15 January 2014

Maya’s Style

BERLIN: This Fashion Week I will follow Maya Junger, the Creative Director of SET Fashion, which is a label known for cool pieces with a sexy  and feminine allure. The company, which has been around since the 50s, is known for high-quality materials, whether it is cotton, soft leather or silk. That makes the collection easy and comfortable to wear. 
Maya always amazes me. She was a lawyer in London and turned her company SET into a must-have brand. Her energy is fuelled by curiosity and imagination.

I talked to her about her days in Berlin and picked my favourite outfits from the spring/ summer collection.

Interview with Maya

In Berlin I prefer to stay at….?
At the Hotel de Rome. I love this hotel because it is so incredibly chic and sophisticated and during Berlin Fashion week it gets very buzzing and social, which makes it great fun to stay there.

You always bump into all kinds of people from the fashion crowd. That starts in the morning at breakfast time and finishes at the Hotel Bar late at night, where everyone meets up for drinks after parties and events. Those nights are notorious and it is great to mingle, catch up and have fun. 

In the summer, the Rooftop Bar is a highlight for a drink in between a busy day at the Fair and the parties at night.

The best breakfast is…
….in my hotel room. That is when I enjoy the peace and quiet before a hectic day and I take time to enjoy a healthy and delicious breakfast. I drink my juices and green tea, eat my granola and read the newspaper. That indulgent quiet time for myself gives me my energy for the day.

I actually cherish that time because my mornings at home are a sharp contrast to Berlin mornings. At home, I have to get myself ready for the office, plus my four children ready for school/kindergarten, by 8 am. That is always a big challenge and sometimes rather stressful, so there is rarely time for a proper indulgent breakfast.

In my luggage during Fashion Week I always carry with me…
Unfortunately, I just do not seem to be able to pack small when going away and end up carrying a huge suitcase with me wherever I go. For my Berlin trip I need loads of trendy outfits for my PR appointments, lunches and meetings at Bread and Butter. For daytime, it has to be my SET biker leather jacket, which I combine with my grey melange sweatshirt and ripped jeans; or a feminine skirt with sweat and leather jacket and little booties to go with. I will also most definitely wear my supersoft leather jogging pants, which are a favourite at the moment and which I do not want to take off these days.

Of course, for the nights, I need lots of glamorous party dresses, which I also team up with my leather jacket and with my favourite strappy sexy Alaia heels.
Very important to always carry with me is my rescue packet of vitamins and superfoods to get me through the long days, which can be so incredibly exhausting. I always take healthy nibbles like nuts and goji berries along, energy bars and energy shots for my quick fix in between meetings.

What makes Berlin so unique?
The city’s adrenaline and vibe during Fashion Week is unbelievably inspiring for me. There is a huge hype as fashion folk from all over the world get together for one big colourful ‘Fashion Party’.  People work hard but also play hard and there is loads of networking going on. Berlin as such is the perfect city as it is one of the most relaxed yet trendiest places to be in Europe. 

If you were to dress a Berlin woman, what would she be wearing?
She would wear SET, of course, preferably some item made out of our supersoft washed leather, which I adore. That would be my current favourite, our leather jogging pants or the leather biker jacket. Both are items which I wear all the time myself and love no matter in what combination or look I team it with.

How to you protect yourself against the icy cold of Berlin winters when you go out at night?
With my outerwear I tend to be very pragmatic. It always gets very cold in Berlin in January and as I am about to start my new Spring/Summer 2014/15 Collection straight after Berlin Fashion Week, I cannot take the risk of getting ill. So I always wear my thick parka on top of everything and that keeps me warm and cosy.

Something that you only find in Berlin, your favourite place?
A restaurant, Monsieur Vong, which is a Vietnamese place. I love Asian food ever since my London days and that one is a small place with just a few dishes which are always incredibly healthy and delicious. You cannot make a reservation and it is always packed, but it is worth the wait and I always manage to squeeze in a visit when in Berlin. 

What does your typical day look during Fashion Week?
My days in Berlin are packed with appointments. I spend a lot of time at Bread and Butter, where we have a big SET stand and where I join meetings with important customers. But there are also many press appointments, interviews or lunches, that are taking place during the week, so I tend to rush from one appointment to the next all the time.

At night we always make time for a big team dinner at Grill Royal on one of the nights, which is wild fun. And we go to the important parties of the week, like the Elle party at the Russian Embassy one night or the Vogue party at Borcharts the other.

In between all of these things happening, I try to rush to my favourite shops to see what’s happening in the stores and what new merchandising concepts there are, which is always inspiring for me. In Berlin, the days really would have to be longer than 24 hours……

Where and how to you recuperate?
In Berlin we work hard and play hard so there is no time for recharging my batteries.

I do that on the weekend at home and that is something that I do look forward to all week. I sleep in, take long walks with my husband, the kids and our dog, and stay put in front of our fireplace for hours on end being lazy. That could not be more different from my days in Berlin but I am infinitely grateful to be in the lucky position to have both. 

For a romantic dinner you prefer to go to ….?
In Berlin there is sadly no time for a romantic dinner.

And with friends ...?
With our team we always go to Grill Royal, which I love so much. It is a classic and I love this hot spot where you end up bumping into the whole fashion crowd. It is always a fun night, one we remember for a long time.

What inspires you most about Berlin?
Berlin is so unbelievably cool and easy going. Nobody there takes themselves too seriously and it has a vibe and internationality that you find nowhere else in Germany. It always inspires me and fills my head with new ideas. After my week there I cannot wait to get my new collection started….

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IRMA

brings good news to you.
She lives and travels around
the world, stopping wherever
she sees something interesting,
reporting on what inspires her.
She finds beauty in the
most varied places,
from fashion shows
to art exhibits, from lonely
beaches to bustling cities.

WHERE IS IRMA NOW?

MUNICH

When in Munich my
favorite store to look
for the best selection
of clothes is THERESA.
The staff is competent
and always has the
best ideas for styling
and mixing different
designers together.

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