LCM Interview: Verena Schepperheyn

With a focus on clean cuts, utility detailing and aquatic digital prints, Verena Schepperheyn‘s latest collection instantly caught our eye in the Designer Showrooms at London Collections: Men A/W16. Having graduated from ArtEZ in 2014, this up-and-coming Berlin-based designer takes time out of her busy schedule to present her designs in both London and Paris, exploring contrasts like tradition vs. modernity and tailoring vs. streetwear in her contemporary menswear creations. 

What’s the story behind your new A/W16 collection?

Autumn/Winter 2016 was initially inspired by my family crest, which shows a fisherman on a boat. I found it back in the summer holidays when I was visiting my grandparents, and it was still sticking in my head when I started to work on the range. I was looking at fisherman‘s clothing and subaqueous landscapes and built, inspired by what I’d seen, the different elements of the collection. The silhouettes are straight but oversized, and we played with lots of pocket, belt and collar details.

_JLB9553 © jean-luc brouard  LCM Verena Schepperheyn

 

What are the key pieces?

A digitally printed underwater velvet coat, an angora knitwear sweater with a scuba diver motif and a woollen oversized petrol jacket with belt details.

 

I’m intrigued by the unique way you experiment with unconventional shapes and textures. Do you think men are becoming braver with what they wear these days?

Yes, I think men are becoming braver in the way they see and buy fashion – but the important thing should always be that the person feels comfortable and authentic in the clothes he/she is wearing. Some people feel comfortable in more experimental or colourful pieces, others don’t. Therefore, we offer a wide range of different kinds of garments.

_JLB9597 © jean-luc brouard  LCM Verena Schepperheyn

 

Leading on from that, how do you think your label relates to the current gender-blurring movement in fashion?

I actually don’t think too much about that while designing; for me, it feels like something which is very anchored in men’s and women’s fashion nowadays. But despite – or probably because of that – I experienced that men and women both feel attracted to the past collection.

 

Do you have a specific vision of the Verena Schepperheyn man?

I’m actually intrigued with how the collection pieces change by the personality and look of the wearer, so I rather don’t want to limit this image by pointing out any adjectives.

_JLB9586 © jean-luc brouard  LCM Verena Schepperheyn

 

If you could style anyone in your new collection, who would it be?

Mmmhh… I would like to see the collection on Adam Driver. I think he has a strong personality and a very unique look that I like a lot.

 

Having graduated in 2014, what would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned in your career to date?

It is still quite challenging each day, as there are so many other things besides the design part that you need to focus on. Still, I think it is very exciting to work in so many different fields at the same time, and to see how everything comes together in the end. I had to learn to make decisions fast and to stick to them… that has been one of the hardest lessons so far. It’s a fast-paced industry, and if you want to have your garments finished at the given deadline, you should order your fabrics in time.

 

_JLB9564 © jean-luc brouard  LCM Verena Schepperheyn

 

What’s been your highlight of LCM this season?

Matthew Miller. I really liked the combination of refined traditional and youthful elements – the handpainted canvas draped on the models were just amazing.

 

As a Berlin-based designer, how do you find the experience of showing collections in London? Do you find your styles are received any differently?

Yes, every city has a kind of style that you can see in the shown collections. London Collections Men is a lot about print; it’s very vibrant, bold and young, but still in balance with classical tailoring elements. I really like that mix, and experienced that my collections fit very well to that kind of style. It will be the first time that we show during Paris Men’s Fashion Week this season too, so I’m really curious to see how the collection will be received there.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2016?

At the moment, we are in the busy period of finishing the Autumn/Winter 2016 range to show in Paris later this week. After that, the next collection is waiting for us. I would be also happy to do a collaboration with an accessory brand – I would love to dabble in designing bags, shoes or hats!