Blog 1706 Shakkei

The crea­ti­ve class: Shakkei

These days when the word “sustainability” has degenerated to the point of being meaningless, it is refreshing to see a fashion label such as Shakkei make “green fashion” look like a credible and honourable idea.

Gabri­el Baradee’s label is a reli­ab­ly regu­lar pre­sence at Vien­na Fashion Week. He remains faith­ful to his eco­lo­gi­cal deman­ds and is demons­tra­ting this through the way he rela­tes to his staff, his choice of mate­ri­als and pro­duc­tion methods. But none of this hap­pens at the expen­se of aes­the­tic values. In our inter­view the Vien­na-based desi­gner who foun­ded his label in 2009, tells us all about how green” and fashion” can go tog­e­ther, whe­re there’s still some catching up to do, and why it is per­fect for him to be based in Vienna’s seventh district, Neubau.

Befo­re embar­king on your fashion degree you did Japa­ne­se stu­dies. What made you choo­se this edu­ca­tio­nal rou­te?
In a way, Japa­ne­se stu­dies pre­pa­red me for stu­dy­ing fashion. Japan is still a huge source of inspi­ra­ti­on for my work. You can also tell that from my label’s name Shak­kei”. I have always been fasci­na­ted by hand­craft, by Japa­ne­se art, wood­cuts, ori­ga­mi, ike­ba­na and all tho­se ama­zing arts. The­se are all influ­en­ces that flow into my own work.

Sus­taina­bi­li­ty is a fre­quent­ly used word. What does it mean to you?
It is an ove­r­used term, and I defi­ne my label as a fashion label first, and only then in terms of being green” and sus­tainab­le”. I think it’s real­ly important that the design aspect does not get neglec­ted. Sus­taina­bi­li­ty is an add on” to us. What does that mean to us? We base it on three dif­fe­rent pil­lars: One is the cloth and the mate­ri­al, so we use a lot of eco­lo­gi­cal­ly sound or cer­ti­fied mate­ri­als. The second pil­lar is pro­duc­tion: we are still pro­du­cing 85 per­cent of our clothes in Aus­tria, so it’s local. And the third pil­lar is dis­tri­bu­ti­on. We make small and tight collec­tions, and we pro­du­ce only in small runs, so when we’re run­ning out of some­thing we get ano­t­her pro­duc­tion done. This way we never have lar­ge over­stock that we would then have to sell off chea­ply at the sale of the sale of the sale.

How do you see the future of sus­taina­bi­li­ty in fashion?
I’m hoping it will deve­lop along the lines of nut­ri­ti­on or cos­me­tics. I have a fee­ling that we are still at the begin­ning. We’ll need to get to the point whe­re the­re is a green-wear depart­ment in every high end bou­tique, just as they have an orga­nic line of pro­ducts in every super­mar­ket. But it’s still a long way to go. Stores show very litt­le sus­tainab­le evening wear, for example.

You are per­fect­ly loca­ted here on Ulrichs­platz in Neu­bau. What is it that has attrac­ted you to this quar­ter?
For a start, it’s a very urban envi­ron­ment that suits my fashion real­ly well. Apart from that, I’m pro­fi­t­ing from the loca­ti­on, becau­se it’s obvious­ly a cool district that is also a favo­ri­te among many visi­t­ing tou­rists. We have a lot of tou­rist cus­to­mers. We are clo­se to the Muse­ums­Quar­tier, the­re are chic hotels, ama­zing bars and restau­rants in the area. You quick­ly feel at home here.

Images cour­te­sy of Zara Pfei­fer.

14 Juni 2017 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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