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Handcrafting a Brand

Catching up with designer Sabinna and lusting all over her new noteworthy collection.

SABINNA is one of those designers, who has been on our radar for years. A woman with incredible visionary ideas and a precise concept flowing throughout her collections, she has always been able to capture that little something that gives clothes that elusive and enticing backstory. Graduating from the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London, she has since got the chance to work alongside some of the most prolific names in the fashion business, present her own work at international showrooms, and most recently, let out her new collection on the runway at London Fashion Week. AUSTRIANFASHION.NET´s cooperation with SABINNA began in the same place, when she took part in our Another Austria exhibition during the International Fashion Showcase in London, and we knew right away that the buzz around her talent, her work ethic, and her experimental pieces is just about to grow exponentially.

Campaign Photos © Benjamin Mallek

We caught up with SABINNA in the midst of the never-ending fashion circle, to talk a little about her work, her life, and her goals, discovering a little bit about the design star in the making, feeling so very proud of her achievements, and crossing our fingers for many more, and bigger ones, to come!

Take us through your creative process. How do you decide on a theme, where do you search for inspiration...

It might sound silly but I think that the theme finds me rather then me looking for it. I stumble upon something and there it is: A whole story starts to build around it. I take research very seriously, it’s a very important part of the creation. I like to look into the past and dig up memories while mixing them up with personal experiences and all the possibilities that are out there now, such as 3D printing for example.

How about the designing? Do you go with the gut and never change your initial sketches, or do you think them over before commiting?

The design process is a lot about experimenting. After the long research process, I do some sketches and then my team and I take it to the stand to start working out the shape. Once the first samples are done, it’s important to fit the pieces several times and to make sure you get the best out of your idea. I think it’s good not to be scared to change the initial idea. Through experimenting the idea evolves and becomes better.

© Chris Yates

The pieces from your new collection are meticulously crafted. How important for you is it to take your time with your clothes before they see the light of day during shows and exhibitions?

Very important! If a piece has not the quality that I expect then it definitely won’t be shown to the public. I spend as much time as necessary on each piece to meet my own expectations. I really enjoy to create my own textiles and to see threads becoming e.g. flowers (like in the S/S 2016 collection) and then becoming dresses. Well, and in our case also 3D printed details. It’s incredible to be part of this process.

You’ve been getting a lot of well deserved attention for your brand lately, covering more international ground. Do you think designers as creatives thrive on this, or can recognition sometimes be a crutch?

I really appreciate all the attention and positive feedback that comes from press, buyers and customers. I have a really wonderful and dedicated team that I am proud of and it’s wonderful to be able to share the current success with them. It’s definitely a motivation for all of us, we see it as a reason to work even harder.

© Chris Yates

What is the one thing that keeps you going even when the going gets tough?

Dreams. It’s great to have them and even better to reach them from time to time.

Backstage © Rio Romaine

You split your time between London and Vienna. What does each city give you that the other one doesn’t?

I moved a lot during my life and I know how hard it can be to get used to a place. London and Vienna both gave me so many special moments and feelings that came with it. London is always a challenge, in a good way of course. Creativity is everywhere and the speed in this city is crazy. It feels sometimes like London is giving me superpowers. And Vienna is a great place for some thinking, perfect location to clear my mind and prepare it for new things. I am forever in love with both cities.

Campaign Photos © Benjamin Mallek

Do you think there is a difference between the ways Londoners, Parisians or Viennese people wear your clothes?

It is always very exciting to see women wearing SABINNA. I think it’s less about the location but more about each individual and their personality. Every woman adds something personal to the clothes and it is a pleasure to rediscover my own collection by looking at this new combinations.

Finally, if you had to choose one single design of yours to be worn by one single woman, which one would it be and who would wear it?

That’s a very difficult question! Let’s say Tilda Swinton in one of the striped dresses and a silk organza jacket from the S/S 2016 collection.

Sabinna Backstage © Rio Romaine

Text: Manuela Mitevova

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