After Marina Hoermanseder graduated from Central St. Martins College in London and finished an internship with Alexander McQueen, Berlin’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week offered her a show for the Spring Summer 2014 season. “I was twenty-seven and in Greece with my family when IMG called and asked if I would like to show in January. I told them I would call back—I needed to ask my parents,” she laughs. There first show was a success—Lady Gaga requested pieces from the designer directly. Eigteen months ago, Hoermanseder was working out of her kitchen. Now, after being inducted into the German Fashion Council’s inaugural mentorship program, she has an atelier with 16 people. She recently collaborated with Nike, and also designed uniforms for Austrian Airlines. Despite her global appeal, Hoermanseder credits Berlin with her success—and has no plans to leave. “I won’t turn my back from the city that gave me this chance,” she says.
Hoermanseder learned how to incorporate obscure references during her time at the McQueen studio, and often references eighteenth century orthopedic corsets, fetish gear, and brains in her designs. For her Spring 2016 collection, however, the designer took a more ladylike turn, incorporating delicate, three-dimensional leather flowers and porcelain-inspired pastel patterns. It wasn’t a total departure, however. An eighteenth century orthopedic corset provided inspiration for a blue lacquered breast plate, which was paired with a voluminous leather skirt.