Can you give us an insight into Still Apparel, how did it all come about and who are the creatives behind it?
We started Still apparel in 2019 after working together on an internship in Berlin: Marine Candolfi from Geneva, Switzerland, and Anna Máthé from Cluj-Napoca, Romania. We realised that we shared the same vision in terms of aesthetics and values, and united to found the label. During the first couple of years, between living in different countries and Covid19, the possibilities of working in person were difficult and rare. Fortunately that’s behind us. Máthé studied at Cluj-Napoca University of Fine Arts and Design, and Candolfi at Istituto Marangoni in Milan, Italy.
What’s the story behind the name of the brand?
We shared this idea of stillness, creating something timeless, not hectic and disposable like fast-fashion but more slow, calm and conscious. So we arrived at Still Apparel when initially applying for a competition, and we have embraced the concept as a brand ever since.
Who do you design for?
Our designs are focused towards people who are young, active and creative, and part of the nightlife subculture. People with a certain awareness of the world around them, and consciousness about certain issues like climate change and inequalities, so that they make conscious choices about how they consume. Our customers choose Still Apparel instead of any fast fashion brand because it is handmade locally, in a sustainable and ethical way, they are conscious of the impact that their consumption has on the planet and people.
We started by thinking of our circle of friends and community, and made timeless pieces for day and night. It is very important for us to have a personal relationship with our customers, that is why making-to-order and having a physical store mattered. We are both very outgoing and love to meet people and connect, so we create for people with a similar lifestyle and try to create something that reflects our experience. We try not to follow trends, but to focus on the timeless and quality aspects of the garments.
Does your personality have similarities in any way with the current mood of your brand?
Still Apparel started as a love project, the focus was more on creating an aesthetic and clothes we would wear, and sharing our values and ethics, instead of the financial aspect.
We are very close and the nature of our relationship and personalities is reflected in our ideas, we want to let our designs and aesthetic speak for themselves. We are lucky to have great communication and trust each other, which makes the creative process easy, seamless and each of our voices heard.
How important are sustainability and ethical practices to you?
It is at the very core of our practices, and is what brought us together. Both of us had bad previous experiences in the fashion industry and saw closely how toxic, unsustainably and inherently throw-away the industry was, that is why we wanted to create our own brand, in order to apply a standard of ethics and core principles rare among big fashion companies. We try to create the change we want to see, to redefine the standards of the industry and raise awareness about issues like the effect the fashion production has on the planet, how companies treat their employees, and inclusivity about gender and size. That is why creating in a conscious and inclusive way, and being close to our customers is at the core of Still Apparel’s vision. We make most garments to order and will use fabric scraps, deadstock and leftovers whenever possible, to avoid waste. We consider ourselves as a slow fashion brand, so we try to apply sustainability and good work ethics in every step of our process.
Looking ahead, where do you see your brand in the future?
After years of remote online meetings, Anna will finally move to Berlin permanently and join Marine, to work physically together and have more opportunities for direct collaboration. This past year Still Apparel has grown a lot, we have been noticed by more and more people, had more opportunities like collaborations, editorials, photoshoots, interviews,etc, so we hope to follow that path and we can keep doing what we love, sharing it with people. Our goal is to raise awareness about a more conscious fashion and to do our part to change the industry.
Tell us a secret.
As a brand we work to be as transparent as we possibly can so we don’t keep any hidden secrets.
But if you want to know more about our personal, unadvertised facets and features as designers, you’ll have to spend more time with us. Secrets come into view with shared experience, and you can begin to unravel our details at our premier retail and atelier location in Schönleinstr. 26, Berlin.
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Fashion: Still Apparel / @still.apparel
Model: Ria Fei at Viva Models Berlin / @riafei @vivamodelsberlin
Location: SO/Das Stue / @soberlin.das.stue