Back Issue__ The Boys of Timo Weiland
February 22, 2011
Photos: Jody Rogac Interview: Jess Bloom After discovering their mutual love of ascots, Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein came together to create a neckwear line. Using Timo's full name for the brand, they were quickly ready to move past accessories and developed the line into a ready-to-wear collection for men and women. Timo Weiland is now racking up press clippings---everywhere from the All the Rage Column in the LA Times to The Fader--faster than you clip on one of their bow ties. Perfecting their fashion week presence, for New York Fashion Week Spring 2011, Timo Weiland presented "A Wharf on the Baltic" inspired by Bergman's Swedish muse, Bibi Andersson. The collection charmed critics with its bold yet weathered aesthetic and clean, tailored silhouettes. Timo Weiland's spring 2011 collection made mismatched patterned clothes paired with socks-and-sandals look chic and a/w 2011 transported us to British colonial life in India. We caught up with the boys behind Timo Weiland just after they moved into their new office. They described it as "absolutely gorgeous" with "high ceilings which allows us to float around when designing." When you're moving out of a cramped studio and into floating space in NYC, it's safe to say that you're The Come Up. Congratulations on moving on up to a new office! I read you both studied music in school before switching to fashion, so what's playing in your office these days? Natalie Portman Shaved Head, Aphex Twin, Satie, Slick Rick, These New Puritans, Morrissey, The Smiths, Country Teasers and The Cure among so many others. What are each of your roles? Timo is the creative director. Alan is the design director. Why do you only use Timo's name for the brand? Do you see any jealous rage fall-out from this decision? It was organic because it was Timo's idea to begin the brand. Since the name felt naturally linked to the dandified aesthetic, no rage or jealousy has surfaced. We all recognize each other and feel that the editors recognize each of us during appointments. Our relationship is very strong and we do everything as a team. How do you come up with collection concepts and designs for individual pieces? What's the brainstorming process like? It is very intricate and multi-layered. We watch countless films and attend many concerts and random occasions for the inspiration seeking-process. We all are obsessed with creating out own prints each season so that's probably the most fun aspect of each collection. This season we were inspired by the colonial Far East. Your line includes both men's and women's wear but many designers shy away from dressing both. What is the main difference between designing for a man and designing for a woman? Designing for both men and women is the only way we feel that we have created a complete sentence. The trick is keeping it as concise and well-developed as possible. The main difference between designing for men and women is that a man is less likely to take a style risk than a woman. Even though our guy is super-confident, he still likes staple pieces mixed in. Our girl definitely loves colorful prints, unexpected silhouettes and dramatic layering options. That said, both genders are equally fun to design for. What kind of girl are Timo Weiland clothes for? A confident, well-traveled girl. She may or may not be model-pretty, it is all about the way she carries herself. The clothes she curates into everyday are fun, young and exciting. She is always interesting and engaging in social situations. Do you ever pick up chicks using a line like, "You'd look great in my clothes"? TIMO: Yes, and my boyfriend loves it when I do! ALAN: I pick up my girlfriend everyday by complimenting her on her outfits--she almost exclusively wears Timo Weiland and fine, rare and chic vintage finds. Because of the success of your Spring 2011 collection, do you feel a lot of pressure for the next one? What makes clothing essentially "Timo Weiland" from season to season? We always feel pressure from every direction, but we never let it disturb us into creating non-authentic products. Everything we create comes straight from the heart. Where's your heart at Alan? Work, my girlfriend Anastasia, my friends and my iPod. Where's your heart at Timo? Equally exploding with passionate love for the design we do and also for my boyfriend, Jeff.