T he most beautiful cashmere fashion remains a treasure in the designer's studio if nobody takes care of placing it in boutiques, high-quality multi-label and concept stores. Sabine Gripp and her business partner Heinrich Kubanek (on the left in the picture) from the sales agency Schuhmacher & Kubanek in Düsseldorf ensure that the finest pullovers, cardigans and many other luxury items from Allude are never far from customers in Germany and Switzerland. Sabine Gripp, who answers our interview questions in this episode of Allude & Friends, still remembers the first Allude collection that hung in her showroom in 1996: “Back then it consisted of just 20 models. And now Allude is internationally present at the best addresses.”
Her first fashion memory:
Antonia Hilke with her great TV show "News from the clothing market". Even as a little girl, I was excited when she reported on new trends in Paris or Milan. And her studio was also very innovative for the time: Everything was white, there was no decoration whatsoever.
How would you describe your own style?
Relaxed and subtle rather than loud and flashy. My customers know me best in high-quality tops without frills and preferably made of cashmere, often combined with jeans and nice "off-beat" shoes.
The most important rule in your own style guide:
Never, never, never complete looks!
Which style icon do you adore?
Even if it's not particularly original: I think Kate Moss with her effortlessly fashionable outfits is simply great.
Your favorite fashion film?
The documentary "The Eye Has to Travel" about and with the legendary Diana Vreeland.
Do you remember your first cashmere garment?
At the age of twelve, I inherited my big brother's cashmere sweater, which had shrunk in the 90-degree wash. He was devastated - and I was immediately fascinated by this wonderful material. I now have a total of over 100 cashmere sweaters in my closet from all the Allude seasons of the last 20 years, mostly in all shades of “Heather Grey”. A different kind of art collection.
Your favorite piece from the Allude Autumn/Winter 2015/2016 collection:
The new structured sweater vest , which I naturally ordered in grey.
What makes working with Andrea Karg so special for you?
Andrea and I are very different personalities at work and approach challenges completely differently. So it's all the more exciting that we're always on the home stretch - really always! - to meet and to develop the most surprising, most creative and ultimately commercially successful result from contrary ideas and approaches.
How did you two meet?
A colleague brought us together. Andrea was looking for a sensible sales partner and my business partner and I wanted to offer a cashmere collection in our agency. After the first meeting, it was clear to everyone: we are a fantastic match!
Your ultimate cashmere care tip?
Cashmere loves to be washed - with the right care line, of course. And the highest quality, such as that from Allude, only gets nicer with washing.
The coolest song on your iPod or iPhone?
"Chaleur Humaine" by Christine and the Queens aka Héloïse Letissier, a famous singer/songwriter and dancer from Paris. Today she lives in London and not only mixes the languages of both cities in her songs, but also masterfully mixes French chansons with rhythm 'n' blues and pop.