The Brand dheinrich was established by the warm and beautiful German Fashion designer Dagmar Heinrich.
I loved meeting and chatting with Hamburg born designer, Dagmar Heinrich who was trained at one of my top favourite fashion brands Jil Sander before she moved to London in 1993. In 1997 while still studying fashion design at the London College of Fashion, she moved to LA to work for Mark Eisen. For 3 years, she shuttled between LA, NY and Italy while working for the brand’s design team. This exposure eventually took her to Milan where she first designed for Giorgio Armani before she became the right hand of Alan Scott, fully responsible for the design and development of his women’s wear collection. This hands on experience provided the groundwork for starting her own collection.
In 2010, Dagmar launched dheinrich. She envisioned the brand to follow her experience in design – simple but beautiful and turned it into high-end womens work-of-art line. My personal favorite Dagmar touch is her personal “favourite 8“ pieces that she produces as a limited edition per season. Fit for a princess indeed!
The brand: dheinrich stands for a collection of luxurious classics with a modern edge. The collection includes finely tailored essentials, knits and signature pieces made to perfection by some of Italy‘s most exclusive manufacturers. The collection stands for understated elegance. Her clothes are not branded, they do not have attached to them a marketed notion of luxury. They are simply beautifully manufactured clothes.
Here are a few questions we asked Dagmar about her journey and what’s become of her success:
How did you start & who inspired you?
As far as I can remember I have always been interested in fashion. My grandmother had amazing style, as a child I would always search through her wardrobe finding the most beautiful dresses coats, capes. Later, when I already worked as a designer, I drew a lot of inspiration from her wardrobe. It was a bit like visiting Resurrection (second hand store) in NYC.
I lived abroad for 18 years, where I worked as a designer for different brands in different countries. When I came back to Hamburg I just wasn’t able to commit to the place. It is a very beautiful and sophisticated place to live but at the same time very settled hence not very inspiring for someone who works in a creative job.. Therefore I wanted to build a company that is mobile and allowed me to move the business anywhere in case I felt like it. I still keep true to this business module, there aren’t any fixed contracts, people I work with are all self employed spread allover Europe and we work in synergy.
Speaking of inspiration, what’s your source of inspiration for your designs and colour chart?
It is a combination of everything, travel, people, the Zeitgeist and how I feel. In general, my collections focus more on volume and construction details. I am not a print person. I like opposites, masculine versus feminine, oversize versus fitted. This year, after a very long winter (I think, it lasted until May) I fought the inner battle of staying a coach potato or working out. This inner conflict has become the inspiration of my new collection, there are quilted duvet inspired things, comfy knit trousers mixed with some sporty details/items, i.e. a fencing jacket.
As a designer/business owner, what is the biggest mistake which you will never repeat again?
As a designer you occasionally do design consultancies, sometimes they include designs + fittings, sometimes they just include sketching. But just giving away 2D sketches doesn’t work There is no chance to explain those to a pattern maker and the designer is not being involved in fittings. This way designs often get interpreted in the wrongest possible way. I have seen the most beautiful idea misinterpreted and the outcome was just horrendous. I would never again consult on a product without being involved in the product development process.
Retail and fashion is now successfully moving online. How is technology affecting your life?
The internet makes everything a lot more accessable globally, which is fantastic. Especially for a niche product like mine, it is great to be able to sell German design as far as to Japan without having to establish a proper distribution via shops. On the other hand, one has to be careful not to overexpose the product, as it can easily loose its exclusiveness. People like to hunt for new things, and since High Street brands as well as luxury brands open shops worldwide, each Shopping District looks alike. Same thing online, if you are bombarded by newsletters of the same brand, you easily grow tired of a product. At least I am getting tired of brands sending me updates every minute via Facebook.
What’s exciting you right now?
My regained eagerness to work out.
What’s your fondest childhood memory?
In the North of Germany we have this crab meat, tiny small crabs, where the shell is removed (all by hand). We eat them on a bread roll – it is called Krabbenbroetchen. Whenever I came back home for Christmas from wherever I lived abroad, I had to eat this Krabbenbroetchen. Once, I brought this crab meat back to Italy, it lost its taste instantly. It only tastes good in this rough climate.
We all have challenges in life, what’s your current biggest challenge with our world today?
To stay open minded. Germans in general (including me), have a tendency to be very pessimistic.
Advice for aspiring fashion designers
You will only be good at what you love.
Be in fashion for the beauty of the product not because of the media hype. Don’t establish a brand purely based on PR and Marketing, this to me is a very 90’s vision. It is an important tool to the success of a product, but not its essence. At times the media seems to know your product better than you, who created it, that is when it looses its identity.