There is something organic about the way Hien Le speaks about his latest Spring/Summer collection, as if his daily life is inspiration in itself and any moment can become the foundation for a new collection. Mixing classic German tailoring with the rawness of Berlin youth, Hien has created a label that excites and entices international consumers by exploring the zeitgeist of the modern generation through sleek and minimalist designs. Playing with aspects of femininity in menswear and only producing garments in Germany, Hien is paving the way for ethical and sustainable young designers in Berlin. Although the label produces both men’s and women’s clothing, several buyers and consumers have commented on the femininity and gender fluid approach to styling in Le’s garments.
The Laos born and Berlin raised designer never intended on creating his own eponymous label, beginning a career in PR at Agency V following his graduation from studies in Fashion. Realising he could be working on the sales of his own collection as opposed to other designers and missing the physical labour that comes with sewing and pattern making, Hien quit his job in 2010. After meeting with business coaches and producing a solid business plan he set about creating an independent label that is now stocked internationally in Germany, America, Switzerland, Tokyo and Hong Kong. The end of 2015 brought a shift for the label with the release of Hien’s unisex fragrance in collaboration renowned perfumer Mark Buxton and Verdúu Fragrances, allowing consumers to combine scent and touch to the Hien label.
Now in his eleventh collection, Hien shocked the fashion industry this season when he joined several of Berlin’s other big name designers shunning the runway at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. With that being said last year Le has stepped into the world outside of his comfort zone after many asking if he’d ever be interested in making a fragrance, he indeed did so. Summer 2015 the Berlin designer released Hien Le No.1 the unisex fragrance that without a doubt became a total hit. A perfumer, a designer and one of the most humble beings wandering around in the German fashion scene. Photographer Daan Dam visited the newcomer in his studio to show the designer’s Spring/Summer ’16 collection.
Photography by Daan Dam
By Olive Duran & Caity Hennessy