Twenty-two-year-old, Berlin-native Anika Janitzky recently graduated from Lette Verein, Berlin with a BA in Fashion Design. Although it took her a while to pluck up the courage and apply to fashion school, she is certainly pleased with her decision… As they say, better late than never! Featured in this article is her graduate collection Hot Snow, which proves that even in minus temperatures you can still sizzle. We caught up with her following the graduation show to find out more about her brand, Hot Snow and her prospects.
Anika: We just had our graduate show last month, it was outside, and when it apparently began to rain while my models were walking… I was so scared someone would slip and get hurt, but my models, who are also good friends of mine, presented my final collection ‘Forbidden Garden’ beyond fiercely and I still get emotional rewatching the videos of it.
Œ: How would you describe your brand? What makes your designs especial?
Anika: If I had to recap my style as quickly as possible, I would say: whatever Rihanna would wear. I like to mix up body con and feminine pieces with streetwear elements – oddly sexy. Most of my designs include a balance of extravagant showpieces and more wearable pieces that would work as a festival look. Upcycling and fabric manipulation – which I believe go hand in hand – are always important parts of my design process.
Finding more sustainable ways to produce fashion should be the future, but also, as someone who doesn’t like to throw things away, it’s a fulfilling process to save something from the trash and be able to create something beautiful out of it. As a designer, I see myself as a service provider in the first place because my device is always that your clothes have to fit you, not the other way around.
Œ: Tell us more about this collection Hot Snow – What were you aiming to achieve with it?
Anika: ‘Hot Snow’ is the name that Isabel Herzog (the incredible photographer I worked with) and I gave this editorial. Originally, I called this collection ‘Divine Destructed Denim’, which is a reference to Renzo Rosso’s book ‘Diesel Dream Disruption Deviation Denim’ since the collection is almost completely upcycled out of old Diesel visual merchandising material.
To create this wasted but beautiful fabric, I sewed together many denim scraps used as a background for the shopping windows of the store. It was my penultimate semester collection so the outfits were part of our graduation show. I cannot wait to present this collection in September at the Neo-Fashion in Berlin.
Œ: But why snow? Do you have some kind of affiliation with winter sports?
Anika: We chose snow for this editorial to underline the ice-cold dramatic attitude of the outfits and complement the speckled, bleached designs. Are there bleached spots on the fabric, or are the models casually posing in a snowstorm? Who knows? Although I am more of a summer person, I have always been fascinated with snow. I love how it can brighten up the dark winter days. Also, the first snow of the year is always a news headliner and featured in every Instagram story – I wanted my looks to radiate that same showstopper energy. The only winter sport I’ve ever done was ice skating on the PlayStation 2, and let me tell you: I always won that gold medal! In real life, I am too scared to try any winter sports – I am very clumsy and would probably break all my bones…
Œ: How was this collection different from previous ones? What new skills did you acquire – maybe you learnt more about working with different fabrics?
Anika: For this collection, I created flounces for the first time. I intentionally never did them before because I always perceived them as “too cute” for the aesthetic I wanted to represent. Then suddenly, I fell in love with the idea of creating these very feminine, organic silhouettes with romantic flounces that also channel this sassy, destructed, heavy denim to break up the style. Using non-stretchy materials for pieces that should fit the body like a glove was another challenge that gave me a lot of new pattern-making skills and draping experiences.
Œ: What is in store for you next? Any exciting projects or plans?
Anika: Now that my time at Letteverein comes to an end, I‘m ready to throw myself into new designs and styling projects. A merch job is planned, and you will most likely find me and my friend Lena Schmüth working with her label ‘Gurlscrime’ from July to September in Bikini Berlin, giving upcycling courses and selling up-cycling pieces.