The Högl Spirit of Nature
An interview with our design team about our current collection
The coronavirus crisis has changed so much, including even the fashion industry, forcing it to think differently. Priorities are changing for all of us. We have a new awareness of nature and of what really matters. We spoke to our design team and our Head of Design Jörg Reichelt about this. The team gave us some exciting insights into the development process for our S/S 2021 collection and also revealed some of the latest fashion trends.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Could you just introduce yourselves quickly for our readers?
Jörg: Together with my fantastic team, I am responsible for the Högl collection’s design, development and implementation. Once we have researched the latest trends and created an initial storyboard, then it’s all about choosing colours and materials, and preparing hand-drawn sketches.
Daniela: I make models for the Högl design team. I mainly work on the shoe design, creating an initial three-dimensional model from our sketches. I also work on materials and I’m in charge of prototypes and samples.
Juliane: As a shoe designer, I’m responsible for graphics and design. I’m responsible for developing customised components and accessories, such as decorative elements, sole profiles and prints. I also develop and update the colour scheme for each season.
Developing a collection starts with the creation of a storyboard, as you just mentioned, Jörg. Every collection has a story to tell. What is the story behind the current S/S 2021 collection?
Jörg: The world is changing more than ever before. People are reflecting more on what their true values are, they want to slow down the pace of life after everything that’s happened recently, and put the focus back on quality, craftsmanship and durability.
Our S/S 21 collection conveys that feeling of deceleration. Clean-cut designs, padded shoes made from super-soft, high-quality leathers, woven designs and lightweight sneakers all reflect the spirit of the times.
You normally visit big cities, analyse street style and go to fashion shows to research the latest trends, but that isn’t possible at the moment. Where have your ideas come from?
Juliane: Yes, we’ve all had to think creatively to find new ways to work. Fashion platforms are presenting
their reports on new trends via webinars. We have various trend books and it’s also possible to research online, of course. We are also in the fortunate position of being able to build on a successful collection; we can develop this further using the Högl brand philosophy and add our signature style to the latest trends.
Our current collection has the tagline “The spirit of nature”. How is this expressed in the collection?
Daniela: A love of nature is the inspiration behind a new fashion philosophy, and this was our creative starting point. As a counter-trend to maximalism, we’re focussing instead on the essentials, creating a modern minimalism that works beautifully at every stylistic level and sets new standards when it comes to quality, comfort, style and sustainability.
We are at a time where priorities are changing. We are spending a lot of time at home and the world around us has got a little smaller. How is the fashion world changing as a result?
Jörg: Working from home instead of at the office, seeing nature as somewhere to retreat and re-energise, being made to pause by the pandemic and, as a result, focussing on the things that really matter – these are all factors that have made consumers more aware of fashion that can span more than just one season and is more durable. In these times where many people are working from home, a big ‘cosiness’ element is being incorporated into fashion. Indoor fashion is being worn outdoors and yet we can still look well dressed. Overall, there is an increasing focus on sustainability when it comes to production methods and materials, and this is also affecting people’s purchasing decisions. The fashion industry is finally responding to this with greater transparency in terms of production and the finished article. Materials are being selected more carefully, with traceability and certification playing an important role. The product has to do more than just look beautiful.
How have these changes been incorporated in the collection?
Jörg: As we already mentioned, we are focussing on comfort by using ultra-soft leathers and extremely flexible shoe construction. The collection includes plenty of flat shoes that offer great wearability but are still exciting and modern, making them ideal for these times of home working and lockdowns.
Recycled nylon, LWG-certified leather for uppers and linings, Tencel laces and partially recycled soles all feature in this collection.
Juliane: We’ve also created summery prints inspired by nature for this season, such as our ‘flowersnake’ print. It’s a soft kidskin with snakeskin embossing, overprinted with a light floral design.
From the storyboard to the finished product: as the collection is developed, the unique Högl brand philosophy gradually shines through in our designs. Our prints are designed at our headquarters in Taufkirchen an der Pram and they give our shoes and accessories that special Högl signature look.
Which fashion trends should we look out for in this spring/summer season?
Juliane: Soft materials and knits, casual jerseys, long lightweight coats and generously cut tops will have a strong influence on summer outfits. Overall, silhouettes are more flowing, with comfortable shapes – all in simple, delicate shades.
Daniela:: A casual and relaxed look is becoming increasingly popular. O-shaped trousers, wide-cut Bermuda shorts or casual jogging pants are the trouser styles of the season. Summery mules, sneakers, casual loafers or slip-ons will all look great with these outfits. The colour white will play a key role when it comes to shoes, as outfits might have a monochrome look: all in white or in shades of white through to beige, for example. This looks particularly elegant and stylish, whether the outfit is sporty or for a special occasion.
Jörg: I couldn’t agree more with what Juliane and Daniela have said. There is also the influence of craftsmanship, which goes hand in hand with the return to old values. High-quality craftsmanship in terms of materials and shapes combined with the influences of minimalism have added a beautiful woven theme to the collection.
Daniela and Juliane, what are your must-haves from the S/S 2021 collection and which styles are on your personal wish-lists?
Juliane: I love our woven collection. Trendsetters should definitely invest in one key piece with a woven design this season. My personal must-have is the FELINA mule. Its simplicity really sets it apart. The woven strap is so eye-catching and the soft insole and comfortable heel make these slide sandals genuine all-rounders for everyday wear.
Daniela: For me, casual flats like loafers and slip-ons – with simple leather straps or a classic snaffle – are the essentials for this season. Our SENSE mules, made from sustainable certified leather, have found their way into my personal wardrobe. If you prefer something more sporty or want to use sneakers to add the perfect twist to a more classic outfit, then our new fresh-looking sneakers offer the perfect styling options.