A Kind of Guise–Interview
The idea behind ‘A Kind Of Guise’ (AKOG) didn’t start with a rigorous business plan. It has just evolved over time, and this is what makes your label so charming to so many people. When you started to design your first pieces and implemented them, was it still more of a hobby or did you at least have an image of how AKOG could evolve in the future?
No, it definitely wasn’t just a hobby; but as you said, we also didn’t have a strict business plan. We still don’t have one. We are working for ourselves and at our own pace, but of course we are bound to certain cycles. We are going with our gut and following the principle of ‘learning by doing’. Nonetheless, we had a vision which we still have today.
After you both decided to continue the work and not let it end up as a student project, did this notion of a label have an implication of a future atelier and even store?
Yes, we had the aim of establishing ourselves internationally, even when we decided we were willing to continue the work and set up a studio. We didn’t want to launch a classic Munich backyard-label, which I don’t mean with any offense. When we wanted to start a brand we already knew it should become international. We had this idea at the back of our minds and it has developed over time. We work entirely in English regarding press materials and our website. The thought to break the mold was always there, even when we designed our first pieces.
Did Munich, as a city, give you a certain feeling of security when launching a label?
I don’t think it had anything to do with the city. When we decided to transform the project into a business, we wanted to place it internationally. We showed our first collection during fashion week in Paris and wanted to open up our garments to a much bigger community than exists here in Munich. That’s why the city, as a location, didn’t give us security at this point. Nevertheless, there is good spending power in Munich and many people who welcome good, high quality garments and are willing to spend more money on that.
You have just moved out of your studio space in Maxvorstadt and into the historic city center: Lehel. What were your criteria?
That’s easy to say: size and the affordability.
But then you could have chosen something outside the city center…
We wanted to stay in the city center, also because we live in this area. The spatial proximity is important for us. Also, the architecture should fit us; it should have a certain charm. We are not the type of people who work in an open space office at the Frankfurter Ring (a quite busy district in the north of the city). I mean, we spend more time in our office than at home, so it is kind of a second home for us. The living character was important to us as well.
Is there an unrealized project? A dream?
Do we have a dream? I hope it doesn’t sound like we don’t have one, but we let things flow naturally like we always have.
Find the whole story featured in our printed issue “Comfort Zone”.