Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

back to overview

June 2004

Passion for Fashion

Munich's young designers show what's hot

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only; fashion is something in the air. It's the wind that blows in the new fashion; you feel it coming, you smell it ... in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel

Helmut Lang, Bogner and Escada. What do these brands have in common, except for the fact that buying one of their outfits will put a dent in your wallet? In fact, all these international brands were founded in Munich, which, despite its conservative reputation, has long been home to fashion labels and now, more than ever, is reasserting itself as a center of designer clothing.

This may be due to the presence of two design schools in the region, ESMOD Deutschland Internationale Modeschule and Munich’s Meisterschule für Mode—or perhaps to the affluence of the city, which makes it a lucrative place for designers to set up a shop. This month, MUNICH FOUND introduces the work of a number of local designers, and no matter your taste or budget, you are sure to find something eye-catching.

Designer Angelika Paschbeck, founder of Fummel und Kram and graduate of ESMOD, has been making tidal waves in global fashion circles and, up until May, her whimsical and relaxed designs were available for sale only in Tokyo, Paris and Rotterdam. With the recent opening of Labor Couture (Georgenstr. 45a) in Schwabing, her designs have hit the local sidewalks. Paschbeck’s flouncy skirts and soft jersey T-shirts have come just in time for all the outdoor events in the summer months ahead. Fummel und Kram designs offer versatility, comfort and originality. Prices range from € 75 to € 200 for tank tops, short and long-sleeve jersey shirts and skirts. For further information, and to view the most recent collection online, check out

The shop Holde Maid (Baaderstr. 50) is run by designer Andrea Katzenschwanz. Holde Maid is a term that is derived from Middle High German and describes a girl/woman who is both charming and desirable. Any woman who dresses in Katzenschwanz’s designs will certainly feel that way. Katzenschwanz studied design at the Fachhochschule in Trier, and describes her clothes as playful and retro. In order to give her designs this unique look, Katzenschwanz takes old garments and costume pieces from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and adds mischievous contemporary elements. Prices range from € 75 to € 100 for shirts and skirts, and her Website,, features many of her remarkable pieces.

Graduates from Munich’s Meisterschule für Mode Alexandra Felden and Simone Willfahrt have created artistic collections for the summer season. Felden is a full-time painter, and designs clothes on the side to complement her exhibitions. As a result, her pieces are more works of art than couture designs, and they often reflect something very personal. They are available only in one color and in limited numbers in order to preserve the artistic value. Her current collection “Say Yes-Yes-Yes Message Shirts” comprises orange short or long-sleeve shirts with red writing (€ 34–59), and certainly makes an impression. The philosophy behind the slogan “Say Yes-Yes-Yes,” says Felden, is to be positive despite all the current negativity in the world. The current collection can be viewed at, and purchased at Mischwarenzentrale, Baaderstr. 55, and Pearl, Reichenbachstr. 35. Simone Willfahrt’s collection “Faces” was created as the final project in her last year of school, and fits perfectly into predicted summer fashion fads. London-style spies have recently reported that one of the most in-vogue looks for summer 2004 will be clothing that depicts large human faces. As strange as it may sound, silk-screened, embroidered or painted on, wearable portraits are set to be one of the hottest looks and have already been spotted across Soho and Hampstead cafés. If you want to get a jump on the Munich scene, and prefer to own something more original than an H & M knock off, Willfahrt’s designs may be just what you are looking for. Shirts cost between € 30 and € 50, skirts range from € 60 to € 70. Designs can be viewed at and purchased at Mischwarenzentrale, Baaderstr. 55.

Born and raised in Ecuador, Samaniego completed a graphic design course in Munich before founding her own label, Dani Samaniego & Familia, at the age of 23. She now sells to more than 15 countries. Samaniego specializes in bags, but also designs accessories such as personal organizers, purses, belts and cosmetic bags. Hand embroidered on suede or leather with semiprecious stones, such as rose quartz or jade, the bags are feminine and trendy. Each piece is handmade in Ecuador and her parents oversee the production there. To get an idea of her style, visit The bags start at € 150 and the average price is around € 300. They are stocked at Slips at Gärtnerplatz and Oscar und Paul at Rumfordstr. 48, as well as Samaniego’s own store, Absatz, at Hohenzollernstr. 33.

Munich designer Tom Hintermaier studied the whole process of fashion at school, but as there was a strong emphasis on the technical aspect, he gained an expertise in tailoring. After working in the production and buying side of the fashion business, Hintermaier is using his experience and overseas contacts to embark on a new project, No Tabooz-Fashion. He will sell his unique products from an online shop,, first concentrating on bags, but aims to expand into clothes in the future. His current collection consists of handmade beaded bags with a strong Asian influence. Starting at just € 30, No Tabooz-Fashion provides good quality and funky styles for a fantastic price.

Caroline Incorvaia-Pomränke set up her milliner business, Hauptsache, five years ago and for the past year and a half has been located at Kreuzstr. 5, near Sendlinger Tor. After training as a hat maker, she worked in Paris and at the opera in Munich. She and her staff of three now cater to a diverse clientele and are commissioned to make hats for occasions such as weddings, fashion shows, TV, film and theater productions, the Oktoberfest and for celebrities. Her dramatic, colorful hats, made mainly from straw and felt, can either be bought in the shop or made to order for men and women. Prices start at around € 280. Incorvaia-Pomränke also creates beautiful organza and silk flowers for hairpieces. If you would like to try your hand at creating a masterpiece, Hauptsache offers a weekend course each month where Incorvaia-Pomränke teaches a small group to make a hat and a silk flower. The dates for this month’s course are June 11 to 13. For information call (089) 157 40 43.

“What's wrong with shoes? I collected them because it was like a symbol of thanksgiving and love." Imelda Marcos

Designer Claudia Kieserling founded selve in Munich in 2000. Since 2002 the shop and showroom has been located in the city center (Tal 22, entrance in Küchelbäckerstr.) and Kieserling has just opened another branch in London. selve offers the opportunity to design your own shoes using the materials, colors and styles of your choice. The semi bespoke shoes are then manufactured in Italy and are ready in about three weeks. If you cannot make it to the store, you can complete a questionnaire, use a DIY measuring stencil on the Website ( to determine your shoe size and order your shoes online. selve shoes are available in a wide range of styles, from classic to trendy. This is an innovative service for fashion-conscious individuals, people with irregularly shaped or unusually sized feet—they cover sizes 34 to 44 and different widths—and for anyone who wants a great fitting pair of shoes. Prices start at € 175.

Anja Hoffmann and Christiane Schulze both had an extensive education in shoemaking and footwear design and gained further practical experience working in the industry. They combined their expertise to found Heels Angels, a young footwear and bag design company, in 1998. They offer made-to-measure shoes for men and women and freelance design for the fashion industry. Their shoes have been used for theater and film and are bought by a wide range of customers, including transvestites and brides. Hoffmann and Schulze are currently planning to produce an industrially-made collection. Prices vary according to the order, but start at around € 130. Heels Angels is situated at Klenzestr. 45. More information can be found at the Website

tell a friend