Linus Stueben, a London-based German fashion designer whose work has been referred to as “disgustingly cute”, utilizes storytelling as the cornerstone of his playful, tongue-in-cheek wearable creations, each piece an anecdote, a tale. Are we all secretly governed by dogs?

Before we get into your new project, what brought you to fashion design?

I wish I had a more fashionable answer but when I was around 14, I loved sneakers and that introduced me to the world of fashion. I always liked to express myself and fashion was the medium that gave me the freedom to do so. So I started to teach myself how to sew and started to intern for an amazing German brand called Maison Suneve. This and studying a fashion course at a high school near London for a year. That opened a door with endless possibilities in my head. I got so fascinated with the world of creating and fashion that after going back to Germany to finish high school, I always knew that I wanted to come back to London. So I spent every second trying to reach that goal and, finally, here I am.

As a designer, performer and an overall artist, you are also experimenting in other creative areas. What made you focus on fashion design?

That is actually a question I’ve been asking myself a lot since starting my course at Central Saint Martins. Especially performance art is something that I have always referenced and loved to do. It was always a part of my process but I never tried to stress it because I believe that it is so personal and intimate, in a sense, that it can’t be forced. But having such little time for every project we create here makes it sometimes hard to combine the fashion element with different art forms and especially performance. And I think my process changed in a way as well. Before my last few projects, my work was much more related to myself and my own struggles. But since becoming more confident in myself as a person, it is much more about me having fun and creating my little stories. I’m starting to feel more like myself and I think that shows in my work. And I never enjoyed creating so much as I do now. It sounds super cheesy but it is a bit like falling in love for me.

Would you tell us a bit about your aesthetic influences?

As mentioned above, my aesthetic influences come so much from telling a story. I love creating my characters and fun plots. I get so inspired by them that most of the influences come within these characters. But if I look at outside references, I try to unleash the 5-year-old in myself. I then often look at everything related to animals, small objects or anything playful. On my first day at CSM, my tutor described my work as “disgustingly cute”, which I think sums up my aesthetic perfectly. With my work, I want to bring people joy and make them laugh. We sometimes can feel the pressure of always being extremely serious or even dramatic but making people enjoy life and art should be as important as the rest. And I love doing that. I never had so much fun creating as I have right now because even though my work is much more about the characters I create, it never felt so personal and real to me before.

What is the main idea behind your latest project, THE SECRET GOD(DOG)?

The idea behind THE SECRET GOD(DOG) is exactly that. Dogs being our secret gods. 

Which for me is extremely obvious. But most of us humans still believe that we are the superior beings. So the dogs have become lazy in their responsibility to be Gods and we can see how well that is turning out. So, instead of acting as our Gods, they started to manipulate us into becoming their perfect humans and frame us for every stupid little thing they do. So every element of the garments is created based on what the dogs desire. For example, the shoes incorporate real cow bone so they always have something to chew on during a walk. The general shape of the dress is the perfect shape for a dog to chill on. And there are many more details in the dress even I haven’t probably noticed yet. But even after spreading the message GOD DOG all over the garment, people still don’t realize it. But I mean what else are they supposed to do by now. So, I can understand that they are just going back to being dogs.

Last question, what is your kindred animal? 

Definitely a dear. Animals like dogs are definitely not spiritual enough to even want to become a kindred animal and to return that connection. Either way, they are probably just born to eat and sleep so I don’t think anyone sees them this way.*

*DISCLAIMER: a DOG made me say this so be careful what you believe.

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Linus Stueben is a fashion design student from Hamburg, Germany, who currently lives in London. After one year in the Womenswear course at London College of Fashion, he went on to study BA Fashion Design and Marketing at Central Saint Martins where he is currently in his first year. His work is heavily based on fun storytelling and the exploration of how far we can take it in the medium of fashion.

IG @linusstueben


WHITE SHOW / Model @_s0ren Photographed by Linus

Unter Uns / Model @m_lenaa Photographed by Linus

WhereAreThey / Model @sarasadek._ Photographed by @sorryzaeto

10 DAYS + Limits / Modelled and Photographed by Linus

Interview / Kateřina Hynková @khynko

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