Many people dream of the opportunity to turn their hobby into a career – but only a few really do. One of them who started is Alexandra Tamele from Berlin. The 22 years old young designer has a great passion for fashion since her early childhood and is about to become a shootingstar in the highly competitive fashion scene in Berlin. In her collections she likes it rather sporty. She produces T-Shirts, trousers and skirts from African materials. Modern cuts give her chic creations a contemporary and unique touch. In the interview with afrika! she talks about the greatest challenges realising her dream, about the highlights of her young career and of course about her current collection.
1. Berlin is full of creatives who want to pass a special product on to their costumers. Especially in the sector of fashion happens a lot in the German capital at the moment. What affected you to found your own label?
My unrestrained will to independence and the need of creating own things affected me in 2014 to found my own label ALEXANDRA TAMELE. One main condition was of course my completed fahion-studies at the BEST-Sabel design school in Berlin.
2. How did you become a designer and which other conditions does one have to bring along?
I think in general you need a certain passion from your early years on. I never wanted to do something else in my life. With a necessary amount of diligance and patience one can achieve everything! This is what I had to prove several times in my studies. The main focus was on manufacturing (sewing), pattern construction, computer-aided design (CAD) and business administration. As a final project in 2012 I had to create a whole collection by myself including the photo-shootings, the model fitting and everything else.
3. ‘Designer’ is still the dream job per se. You belong to the newcomers in the branch. How to you recognise this profession which can be extremely stressful.
My everyday-life looks like that: at the moment I do a full-time job in the retail sector and work on my business either before or after work. It is not easy to fit it all in but with a big goal in sight it is much easier. I use my holidays to go to the fashion fairs all over Europe to present my collections.
4. Your father is originally from Mozambique. Do you identify yourself with the country and which role plays this background for your inspirations?
That is right, my father is a Mozambican. I really feel very attempted to the country to which I travel once or twice a year. My fashion is a mix of European cuts and African materials whereby the material only gives a small accent. One does not recognise immediately from which country I come and I think it is the same with my collections.
5. Please describe the style of your fashion with three words.
Casual. Comfortable. Remarkable.
6. As one can see in your collections you put a special emphasize on remarkable materials, handmade details and high quality. Do you produce everything by yourself or do you get support at your work?
I have a very good sewer who originally comes from the Senegal. He is amazin. He gives my fashion the ‘certain something’ with his seams because details are always important. The most important thing is to stand out from the rest. I would say that my target group is quite streaky. My focus lies on people who likes it comfortable, sporty and stylish. The people in Paris like my style very much.
7. Tell us about your highlights in your young career.
Oh, there are many highlights. Right after the foundation of my label in 2014 I had a show at the Black Fashion Week in Paris. It was an amazing experience. One year later I had my first show at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and an article in the Germany yellow press magazine ‘Brigitte’ who made me a part the Top 6 young designers in Germany. One of the most amazing experiences in the last year was a journey with the German Ministre of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Within 3 weeks we visited Mozambique, Zambia, Uganga and Tanzania. I surely will never forget that.
8. Nevertheless there is also a dark side. Especially in the fashion industry which has a bad reputation as being superficial, models and designers fight with thousands of competitors for recognition and the great breakthrough (that will never come sometimes). What are the greatest challenges for you in this profession?
The hardest thing for me is not the competitive struggle but the circumstance to wait for purchasing agents. Moreover, the start into the branche is not easy: finding a production facility, getting orders, finding materials in stock and so on. These are the most difficult things.
9. What to you intend to do in 2016 and what will we see from you soon?
My biggest goal is to find a retail partner who buys my collections. Furthermore, I will go to South Africa to my collections the SA Menswear Fashion Week. Of course I still have the big dream not to have to work full-time in my current job so that I can concentrate on my great passion.
We will inform you about her way!