Emerging Berlin-based designer Martin Niklas Wieser creates pure, contemporary designs with a focused minimal finish. Though he’s only been showing collections for a few seasons, he’s already gaining serious hype – including a feature spot with Primitive London. Here, Martin gives us his thoughts on non-identity apparel, as well as an exclusive glimpse into his studio.

LOGO: You talk about your aim of opening up “critical discourse” with your designs – to this end, what kind of reactions were you hoping to provoke with your A/W13 collection?

MARTIN: I think a critical outlook and opinion should be the base of any action; it’s the first step towards finding better solutions. The A/W13-14 collection was aiming to a different direction though. I tried to produce some products which had almost no identity, which were cleared of emotion and freed from any statement – which of course is quite a statement itself. There is only so much of a discourse you can achieve with fashion, other media are much more suitable for that… but we can still try.


LOGO: I love the pure, clean design of your apparel. It kinda feels like you’re going for a contemporary take on minimalist aesthetics – would you say that’s a fair comment?

MARTIN: I think minimalism has become a widespread practice; it’s developed into a tradition. I see myself working within that tradition. I do have a strong desire for clarification – that became most apparent in the A/W13-14 collection as I extracted almost all details, and thus to a certain degree the identity of the pieces themselves.


LOGO: You’ve trained with some big industry names – sum up your experiences at each in a few words.

Bernhard Willhelm
The experience at BW was rather short. I had a really good time though, and got a good impression of the preparations for shows etc.

Tim Hamilton
Working for Tim Hamilton was a great experience, and it meant a lot of work. It was one of the first times I really learned how to design for the industry.

fabrics interseason
I really like fi – I did an internship earlier on in my studies with them. I learned loads, and they really nailed my taste.


LOGO: You graduated from the Weißensee School of Art last year. As a relatively new designer, what kind of challenges do you think emerging names face now (compared to say 5-10 years ago)?

MARTIN: Well, the market is very dense with loads of new designers who want to establish themselves. Because design jobs have become so popular over recent years, fashion is such a lifestyle phenomenon now, and so is the job of the designer. Of course, reality is quite different from that. Writing a reasonable business plan, managing finances and the day-to-day running of the label are surely bigger challenges.


LOGO: Some of your pieces encompass unisex shapes. Are you attracted to the concept of blurring gender design like that, and if so, why – do you think it’s the way forward for fashion as a rule?

MARTIN: I don’t know if it is the way forward, but there is definitely a place for it. It’s not a new concept, but most consumers are quite conservative. I really wanted to find some pieces, classics almost, where gender doesnt really matter, as long as the fit is right. I don’t see a problem with the concept as long as the piece works on the body. I also do dresses though – I’m not a very dogmatic person.


LOGO: It seems like you’re a pretty private guy (at least in the online world). Do you think collections should stand alone on their own aesthetic, or should they show elements of their maker’s personality? (Do you think your designs reflect what you’re like as a person?)

MARTIN: This superstar status of some designers has not much to do with the designs as such; it’s a marketing strategy, and it works really well in many cases. The consumer wants to identify with someone. I guess in a globalised, very impersonal world, people still need to see the “face” behind the product. I don’t think it’s necessarily important to stand in the limelight, but it mostly happens on the way. Since my work is still very personal, it does reflect a whole lot of myself, but there are always different factors and influences as well.

LOGO: What can we expect for S/S14?

MARTIN: It’s the return to something a little more designed, a little bit more elaborated, detailed. Every season it feels like an endless journey, until I find the right moment – until it feels right.


LOGO: And finally… some quick-fire questions!

· Favourite piece of clothing: Black T-shirt
· The best + worst thing about living in Berlin: It’s not that capitalistic yet; It’s hard to make a living.
· Best party jam: Slava – ‘Werk’
· Ideal night out: Getting drunk, really.


Interview: Charlotte McManus

About Charlotte McManus

Editor for and Freelance writer - The Creator's Project, SUPERSUPER!, Don't Panic, FAULT, Flux, Who's Jack & more.

Posted on 01/07/2013, in Fashion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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