Can you share with us an insight onto your brand.
I officially started the brand back in July 2019 and after shooting my first collection I was like „let‘s get things started!“. I did sew a few times before at art university, but since I bought my first own machine beginning of 2019, I have been sewing everyday. I‘m still learning and always trying new things, so i‘m excited what the future holds. Recently I changed my brand name. This was a process of months but I really needed a name that represents my concept more clearly (and that will not be mispronounced anymore!). With „Aphro Thene“ I think i found the perfect name to picture my post-feministic concept. The name is a fusion of the ancient greek deities Athene (who is the goddess of fight and wisdom) and Aphrodite (the goddess of beauty, love and passion) and represents the whole feminine divine as well as the different aspects of femininity. With my designs I want to fight the existing stereotypes about women that pushes them into different boxes. Women can be smart AND sexy, loving AND powerful, strong AND feminine dressing. Contrary to popular belief those qualities do not exclude each other. Since I‘m a big history and mythology fan, I was drawn to the name as soon as I came up with it. It also fits the two types of garments I make: The soft, flowing, sparkly pieces (Aphrodite) and the more black leather, warrior, fetish inspired (Athene) ones. I don‘t want to choose one of them, because both sides coexist peacefully within me.
Berlin based, fetish inspired, your motto is “futuristic fashion for hero(ine)s”. Can you tell us more abut your muses and inspirations that influence your collections?
My work is influenced by my childhood heroines who looked beautiful and wore cool outfits but were also strong/smart. Figures like Lara Croft, Tank Girl, Xena, Poison Ivy but also Miss Piggy, who kept beating up the bad boys in satin glove covered fists. Even as a child I loved about them that they were clearly feminine and sexy, but that didn‘t take away from their power. The futuristic aesthetic comes naturally to me. I don‘t know how to explain it. Maybe it‘s just my personal taste or the love for „unusual“ shapes and materials. But usually my sketches turn out to look somehow futuristic. Like outfits for futuristic action hero/ines. I have always been drawn to all weird and alienesque art (forms). But there is definitely also an influence from science fiction movies also. I‘m a movie addict and sci-fi is one of my preferred genres. Knowing how much humanhood evolved and changed over the past few centuries or even decades, always left me wondering how the world might look 500 or 1000 years from now. How I said before, the futuristic looks in those movies just fill my heart with excitement. The Matrix movies, Barbarella and the 5th Element costume designs are some of my all time favourites that influenced and inspired me. The fetish element is pretty Berlin and techno, I guess. Although I am originally from Frankfurt, this was my youth culture for so many years. At home I hardly listen to techno anymore, but I still feel so at home in the culture. Especially the Berlin typical fetish techno parties always feel like a safe haven for all the weird, extra and queer people to freely express themselves without the limits of social expectations and strict norms. But in general I‘m an imaginative person and find inspiration and new ideas everywhere, be it from nature (amazing structures and perfect problem solutions!), my colourful dreams, conversations I have, or from seeing other art. I love to try new things with unusual techniques or materials. This is my biggest passion.
You state that feminism and femininity are two of the key concepts behind your brand. How do you relate to them personally and whats your understandings of femaleness and womanhood in the contemporary context.
I came up with the term „feminsim & feminity“ during a university project back in 2016, where I made women friendly corsets. Basically it means you don‘t have to sacrifice your feminity in order to be accepted as a feminst. In politics and management positions it is daily business for women to dress basically like their male colleagues. In suits that cover up all curves and a tie in order to be taken seriously. Why is it that „girly“ or feminine looks are still associated with being less intelligent, serious or good at your job?