You have a wild creative skill set, and have experimented with many different mediums beforehand. How did Loutre all begin? And what made you take that risk with committing to it?
I grew up in a very creative family, my parents build our family home pretty much from scratch and they had a metal and wood workshop as well as other arts and crafts tools. Growing up in an environment like that was amazing and I loved getting involved in whatever my parents were working on and later creating my own projects. It was incredible. Watching, learning, trying, failing, trying differently, learning and trying again, I was hooked. Since then I’ve worked in 16 different jobs I was interested in and I’ve taken important skills and knowledge from each of them. Loutre is my first baby project I could only create because I’ve accumulated a basic understanding of most of the jobs needed to do it all by myself: sewing, prototyping, creating tech-pacs, a lot of problemsolving, a bit of set building, photography and putting a website and so on. It’s easy to commit to that because I’m constantly learning and I’m in love with that.
You grew up in Germany but have since spent a lot of your time traveling, how do you think the different environments you have lived in have influenced your design mind?
When I finished school I sat down and thought to myself, ok right, what’s something you’re absolutely shit at. And in my case that was languages, I almost failed school because of my lacking english skills so I decided to go somewhere to improve that. Australia was an easy one for me to get a work visa and spend time surfing, something I’ve just picked up around the same time, so it seemed like a good fit. I started there and just kept going, now here we are almost 10 years later in London. I think I just got addicted to meeting new people and getting inspired by them and the new places I would move to. I think that's why I like living in London so much as well. But yeah, in general traveling has taught me a lot about the kindness of strangers and how little you need to be happy, I’ll cherish that forever.
Your recent collection is also part of a partnership with Converse, how did you guys start working together?
Upcycling material and rethinking virgin material is a central element of LOUTRE. What’s ‘waste’ to one production might be a starting material to another. Converse liked my work and got in touch with me to be part of Converse Spark Progress, a new platform that aims to spotlight and support young female creatives here in London
Re-working disused fabrics and materials is something that you do best, big fashion labels have begun to take a similar approach with sustainability becoming a growing issue. What are your thoughts on sustainability in fashion? Are we doing enough?
Re-working existing materials is a great start and I think it’s incredible that big fashion labels have caught on to it as well but there is a lot more we can do. Working on new material technologies is really exciting and something I want to look into more in the future for sure.