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Designer Michael Kampe

Spotted by Viktor & Rolf and Diesel, the menswear designer's aesthetics have been inspired by 'exploded view drawings' and digital prints

Michael Kampe didn't quite win the big prize at Trieste’s ITS#9 competition but the likes of Viktor & Rolf and Diesel’s Ronzo Rosso have been impressed by his 3D work with fabrics and denim treatments used in his 'Exploded View' collection. His aesthetics are strongly influenced by urban wear, modern art and culture amongst interesting shapes, print designs and new fabric treatments and prints. Before moving to Italy as a part of the Diesel Award, Dazed talked to the new talent, born out of the Antwerp Royal Academy.

Where are you from/where you live?
I am from Berlin, studied the last three years in Antwerp and will be moving to Italy next month.

How old are you?

How you became interested in fashion?
Since I sketched my first designs in art-class by the age of 18, I was infected. Then I taught myself tailoring only by "reading" clothes, so when I felt that my 2D ideas can become alive in 3D I knew that this was what I want to do.

What's your collection about?
My main Inspiration are 'Exploded View Drawings'. I was fascinated about the idea and image you get when you deconstruct existing pieces to its several parts and afterwards reconstruct them to a new piece. By doing so I changed their cut and experimented with new combinations of fabrics.

Where do you seek for inspiration?
For the shapes I am inspired by architects and artists like Lebbeus Woods, Florian Baudrexel, E.V. Day and Lucy McRae (Lucy&Bart). Most of them I found on my gallery-trips in Berlin.
Why menswear?
In terms of innovation/function Menswear grabs me the most. I want to develop new shapes without losing the masculine aspect in the clothes which is essential for me.

What kind of fabrics and materials you use?
It is mix of digital printed cotton on foam, handbag leather, jersey with nylon and poplins with linen.

Tell us about the prints?
I created the prints by cutting photos from my inspiration. It was important for me that they are vivid and create an all-over look that covers the complete silhouette.

What do you think about German fashion?
I can feel a lot growing especially in Berlin, but still most of it does not seem very daring and fresh to me. I am sure this will change to next five years, especially if you think of how successful German designers are in international companies.

Plans for the future?
Next month I will start working for Diesel and besides that i will keep on designing for my own line KAMPE. A casual denim line and women's collection are planned as well.

Who is your favourite designer and why?
From the 'old league', I like Charles James and Cristobal Balenciaga. From the recent Martin Margiela is interesting to me.

Where can we see your work?
I am planning presentations at Art Fairs and Showrooms the coming months - which will be announced on my Facebook page, meanwhile you are welcome to have a look on my photostream.

Photography Soonhyun Choi, Lucy McRae
Model Ezekiel Chibo @ Dominique Models
Stylist Lucy McRae
Make-Up Ruben De Muynck