Fashion designer Josefin Wanner has a very straight-forward goal for her Wanner Label. She wants to create comfortable, classic fashion that is making the environment better at the same time. “I want them to enjoy being able to wear something fashionable that no one else on this planet is wearing at the same time.”
Her avoidance of throwaway fashion and trends comes from her upbringing. The designer’s homeland is a big part of her creative vision. “I think that being from Sweden has influenced me immensely,” she said. “That is where I get my minimal style and sense of simplicity from. I think I would say the style of the brand is Swedish with a sense of coziness to it.”
Her designs highlight simple silhouettes with attention to detail. “The combination of design and nature is also something I have Sweden to thank for,” Wanner added. “My vision is not only to bring beautiful garments to life but also to do so with the environment in mind.”
Wanner Label is based out of Austria. Both countries are similar, but she has noticed that there are some slight differences. “The Austrians are very traditional while Swedes have very few attachments to traditions,” she said. “It is interesting and inspiring to see the differences and similarities between two; you don’t really fully see until you have actually lived in both.”
Outside of the fashion world, she also finds some influence in the works of master Spanish painters like Picasso and Dali. “Their journey of being artists at the beginning of the 1900s, then surviving the civil war and how their artistic sense changed is just a true inspiration. Their struggle was just on a completely different level than ours or mine is now, which makes their art seam so much more important and passionate.”
Wanner finds her most prominent source of inspiration a little closer to home. “My baby sister is my main source of inspiration when it comes to making my brand sustainable. The younger sister takes a stand against fast fashion by only purchasing second-hand and vintage clothing. “This has given her a specific style which I often use as inspiration.”
While in university, she became fed up with the “insane amount of clothing” that was cluttering the world. Eventually, it dawned on her that she could purchase second-hand clothing and remake it into something trendy. Her final collection featured designs that were constructed form clothes purchased at thrift stores and found in closets. Based on this project, she decided to focus on more upcycled fashion. “It is an interesting way of creating garments as you are much more limited in terms of volumes of fabrics, which forces you to come up with more creative ways of creating.”
This led to her starting the Wanner Label, a clothing brand dedicated to creating clothing through up-cycling. ““There is also such an insane amount of old clothes on this planet it honestly didn’t make any sense to me to start a new brand and contribute in producing even more things when really what we need to do is produce less,” she said. By not producing new fabrics, there is minimal environmental impact. Her process of acquiring fabrics from the second-hand market leads to little scrap material.
Wanner uses thicker fabrics for most of her designs. The line is made out of poplin and cotton, denim and animal fibers like wool, cashmere and silk. Even the buttons that she uses are up-cycled—many are taken from her grandfather’s collection.
This process of sourcing materials makes her work stand out in the fashion and design world. “Every single piece we have is completely unique, both in style and fabric,” she said. “The fact I am the designer and the one sewing the garments means that I am in full control. All garments are made exactly the way they are supposed to look and get my full attention from when they are just an idea to when they are a finished product.”
“Nature also inspires me a lot, which is probably why most of the colors are very natural and down to earth.” She usually avoids strong and bright colors and is generally drawn to more earthy tones. She also finds a more practical reason. “It makes it easier for me in creating garments and combining fabrics but also for the customer in matching it with other things in their closet,” she said. Wanner is a big fan of the basics trends. Her designs are meant to match well with a variety of garments.
“I would like the world to know that our garments are special. The amount of time and consideration I put into every single garment I just not comparable to how a big corporation or fast fashion company work,” said Wanner. “I am my company, and I love all my garments as much as I want my customers to love them.”