As teenage friends, Freddy Tratlehner and Perre van den Brink have been daydreaming of crafting their own menswear label since the age of 16. Finally ready for the challenge, today the self-taught designers are officially launching their full debut collection. Browse their dreamy campaign—starring all-round talent Torus—and get to know them here.
You’ve both had a career in various creative disciplines. What made you want to turn your attention to designing clothes?
We grew up together in Amsterdam-Noord and ever since we were 16 and hanging out, we fantasized about setting up our own menswear label. Over the years we both developed our own careers, but the idea of developing a physical product and building something from the ground up kept knocking at our door. In 2013 we decided to just go for it.
You released two capsule collections in 2013 and 2014, but now launch the brand officially. Can you tell us about your journey from then to now?
It was quite a ride. We’re not schooled in fashion design so we had to find out everything for ourselves, which was quite challenging, but it was also the fun part. We did the first two capsule collections (handmade) in Amsterdam so we could learn the entire process of producing garments. After these two collections we took some time to think about all the other stuff. We collaborated with an amazing design agency from London on our graphic identity, we went to Portugal to source factories and eventually we did the sales of our clothes. Now, two years later, it’s really starting to take off and we’re ready to launch.
What does a Tratlehner customer stand for?
A Tratlehner customer appreciates products that are great in their category. Products that are made with love, with great attention to detail. That goes for his clothes, but also for anything else. If he drinks wine, he wants to drink a good wine. We try to answer to that need with the clothes we create.
Your new campaign images reflect a theme of the natural versus the industrial. Is this something you explore with your clothing?
Definitely. There’s lots of links to both nature and technology in our clothes. Main inspirations for our brand come from technology and architecture, but definitely also from nature and—for example—animal skin patterns. For instance, our logo and some of our patterns are inspired by the nose of the supersonic Concorde airplane.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process? How are your designs born?
In essence it’s quite simple; the clothes are what we would like to wear ourselves. In terms of process: we talk a lot and share images that could start a design. Then Freddy does the sketching and we have someone who helps us out developing these designs into technical files that are ready to go into production.
How do your other creative endeavours influence your design?
Well, when you have a DIY kind of attitude and aren’t professionally schooled with a fashion education, you find yourself coming up with different solutions. Having spent all of our professional lives in different disciplines also helps us to get to see a bigger picture. In the end, this is just a different form of expression. If you have a vision you can get there.
You collaborated with Torus on your campaign and lookbook. What made you choose him specifically to model?
Imke Ligthart, the great photographer who shot our campaign, proposed to work with him. He’s a great guy and really has his own particular style, which we liked, so when we were shooting the lookbook we asked him to do that one as well.