Interview with Sophia Schneider-Esleben

Winner of Fashion Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Sophia Schneider-Esleben shares insights


Interview with Sophia Schneider-Esleben at Saturday 15th of September 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
SS : I come from a family of designers, musicians and architects, the creativity accompanies me all my life. Fashion has always fascinated me, so I studied fashion design, made a tailor's apprenticeship at Fahmoda, Akademie für Mode & Design, Hannover, and completed a further education to the cut managaress, at AMD, Akademie für Mode & Design, Hamburg, 2014 I founded my Eco Label, Sophia Schneider-Esleben, Kassel.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
SS : I am fascinated by the process of development, from the idea to the prototype to the finished product and the satisfied customer. To hold something in my hand, that first was an idea.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
SS : Neither nore, I believe you can´t either get become or get forced to be a designer. Either you are a designer or not.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
SS : I really love to design eco kid´s fashion in combination with womens wear. I hope to do this my whole life! I create a fashionable „Mini-me-world“ in a family image, which means I dress children and adults in a related combination of „parent-sibling-concept“. For the future I plan also to design fashion for boys & men.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
SS : I really dislike the word „Young Designer“ this means for me the designer has no experience. Every designer is different and that´s wonderful, every designer needs to go his way, there is no better way.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
SS : A good designer has good visions with a short term commercial mind, a great designer combines commercial & cultural thinking in a holistic way, with quality & innovation.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
SS : For me good design is fair trade produced, material & coulors are eco certified, GOTS & OekoTex 100, exciting prints & Patterns, interesting cuts. I think there is no rule of good design. But I think when it catches up to lifestyle of the Zeitgeist, and the attention to the costumer to always desiring the design in his everyday life. Good Design establishes into classic.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
SS : Sustainability is one of the most important values in fashion design. I wish the customer invests into the designer and not into the design. This support is more important and will last longer.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
SS : I would like to work together with Vivienne Westwood and Karl Lagerfeld. A cooperation in kids fashion would be fun.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
SS : At first my dream is to establish my label, after that I’m open to everything!

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
SS : While there is no golden rule, everybody would have the same success. I think it’s the passion and love to be different and innovative.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
SS : There is no one more to get inspired by Karl Lagerfeld or Vivienne Westwood. For now there is nearly no kids label I feel in love to but mine …

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
SS : In fashion I love the connection between fun, intelligence and politics as by Vivienne Westwood.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
SS : My Bestsellers are my collection of illustrated animals finished with my special watercolor technic, which are printed on organic BabyBodies & T-Shirts as well on postcards & posters. Here people discovered my experimental illustration talent …

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
SS : Try and error.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
SS : I would have become a seeker out of a dissatisfaction. Well, maybe an illustrator ..?

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
SS : Design is art, lifestyle, a way to communicate, functionality, fun, everyday life. A good composition of material, construction & vision. Everything is design, which is not grown naturally.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
SS : My family, friends, fans & customers.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
SS : I can visualize designs before it is made.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
SS : For me there are no obstacles, only tasks on which I grow.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
SS : i like to tell fairytales. You should incent a story.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
SS : Keep up to date via Newsletter, Website and Facebook!

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
SS : To have a  real loyal fanbase, regular costumers a life long and to promote Eco consume.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
SS : Innovation and quality.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
SS : Fashion is the second largest environmental pollution, we must start to produce sustainable, fair and local. To recycle and to avoid textile waste. To communicate to customers to live & consume Eco. There is no time to waste!

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
SS : I am very excited about a children's book project which my boyfriend and we would probably create it together. He the writer and me the illustrator.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
SS : I’m satisfied by all of my projects. I would never release a design, if I’m not happy with.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
SS : I hope for a major political change and laws in sustainability, my heart hurts by all the pollution.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
SS : 3D printing is a great and positive change and chance to make awesome new and sustainable products!

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
SS : I don’t need more than one day and a sleepless night to imagine the new collection. Very quick after designing I start to create prototypes by draping on a tailoring doll. I don’t think to long about a design I finish very quick. Either there is a result after a day or not. Love it, change it or leave it.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
SS : I don’t need more than one day and a sleepless night to imagine the new collection. Very quick after designing I start Depends on the project, but most by imagination & drawing.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
SS : Consume small and fine! Carry responsibility for what you wear !

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
SS : This goes hand in hand. It is also a social and political aspect that incorporates. This also determines what the society needs to develop accordingly.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
SS : I love all natural and classic vegan fabrics like cotton, linen and bamboo. I always have my eyes on new concepts like outdoor fabrics made of recycled plastic bottles or new vegan fabrics made from ananas or mushrooms.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
SS : My pencil, sketchbook, watercolors, all Adobe programs, my tailoring doll, sewing machine and the internet.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
SS : All most important! These are the tributes of a good design.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
SS : When do I get more?

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
SS : Astonishment and pleasure, I really appreciate when a designer has a god concept and a great idea.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
SS : I believe in cooperation, when I have found the perfect match I won´t let go.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
SS : I think I am unaffected.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
SS : I like to read biographies and interviews of great designer and people, I think its always nice to know how, how others have gone their way.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
SS : I always focus on what I do, like a meditation.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
SS : I would love to work with Coco Chanel as real inspirational revolutionary. 

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
SS : I really feel excited and honored! Its unbelievable to win silver at the first try!

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
SS : I love pink and copper, I regenerate in nature, I enjoy the taste of strawberries, in summer my balcony is full of them. I like all seasons the same. I like the design of Scotch and Soda, Cop Copine and Adidas. 

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
SS : Very early I go running for an hour every day in the central park in front of my studio to plan my day. Thats a great kick start. After that I enjoy my cappuccino and self-made muesli on my balcony. Charged for the day I start drawing for an hour. After that I work on my daily projects.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
SS : As a very young child I was almost only drawing in my flow

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
SS : I live absolutely in presence, its even hard to say whats going on in 5 years.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
SS : Please consume lasting, support local suppliers.