A talk with Gracy Q fashion designer Anne Kämpfe about womenpower in fashion, her rebellious Teddy Girl collection and the valence of clothing.
Die deutsche Version des Beitrags findest du hier: Designerin Anne Kämpfe von Gracy Q über Frauenpower in der Mode.
I guess you have already noticed that I love to work regularly with Anne from Leipzig based fashion label Gracy Q. Not only that we are connected through our beloved hometown Leipzig in Eastern Germany, we are also both interested in the stories of strong an successful women and their unique styles.
In my two posts about her Teddy Girl – inspired collection I have given you an insight into her recent works, her love for androgynous looks and rebellious women. I also showed you how to dress and style like a Teddy Girl yourself including a hair tutorial showing their great 1950s styling.
After this it is now time to let Anne speak herself – about her thoughts on womenpower in fashion, and why this is the big focus in her designs.
„Gracy Q accompanies the customers on their self-determined way through their lives, it underlines their independence and strength.“ Anne Kämpfe
In the photos you see in this post I am wearing her velvet Viktoria dress – a model that is quite popular among her customers and has been sold in various colours already. A big thanks goes to Katharina from Portray:ME, who – in contrast to the boyish photos I showed you in my last Gracy Q post – now captured me in a quite feminine way, in a lovely winter wonderland.
A talk with Anne Kämpfe about womenpower in fashion
Dear Anne, in your collections you deal with very specific themes, especially the styles of independent and inspiring women. Your actual Teddy Girl fashion „Let’s Go Ladies“ is a great example for this. What is it, that makes this issue so special for you?
I am a strong and independent woman myself – that is the base that makes me an entrepreneur and designer and it helps me to do my own thing. Apart from this, I know a lot of women in private and in business that are just like that as well!
Those things that surround me, that I feel and experience are those that inspire me most.
I love the contrast to my last boyish photoshoot. It shows how different this fashion can be styled! Now it is a typical 50s inspired feminine look. I paired this beautiful red Viktoria dress with some faux leather boots, which you can find here*.
What is it that you would like to express with your recent Teddy Girl fashion? Do you mainly want to focus on this special subculture or is it something else that matters to you? Do you maybe have a special message for your female customers?
The Teddy Girls were extraordinary and unique at their time. They were forerunners of today’s womenpower generation. The look of this subculture impressed me at once – this mixture of genders is what attracts me optically as well as regarding the content.
I was also interested in the limited possibilities to buy fashion after the war – which made the single pieces much more valuable. Irrespective of what the girls wanted to express at that time, this is what matches my own philosophy: Paying attention to the value of fashion, to care about it, to give it a history.
Furthermore, a very important aspect is the belonging to a group, which is also expressed by fashion. This is not a new idea, but one that touched me especially when dealing with Teddy Girl style.
It is also a message to my customers: Gracy Q accompanies them on their self-determined way through their lives, it underlines their independence and strength.
Before this collection you were inspired by underwater life, the desert or mysticism of the forest. What criteria do you use to frame your fashion with a new theme? It is the theme that – in the end – creates the look of a whole collection!
I don’t have certain criterion for this. I collect ideas and they have to pass the test of time. If they stay in my head long enough and if these ideas create an own world, then I let them come to life.
As a private person you love the boyish look as well – you like to wear black and white, wide pants or collars under your tops. So is this collection the fashion that expresses your own passion and style, a collection that made your personal fashion dreams come true?
This collection is my big love! It is the perfect connection between my brand Gracy Q and Anne Kämpfe as a private person. This fashion is on point, and that makes me very happy.
When you design fashion yourself, it is the best reason not to go shopping for clothes anymore! Do you have some favourite items from your brand, and do you wear them a lot yourself? And when you do buy fashion, do you especially look after the shape and quality of the garments?
Absolutely! As you just said, I rather dress boyish, so our jumpsuits are definitely one of my favourite outfits. I wear them a lot on business events – they make me feel confident, well-dressed, professional and unbeatable!
And this is exactly what Gracy Q should do for our customers. Shopping is always a drama – except for shoes of course.
So how much does the palate of your customers play a role in your designs? Aren’t you afraid – especially when choosing such rebellious themes like the Teddy Girls – that these looks could not be so popular among business ladies for example?
It is always a challenge to find a good mixture between the needs of my customers and my own ideas – I want to make both parts happy.
I think it is always neccessary to stay true to yourself when creating new collections. And only if I cross a border I can conquer new areas!
A big thanks goes to Portray:ME for the photos, which we took on an old merry-go-round in Leipzig.
High quality – material is very important for you. I love how you combine velvet and Herringbone for example! How much do you care about the right material, and how do you choose this? Do you also take a look at historical garments? For example the Teds wore jackets with velvet collars as well, just like in your designs!
The choice of material as well as the correct fit of my clothing are my top priorities. Throughout the years we developed collaborations with manufacturers, whose quality I know and appreciate, and whose working philosophy is very good in my eyes as well.
Furthermore I always pay attention, what material, patterns and colours match my upcoming collection.
Thank you very much, dear Anne, for giving an insight into your work and your thoughts on womenpower in fashion. I am very sure that your customers can also expect in the future lots of collections that make them feel strong, beautiful and self-confident!
Find here further posts on womenpower in fashion:
Interview with Angelique from Topvintage and Vintage Diva Clothing – About being a business woman in fashion
Teddy Girls – The rebellious, nearly forgotten subculture of the 1950s
On retro fashion, motivation and individuality – Interview with Revival Retro founder Rowena Howie
*In this post I used an affiliate link. In case you buy something via this link I will get a small percentage of the profit. This does not change anything for you, it simply helps me to maintain my website and keep it free from banners.