We have a new interview for you: Nele Offner (on the right side of the picture) and Sabina Pal (on the left side of the picture), the women behind PAL OFFNER. We have known the two since their first collection and were able to follow every step and experience how much love and work they put into their designs and are thrilled every time 🙂
With these interviews we like to bring the people behind the brands in our online shop a closer and you get the chance to get to know them a bit better.
Because for us the interpersonal relationship at the fairs and the almost family atmosphere is what we appreciate the most and it is one of the most beautiful sides of our work.
How do you become designers / which professions did you learn?
Nele: I wanted to work in the creative domain, after school that much was clear.
After a few internships in architecture, grafic as well as stage and costume design I finally went for fashion design an made my studies at the university of design in Pforzheim. After some years working as a fashion designer I became attracted by a new challenge – founding Pal Offner.
Sabina: My Working live started in a creative environment, but not exactly in the world of fashion. After my degree in media-science I worked in client consulting after that in strategic consulting for an advertising agency. Up until then fashion was my hobby, but the moment Nele asked me about founding a fashion brand together, the decision was an easy one.
Cut, fabric or just an idea? What is the starting point of your work?
At the beginning there are many ideas buzzing in our heads, collected from observations an experiences during the weeks and month before the start of a new collection. They start to fall in place during the process.
Very important for us is to know which kind of material it is we will work with. Its because the characteristics of the fabric you find an decide to work with have a great impact on the design. Does the fabric have an extraordinary haptic it would be shame to distract with too much design. In such a case we go for a reduced design and a clear cut. Does the material falls really nicely we come up with ideas for that in now time. So for us it makes sense to commit on the fabric first before diving into every detail of design.
What does the colour black mean to you?
The color black is a kind of a screen for us. With its understatement it leaves space for ones own to shine.
For the ones wearing these clothes it means being able to show ones own personality ones character. For us designing it leaves space for leaving ones own imprint and to focus on form and design. The color black brings out individuality in an unobtrusive showy manner.
Do you draw your sketches by hand or do you use a computer?
Nele: That depends. Sometimes I scribble sketches on a napkin to transfer that later to a clean technical drawing. This is necessary, because no one, except me, could ever understand this abstract smearing later :D.
Other designs I drape directly on a dressmakers dummy. Sometimes I have to check and see directly how to translate a planned design, how does the fabric fall or if there is too much volume in the end. Later I transfer this into technical drawings on the computer.
What inspires you?
A ride with the tube, a walk through the woods, a concert, the birthday of a friend or the way to work.
This is how we came up with the handmade latex-print of our autumn/winter Collection 2016/17.
On the way to our showroom in the morning during the Paris fashion week we came to like the aesthetics of the numbers engraved into the concrete. Like the numbers engraved into the tar stand for the day of origin of a new piece of pavement, so the latex-prints on our clothings represent the date of the foundation of Pal Offner.
What else, beside fashion, would you like to create / have you already created?
Nele: So it is a kind of clothing as well, I think I would enjoy to let it crack properly. Experimenting with sculptural stage costumes or fancy clothing for children I would really enjoy.
Sabina: I have an affinity for interior design… I would like to create living accessories or furniture.
For the time being we two are fully engaged with our PAL OFFNER collections, so it will not come to that in the near future 🙂
Your fashionable forecast for the 20s?
With regard to the momentary situation we hope the people appreciation for small independent companies and production processes will gain and they will start to reflect their consumption behavior. Not in fashion only but throughout all industries.
Regarding clothing itself: We belief we all desire feeling secure and cosy, “light and free“ and to take live with humor. This is exactly what we try to express with our new summer collection 2021 that we are currently developing.
Thank you Nele and Sabina for your time and the great answers!