For the vernissage she sent three models across the room.

As if to show what the movement of the body can do with the designs, which are arranged in the middle of the room like sculptures.

She did not want to show her latest designs in a classic fashion show, that was certain for Nina Hollein from the start.

She's already done the catwalk, in the past.

But something more creative just goes better with her fashion, which she has been designing since 2008.

“A fashion show is such a waste of energy,” she says.

“If so, better an exhibition with art.” And with fashion as an art form.

Eva-Maria Magel

Head of culture editor Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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The designer has been thinking about their energy cycle, both physically and mentally, for a long time.

At the beginning of her career as an independent fashion designer, there were children's clothes and women's skirts made from tea towel fabrics;

she does not design for men.

Linen, sustainably produced, with fresh checks and stripes, reborn as very special one-offs, which she quickly sold to a formative clientele in the world's metropolises with her small label.

And even then it moved in the triangle of fashion, sustainability and art.

An appearance beyond everyday life

“Suit up” is the name of the collection she designed in her study in New York during the lockdown. A cross between “to dress up” and the “suit”, the men's suit, for what simply has to suit you. Your designs should be "dresses for special occasions". She herself is petite, likes to wear her own models with those of other designers, and shows that the same pieces work just as well with high heels in pink and platform sneakers in multicolored. Many of the new pieces are expansive, with flounces, with width that can be tamed. You need an appearance beyond everyday life. Often men's suits, which are broken down into individual parts, form the basis for short costumes with vests, for spectacular evening skirts, with a wide waistband at the top for narrow waists, at the bottom with a hem circumference of a few meters, composed of chiffon, tulle,Silk and dark men's suits. Nina Hollein especially loves the details: she has put lapels, padding and pockets together in skirts, tops and mini costumes in such a way that their materiality stands out. From these connections speaks a joy in statics, craft and technical equipment.

Nina Hollein, born in Vienna in 1971 as the daughter of designer Herbert Schweiger, studied architecture and worked in renowned offices before turning to fashion.

In fact, at the age of four she was already sitting at her mother's sewing machine: “She was a very creative person and sewed her own costumes.” Little Nina, who lived a creative, artistic, intimate childhood side by side with twin brother Philipp , was allowed to try it out.

A "One Woman Show" for three years

The mother of three Nina Hollein - her children are now fully fledged - appreciates the mother's trust in letting the kindergarten child use a real sewing machine. She tried on doll clothes, then on the first pieces of clothing for herself. Methods, cuts: “I had to teach myself piece by piece, made mistakes, but that was also an advantage. I'm a little unorthodox and more free to approach. ”As a young woman, it was already clear to her:“ There is a big difference when you wear something that is unusual. People notice that very well, and it helps to position oneself in society. "

For her, however, fashion wasn't a career option, but studying architecture wasn't a real detour either. She practiced how things are designed, built, and connected in international offices until the break from children in her time in Frankfurt allowed fashion and craftsmanship to break out. After the first cut samples, it quickly became clear: “This is not for me, this is for something else.” After a lot of trial and error, it became the first collection. At that time, her husband Max Hollein caused a sensation as a young director of the Schirn exhibition house in Frankfurt, then of the Städelmuseum and Liebieghaus as well. Nina Hollein founded her brand in Frankfurt. It took her three years of work as a “One Woman Show” to set up her label and the shop, including the online shop. It went very well.The move to San Francisco in 2016 was an "insanely blatant turning point," says Hollein. “But it was also a chance to get out of the hamster wheel and focus on things that interest me.” No more business, no more pressure, contacts in art and fashion classes.