• Nino Bollag
  • Nino Bollag
Swiss fashion designer Nino Bollag


    07 July 2011

    By Katja Schmolka

    One of them is fashion designer Nino Bollag. The Swiss designer, who is based in Paris follows his visions. And he wants to change the world.

    Katja Schmolka: What was the trigger that inspired you to study fashion?

    Nino Bollag: The trigger was quite technical. A typical design problem. You have an idea, in my case to become a fashion designer, but you need the right tools to accomplish that. I’ve never studied because of the the degree. The motivation was simply to advance myself personally and professionally. In this sense, after the studies is before the studies.

    K.S: You’ve also studied product and industrial design, how does that influence you when designing a new collection – regarding shape colors and aesthetics?

    N.B: I think it has influenced me a lot when it comes to the question of the use of something. My mentor at that time, Hans Zaugg, who was one of the first watch designers at Swatch, was an old-line maverick. In his opinion there should be a strong idea or vision first. Shape, color and aesthetics are aftereffects,

    K.S: A trailer was used as a showroom to present your collection in September 2010 at Fashion week in Paris, at the Swiss embassy in Paris. – What inspired you to to this highly original idea?

    N.B: The inspiration of the collection was going into the direction of the „travellers“. I always take my inspiration very seriously. So the question what that would mean for a showroom was obvious. It’s great! You only need a car and the trailer and you can show your collection wherever you like. The presentation in the embassy got additional suspense because at that time France was starting to expel Roma and Sinti. Therefore it also had a political touch.

    K.S: What does fashion mean for you? And where do you get your inspiration?

    N.B: Identity, fun, freedom are essential attributes for me. But fashion can mean everything. That’s what makes work so interesting. I get my inspiration from what influences me right now or what has always affected me. In the last collection it was the novel Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoi, in the next collection the topic is Hip Hop. I’m taking the liberty to do whatever I like, even if it’s sometimes difficult because it means that it’s hard to classify. Critics say you don’t have a vision, but that’s exactly my vision. Plus, isn’t inspiration overrated? What counts in the end is the result.

    K.S: Technology and new materials are an important element of realizing your ideas. Is the good old  cotton fabric a dead duck?

    N.B: Oh no, not at all! Cotton fabric with the right technology does not appear old, but very modern.

    K.S: Art has always influenced fashion styles and renowned designers used art as an inspiration. How significant is art for you?

    N.B: Very significant. Since I was a child I’ve dealt with „art“ and was surrounded by „artists“ But I have to say that in my opinion definitions like art, design or scenography are antiquated. There’s no black and white anymore. The boundaries become blurred and so I become an artists, or not. In the end it’s not important anymore.

    K.S: What is your view on the development of fashion in times of Social Media, where collection pieces are directly ordered from the runway?

    N.B: I’m sure it’s a chance for young labels because you can reach a lot of people with little money. The fashion world somehow get democratized. Even though the big players also know how to use those media for their advertising purposes. But I think those media are overrated right now. A hype which will in time result in an overdose. It’s often forgotten that fashion has a lot do to with feel of the surface and wearing comfort and that shopping is also a social event. All that, the Internet can, if at all, only provide to a certain point.

    K.S: What goals and projects do you have in the future?

    N.B: A lot and high goals! Next season I also want to be present, besides Paris, at the New York Fashion week. The long-term objective: The brand Nino Bollag should one time be at eye level with Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior or Coco Chanel. And then I’ll do all the things I’ve always wanted to do. For example, change the world. You probably think I’m megalomaniac. What can I say…

    K.S: Please tell us your favourite quote.

    N.B: That’s difficult. I’m a big fan of quotes. Oscar Wilde was a genius and gives the impression that he has always gone his own way. I admire that. So in his honour:
    „One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art“, Oscar Wilde in Phrases & Philosophies for the Use of the Young.

    Thank you for the interview.

    You’re welcome.

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