Hien Le

Designer – Berlin

Hien Le might have marked summer 2010 as a relevant turning point in his career and path of life: during Berlin Fashion Week 2010 the Berlin based designer launched his own fashion label which was immediately received very well by retail and the international fashion press. One year later he won the third prize of the fashion contest “Start Your Fashion Business,” making his first runway debut and has been nominated as “Best Newcomer” by the international fashion trade magazine Sportswear International.

His designs are clear and simple but never run the risk of being boring – Hien Le formulates crystal-clear purism and sets value on high-qulity materials. He concentrates on discreet cuts and the subtle application of details. As a trained tailor Hien Le consequently maintains his claim to manufacture clothing that combines diligent design with accurate workmanship; everything produced in Germany. We could not imagine Berlin Fashion Week without Hien Le and we are very happy to welcome him as a friend!

Which of the senses are more important, sight or hearing? And why?

Both are very important, but because I am a very visual person, in this case I would go for sight.

You’re a creative person. What vision motivates you in your work?

My daily life; I live and love what I do… otherwise I couldn’t do it. The aim of seeing the collection completed, and all together, is what motivates me. I always look forward to the development and the collection process as a whole.

Where do you get the inspiration for your collections?

That differs from one collection to the next, but it is usually the daily things that surround me all the time…that could be music, art, architecture or film. I find cities and the people who live in them are always very inspiring.

How important are materials for you? What do they mean to you and where do you get them?

Materials are obviously very important for what I do. My collections are very reduced; many details are only noticeable on closer inspection. Colours and materials are what define the collection. I am a very tactile person myself and so I only use materials that I would wear myself or which feel good to the touch. Above all it’s important that they are produced under fair trade conditions. Until now I have only ordered textiles from Europe, mostly from Switzerland and Italy, and for this season for the first time cloth from Australia. I buy all my textiles at trade fairs.

Over the last few seasons the focus of your collections was on monochrome looks. The sharp silhouettes and the feel for high quality materials have remained, but for Spring/Summer 2013 the theme was flamingos and for the Autumn/Winter 2013 collection you introduced striking colour fusions, inspired by Mark Rothko, which both brought colour into your collections. How important is the visual impact that expresses for you and your work?

They are very important. Because everything is very minimal, monochrome and reduced; and one often sees the details only on closer inspection, as I already mentioned. So I can create major impact by relatively simple means, like with the last prints of the two most recent collections. That gives the collection more tension and breaks up the complete monochrome look, whilst still remaining true to my style. Being quite minimalist is an advantage in the sense that I am able to constantly expand on it and introduce new elements without completely transforming it, but remaining within the recognisable “Hien le” signature style.

And privately? What do you prefer? Eye-catchers or more restrained clothing?

More restrained.

What is your tactic for improving the world?

Living in a conscious way; taking pleasure in and valuing the gifts nature has given us. When it comes to my job, I always try to ensure that everything is made under fair trade conditions, whether in the production or the manufacture of the textiles I order.

Who is your personal hero?

My grandfather.

What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?

There have been so many beautiful things, but the most recent was a sunset on Bali.

Sunset or sunrise?

Sunrise.

hien-le.com

Picture: Micki Rosi Richter.