Lea Roth and Max Dörner are the pair behind Last Heirs, an international collective that released their debut Spring/Summer ’18 collection “Work in progress” at Berlin Fashion Week in July. With an aim to “disrupt the industry”, the catwalk show was ditched in virtue of an interactive presentation. Their debut received widespread acclaim from the likes of ID and Hypebeast bouncing them to the forefront of the Berlin fashion scene. We had the pleasure of catching up with the duo to discuss what’s in the pipeline for Last Heirs; from insane puffer coats to Karl Lagerfeld. To get a sense of the ‘Work in Progress’ concept of the last collection, we captured our favorite pieces to create an exclusive editorial.
Œ: Your debut at Berlin Fashion Week was very well received, what drew you both to Berlin to create and showcase your work?
Last Heirs: We have been working on a lot of shows and runway presentations in Berlin, so coming from that background it was almost a natural progression to say “okay, let’s choose Berlin as a platform for a reasonably affordable debut, instead of showing in London or Paris. Let’s keep it at home. We decided to take advantage of the platform in Berlin, as there was a really good slot: people aren’t really doing collection presentations, everyone is just doing runway.
“The idea of the project was to disrupt some of the norms in the industry.”
Œ: At Berlin Fashion Week you challenged the traditional expectations of a collection presentation. Is questioning conventionality within the Fashion Industry a strong ethos of Last Heirs?
Last Heirs: Yeah, in a way the idea of the project was to disrupt some of the norms in the industry, by doing something that people don’t normally do. We like the presentation format because it has the freedom of an artistic exhibition, as oppose to a rigid runway! – It lets the people delve into what we’re about! – Because on the runway you don’t really have the possibility of constructing a space, whereas with a presentation you have an opportunity to further develop the concept of the collection. This was especially true for our ‘Work in progress’ collection. A discourse about labor-related fashion and labor conditions. The models interact by printing onto their garments in a working environment. It made it a bit edgy too.
Œ: How would you describe Last Heirs design process and studio space?
Last Heirs: Really organic, we both believe in creative direction that goes beyond the idea of stringent, evil masterminds who just tell people what to do. Quite the opposite actually.
“There’s one puffer that’s going to be totally insane!”
Œ: Your last collection “Work in Progress” displayed themes of club culture and work wear, what are your inspirations for your next collection? What should we expect from Last Heirs A/W 18?
Last Heirs: We’ve definitely shown Last Heirs’ DNA in this collection. We want to retain the use of similar fabrics, for instance we’re definitely keeping the PVC element. The color waves will remain, oranges and Indigo. It will be interesting to see, actually, we’re working on it at the moment. A lot of big silhouettes. We’re already set on a few pieces, there’s one puffer that’s going to be totally insane!
Œ: Vivienne Westwood, is now using her punk roots as a tool to raise global warming awareness. Some of your garments were created from 40% recycled PVC, do you feel it’s important to increase sustainability within in design and target current issues in today’s society?
Last Heirs: Sustainability is an important aspect of our work, but it’s not the core. Like everybody nowadays we just naturally think about these kind of things. It shouldn’t just be a marketing pitch. We try to pick up fabrics we already have and try to recycle as much as possible. We like the idea of working with people between the ages of 18-22 as they have really crazy ideas and keep the whole concept fresh and relevant. Part of the reason that Karl Lagerfeld stayed successful for so many years was because he surrounded himself with young people.
“The reason that Karl Lagerfeld stayed successful for so many years was because he surrounded himself with young people.”
Œ: Last Heirs was commended for the last collections stance against gender binaries, how do you tackle this challenge through the garments you create?
Last Heirs: We’re quite sick of this whole “gender neutral” conversation, we just make clothes. The time has come where clothes need to stop being one thing or another. We have friends who wear skirts as boys, we are not necessarily radical in this regard. We just make clothing that suits both genders.
Œ: Is there a Last Heirs shop in the pipeline?
Last Heirs: That’s a tough one, given that we have a concept store background. We do have all the necessary contacts, and could open one at the moment. But it’s a little scary, we know how difficult it is as well. Besides, we’re also discussing another project at the moment, where we work with past collections or other collections. At the end of the season you generally have a lot of stuff and stock left over, due to over producing. We’re looking at how we can up-cycle stuff rather than just recycle. Getting stuff that was really cool in the first place and making it even cooler. So stay posted for that.
Œ: Definitely, we’re excited for what’s next!
Creative Direction & Styling: Rhianedd Dancey
Make-up: Anna Reynolds
Special Thanks to: H. Heenemann