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Before the shows started today, I had a chat about the state of fashion with a friend who is a designer herself. Even though we’re both from the industry we keep wondering – more and more every season – where all the stuff produced goes. There is so much out there and it is becoming increasingly difficult to make yourself heard, let alone sell your clothes. A pretty collection alone certainly isn’t enough in a world where many consumers demand iconic brands. Try to find a kid out there that doesn’t have at least one item of clothing with a Nike Swoosh on their backs.

Over the last five years, Malaika Raiss has managed to make herself heard. Last season Raiss told me that with her label’s fifth anniversary things started ‘to turn around’ business-wise. According to her website they sell in 20 stores worldwide. Not bad for a company that size. When you’re still in the stages of establishing your business as a designer, the balance between making a statement and having to sell your clothes is difficult to keep. You need to sell your clothes in order to survive. However, you also need to make a statement – see above.

For Spring/Summer 2017 Raiss makes her statement with ‘the big pleat’. All the pleated outfits managed to intrigue on the catwalk and convince even more when looked at more closely. Perfect choice of fabric with enough stand and crispness to make the pieces look elaborate and luxurious in a contemporary way. Raiss’ approach this season is strong. Looking forward to the designer’s next steps.

Björn Lüdtke

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