Hi Nadien, tell us a little bit about yourself? My name is Nadien. I’m a fashion designer focusing on upcyled and handmade pieces for children and adults, as well as mum to a three-year old. Before we moved to London four years ago, I studied Fashion Design in Hanover, Germany and worked with a local dressmaker as well as a fashion brand in Berlin.
When I had Emil my interest shifted to kids designs. It all started when I organized our wardrobe at home one day and the idea came up to make something new out of the discarded clothes, some of which were full of stories and memories which would always keep me from throwing them out, but we’ve simply stopped wearing them because they were out of size or out of fashion. So I sewed the first pair of trousers out of one of my boyfriend’s old shirts and from there went on to offer an upcycling service for parents that will turn their old favourite clothes into a new piece for their child, which will carry its very own special story and to develop my first ready-to-wear collection for a local shop collaboration.
Since then I’ve expanded my children’s collection to a rucksack collection for both kids and adults and more recently started to design and make cork accessories.
What inspires you? Inspiration is above all my son Emil who shows me in our everyday life how important comfortable shapes and natural fibres are for designing kids clothing.
The second source is that I have always been interested in alternative resources and sustainable fashion so that much influence from this curiosity flows into my designs. Therefore I use cork as vegan and natural alternative to leather for knee patches and bags and upcycle menswear shirts, jeans and fabric remnants.
I’m trying to counteract the process of fast fashion by using already existing resources such as worn but still good clothing and sustainable materials such as cork. I want to encourage people to be more aware of their buying choices and to show that upcycling is a potential process to keep the consumption of our natural resources at sustainable levels.
What plans have you got for the future? I’m pregnant with our second child so I’ll soon take a break from business to focus on my family for some time but one big plan for the future is to have a permanent small local shop with a studio and workshop space, where people can have a look into my work process and can learn how to upcycle their old clothes themselves.