Alwa Petroni, is a successful Austrian Fashion Designer, although she made a career as a researcher at the University of Vienna, having the urge to do something more artistic, twist her career, and end up in the Fashion industry in Austria. She looks for inspiration in everything that is around her, and details of her design are just perfect. More than just a fashion designer she is also a milliner with sophisticate and delicate headpieces. Her headpieces you can find them not just through her website but also at Tiberius store in Vienna.
For those who don’t know you, tell us about your background?
I have been sewing and creating things from various materials my entire life, but it was not my wish to become a designer or artist in the first place. I’ve studied chemistry and worked as a researcher at the University of Vienna until my mid-thirties.
When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
Well that was mere a rather slow process that a certain point of realization. First, I’ve made clothing only for myself, because I could not find garments I wanted to wear. Or which would simply fit properly! So after several years my wardrobe solely sported self-made items from tip to toe. I loved my job as a scientist, but I also felt the urge to do something on the artistic and creative side. Hence, I told myself it might be the right time for a change of business, quit my job at the university— that was in 2009— go back to school to acquire a diploma as a master tailor, and start my own label.
What’s it like being in the Fashion industry?
Not so much different that being part of any other industry, I daresay. If you put aside the artistic and creative aspects, it’s also a job you have to make a living from.
How is the fashion industry in Austria?
Rather small but high quality.
What was your first job in the fashion industry?
I’ve been self-employed from the beginning.
Talk about the changes in your life since you’ve your own Brand.
Of course, being self employed is very different from being an employee, but my private life has remained pretty much unaltered. I am still the same person.
How do you choose your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from many different sources. Quite often my designs look like the music I listen to during the process. It’s textures in nature as well as manmade structures, art of every kind, fabrics and materials from around the world, etc, etc. And a quite profound knowledge about historical styles, fashions, and sewing techniques always lies at the base of every item.
Tell us about your last collection
The last full collection I’ve created was called „Ensōō On“, an all-black collection. It’s about headwear a complementary clothing. The hats and headpieces elaborate around the idea of a circle or disc, and it’s transmutations, the complementary garments are made to match the hats.
In one word: how would you define yourself as a designer?
One cannot reinvent the wheel; almost everything that can be said in terms of fashion has already been said or done. But, you can develop your own and unique style and expression, and that’s what I do.
What advice would you pass along to those starting in the Fashion Business?
Don’t do it out of a fad, only if you really, really (!) want it. Being talented is only half the battle. But, if you really want to and if you are aware, that it is not going to be easy, don’t hesitate. Too much talent has gone unnoticed.
To know more about Alwa, please visit: Alwa Petroni