• APRIL VON STAUFFENBERG - FASHION WILD CHILD AND SLOW FASHION HERO

    April von Stauffenberg

    Introducing April von Stauffenberg. We will not only feature her super cool label "After March" made of upcycled shirts on the wearness - April will also support us as a columnist from now on and host our first talk event in Berlin. But who is April anyway? We'll ask her directly herself...

     

    You call yourself a fashion wild child and a slow fashion hero… What’s it all about? 

    I just saw that quote from Ghandi again today: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and find that it’s so true. Being a responsible consumer used to mean that one was doomed to wearing dirty colors and unsexy burlap and boiled wool. Whereas if you’re a fashion wild child today, you can still wear Wonderwoman lycra (if it’s used, or if it’s been in your closet for 20 years as much of mine has!). The slow fashion stuff is pretty obvious these days, right? Lets put it another way: if you wear fast fashion, you’ve basically got blood on your hands. On my slow-fashion soap box, I’m refusing to participate in a system that rewards slave-wage labor. I don’t want to wear blinders anymore!

    Have you always loved fashion?

    Big yes here. I remember as a child picking out fabric at the fabric shop with Grandma Simpson who made me copies of dresses we’d find together in the fancy department stores. My uncle owned the most fashionable shop in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The love of fashion is in my blood.

    Is that, where you are originally from? 

    Yes, the land that elected Obama. I refuse to acknowledge the fiction that we live in now. But really, I was born in North Carolina, spent my teenage years in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Brazil, and then school in Massachusetts, and finally NYC. Since 1998 I'm in Berlin. It’s been 20 years!

    What are you doing here in Berlin?

    I'm writing and editing a lot (mostly texts about art, often for Art Basel). Art criticism is pretty much a dead genre and so I decided to turn my energies to a place where I can help evoke real change. It’s quite possible that instead of fashion being the 2nd largest cause of pollution in the world that it becomes the pioneer of world-changing practices.

    What do you love about fashion?

    It changes naked human beings into shape-shifting chameleons (though admittedly my spirit animal is the sloth).

    Have you always been interested in sustainability? Was there a key moment for you

    I think it was when I started seeing fashion as being political. It was probably the United Colors of Benetton ads by Olivier Toscani or images of Grace Jones, the ultimate female cool.

     

    That was the first instance, I guess, of seeing how fashion can change the world.

     

    Have you changed your life and your way of shopping since then?

    It’s an uphill battle, yes. Perversely, I used to think of myself as the last savior of clothes before they hit the landfills in Africa, buying up every last bit of unwanted sale Zara. I called Zara my “crack” and used to joke with friends about going to get a crack fix. I was an H&M and Zara addict. After Rana Plaza, and definitely after seeing the film THE TRUE COST, my worldview on fashion completely changed.

    You recently started your own small label called "After March": super cool upcycled shirts. When and how did you get the idea?

    I was thinking of ways to make vintage not just cool but also chic. The exact moment I can even pinpoint: it was when I saw this amazing Balenciaga (or was it Vetements?) button-up shirt with the back replicating the front with its double collar and it cost a whopping heart-attack 1250 euro. Do-it-yourself energies began coursing through my veins, so I began cutting up two shirts, and got all Edward Scissorhandy, and made mistakes, et voila, I eventually had a shirt that let’s you turn the arms into wings.

    Where do you get the shirts from? 

    I source them myself from local secondhand shops here in Berlin. Often, they’re unworn deadstock with the tags from the original maker still on them. All of them are 100% cotton and many of them are made in Germany!!

    April von Stauffenberg Aril von Stauffenberg 

    April wearing "After March" Shirts.

    Do you believe that you can convince other people to shop and live more sustainably? 

    YES. It’s what drives me! I’m constantly reminding someone or reprimanding myself when I buy an avocado, for instance, outside of the months of December and January. That’s when they are ripe in Spain (where we get our avocados here in Europe, at least). Did you know that? Otherwise, you’re taking part in the deforestation of the rain forest. We’ve got to stop this stupid avocado craze. And plastics, packaging, and polyester: they’re my pet peeves. 

    How do you do it?

    Instagram seems to be the only way, followed up by longer texts on my website HelloAfterMarch.com when I’m feeling very wordy. I wish I would write a bestselling novel about it, and I’m up for writing a Netflix series, for sure! 

     

    Fast fashion as we know it has got to come to an end!

     

    What are your (sustainable) hotspots in Berlin? 

    Hah! This could be the subject for an article for me to research for you! I’m always looking for ways to eat healthy (organic! no Monsanto!) outside of the home. Tiergarten is my favorite ‘sustainable’ do nothing, walk slow and look for mushrooms kinda place.

    What are your three favorite items on the wearness?

    Three? Surely you joke. I’m still a fashion addict, after all. Knowing that these products are made fairly and with love, the WANT list is endless. The ‘wish list’ by the way, is a total misnomer!

    dunkelblauer Smokingblazerblaues bedrucktes SeidenkleidHandtasche mit Perlenhenkel

     WOOL TUXEDO JACKET "CHYPRE" IN NAVY from PALLAS PARIS, €1,470.00. LONG SILK DRESS IN BLUE-BLACK from AN AN LONDREE, €495.00. LEATHER PHONE CANDY BAG "#" IN BLACK from GABRIELE FRANTZEN, €439.00.

    Schwarz-weißes CapeGestreiftes HemdBreiter Armreif auf Holz und Horn

     PATCHWORK SILK CAPE "DIAMOND" IN BLACK AND WHITE from THE CROCALE, €2,050.00. STRIPED CUPRO WRAP SHIRT IN BLACK AND WHITE from PHILOMENA, €350.00. JARANCANDA WOOD AND COW HORN CUFF "NUBINI" from FOUCHE, €740.00.

    Lange Ohrringe GoldVintage T-Shirt weißFell-Slipper aus Alpaka

    EARRINGS "THREAD LONG" IN GOLD from COCII JEWELRY - BY CLAUDIA LASSNER, €85.00. WHITE VINTAGE T-SHIRT WITH RAINBOW PATCH from KNITTED-LOVE, €75.00. ALPACA SLIPPERS "EXPRESS" IN HONEY BROWN from BABOOSHA PARIS, €250.00.

    Spa-Mantel bedruckt, blauBadeanzug AnthrazitKette mit Wolkenanhänger

     COTTON DRESSING GOWN "SPA" IN BLUE from AN AN LONDREE, €180.00. NECKHOLDER SWIMSUIT "TEODORA" IN DARK GREY WITH CREAM from 1 9 7 9 SWIMWEAR, €159.00. NECKLACE "SINGLE CLOUD" from VIERI FINE JEWELLERY, €990.00.
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