In a rooftop atelier at the ‘far end of the world,’ Mieze Schmuckermeier – Berlin based founder of Fashion-Hackers – hands me a foamy coffee to offset the soggy weather. A silver-studded baseball cap tops off the black of Mieze’s Cleopatra-styled hair, cut to the chin, and I realise she’s dressed to work.
I am the last addition to today’s invite and her youthful team is already in giggling high spirits, busy with the imminent photo shoot. The Fashion-Hackers label is unsurprisingly a one-person gig and like most young upstarts, Mieze runs all aspects of the business herself, from makeup artist to stylist and conceptual designer to photographer.
It’s time to begin: Her face turning serious, the designer leads today’s model Shawny Sander into the makeshift makeup station while I snoop around. Mieze just recently returned from Munich bored with the industry’s pervasive palettes of grey, black, and navy. Now brushing past the Fashion-Hackers latest collection of zebra prints and sporty street-wear colours hung on the racks, I can sympathise. With the help of her assistants, these clothes, hair, makeup, shoes, and accessories all coalesce and Mieze drops the black baseball cap for a red beanie. In photographer mode, she personally readjusts the lights and arms herself with a 35mm Nikon.
I leave the focused team to shoot through the afternoon. There’s a playful yet determined energetic approach to Mieze’s work and I suddenly experience a flashback of meeting this charismatic woman at MBFW for the first time; She humorously judged business cards as boring, “so here’s a sticker instead!”…and who says no to stickers?