Label a lot less: Lena Meyer-Landrut on her job as a designer: "We basically don't produce anything outside of Europe"


Label a lot less: Lena Meyer-Landrut on her job as a designer: "We basically don't produce anything outside of Europe"

Ms. Meyer-Landrut, you presented a collection from your label a lot less at Milan Fashion Week for the first time. Were you very excited before the premiere? It was more joy than excitement. We had cool models and great music. The things we showed are from the current autumn-winter collection. Some of them are already available from About You, others will follow soon. It cannot be compared to the high fashion brands that have now presented their Spring-Summer 2023 designs in Milan. The people who sit in the front row at Gucci want to see what they can pre-order. Our clientele is different. For us it's about saying: It's autumn and winter now, so we also show the things that are available for autumn and winter.

There are now numerous celebrities who sell their own fashion line. What made you do it? Those responsible at About You approached me and asked me if I would like to do this with them. Then we sat down and thought about whether we could find common ground. Various criteria were important to me. I wanted it to be fairly produced and sustainable fashion - as good as possible in this price segment. But I also want the buyers to deal with the product and impart knowledge to them. What are natural materials? How do I handle this? What happens when you wash? What happens when you wear it? It's an ongoing process, and new questions or problems keep coming up. Solving that is also part of the challenge I wanted to face.

In the About You online shop, some items are marked as "more sustainable". What is the detail behind it? That is the spelling and the system of About You. I have no influence on that because it is a shop-in-shop system. A lot less is an About You brand, and About You has its own set of criteria. I can't say in detail what's behind it. I can only tell you my philosophy with which I try to lead and promote this label. My goal is to use materials that can be 100% recycled, such as organic cotton or recycled polyester, which we have now introduced in the autumn/winter collection.

According to the online shop, the parts of the collection are manufactured in Turkey, Bulgaria and Portugal. Do you know the factories and the local production conditions? I haven't been to all of our production facilities, but I have been to one in Portugal, for example. We combined that with an on-site shooting, so that the effort is worthwhile when you travel there. I am aware of all these things and try to be reflective about them. I think it should be about creating awareness, about being more self-interested and committed, about asking yourself: What am I actually doing, what are the effects and can I live with it? If you want to do everything right, then you can only live as a dropout and self-sufficient in the forest.

Thinking about expanding your collection? Maybe an accessory line or a men's line? Basically, we don't produce anything outside of Europe because of the transport routes. This pretty much rules out accessories, because they are not made in Europe at a price that we could offer them on a platform like About You. If we had shoes made in Italy that met the standard we aspire to, we would have to offer them to our customers for 800 euros. That is completely utopian.

You were in Tokyo recently. Was there a fashion trend that surprised or inspired you? What I took away from Japan is that I was much more daring when it came to fashion there. We tried a lot of things that were crazy by my standards. Actually I'm not like that. Perhaps something of this will be reflected in the next collection.