German-born, London-based Markus Lupfer is the man who gave us wearable and fun statement knitwear, not to mention some of the quirkiest accessories and outerwear. His creations are as at home in the bars of Hoxton as they are on the backs of chairs at La Soucoupe in Courchevel. His trademark witty glamour has earned Lupfer a following that includes Madonna, Cara Delevingne, Olivia Palermo and Rihanna. Kitty Harris catches up with him in between collections
LUX: What sparked your interest in fashion?
Markus Lupfer: I wanted to be a fashion designer since I was 16 years old… It was my dream and it was all I ever wanted to do! I used to draw and sketch during maths and English classes to the annoyance of my teachers.
LUX: Where did the inspiration for your sequin embroidered sweaters come from?
ML: I developed the very first sequin jumper in 2007, which was actually our sequin lip jumper. The lip is a reference to my signature, which are two lips (kiss kiss) instead of an ‘xx’. The first time I saw the embroidery test of the lip I loved it and it has grown from there.
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LUX: Your designs always have a playful, uplifting element like your cherry and lip motifs. How much does your mood guide your designing?
ML: At the beginning of the season I try to create an overall mood and feel for the collection. The mood of the girl is important and varies from season to season… sometimes she is more glamorous, sometimes she’s got more attitude and is tougher, sometimes she is more romantic… however, there is always something light-hearted in our collections.
LUX: In your AW15 men’s collection, your hand-drawn prints resembled comics, while the following year’s collection incorporated the bear and birds again. How do you keep your illustrations fresh?
ML: Each season the inspiration comes with an instinctive idea, something that really excites me at the time. It could be art, or a place, a movie or music; it really varies. I always try to find a point of difference with our illustrations, something new, something unusual, something desirable.
LUX: Why did you decide on the phrase ‘Don’t question it – wear it’ for this year’s pre-Fall collection?
ML: It was all about unusual contrasts. For example, we had some studded high-gloss belts styled with pretty dresses – it was an unusual combination, so that’s why we used that phrase.
LUX: What is the biggest challenge you face as a designer?
ML: We are now working on four womenswear collections a year, which means that there is a deadline every three months. It’s exciting but it’s also challenging.
LUX: Who is your ideal client?
ML: I am always so excited when I see someone wearing Markus Lupfer in the street. It really means a lot to me. I have been in the lucky position of dressing some of the most incredible girls, people like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Ellie Bamber and Maisie Williams.
LUX: What lies ahead for the brand?
ML: This year we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of our lip design. We are working on a special project for autumn which is very exciting.
LUX: What is your proudest achievement in your career to date?
ML: Being able to be creative and do what I love most all of the time.
LUX: Are there any clothes you won’t wear?
ML: I don’t wear flip-flops.
LUX: If you had the chance to study again what would you learn?
ML: Astronomy – I would love to learn all about the stars and space.
LUX: What is your motto?
ML: Always enjoy what you do and try to make life more beautiful.