Visiting New York for the first time since the pandemic took hold, Frankfurt-based designer Albrecht Ollendiek took on the art scene as best he could.
In 35 years in business, he said, “Actually, my biggest love is New York since I started doing business in New York at age 20. [through a German-American fashion agency that was selling German fashion designers to the U.S.]. ”
The study of art heightened his design sensibilities, whether it was Chinese bronzes from the Shang dynasty or the work of contemporary British photographic artists. Before flying back to Germany after a multiday stay, he traveled all over the city. “Two years of nothingness – not that my life would have been empty without New York,” Ollendiek said. “I breathed every part of New York. I went to Neue Galerie and Cafe Sabarsky, which I loved. I went to galleries, Sotheby’s, Christie’s – all the places I loved about New York.
Prior to COVID-19, Ollendiek visited New York every six to eight weeks and he was already excited to get back to that routine. With an atelier and boutique in Frankfurt, she specializes in technically advanced couture designs, including those in leather, suede and crocodile (from Hermès). Most of the Paris -made fabrics used in his designs are made solely for his company. Most are also lined with made-to-order silk prints (last winter inspired by Francois Boucher’s paintings were made). Last year, for example, a printed leather was made and the same printing will be offered in allover embroidered silk chiffon. The designer said the traditional concept of seasonal collections is so old and his collections will be finished when they are finished.
A trip to Peru led to such art-centric prints as one inspired by the gilded altars on the side of Lima Cathedral. She also visited the center for native Peruvian textile art and ordered many hand-embroidered items. “The nice thing is that every meter of cutting you get a little tag with the name of the Peruvian woman who weaved it and the remote village where it was made,” he said. “Not only do you have this jacket made from some of the most beautiful leather in France with this silk print with Boucher on the inside, but there are also ribbons made in remote Peruvian villages by Peruvian artisans. .This is what I love-combining different cultural differences and creating something new out of it.
Proud that clients trust him, Ollendiek said most of his clients are in “highly exposed social situations, where they are watched, judged and need clothes that don’t make fun of them. They need clothes that don’t make fun of them. which gives them strength and confidence.In addition, they want to let it be known that they are in the front line of the chase.I don’t like the word ‘trend’ very much.I am not a very trendy person.I am more about style, taste and freedom. ”
The self-taught designer said she still knows how to make and make everything, including patterns. With everything customized, customers were expecting a lot and they were paying big, he said. The main retail price range is $ 1,500 to $ 10,000, with alligator and other expensive skins reaching up to $ 50,000.
At the end of next month, Ollendiek will participate in Frankfurt Fashion Week as the sole couture designer. A trunk show is planned for this fall in New York. “A lot of work – we were drowning in work. We were drowning in orders,” he said. “We did everything – the handbags, leather, suede, silk and evening gown in our own workshop. I am extremely picky when it comes to craftsmanship. I fight my assistants with every millimeter or top stitching. We talked and fought over the thickness of a thread. ”
Working with select U.S. retailers on some exclusive signature designs will appeal to him. “I want to make more pieces of desire than having 50 of my skirts hanging out there in all colors and all sizes,” Ollendiek said.
Aside from a few short business trips, the designer plans to visit Angkor Wat in 10 days – whatever else will keep him from losing his job and his dog. Speaking of his multidimensional approach, he said working at the level he does is like trying not to sit in a chair. “It’s more exciting to sit between the seats, which is probably more violent. But it’s more fun, ”he said.