Designer Tilmann Wröbel is a bit of an all rounder. Known for working with prestigious names in Haute Couture in the 80’s – the likes of Christian Dior and Nina Ricci, he went on to jump ship to the denim industry, creating his own denim design office Monsieur-T in 2007. His new denim brand, Nadel & Pen, offers luxurious singularity; hand sewn tailored jeans with no machine assistance.
FLUX: What did you initially want to create with Nadel & Pen?
Tilmann Wröbel: I think, in the most humble way, our goal is to enables “passionates” to get the most noble and exclusive tailored jeans they ever dreamed about. To design a rugged luxury trouser, made in our home country, France, which escapes from the established rules and established taste of “Haute Couture”.
FLUX: What was it that made you decide to go down the hand crafted/tailored jeans route of denim?
TW: Our jeans are 100% hand sewn, to show their human touch, a bit like a manifesto against industrialisation, a trouser made to live through time, leaving behind it the ages of mass-manufacturing and fast-fashion. When thinking about absurd global trading-mechanics, mass market-uniforms and global pollution, we believe it is important to create home-made, hand-made, most individual and reliable garments.
FLUX: Would you say Nadel & Pen is more about quality and craftsmanship or design?
TW: This is where our singular offer of service and our experience in design, sets in. Our exclusive customer can take advantage of our design advice, select from a variety of rare fabrications and trimmings, to have his unique jeans be as “design” or as “traditional” as he wants it to be. In the end, the design of the trouser is custom made…. the very first encounter with our customer is “THE” privileged moment of shared passion, to understand where he wants us to go, and where we can take him.
FLUX: You’ve had a pretty unique career in the sense that you’ve experienced the process of working both in couture and streetwear. How have you found the two differ and compare?
TW: Having both experiences opens your mind a lot. It’s a bit like a precious gift for me. What compares couture and streetwear, is that both are sales driven these days. The biggest difference is probably the product culture; it’s really like two different worlds. What might be perceived “right” by the one might be perceived totally “wrong” by the other. Take top-stitchings as an example. Top-stitchings are king in the denim industry, and considered as a major mistake in the Haute-Couture, melting these two different cultures is one of our most important points for Nadel & Pen.
FLUX: Have you ever found it a struggle, particularly in the time of the recession, being in this niche of the market rather than the arguably quicker and more efficient mass produced one?
TW: Our main occupation is our denim-design agency, Monsieur-T ( www.Monsieur-T.com ), our Nadel & Pen offer is not sales driven, it’s all about sharing our passion, we have no pressure, no struggle, we simply propose this to people who are in love with exceptional things.
FLUX: Do you feel jeans in particular can perhaps be overlooked as a more throw away and expendable wardrobe staple? How do you want to change people’s perception of this?
TW: For sure there is throw away fast-fashion but we are apart from this. With Nadel & Pen, our customer can exchange, and maybe also update, his perception of noble fabrications and exclusive garments. Once you dive into this, you quickly see how unique this pigment and fabrication is, and how much these over 500 years of heritage make it’s fabrication noble, if it’s well made and correctly treated.
FLUX: What are your plans for the future? Would you ever consider branching away from denim into other areas of design?
TW: We are truly in passion with the material, the make, and the indigo-pigment; we do this to make people happy by offering them the jeans of their lifetime. The rest we’ll find out later!
Please visit www.nadelandpen.com for more information
words Anna Westerman