One could almost picture Anne Gorke, with her sweet face and feminine grace, sitting in a small side street restaurant enjoying lunch with a friend. As she pulls at the petals of an artichoke, the artist in her finds it hard not to notice the strong green hues and soft golden accents of nature’s edible flower.
But her journey into the fashion industry began long before this day. Born in Weimar, Germany, Anne earned a Bachelor’s degree in media culture from the cultural and design hub of Germany, the Bauhaus University Weimar. With a mix of clean architectural lines, sophisticated elegance and a bit of femininity, her designs stand head and shoulders apart from many of the collections on the runway for Spring and Summer 2014.
Home Is Where The He(art) Is
Often the origin of one’s roots, play a significant role in passions and career choice. Founded in 1860 as the Great Ducal Saxon Art School, the Bauhaus University Weimar has established itself as the place to be for students seeking the company of the creative. “[The Bauhaus Scene has] inspired my practice probably most by the form follows function aspect,” said Anne, “Overly designed objects I do not like at all, and this I transfer into my own designing process. I prefer visually calm surfaces and a certain elegant aesthetic. All this I learned during my time at Bauhaus University, and from growing up in Weimar.”
Being engulfed in creative energy and experiencing several years of fashion retail, led Anne to the nexus of an idea. She decided to tackle her dream of launching her own collection, and in 2003 this dream began to take shape into reality. Anne had great success at fashion shows across Germany and Austria, leading up to the eventual creation of her label ANNE GORKE in 2012.
Designs For The Future
However what Anne does, goes far beyond drawing pretty things on a piece of paper. In addition to stunning and bold designs, it is well known that her collections are 100% earth friendly, using organic and fair trade materials. Feeling that this is absolutely necessary for the future of the fashion industry, Anne says “Anything else is unrealistic. I really do not understand how the industry can just go on even though everyone knows about the lack of responsibility towards nature and humans involved in the whole process.” She goes on to say, “People die while working and nature is damaged in an irreparable way. Sooner or later the industry has to face this.”
For Anne Gorke, the choice to use sustainable practices was second nature. Even from her earliest beginnings, sustainability was never even a question. “We know exactly where our fabrics come from, we know what is in them and where they were made, same regarding zippers, buttons and lining,” said Anne, “Everything is produced close to our headquarters and atelier in Weimar, our production facilities are not more than 500km away from us. And we personally know the people that work for us.”
“Golden Khaki, Cool Silk and Bold Women.”
The ANNE GORKE autumn/winter 2013 collection, “Nightingales”, was the first and only sustainable collection at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, paving the way for the spring/summer 2014 collection “Artichokes”. “Our second show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin was a great moment because we made it to the stage a second time.” She added, ”We were not the sustainable label that only made it once on the runway. We came back and did it again.”
While most of her inspiration is drawn from photography and film, she has found that a moment of revelation can come from anywhere. The most recent “Artichokes” collection was spawned from a small, seemingly insignificant moment, when sitting and eating one. Out of a single thought she develops a mood, or an emotion that is carried deeply into her main creative outlet, fashion design. But fashion isn’t the only conduit for expression. When not drawing and preparing for the runway, she often spends time on film sets and with movie production companies. “I feel very much at home when it comes to film,” said Anne.
On Being Anne Gorke
The future of ANNE GORKE is bright green, with discussions of creating brick-and-mortar locations on the table, but the focus doesn’t end there. “To me it is important to stick to my beliefs and go my way,” says Anne, “You receive a lot of mean comments when you bring your sustainable label into competition with “normal“ brands. But I do not mind because I know that there are more and more labels following: having their own design, and their own aesthetic language and yet working sustainably. “ With the idea of building a strong brand and a healthy company, Anne urges any blossoming fashion designer to always make very good choices with regards to whom you are listening to in the industry, and never let go of your personal vision.
Article from THE RELATIONSHIP ISSUE