Five minutes with…. Ben Stiglitz

Fashion brand Stieglitz will make its debut next week during Amsterdam Fashion Week. Pien Stieglitz presents a collection full of funky prints, inspired by the magical island of Madagascar with a ’70s vibe. FashionUnited spoke to the designer in the lead up to her show.

Colors and prints are the keywords of the new summer collection. Exciting bodies with plush or tropical fruit prints are combined with well-known Stieglitz suits in different colors and textures. New are the graceful skirts and striped jackets that Stieglitz translates into comfortable, sexy and feminine elements. Typical of Madagascar is the lemur, which is treated as a print on one of the down jackets. Also characteristic of Madagascar’s culture is the lamba, a traditional dress that served as an inspiration alongside beautiful beaches and tropical forests.

Why appear in Amsterdam Fashion Week?

“Asked me Danny Beals. In fact, I always had in my head that I didn’t want to do wholesale, too much trouble. I’d rather stick to the web store and my own stores. While the show, of course, is more prominently aimed at introducing retail customers to your collection. That’s why I knew : If I ever do a show, I want to do it well and create something really special, something crazy that fits my eclectic, colorful style.”

What is the inspiration behind your collection?

“Madagascar. I was in the mood for color and the first thing I thought of was that island. The word alone is magical, isn’t it? And it’s also a really beautiful country: beautiful nature, wild animals, beautiful trees, and we’ve all included that in the prints.”

What can we expect from your presentation?

“The show takes place at the Compagnietheater. I wanted to be an actress, I even went to Toneelschool Amsterdam for a few years, but that dream has faded. That’s why I think it’s great that my love for fashion and theater come together. So don’t expect a traditional fashion show with models. Standing straight, my goal was to create something different than usual.”

What kind of designer are you?

“Designer with a designer eye. I don’t spend the whole night drawing like many fashion designers. My clothes are always very feminine, sexy and cool.”

Who is a Stieglitz client?

“I design from my own point of view, so I always see myself on the set. However, my target group is very wide, and certainly not all of my clients are Pien clones. I have a shop in the office, so I see a lot of clients. And those are mostly women. In the age group from 25 to 40 years.

What do your working days look like in the run-up to Amsterdam Fashion Week?

“Very different than usual. I’ve been busy trying out the collection on models. This morning I called the boy who plays music, the boy Bianchi. I write a song with him myself. I love originality, so make everything for the show itself. The day before yesterday I suddenly woke up at four in the morning and thought: Why am I saying yes to this again? But everyone is on the right track, so we’re doing well.”

What are your best sellers?

“When a collection becomes available online, stunning prints are always ordered first. Brand-name clothing also sells very well. While I myself sometimes think: Do people want it? But I personally think Stieglitz is a very nice word. It’s a name Hungarian and means “bolfinch”.

What are your goals for the near future?

“First, let’s get the Amsterdam Fashion Week done right. Then I will continue to develop the Seoul-inspired fall collection. In May I will go to South Korea to take the photo. Moreover, Germany is high on the map. We are really hacking there and now we also have a relationship agency General. I note that this is a completely different market and you should respond well to that. We also sell in Great Britain and increasingly in America. Of course, the Netherlands remains important, this did not happen in your country.”

Do you have a tip for budding fashion designers who aspire to their own brand?

“Make sure your vision is correct and that you have a strong story to tell. Don’t try to do it alone. Involve people as soon as possible who can help you, or else you will continue to navigate your own circle. I invested in myself in this from the start, only then can you grow” .

If you weren’t a fashion designer, what profession would you be in?

“Actress. Perhaps one day I will do a fashion show again. But what I do now also suits me well: Stieglitz is my child, everything to me.”

Stieglitz was founded in 2014 by Pien Stieglitz. The brand is known for its colorful flair and eclectic prints. The clothes are designed in an Amsterdam studio and produced in countries such as Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, India and China. At the moment, the collection is for sale only via the online store and in-store in the studio.

Photos: Stieglitz

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