Désirée Klein | Balancing Structure and Simplicity

by BJ Panda Bear

Désirée Klein is a German designer who has been based in LA since 2011. Her work is structured with a strong silhouette, whilst also maintaining streamline cuts and constructions. This design point comes from her studies in product design at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. 

Previously the designer also ran NR.4 gallery space in Berlin and Paris Berlin with Louise Deschamp in L.A. These days see her working from the flagship Store in little Armenia. The transformative shapes of the smart clothing have been a worn by the smarter set of popstars from Peaches, Kelela, and Feist. We recently linked up with the designer to get insight into her designs as they fit in LA and the people who wear it.

What was it like to transition from Berlin to LA and how has that changed or influenced your aesthetic?

Moving to LA was a huge learning curve in terms of trying to make my creative practice into a business. Berlin was a very free and experimental time, I did not have to care much about money, because everything was still so cheap at the time, but there was also not much infrastructure for Fashion. No textiles, no production, no pattern makers/ graders. I am self-taught in fashion; I had studied product design. Berlin were my formative years. L.A is a big production place, so I have everything I need right in front of me. This made my collections more rational, wearable and producible.

What initially sparked your interest in fashion?

I am not very interested in fashion. I love clothing and making things. I love how clothing can make people feel and how it communicates. I think of Fashion as being the complex system of designing, production, marketing etc. which I have a difficult relation too. The best time I have with fashion is when I think about how to avoid it and work around it. This can be very creative and satisfying.

Do you feel that your designs match your personal style?

Yes, I wear a lot of my clothing. It is easy to wear and comfortable, but also fun and expressive.

You design with different shapes and body types in mind. Why is it important for you to design transformable garnets?

I like to see the garments more as tools for people to play with and express themselves. I love it when clients come up with version I had not thought about.

How would you define the aesthetic of your brand?

It’s simple and complex, playful and practical

In what other ways do you practice your creativity other than fashion designing?

I come from product design, so I like to create full environments for the garments. I had a space in Kreuzberg, Berlin back in the day and a Studio/ Store in Little Armenia, L.A For both these spaces I designed the furniture and interior. We also did regular events there with artist friends and musicians.

What’s next for you as well as the future of fashion?

There is a lot of change happening in retail right now. Its maybe what the music industry went through already. People know how to shop online now. It’s a bit scary, but also the right time to forge ahead and try new ways of Marketing and distribution. 

Photos courtesy of Désirée Klein

1709 N Kenmore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027