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How ideas become fashion: Andrea Karg on the design process

C ashmere and fashion are my greatest passions, to which I have devoted myself fully in my designs for Allude since 1993. I design and realize six collections a year for women alone - plus the lines for men and children as well as home and accessories.

However, I don't follow a strict plan when brainstorming. First and foremost, I trust my gut feeling, which is becoming more and more condensed based on my own ideas and observation of the market and thanks to the input from trend offices - i.e. becoming clearer and clearer. In my head, I then translate this weave into the first shapes, colors and meshes for the collection.

It is particularly important to me that the pieces not only look good later on, but also fit perfectly into the lifestyle of my customers. After all, what use is the most beautiful piece of clothing if it is neither comfortable nor suitable for everyday use? In this phase of my creative process, the main thing is to work haptically: touching the material, laying stitches, knotting different textures together or wrapping them. This creates a kind of collage that contains different ways and approaches for further realization.

I then pass this input on to my design team, who develop my creative ideas and collections into mood boards. I don't draw myself. At this point, my team acts like an extended arm, turning my concept brief into initial sketches and sample parts.

Since we are in our design department. Even if we have a few knitting machines, we can follow the process very closely. In this way, patterns can always be tried out so that it becomes immediately apparent how something can be implemented. Will the pants fit the way I imagined them? Does the material mix of soft cashmere and coarse leather even go together?

My willingness to experiment presents me with enormous challenges, which I gladly accept. "Can't" simply doesn't exist for me. Neither in design nor in business - I like to tinker around with initial problems.

As soon as the first sample parts are ready, it's time to get down to the finer points: the common thread, the handwriting and the concept have to be consistent. It is sorted out and sometimes something is developed. If everything is in order and the quality is as high as our customers are used to from Allude, the collection goes to sales, which organizes the actual production and subsequent delivery of the garments.

Wherever there is Allude Cashmere - whether in a boutique, a concept or department store or in our online shop - the pretty companions are only waiting for one thing: to finally be able to wrap their new owner in comfortably soft luxury.