Interview: Camille Boyer
Camille Boyer/Philipp Horak

Interview: Camille Boyer


Occupation Fashion Networker & Fashion Expert (& mum) Supports young designers on their path to fashion heaven Favourite item of clothing my pyjamas (still hoping to sleep more) You can find her currently in her office, 24/7.

“Zeitgeist is not a trend”

Born in France, Camille Boyer has been playing a key role in awakening Vienna from its fashion slumber over the past 15 years. Together with Marlene Agreiter she founded the Austrian Fashion Association, a hub for fashion, art and business. They collaborated with creative minds to develop the TAKE Festival for Independent Fashion and Arts, which intends to show the whole spectrum of contemporary Viennese artistic creativity in the old post office headquarters (Alte Post). TAKE: is the name also a call to buy? Of course we don’t just mean “take” in the economic sense! It’s about getting impressions and ideas. But throughout the whole festival there is also a pop-up store. Which brands and designers will be there? At the Austrian Fashion Awards on 19th April, the promising nominees for the City of Vienna fashion award and the Federal Chancellery will be on display. Such as DMMJK, Leopold Bossert, Marie Oberkönig and Raphael Caric, but also the winners of the Federal Chancellery’s outstanding artist award for experimental fashion design and the Wien Products Accessories Awards. Two days later, five labels supported by departure will present their collections, including the internationally successful Viennese designer Arthur Arbesser, who is bringing along his autumn/winter 2016 collection, Femme Maison, Pia Bauernberger and Sabinna, who made her debut at London Fashion Week in February 2015. And which trends will attract our attention? It’s difficult to say. Because our designers aren’t that trend-oriented. It’s less about working commercially than about identity and having a signature. It’s about the zeitgeist, I’d say, but zeitgeist per se is not a trend. It’s about new ways, work processes, sustainability, being made in Europe and a high level of quality both in terms of production and details. Another highlight at the Alte Post will be a challenge.  Yes. We wanted to have a wide variety of artistic approaches – including critical ones. Photography, film, fine art, designers: we’ve invited over 30 independent artists who explore the topic of fashion. For example, the photographer Elsa Okazaki acts as a curator in one challenge project: she’s connected artists with young designers. Or Adia Trischler and Violetta König: they’ve styled and taken photos of fashion at the WU Vienna University of Economics and Business. Is Vienna on its way to becoming an independent fashion metropolis? There are enough of them already. Vienna has a different, very strong identity, one that’s artistic, conceptual, reflective. That’s what we want to demonstrate with this festival. In the past, Viennese style was once very distinctive. Do you think something like that is evolving again now? No, the mélange of nationalities in Vienna is too rich for a single Viennese style to emerge. Vienna is different from London or Paris. The rhythm is different. Vienna is a very easy-going city. That’s dangerous on the one hand, but on the other that’s precisely what creates a certain freedom for artists and designers to trigger things, to think differently and in a new way, to realize their ideas. The filmmaker Andrew C. Standen-Raz delves into precisely this point in his new project CUT. Is it because of the Viennese themselves? People don’t exactly say we have a very pronounced fashion sense. Are the Viennese simply bad at dressing well, or is it down to the fact we don’t want to express ourselves? People here express themselves in different ways. Fashion isn’t a priority. And the functional aspect of fashion is very pronounced here. That’s definitely not the case in Paris. Functionality isn’t even challenged here. Why? It’s to do with geography. In Paris you can’t walk to the Old Danube to go swimming in just 20 minutes, or travel 30 minutes to go for a hike in the Vienna Woods. And the climate plays a part, too. In Paris I always paid a lot of attention to what I wore. During my first year in Vienna my shoes were ruined in the first snow in October. And I quickly swapped my nice little jacket for a down coat. Does the range of products even reach the consumers? Lots of people would like to buy Austrian labels, but they often don’t know where they should start looking. I think it’s like the trend for organic food 20 years ago. Back then you really had to look hard to find any organic produce. Now you can get it everywhere. Even though there aren’t many shops that have Austrian designs in their portfolio, their numbers are constantly increasing, and I’m looking forward to them becoming commonplace!
TAKE Festival for Independent Fashion and Arts ALTE POST, Dominikanerbastei 11, 1010 Wien. Festival package incl. all public shows and parties: €65. For tickets for the individual shows and admission to the festival, go to:

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