Being a designer nowadays requires not only talent but also perseverance,ambition and (let's get serious) a definite amount of luck.7thMan first introduced his Spring/Summer '11 collection on 7thMan Digital almost a month ago and now we finally got the opportunity to sit down for a very personal and in-depth chat with German designer Raphael Hauber.Having shown his collections in Tokyo,Berlin and Paris & went through an artistic break-up, the designer's 2nd collection under his own name Raphael Hauber has been on the receiving end of massive interest from around the globe so we wanted to hear it all from him.
Portrait by Jan Lehner
Q: We were first introduced to your label under the name Postweiler Hauber,what was the idea behind it?
R.H: Postweiler Hauber was founded by Eva Postweiler and me in 2003. Eva left the label in 2005 but I kept the name until last year.
Q: Why did you decide to change it to your actual name, Raphael Hauber?
R.H: To make clear that the person behind the label is just me now because it was always a bit mysterious about who was really beihnd Postweiler Hauber; people often thought we were still two designers.
Q: Who is the Raphael Hauber man? who do you have in mind when designing?
R.H: The Raphael Hauber man is a curious person who recognizes what zeitgeist is. People who have similar feelings for the environment we choose to live in. My design is very personal. I design pieces that I would like to wear and/or pieces that are new and exciting for me to develop them because I think that people who wear my clothes like to experiment with their style and appearance as much as I do with new and interesting materials and combinations.
Q: If you had to choose one person to front your campaign and be the face of Raphael Hauber who would it be?
R.H: It would be a young man with a clear, sober and innocent charisma.
Q: Talk us through your new Spring/Summer ’11 collection.What was the inspiration behind it?
R.H : The collection is inspired by empty and anonymous stairways; symmetrical stairways that are arranged around a center, like old opera houses or other public buildings. A special focus in the collection is on strict symmetry and kaleidoscopic effects. Pictures of a late 70’s rail found in an apartment building have been modified and used as all over print for sheer silk cotton shirts and jeans. Another print of a stairway kaleidoscope picture with a male and female model face reflects the symmetry or asymmetry of a human face.
Q: You drew inspiration from staircases and vintage photographs in your latest collection. Do you find youself enamored with space and time? Why is it so mesmerizing to many designers?
R.H: The past always leaves traces.What makes it fascinating is it's existence, that it actually happened. It was real and true in a specific period of time with many of your own and also adopted memories and feelings. I like the idea of confronting the human body as some kind of unity between organic and architectural fragments.
A.M : That is actually very profound in your designs but also very deep in emotion.
Q: How difficult is it for a fairly new designer like yourself to break into the industry?
R.H: It’s no secret that our industry is not easy. People prefer to trust the big brands and the big companies. But nevertheless more and more young designer brands are arising - only a few of them though can actually support their brands through demand & exist. Nowadays young designers have to find there own niche so that they can stand on their own within the fashion industry and for sure there are also many people that appreciate that!
Q: Would you say that attitudes towards new designers changed? Are customers willing to invest on a new designer?
R.H : I think that it comes down to individualism.I personally believe that real, hand made pieces will be more and more in demand in the future. This can really develop into a great chance for independent and young designers to showcase their own unique work.
Q: Let’s talk high-street. A lot of great designer have collaborated with high-street shops like Topman and H&M to create affordable lines. What is your opinion on that? Would you do it?
R.H : I think it’s all comes down to the real question which is money and working with companies like H&M who already have a big impact on the high-street. I am sure that most of designers are happy about that and it also means that they will get publicity for them and their work. If at the end of the day the terms like production, conditions and quality are alright,then maybe I would do it.
Q: What should we expect from Raphael Hauber ?What is next for you?
R.H : A lot has changed in this past year.I moved from Heidelberg to Berlin so I am starting to enjoy going out again. I also do a lot of sports. Next I am going to do research for the spring/summer 2012 collection and I can not wait to start!!
By Andreas Menelaou Features Assistant