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In Talk: Tanja Stadler of Staji
Friday, Apr 15, 2011, 8:43 AM / Munich, Germany
Tanja Stadler is no stranger to the fashion business. Before establishing her urban chic label Staji, Stadler ran a distribution and styling agency, bringing British, Belgian and American cool into the comfortable lives of Munich’s fashionistas. Now the multi-talented designer is using these experiences to concentrate on her own label. TribaSpace spoke with Tanja to find out more about her latest enterprise.
TribaSpace: You established your first label ten years ago. What can you tell us more about the adventure?
I met an aspiring Canadian designer Maria Intscher in 2000, who at the time had just finished working for Alexander McQueen and Strenesse. She had many creative ideas, and I had similar thoughts on establishing and promoting a new brand. We connected immediately, and soon enough, the Maria Intscher brand was born.
For the next couple of years I commuted from the labels headquarters in Antwerp to my home in Munich, responsible for the sales and PR aspects of the business. The aesthetics of the brand were similar to the then famous Belgian designs: few colours, no-frills but accurate designs with a futuristic twist. The philosophy was to supply urban women with the right outfits for the ‘urban jungle’.
I made a contract with Moschillo in 2003, in order to enter the Italian market. However, due to my personal circumstances the brand was sold to Moschillo later on.
Your store Spielbar Tragbar in Munich was then born…
Spielbar Tragbar began as a collaboration with a record shop, and was one of the first concept stores to hit Munich. The combination of fashion and music was a blast. We created a second home for young urban people, who can afford designer labels, but struggled to find anything other than mainstream in Munich, and most of Germany, at the time.
We have introduced many designers to our customers: Raf Simons, Bernhard Wilhelm, A.F.Vandevorst, Haider Ackermann, Stephan Schneider, Bruno Pieters – soon the store became so hip that people from Austria and Northern Germany would visit. We also set up a temporary branch in Munich's hippest underground club, Erste Liga, where I organised fashion shows for 2000 guests.
At that time I started developing my eclectic style - influenced by street style, casual but yet always sensual, high quality and perfectly fitted.
My business partner and I both started to follow career different paths as we developed personally, so in 2006 he moved on to culture, and I, at the peak of my styling career, founded Staji.
What is the inspiration behind Staji?
It differs from the first label, in that it conveys a much more positive approach to life, it is more sensual, optimistic and puts my customers and what they want first.
I am convinced the energy of how clothes are produced is important for the wearer. Staji is produced by a highly specialised women-run handicraft business in the South of Germany. I do not believe in producing cheap at the cost of quality, and more importantly, the health of underpaid labour force in the third world.
Where do you stock and show? How does your distribution work?
I go “on tour” with the Staji collection to where my customers are, visiting different cities and staying at store for several weeks. Each shop is opened with a catwalk show, personal styling event and a party.
I have decided against stockists at the moment because I learnt my customers disagree with the way they have to shop for their favourite pieces. Thanks to the current distribution model, European fashionistas have to buy a bikini in snowy and freezing February, and winter boots in sizzling August. If you think about it, this is insane. Staji collections are not restricted to summer and winter clothing. Our mantra is ‘Reduce to the max’– with Staji designs, a women only needs one rail in her closet. We use silk, cotton, linen, tulle and chiffon, and I know our clothes are comfortable to wear. The invisible walls separating business and leisure do not exist when it comes to Staji.
Natasha Binar | TribaSpace
Sales, Textiles, Other, Publishing, PR, Ready-to-Wear, Creation
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