Switzerland. Besides the Mode Suisse there are no other platforms or support measures within the Swiss fashion industry.

 

 

STEINROHNER

Inna Stein and Caroline Rohner met during their fashion studies at University of Arts and Design, Berlin- Weißensee. In 2013, they launched their label. In 2015, they won the “Young Designers Award Germany”. They showed at Mode Suisse for the third time.

PLATEA: What does it mean for you as a designer to show at Mode Suisse ? 

Inna Stein and Caroline Rohner © Christine Kreiselmaier

Inna Stein and Caroline Rohner © Christine Kreiselmaier

Steinrohner: For us, the Mode Suisse is a very important and interesting platform, to establish ourselves as a label in Switzerland. Both show and showroom offer us the opportunity to connect with other Swiss designers, but also with buyers, press and artists.

 

Local anchoring or international approach – what is your focus?

As a label, we put much emphasis on local anchoring. Our collections are made by small production factories next to our studio. This leads to a production that occurs in a good and manageable cooperation and supports the local market and traditional craftsmanship.

 

Swiss designers often maintain a strong attachment to domestic textile manufacturers. How is it with you? 

We increasingly cooperate with Swiss textile manufacturers. For our AW16/17 collection, we have worked with the digital printing company Mitloedi Textil Druck AG and the exclusive fabrics of Jakob Schläpfer.

 

Surprisingly few new names appear in the Swiss fashion scene. Does Switzerland suffer from a crisis in young design? 

There are many changes within the fashion scene due to the rapid development of new trends, media, technology and the large range of excellent designers. Nevertheless, we think that many young Swiss designers are on a good way to obtain recognition, both locally and internationally.