Talking Trends in China


Durch einen lieben Kollegen aus Beijing bin ich kürzlich für ein Interview für das Mag iWeekly – das wiederum zum großen chinesischen Magazin Modern Weekly gehört – im Rahmen eines großen Specials zum Thema „Trendsetter“ angefragt worden.

Inzwischen ist das Feature in der App – iWeekly ist als kostenlose iPad-/iPhone-/Apple Watch-App erhältlich – erschienen und ich stehe dort in einer Reihe mit Kollegen vom japanischen Shoes Master oder dem Milk Magazine aus Hong Kong. Ich fühle mich sehr geehrt, in einem chinesischen Medium die europäische Perspektive zu vertreten. Da das Magazin aber in unseren Breiten kaum jemand kennt – und ich wiederum niemanden kenne, der Chinesisch kann – gibt es unten mein Interview noch mal auf Englisch.


From your point of view, what makes someone a trendsetter?

For me, a trendsetter is someone who has style and courage in equal amounts. Because you need style to look good – and courage to wear things in a way that nobody else does yet. Only if this goes together, people will copy what you wear and make it a trend. One of the biggest trendsetters in the world right now is Kanye West: He has started many trends just by having the courage to wear and create different clothes and shoes. A true maverick.

What’s the most popular fashion style now in Europe? For example, which fashion brand, or style is most popular among trendsetters?

Adidas has pretty much taken over within the last two years. With Pharrell and Kanye West, they have the biggest trendsetters in the world, and they have the most exciting products right now: Sneakers like the Yeezy Boost, the Ultra Boost and the NMD are absolutely en vogue, alongside timeless classics like the Stan Smith. Other than that, European street style continues to take inspiration from modern sportswear – tight lycra pants, lightweight jackets, for example – and skateboarding, making the British skate brand Palace the new Supreme. And who collaborates with Palace? Right: Adidas!

Many Chinese like to imitate European trendsetters – so what do you think of the relationship between China and European fashion?

I can’t really say! For us in Europe, it is very hard to get proper information about modern China because of the language barrier and because of not using the same social media channels. I am very interested, because it seems to me that China is a step ahead in many respects, like Tech for example.

European fashion has changed a lot since 1990s, so as a part of the fashion industry, how did these changes affect you?

I think the sense of style has gotten much better. In the past, there were not many trend-setting German and European fashion labels. But since the 90s, all that has changed. Today, German designers work for the biggest international fashion and streetwear brands, and there are quite a few younger brands in Germany now that have found world-wide acclaim, like A Kind of Guise, Beastin or the Berlin eyewear brand Mykita. The rise of the internet and social media have also heightened the sense of style for Germans and Europeans in general.

There are so many fashion brands in Europe, and what does the term „fashion shoes“ mean to you? What elements should a pair of „fashion shoes“ have?

For me, the term „fashion shoes“ is not a totally positive one. Sneakers should always have roots in modern performance sports or the historic technology and heritage of a brand. That is why Adidas is so successful right now: Their shoes present modern silhouettes which are rooted in the brand’s rich history – like the Ultra Boost, which makes use of Adidas performance technology like EQT, Torsion or Primeknit. „Fashion shoes“ on the other hand often do not have these qualities – most of the time, they present modern designs which don’t carry any emotional weight and thus lack character and style.

The Stan Smith has become a must-have item in recent years. Do you agree that some fashion items will never be out of date?

Absolutely! The Stan Smith has always been there, even when I was a child. It has become an icon of modern style that will remain a must-have in the future. The secret is in the simplicity of the design and the instantly recognizable silhouette. With this shoe, Adidas has done the right thing by staying true to its roots, keeping the original shape and going back to premium materials and good craftsmanship.

Screenshots mit freundlicher Genehmigung von iWeekly.