A new fashion label was launched this week in Berlin, bearing the euphonious, and somewhat mysterious, name of ‘Zellweger Warmwear’. The creative minds behind the label are Kiki Albrecht, Peter Klotz and Tim Tobias Zimmermann, who are no strangers to the Berlin fashion scene. Among other things, Albrecht and Klotz are responsible for brand communication and PR for Andy Wolf, while Zimmermann works as a stylist. When three ‘industry veterans’ team up to start a fashion label, it has to make sense. Fashionunited spoke to them about the motivations, plans and distribution of the new label.
How did the idea for Zellweger Warmwear come about?
Kiki Albrecht: A few years ago, Peter Klotz had the idea of developing a vegan, warming alternative to wool scarves. The range at that time had no room for new interpretations on the market. Products made from animal fibers such as sheep’s wool, cashmere or mohair dominate, especially in the premium and luxury segment. Or there is always a strong proportion of plastic in the materials in the alternatives – that is still the case today.
Together as a team, we found a new approach to the project during the break in the first Corona year and used the time intensively to work on developing a brand. In addition to the important points of product and production, it was extremely important for us to create an all-encompassing brand experience and a strong visual language.
How long did it take to develop the first collection and what were the biggest challenges?
For the first collection we wanted to focus on vegan scarves and blankets. The biggest challenge here was to find the right production company that shares our striving for innovation, sustainability and high quality.
The search for the right material was lengthy, since most high-quality factories rely on the animal fibers mentioned. The fact that, in addition to our fabric, the care and logo labels are made of pure cotton is also considered rather niche in the market. We have now been working for a year and a half on intensive research and the development of the brand.
What exactly does ‘Warmwear’ mean?
‘Warmwear’ playfully stands for high-quality warming products that combine fashion and interior accessories at the same time. The term defines a new product category and focuses on sustainable, innovative materials. Warming comfort, portability and versatility are just a few of the attributes that aim to make ‘warmwear’ a new constant in the fashion market.
The name Zellweger is the surname of one of the founding team’s grandmothers. As a child, she was adopted by a family and took the name Zellweger. This act of love and caring for one another is the basis and inspiration of the brand: security and the feeling of being at home.
Are there any plans to launch more products?
For the time being, we would like to establish the scarves and blankets in order to specifically associate our brand with the product and create strong visibility. We are pursuing the strategy of product-focused anchoring. Our collection offers timeless, long-lasting products that are meant to last for more than just one season. However, the definition of ‘warmwear’ also allows for new products and innovative materials that are supposed to surprise.
Should it stay with a B2C model, or are retail partnerships planned?
First of all, we want to get to know our customers and get a feeling for them, hence our own online shop. Mutual trust is important to us in order to establish a new brand like Zellweger Warmwear. Various offline forms of interaction with customers are being planned. In general, however, we see the next step as finding suitable partners who share our vision and brand message.
The products cost between 95 and 295 euros and are now available on the label’s website www.zellweger-warmwear.com.