Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Berlin Fashion Week 2010, which was reported as a cracked-out, no-holds-barred fashion spectacle ended last month. Once again, Berlin’s projektGALERIE whips up a batch of stellar fashion-infused events.

projektGALERIE is a showroom, temporary shop, press/PR agency and gallery. It exemplifies tightly concentrated cool that is Berlin. It was through projektGALERIE images that we stumbled upon the rather quirky designs by a young, up and coming fashion designer, Alisa Zillmann. Not surprising given the writer's obsession with hair accessories. Curious about the designer behind the designs, we got in touch with Alisa.

Despite the language barrier, Alisa who just celebrated her birthday last week was easy to get along with. We love her fun, bubbly and childlike cheerfulness. She managed to squeeze in some time to answer our questions, eventhough she's currently tied down with the preparations for her online store to be launched by the end of the month.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm Alisa, a fashion designer based in Berlin. I graduated from Berlin ESMOD School of Fashion in 2005 followed by an internship with Kaviar Gauche. Since, I've worked with Mabelline Jade and projektGALERIE. I'm a fashion stylist for a rather diverse portfolio of fashion labels and actors/actresses. I own a t-shirt label called ZILLE.

I'm currently retailing my designs under the fashion label ZILLMANN in projektGALERIE showroom.

2. Who is your style icon + what do you like about their style?

My personal style icons would definitely be Bridgitte Bardot, Twiggy, Coco Chanel, Gwen Stefani, and some friends. I think that they are just real and brave!

I love women who put an effort to dress up, but with a flair. I just can take the woman seriously, especially those who are authentic.

3. Tell us more about your brand Zillmann + your creation.

ZILLMANN is a fashion label based in Berlin, which is at the moment focused on accessories. The accessories such as exeptional hats and hairbands are primarily made for women, but also intended for extrovert men and boys.

I'm using feathers, rivets and other unusual materials for my fascinators (leather based) and hairbands. Every piece is unique in its own way, because they are handmade. The style is progressive and avant-garde but wearable as well.

Keywords associated with the designs are Native Americans + Pocahontas + Twenties + Thirties + Tomorrow + Birds.

4. What has been the most exciting part/thing to happen since setting up Zillmann?

At the onset, it was a mere experiment of bringing many different materials together to see how they developed into an end product. Since, the requests and interests have been overwhelming.

5. Apart from creating those dramatic hair pieces, what do you do?

I'm also an illustrator and a bartender. You will see them in my fotoshoot. It will also contain personal elements like my first one.

Perhaps I'll be in a band soon too.

6. Who do you want to see wearing your hair pieces?

Cool people with taste.

7. What first made you want to become a designer? What prompted you to set up Zillmann?

I knew, I have to go into arts. I need dramatic and joyful moments in my life but I also need boredom by doing nothing.

I had a lot of jobs in the scene ... I knew its a good time to start ...

8. We understand that your elder brother, Daniel, is the vocalist of the band Straight to the Rabbits. Tell us a bit about him + if his involvement in music has any influence in your design.

And he is also a very good actor and a very good artist.

We're connected by living out our creativity. We've even worked together (I designed their band logo, the embryo bunny) he also wears my hairbands at his concerts.

Luckily, we share a similar style and enjoy our work. Our parents are happy about it.

9. Name your top 5 books, movies, musics + website.


Haruki Murakami books (I love how he mixes reality and surrealism)


Frida Kahlo

Otto Dix

Tamara de Lempicka

and many more

Oh love movies, especially inspiring movies from the 80ies:

Never Ending Story

Back to The Future

Star Wars

Roger Rabbit (I love Jessica Rabbit, I find her inspirational for my art)

and a lot of more


Florence and The Machine

Gwen Stefani

Kings of Leon

Kate Bush

Janis Joplin

Etta James

music to dance

many more

Of late, I spend a lot of time on my own website and blog:



10. Share with us Berlin's best kept secret(s)?

You'll find the world in Berlin, it's quite a cosmopolitan.

11. Where would we find you on a typical Saturday afternoon?

Typical situation:

My friend Nora and myself, were work in the bar/club called Enklave (cellar room; you actually have to climb through a hole to come in) on Friday nights.

On Saturdays, I'll have a long brunch with my friends, Nora, Nicole and Amelle. While we're sitting in a cafè in Neukölln, we'd accidently bump into my brother and Dennis, Heide and Nico would later appear with their son Toni. The group at brunch would get bigger and we'll need more chairs. Though we are there with hangovers, we'll tell stories (very loud) till we hear more "hello guys" from the other side of the street.

Friends. Chairs. Friends. Chairs.

We'll be making plans for the evening. A lot of possibilities in Berlin. Eating ice cream at "Fräulein Frost" at 11 pm, chilling in one of our parks, dancing in clubs. Just moving between two districts.

But normally, we'd ended up staying in that first cafè, till it's time to go to bed.

12. In 10 years time, where would you want to be?

Still in fashion and arts.

To Bijou peeps, Alisa is currently running a competition on her Facebook group, which ends 31 August 2010.

Just print Zillmann logo, wear it creatively, take a picture to be posted in the Facebook group and collect the most "like" to win. Easy peasy!

Alisa is going to launch her online store at the end of this month, international customers are welcome. Fanpics wearing Zillmann pieces will be published on her website, with their approval (category: walk of family).

Note: the feathers used by Zillmann are from German (not protected) poultries including Turkey, Cock, Hen, Pheasant and Guinea Fowl.

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