MOISTURISED, IN MY LANE, THRIVING

Is your life lacking softness, colours, fantastic and lush fairy-tale landscapes? Here's your antidote to gloom – enter the whimsically organic, plushy and summer-inspired creations by Anna Hieronymus. Enjoy the interview with the idiosyncratic fashion designer below.

How does the summer season inspire your artistic process?

My designs are heavily inspired by the summer season. I’m so capitvated by lush green leaves and the textures I see growing in nature. Spending the last years living in Berlin, I’ve really felt the dark pit of despair when the clocks change for the winter season and the leaves fall from the trees. I feel so alive as soon as the trees start to sprout buds again, I feel like someone has zapped the creative energy back into my spirit. I’m currently working from my parent’s house in the midwest of the USA and my dad has an amazing garden with tons of lush Hasta plants and honey bees in the backyard. I’ve been enjoying the sweet sticky smell of grass in the hot summer weather, huge thunderstorms, and lightning bugs. It’s been totally nostalgic and refreshing. Like, it’s really suburban here, but there’s a tension between the nature and man-made housing developments that I find really interesting. The colours and textures of the outside during the spring and summer are a huge inspiration in my design work. In the winter, I also like to visit botanical gardens and greenhouses to get a hit of dopamine by being surrounded by plants thriving.

What role does research play in your process of finding inspiration?

The way I approach design development is through experimentation and prototyping. I think a lot of my inspiration comes from my mind sparking an idea about a textile manipulation technique, and then my brain obsessively thinks of different ways I could apply the idea and to new design concepts. It feels like the ideas are brewing in my head and my brain is running wild with problem solving like a computer program running in the background. For me as a designer, I think I have to be obsessive about it because it takes so much thought and energy to take an idea to a final product. I make so many small revisions and, oftentimes, that means I have to take apart, repeat, and re-sew steps in the prototyping process over and over again. At some point, I had to embrace the process of how labourious my design process is and lean into it. I used to really struggle with the repetition but once I accepted that this was a necessary part of my process, I was able to reach a zen state when I’m creating intricate designs; sewing, seam ripping, stuffing fluff, and quilting, and I think it results in a more harmonious outcome in my finished pieces.

Your work blends abstract forms and hyper-real elements. How do you navigate the pressure to conform to the market without compromising your unique signature?

I suppose it depends which market is looking at my work. Hieronymus is fairly avant-garde for a fashion brand, but also the designs I make seem to resonate with lots of different types of people. I try to create work that feels balanced and interesting to me, and so far that work seems to resonate with lots of different types of people, which makes me happy. I try to make objects that are objectively beautiful and have some practical elements incorporated in the design because at the end of the day, I want to wear and use my designs and I feel frustrated when designs don’t feel completely thought out or fall short on practicality or comfort while being beautiful and interesting. To me, a complete design has all elements – beauty, interest, comfort, and functionality.

You work with vegan leather, deadstock, and unconventional materials. What attracted you to these materials? Are there any challenges when working with these materials in your design?

I have always been really drawn to materials in my work. When I was in school, I would pull colours, stories and fabrics for projects and my friends interning at big fashion houses in New York would say that I was a few seasons ahead from the collections they were preparing at work. I’m really drawn to how my materials interact with light and touch, and I always want my pieces to be tactical and interactive. Although fashion is marketed through visuals, I want the viewer to want to reach out and want to pinch and squeeze what I’m making. I just think it’s so interesting to bring the idea of feel and touch into fashion design because the sensation of how a garment feels in your hands or on your body makes a huge impact on whether or not you want to bring it home with you and how it makes you feel. Because I’m drawn to more tactile materials, those can end up being really tricky to work with. It’s led me down some deep wormholes on YouTube and cosplay-maker Reddit threads to try and learn how to make the more unconventional materials work with me, rather than against me. I think, though, in the end, the materials I choose really set my work apart and figuring out how to unlock the secrets of how to use these unconventional materials adds a fun element to the prototyping process.

Are you currently working on any new projects? 

I had to take some time away from my work because I got sick with a Crohn’s Disease flare last year. I was horribly sick and bedridden for months. After taking so long to recover and getting my strength back, I was so excited to get back to work on some new pieces and put some of my pent up creative energy towards some fun new stuff and really feel joy after spending an extended period of time being so unwell. I think the period of illness really changed how I see the world, and I think the new pieces channel some of the escapism and dissociation I experienced when I was stuck in bed and experiencing long periods of isolation and every emotion you can imagine. The experience was extremely profound and definitely shaped how I’ve approached my design work. I’ve been developing a new capsule collection with bags, apparel, and some soft sculpture plushie pieces that I think are really beautiful, and I’m excited to collaborate with more artists when it’s time to show them to the world. 

I’m also co-founding a co-creation lab, blending digital and physical fashion with designers Judith Bondy, Tabitha Swanson, and Harriet Davey, called SBLMTN Studio (pronounced Sublimation). We want to approach this project with a spirit of experimentation, innovation, sustainability, and disruption to inspire a paradigm shift in fashion consumption and create a more sustainable future away from fast fashion, and blending the worlds of tech, art, and fashion. That will be a very interesting project to watch, and we plan to launch this fall with an event in Berlin.

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Bio

Designer and textile artist Anna Hieronymus studied apparel design at F.I.T. and worked with Opening Ceremony, Alexander Wang, and 3.1 Phillip Lim before launching Hieronymus in NYC in 2015. Her work blends international influences with hyper-real elements and abstract forms. Created for the mindful fashion customer, Hieronymus utilises vegan, high-end deadstock, and unconventional materials, handcrafted and remixed into experimental statement pieces that will transcend trend cycles and become treasured objects for seasons to come. She currently works between the USA and Berlin.

Credits

Designer /Anna Hieronymus 

https://anna-hieronymus.sumupstore.com/

@hieronymus.world

Interview / Kateřina Hynková

Lidar images/credits:
Creative Agency: Kemmler Kemmler (@kemmlerkemmler) Photographer & Creative: Maansi Jain (@maans______) Accessories: Hieronymus (@hieronymus.world)
Art Direction: Zoe Spurgeon (@zoespurg)
Creative Production & Casting: Jarrod Baddeliyanage (@jarrodjoseph) Production & Art Assistant: Katharina Schnaubelt (@katharina.thewathida) Video Edit: Pablo Betas (@bungalovv)
Models: Gaby Kinlock & Sam Madhu (pantydivision & @sam_madhu)

 

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