Interview with EFWA2017 Upcycling Designer Sacha Cooper 0f Cooper Hotcooture (Luxembourg)

Please share about about the journey that led you to fashion design.

I was always fascinated by and interested in fashion and started drawing clothes since the moment I could hold a pen. It was therefore pretty quickly clear to me that I wanted to follow this path and went seeing a few fashion design schools in Germany, where my mother was originally from. When I got approved to ESMOD Munich and, a year after, to a fashion design academy in Duesseldorf I just followed my passion and learned all about the fashion industry.

Photography by Harald K
I know you trained at ESMOD and AMD (Akademie für Mode & Design). Talk about the highs and lows of studying fashion design. What did you find easy? What was a challenge?

Studying fashion design wasn't always easy and the most important in my opinion is to stay true to yourself from the beginning. I had many downs when faced with a few teachers who had their very tight taste and usually gave best grades to the students that designed what the teachers wanted.

I was more the rebel kind of person and designed what I wanted instead of what the mostly female teachers would wanna wear. Luckily my guts usually gave me right as I ended up being the student that won the most design challenges and prizes during my studies.

Who you are as a designer? Aesthetic? Customer? Brand? Etc.? Do you offer a new line each season, create custom work or both?

As a designer I'd consider myself as someone aesthetic, not thinking too much and design what comes into my mind with always a certain subtle sexiness and playful class. I often see women wearing labels from head to toe, not because it suits them perfectly but only to show off the money they spend on fashion and accessories.

Collaboration to dress the runner ups
 of Miss Côte d'Azur
Even though they'd be the perfect customers when it comes to money, my aim is to design for the remaining women. Being in love with fashion while staying true to themselves without focusing on seasonal trends only. This is also how I work as a designer. I never watch fashion shows or have any designer as my idol but listen to my inner voice only and design what comes into my mind with the fabrics I think fit best. I pay a lot of attention to details, to a high quality of fabrics and try to offer affordable couture as ready-to-wear designs.

This is therefore the main reason why I offer 1-2 lines per year but also custom work under the condition that it fits my design aesthetics. I had many offers that I refused because it simply didn't tell me that I'd stay true to myself by doing it,

I am so thrilled to have you a part of the EFWA Upcycling Challenge by Marilyn R Wilson. Have you ever upcycled used garments before? If so, how?

First of all, I'm very delighted to be part of this challenge with many talented internationally acclaimed designers and hope I can stun the crowd.

It is indeed not my first time that I upcycle a garment. During my studies we had such a challenge where I upcycled a bathing robe and turned it into a 2-piece hippy design with pearls and sequins we got sponsored for the challenge. I just tried to think outside the box for this past challenge and was happy when I was told that I was voted first winner.

Video from Vancouver Fashion Week FW 17

Please share a little about your approach/inspiration for creating your runway look for this international show? What can the audience expect?

Well, I don't want to take away the surprise but I can say that I am going with something sleek and playful in black & white, including same colored patterns hoping it will please the audience.

What would you most like the international fashion audience to know about you as a designer and your brand?

That I love to be underestimated, always go with my guts instead of trends and offer fully handmade garments enabling me to be proud owner of the official label 'Made In Luxembourg'.

Photography by Simon Armstrong
What's next for you as a designer? What are your long term dreams?

My current project is to rock my participation at Eco Fashion Week Australia and I also have another project to make a collection out of a newly created color pattern for interior design fabrics.
As a long term dream I would love to open my own concept boutique where sadly this is the only dream I still don't have the guts for as I fear it wouldn't work due to financial impact.

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Instagram - @cooperhotcooture/
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