Fashion in Vienna:

URBAN INSPIRATION

Interview with Ida Steixner and Lena Krampf of Meshit
October 15, 2015

Located in the 7th district, the core of the creative scene of Vienna, Meshit collects impressions from the city’s social movements and youth culture and translates them into fabric and colour. The label is fresh and spontaneous and one cannot staple it to one single category - in Lena’s and Ida’s own words it’s “for everybody”. We met up with the two young designers to discuss about their inspiration sources and their work together.

Alexandra Vaduva: Most people find your name really intriguing - what is the story behind it?
Ida Steixner: "Meshit" comes from the English verb "to mesh", which means to become entangled or to make different pieces fit together. We chose it because that’s what our concept is about - for our designs we always have different inspiration sources that we mix. Another reason is because we two are quite different.
Lena Krampf: And also because you can read it in two different ways (laughs). It has an ironic twist. Fashion should not be taken too seriously.

AV: When did you get interested in fashion? Was it always your plan to have your own label?

IS: We both went to fashion school so that's where I met Lena. When I started studying at Hetzendorf I didn't want it or I didn’t really think about it that much. I just wanted to do something creative - not necessarily fashion, but after 5 years it grew on me. In the last year we decided to start our own label.

Meshit shop, photo: © Alexandra Vaduva

Meshit Shop. Photo: Alexandra Vaduva

LK: That's true; you start school when you’re 14 so you don’t really think about building your own brand. I studied shoe-making and leather design and I never thought about making clothes. In our last year at school we did some projects together so afterwards we decided to collaborate for our own label.

AV: You mentioned you are two different types of persons. Do you always work together or do you also split tasks, depending on the project?

LK: When it comes to designing, we always work together. We both do various designs for the collections and sometimes we mix our designs into one piece. Still our styles are quite different and that’s why our collections vary from sporty pieces to more elegant. However, we always decide the inspiration theme in the beginning, afterwards the color range and then we work on finding suitable fabrics.

SS14 collection. Photos by Alexandra Bondi de Antoni

SS14 collection. Photos by Alexandra Bondi de Antoni; Hair & Make-Up: Yasmin Pirouzi; Models: Lea, Hisu, Patrycja

AV: What are your usual sources of inspiration for the brand?

IS: Our inspiration varies from collection to collection, but we often look at youth cultures or different social movements. Also, we had collections that were inspired by movies. For example the work of Aki Kaurismäki was interesting for us. The collection was inspired by his main theme, the “working class”, by the special characters and the whole atmosphere of the movie. In our designs one can find pieces that are influenced by the style of the characters and by typical work-wear items. The color range is also taken from the movies.

AW13 collection. Photo by Matthias Aschauer

AW13 collection, Hair & Make-Up: Yasmin Pirouzi, Models: Kira & Sophia (tempomodels), Photos by Matthias Aschauer

AV: Can you describe the Meshit customer?

LK: It’s hard to make an exact description because our customers vary from 17/18 to 65 years of age and they come from very different scenes. It happens very often that people buy just one piece of clothing that they combine with their own style – and that’s what we like to see, different ways of wearing our clothes. We don’t really want to limit ourselves to a certain group of people. That’s always been our thing. When we organize a party or an event, we always open the shop for everyone.

AV: Do you only produce womenswear? I noticed you made men’s T-shirts for the collaboration with Busk.

IS: At the beginning we were producing both, afterwards we only focused on womenswear for a while. Now we’re trying to design a men’s collection again, but we hardly find the time for it.
LK: I think we stopped producing menswear because when we went to Paris to present our collections, there were only female buyers. Men’s fashion week takes place at a different time, so for us it didn’t make so much sense back then. Now, more and more people ask us if we offer men’s clothing as well.

Meshit + Busk collaboration. Photo by Alexandra Bondi de Antoni

Meshit + Busk collaboration. Photo by Alexandra Bondi de Antoni

AV: After producing mainly womenswear for a long time, can you briefly describe the 21st century woman?

LK: I think nowadays women are generally strong and independent and they usually need comfortable but not ordinary clothes. That’s also what we focus on at Meshit – clothes should make the wearer feel comfortable.

AV: Where do you normally produce your clothes?

IS: Since our SS10 collection we produce most of the clothes in Budapest in a small production space. We know the owner very well and there are about 10 employees. Knitwear is produced in Austria and leather goods are made in Slovakia. We make the patterns ourselves.

AW15 collection. Photo by Matthias Aschauer,

AW15 collection, Hair & Make-Up: Desiree Schloffer; Model: Ema Prosova (ph models). Photo by Matthias Aschauer,

AV: Coming back to Vienna - do you have a favorite spot or a place that inspires you in the city?

LK: During summer we are often outside. In the evening you can find us at Karlsplatz. I can’t think of a special place, just walking around in the streets is a good inspiration source.

AV: How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working on the label?

IS: There is so much work involved in what we do that we hardly have any free time (laughs).
LK: We both like to meet friends. I like to play tennis and travel. It’s mainly the usual ways that young people our age like to spend their free time (laughs).

AV: Do you have any future projects you can tell us about?

LK: We’ve been working on an underwear collection for a long time, but it’s very difficult. We still are in the testing phase - sewing prototypes and deciding about the right place to produce the clothes. Moreover, it’s not easy for a small company like us to find all the accessories that you need for producing underwear.
IS: Actually, it will be more than just underwear. Expect a line of basic home wear for both men and women.

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We are looking forward to the girls’ upcoming projects! Until then, make sure to visit Meshit shop in Westbahnstraße 25 or you can also order online on their official website: meshit.at

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Info

Meshit
Westbahnstraße 25
1070 Vienna
Phone: +43 650 89 455 63