Wolfgang Joop Reflects on a Life Lived Fashionably
Isaac Perez Solano,
Fashion is radical and it will always be thanks to Wolfgang Joop, the German fashion designer behind JOOP! and, more recently, Wunderkind . Joop’s work refuses to reject the imperative to grow constantly out of the runways: books, exhibitions and a philanthropic dedication made him an angel between angels… maybe this was the reason why Princess Sophie of Isenburg chose Wolfgang to design her dress to marry Prince George of Prussia in August 2011.
A version of this exclusive interview first appeared in the pages of the 12th issue of ODDA Magazine.
What are you thinking right now?
Oh my god – It’s 2017! Is there any excuse for me being responsible for an annual amount of more than 1000 items a year? Right now the hunger for fashion seems to be already satisfied.
You’re not new in the industry; it’s been more than three decades and the creation of Wunderkind. What have you discovered in the way?
“Fashion” doesn’t describe the face of garments alone. “Fashion” is the name for a certain short time period. In that period our appointment with current movement is also visualized by what we are wearing and not wearing. If you are riding on top of the waves you are seen – if you are drowning – you are forgotten very fast. The planet fashion is a place for quick appearances and a place for fast disappearances. Remaining as long as I do is a demonstration, on how you act without self-pity.
Do you think visions like yours are altering the landscape of today’s fashion? In which way?
If your “fashion movement” is being stretched out over so many years – since decades you have learnt how to get up after stumbling. And you know how to turn failure into art.
What about parallel interests – both creative and commercial – when creating a product?
The idea of creating a certain product out of your mind that reaches one day the right customer is interesting. A product I have designed once for somebody to wear is much sexier for me than making a sculpture for example, which is cold when you are touching it.
You’re an avid art collector, particularly contemporary paintings and sculptures, as well as furniture. Who represents your artistic hero?
I have many heroes in art. Perhaps I mostly admire those artists who had the guts to make us change our way of looking at art, upside down. Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons ‘baptized’ trash or porn into iconography.
What do you dislike about contemporary culture?
That there is not one style, not one piece of art, not one piece of music I haven’t heard – but my soul is still waiting.
What’s your definition of fashion?
Fashion is passion, art is obsession.
Is it really a subjective term? Why?
In the word “passion” is “suffering”. Fashion can become an addiction: you can hardly stop early enough.
What’s the best industry advice you could provide right now?
Stay small and unique!
What are you looking for in 2017?
I’m hoping that real designed clothes will be more respected than the profit you can make out of them.
Isaac Perez Solano
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