Leather Loves X Marina Hoermanseder

Leather Loves X Marina Hoermanseder

7th August 2020

Leather Loves X Marina Hoermanseder

Part of our Leather Loves series with contributing editor Mike Adler 

French-Austrian Designer Marina Hoermanseder has the worlds most famous celebrities on the forefront of her international success following her 2014 Berlin Fashion week debut. The Central Saint Martin and Esmod Berlin Graduate interned for Alexander McQueen where she then went on to develop her own fashion aesthetic inspired by orthopaedic supports, by manipulating leather.

From the moment I was introduced to the wonderfully eccentric world of Marina Hoermanseder I have been obsessed! Marina’s imagination and innovation, her process, and the immaculate completion to every piece is inspiring. In her story, I personally connect—a creative whose greatest achievement is in making her family proud.

Growing up in Vienna, Austria and like many creative around the world—with a strict family background, her parents forbid her to study fashion, insisting on an economics degree. With this achieved, Marina developed a keen interest in 18th century orthopaedics and skin disease, a subject of her first student collection at fashion school which remains the signature of her brand today.

With many of her teachers and colleagues underestimating the context to her inspiration—her final pieces walked the runway with immediate reverence, even from her biggest family critic. After her graduation, Marina recalls the moment she was driving to a leather fair in Italy and received the email entitled ‘Lady Gaga X Marina Hoedermanseder’. Hitting the breaks, she immediately dismissed the email as spam—but within a few days and true to its title, her collection was en route to Lady Gaga in United States.

In realising that the fashion industry understood her aesthetic, Marina created a further two collections from her home, commenting ‘This was incredibly important in understanding that great design doesn’t have to be met with the best machinery’.

Marina begins by building up the shape of a mannequin with orthopaedic foam creating volume which is then sculpted into an orthopaedic form. Softening the leather in water and moulding onto the bust or form, some designs are left to naturally harden, others are vegetable-tanned or hand-lacquered to create a resin-like finish.

The process can take anywhere from two days to three weeks, with some pieces containing hundreds of bespoke, hand painted leather buckles and embellishments—individually applied in her atelier to woven, twisted, harnessed, belted and strapped leather designs.

A strap skirt representing an arm brace, or an orthopaedic bodice, body or chest plate—the innovative use of leather, coupled with an exaggerated shape and a variety of finishes (matt and pop colour, glitter or lacquer), Marina’s progressive collections are as sophisticated and diverse as her clients.

A-list modern starlets and influencers Kylie Jenner, Nicki Minaj, Rhianna, Katie Perry, Taylor Swift, Janelle Monet, FKA Twigs, Naomi Campbell, Kelly Rowland, Janet Jackson, Pamela Anderson, Fergie, Lil Kim, Poppy and Gigi Hadid are among those spotted in her wares—and with International brand collaborations including leather goods for Hello Kitty, a special edition notebook for Moleskin and crystallised leather garments with Swarovski, the Hoermanseder brand has continued to see expediential growth.

At Marina Hoedermanseder online, in collaboration with Buffalo shoes, the pair of ‘Candy Boots’ that dance their way through Lady Gaga’s Stupid love music video are available to buy—worn by the star in one of her intergalactic disco pop costume interpretations, as well as the leather buckle jean (in black) like the rainbow pair she was spotted in at NYC pride in 2018.

Marina’s leather shop is testament to the resounding resilience and clarity of her design concept, dramatic artistry and floorless execution. An unequivocally successful silhouette cleverly balances proportion, femininity and fetish though orthopaedic flare—presenting her most Avant-garde pieces as both modern, stylish and commercially attractive. It is with the greatest admiration that I share my Leather Love for Marina Hoedermenseder!

Xx Mike

Featured image: Naomi Campbell in Marina Hoedermenseder