UF Voic­es — Tan­ja Christiani

Hear­ing so many diverse opin­ions was very inter­est­ing and eye-opening.”

Found­ed in 2016 in Berlin, Tan­ja Chris­tiani cre­ates puris­tic con­tem­po­rary wom­enswear. As a UF design­er, she joined Fash­ion Week­end Skop­je and 48H Maisons de Mode Lille in 2019. Tan­ja Chris­tiani shares her expe­ri­ences and out­comes from her par­tic­i­pa­tion to Unit­ed Fashion.

When and why did you start your own label?

After grad­u­at­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sci­ences (HTW Berlin) in 2015 I found­ed my label at the begin­ning of 2016. I start­ed think­ing about it for quite a while before my grad­u­a­tion so when the time came I just took the step and am real­ly hap­py I did. The most impor­tant thing for me was to be inde­pen­dent in my work, my time and the ener­gy I put into things. It was a learn­ing by doing process and still is and it helped me a lot to become the per­son I am today, both pro­fes­sion­al­ly and privately.

What is the DNA of your label?

My con­vic­tion is to keep the envi­ron­men­tal impact of pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion behav­ior as low as pos­si­ble. This is why we pro­duce all of our prod­ucts region­al­ly in Ger­many and in near­by Poland. With a con­sis­tent deci­sion against any pro­cess­ing of mate­ri­als of ani­mal ori­gin such as leather, fur, wool and silk, I’m con­stant­ly on the look­out for alter­na­tive mate­ri­als, prefer­ably nat­ur­al mate­ri­als such as cot­ton, vis­cose, ten­cel or linen. Even though I make two col­lec­tions per year I don’t fol­low trends because what mat­ters most is a gar­ment which is designed for longevi­ty and good com­bin­abil­i­ty for more than one season.

Where do you get your inspi­ra­tion from?

My main inspi­ra­tion has always been mod­ern archi­tec­ture, organ­ic archi­tec­ture, its fusion of build­ings and nature. Every col­lec­tion starts with the research on one or two archi­tects and their build­ings: I look into their work, their sketch­es, which mate­r­i­al they used, what their vision was. Putting dif­fer­ent parts of their work on the drawn fig­ure helps me to cre­ate dif­fer­ent shapes and details until it becomes a garment.

What do you con­sid­er the biggest chal­lenge the fash­ion indus­try is fac­ing today?

Sus­tain­abil­i­ty has become a very big top­ic in the past years. It is some­thing that most small brands were doing any­ways: pro­duc­ing local­ly and fair, keep­ing the envi­ron­men­tal impact of pro­duc­tion as low as pos­si­ble, focus­ing on high qual­i­ty and cru­el­ty-free fab­rics, but they’ve nev­er real­ly been tak­en seri­ous­ly. Final­ly cus­tomers have real­ized the impor­tance of sus­tain­able fash­ion because they found out about the prac­tices going on behind closed doors of the major high street brands for far too long. I hope for more appre­ci­a­tion from the cus­tomer for the process, the hard work and the gar­ment itself.

How are you involved with Unit­ed Fashion?

I was one of the design­ers dur­ing Fash­ion Week­end Skop­je in March/​April 2019 and again dur­ing Maisons de Mode in Lille in Sep­tem­ber 2019.

How did you expe­ri­ence your participation?

It was a great chance to show my col­lec­tions out­side of Ger­many and to strength­en my knowl­edge of the fash­ion indus­try, to estab­lish con­tacts with oth­er design­ers and pro­fes­sion­als, and to fur­ther my brand. I also made great friends there who keep inspir­ing me with their work eth­ic, who are not afraid to share their expe­ri­ences with me and vice ver­sa, which is not some­thing to be tak­en as a giv­en in this industry.

What result­ed from your par­tic­i­pa­tion to Unit­ed Fashion?

It helped me to get as much input as pos­si­ble in order to expand my name recog­ni­tion and gain a foothold beyond Ger­many and to learn from experts, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the pan­els and dis­cus­sions in Lille. Hear­ing so many diverse opin­ions and their exper­tise was very inter­est­ing and eye-open­ing. Above all, I was and still am inter­est­ed in net­work­ing out­side of Ger­many and build­ing trust­ing, last­ing rela­tion­ships with buy­ers, cus­tomers and oth­er creatives.

What’s next? What are you cur­rent­ly work­ing on?

Due to Covid-19 my stu­dio has been closed for the past 2 weeks so I was work­ing on my web­site, social media and online shop, made sketch­es for Spring/​Summer 21 but also slowed down which has always been hard for me with­out feel­ing guilty. Even though times are hard at the moment and nobody knows what will hap­pen after this is over I want to take it as it comes and not focus on what I should be doing right now and how pro­duc­tive I have to be. I hope that all the small bou­tiques and con­cept stores will be able to car­ry on after this and we will all be able to get back to nor­mal as quick­ly and as soon as possible.

Cred­its

Pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Susan­na Nikulin

Styling: Miguel Maldonado

Mod­el: Darya Rosenfeld

Agency: Pearl Mod­el Management

Design Assis­tant: Samia Saad