Brave hearts and hands

by editor-in-chief Melanie Scharlé
Photo – Ellin Anderegg

Courage is a driving force. As book and film lovers know, it writes the best stories. One does not have to jump out of helicopters or stand with extended arms on a galloping horse to display audacity. Life itself tests our braveness. Every decision that we take bears the risk to fail. On the other hand, a risky decision can turn out to be the right move to change things for the better.

Photo – Stefan Schmidlin

Gabriele Aberle, for instance, decided to leave her job as a bank accountant to continue the hat making business of her family in a time when folk traditions were not very popular anymore. She still makes the iconic Black Forest pompom hats by hand and sells them with success. 

The knitwear designs of Isabell Kraemer are very popular. Yet, she did not make the decision lightly to design fulltime. In the interview, she talks about what her life as a knitwear designer is like.

Photo – Stefan Schmidlin
Photo – Stephanie Braun

The product of Ann Cathrin Schönrock and Franziska Uhl is not widely known yet. However, it has the potential to rock the textile industry and is a bold venture by all means. They produce chiengora, dog wool, a luxurious fibre like cashmere. 

Deciding to make a living by hand-dying luxurious fibres, is the bold move that Andrea Hädener made. She has a great passion for them and has acquired in-depth knowledge to hand-dye silk, cashmere or fine merino in ethereal colours.

Courage is not the only driving force behind these stories. Another vital aspect is collaboration. Even when working alone, no one can make it without other people. Fourteen designers from around the world have contributed to this issue. Together, we are the heads and hands that have built this enchanted forest that is now ready for you to walk through.


Photo – Andrea Hädener

One of the big topics that you will encounter are capes, cape-like sleeves and interesting sleeve details. They appear in Haute Couture and are a strong feature on the runways and fashion weeks. You will come across them in the knit and crochet designs. A kind of coltish romanticism is en vogue, and it suits the forest theme very well. We have picked it up with ruffles and flounces that create soft, feminine looks. Paired with an asymmetrical hemline here and there the designs get a cool, modern twist.

When courage and collaboration join forces, great things can happen. They can even lead to an entire new magazine. The valiant Tailoress is about undertaking with verve. It combines sewing, knitting and crochet to create matching outfits right from the start. And as an intended side effect, it brings people and their crafts together. —

Designers featured in the first issue

Antoinette Andriese, Janet Baltosser, Heike Burkert, Antonia Cavaliere, Julie Comparini, Sandra Carmichael, Cristina Diaz, Donna Estin, Karianne Holhjem Schirmer, Elizabeth Johnston, Triin Kalbus, Eva Küpper, Uma Padmanabhan