WWD Berlin Preview, 19. Juni 2012

Artikel in der Women’s Wear Daily unter “Ones to Watch”:

Like many young designers, Friederike Westphal and Linda Sinewe turned their passion into a job – and their dream into a reality – with the founding of their own women’s wear label, Hoogstraat.
The two 30-year-olds set out on their own in 2010 after putting in six years in the industry.
Their hands-on experience covered everything from the process of patternmaking to product,
trend research, international production, logistics, corporate design, catalogues and ad campaigns, all of which served them as they established their business.
The duo met in 2008 while working for a Berlin streetwear label. Westphal was a designer while Sinewe did graphics. “Jeans are absolutely not our thing, but we discovered we were on the same wavelength,” Westphal recalled. Added Sinewe, “And it was good that both of us weren’t doing fashion. I can take care of all other aspects related to running a fashion business.”
Hoogstraat is Dutch for “high street” (Sinewe studied in Holland), but their use of the word underscores their goal of doing “high fashion for the street,” with relaxed but design-oriented apparel that’s wearable – and affordable.
Aimed at women between 25 and 45, Hoogstraat’s silk dresses retail between $212 and $275, jackets are $250 to $440 and skirts run $162 to $188. “We want to be in the middle,” Westphal declared. “We have lots of friends that need fashion [separates] to wear on the job, not just clothes from the verticals. And they’d rather have [fewer items but one] that’s special. But that doesn’t
mean a hand-beaded dress for 800 euros.”
Hoogstraat’s look is clean, reflecting, they noted, their northern roots, with cuts that are neoclassical in spirit, but tweaked. For instance, next fall’s sleeveless cowl-necked dress has a top with a soft geometric V-shape that meets a wider waistband, a full (but not too full) skirt falling in easy folds below. Or a typical, no-fuss look for going out features a white lace tank top paired with pleated brown silk pants with a bow sash.
A quote on the wall sets the tone for their upcoming spring collection: “The excitement of flirtation lies in the unexpected.” This translates into soft silks and laces teamed with leather and matte surfaces with shine, “but it’s all still simple and fairly minimal.” Sinewe commented.
The collection is entirely produced in Saxony, though Westphal said “when we produce more,
it’s clear we’ll have to leave Germany. Too many contractors are closing down.”
And expansion is now in Hoogstraat’s game plan. Carried in 20 German specialty stores that Westphal and Sinewe personally contacted, next season will find the label going after new contacts at the Premium fair in Berlin. “It’s the next step, and we’re also in the process of getting an investor on board, which will mean a bigger atelier and more people in the company. We’re in our first negotiations,” Westphal revealed. Even if the second part of Hoogstraat’s tag line – “Designed in Berlin and Made in Germany” – falls to the side, the first will undoubtedly remain. “We like the lifestyle here, and every day brings an inspiration, whether it’s in a bar, cafe, club or exhibit,”
said Westphal. “Last weekend we had the Carnival of Cultures going on right outside our window. There are always these incredible little moments in Berlin.”
– M.D.