The new edition of the Denim Première Vision trade show will take place for the first time in Berlin on May 17 & 18! Celebrating its premiere in the German capital, the hybrid and itinerant denim know-how fair is partnering with Berlin-based brand Fade Out Label and its designer Andrea Bonfini.
Fade Out Label, a denim-couture
Born in Berlin in 2015, Fade Out Label is a denim-couture and urbanwear brand whose collections made of vintage denim and upcycled natural fabrics are composed of unisex, comfortable and unique clothes with oversized cuts.
“I create permanent collections to which new items are added every season. I use natural materials for the FADE OUT LABEL collections which shall be recycled to the most possible extent in order to realize sustainable garments but with an innovative style and tailored with handicraft quality.”
– Andrea Bonfini, Designer of Fade Out Label.
Première Vision: How do you work on your collections?
Andrea Bonfini: “I chose to work primarily with denim, bought at charity stores that is then deconstructed, washed, sanitized, ironed and reassembled with patchwork method as the tiles of a mosaic. The joining of pieces with different hues gives me a lot of creative freedom to make the hand-crafted one-offs, repeatable but always different. This whole process takes place in my studio where I also sew and finish the garments.”
PV: What role does denim play in your creative process at Fade Out label ?
AB : “Both Andy Warhol and Yves Saint Laurent are quoted saying they regret not having invented it. Denim is an essential ingredient in my fashion’s recipes. The solidity and versatility of this fabric render it easy to use and apply in infinite ways.”
“Denim is an easy-to-find material and therefore perfect for recycling. It is also a unique fabric because it conserves time’s traces in its shades and fadings. It also fits perfectly with my ethos of zero-waste because every single piece, even leftovers, find use in my production.”
A campaign image with a message
Photographed by Sacha Tassilo Höchstetter, the new campaign image for the Denim Première Vision show tells the story of Fade Out Label’s rich and committed universe. The outfit worn by model Niklas Koehler is inspired by the “Femminielli”, homosexual male figures with feminine characters from the Neapolitan tradition.
Stylist: Konstantinos Gkoumpetis
Photographer: Sacha Tassilo Höchstetter
Model: Niklas Koehler
Hair & make-up: Sigi Kumpfmüller
PV : Can you tell us the story behind this picture ?
AB: “All of my clothes tell unique stories, and the pink outfit in this picture is inspired and dedicated to the “Femminielli” napoletani. “Femminiello” is a term used to refer to a population of homosexual males with markedly feminine gender expression in traditional Neapolitan culture. The term may be hard to define within modern Western notions of “gay men” versus “trans women”, since both these categories overlap to a degree in the case of femminielli. However it is not derogatory and does not carry a stigma; instead femminielli are traditionally believed to bring luck.
The jacket and the overalls were completely handmade by me, in my Berlin atelier. They are made using the patchwork method, with several pink recycled jeans, hand dyed blue and then bleached, plus recycled black plastic garden net. The overalls is embellished with applications of upcycled metal accessories. The choker is made of vintage white jeans, used pharmaceutical vials and metal elements. The colors were inspired by Lucian Freud’s paintings and the “Soft Sculptures” of Louise Bourgeois.”
PV: What would you like to convey to Denim PV visitors through this image?
AB: “I would like to convey my experience and my point of view on fashion: inclusiveness, sustainability, creativity and the passion that all of us designers put into our work. I’d like to tell them some stories made of garments and denim fabric.”
PV: Denim PV is coming for the first time in Berlin, where you live and work, how would you describe the denim culture of the city ?
AB : “Well, Berlin has a very special story about denim and jeans in particular, because during the Berlin Wall era it was practically forbidden to wear jeans in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (GDR).
Jeans embodied the antithesis of East Germany’s Soviet-occupied government: capitalism, and jeans-wearers were enemies of the state. To protect youth from outside dress influences, the SUP tried introducing a socialist clothing culture. Schools forbade blue jeans and any student wearing them was sent home. Even dance halls forbade blue jeans. For teenagers living in Berlin during the Cold War, blue jeans represented a forbidden Western culture, rebellion, and rock n’ roll!
But the jeans kept finding their way through contraband in the black market that sold them at an expensive price. So the GDR government began producing its own knock-offs — thick, stiff, uncomfortable blue jeans no one wanted to wear because the locally produced goods were such bad quality.
The situation changed with the fall of the wall in 1989, but even today, jeans are a symbol of freedom in Berlin. It’s no coincidence that I opened my own recycled denim fashion brand here in the German capital.”