Head of Design for Viktor&Rolf in Amsterdam, Sebastian Dahlmanns sat down with Fashion United to discuss landing a job in fashion and more.
When asked how he got into fashion design, Dahlmanns said, "Eleven years ago, I graduated from Esmod in Berlin and then entered my final collection for awards. I won the Textil + Mode Innovation Award with it. Prizes are a good way to distinguish yourself, to raise your profile before applying for a job or internship. Every year thousands of new fashion graduates enter the market and there are only a limited number of jobs, so I can only recommend everyone to apply for all the awards that are out there. I think it helped me as I didn't come from one of the top schools in the world, like Central Saint Martins for example, which is almost a guarantee for a job."
"My graduation collection was about the Romanovs, so it was very glamorous and opulent; a women's collection that already leaned towards couture," said Dahlmanns about his final collection. "I tell everyone who does an internship with us: In your final collection, do what you feel like doing, not what you think is expected of you. This is the only time in your life as a designer when you can completely do what you want. Go all out! The final collection is your showcase, your ticket to the fashion world. I would advise everyone to do what really suits them. Stay true to yourself. After that, you're always working for someone and you always have to adapt and compromise. Even if you launch your own label, you have to adapt to what your customers buy. But the graduate collection is purely about showcasing your talent and your aesthetic."
When asked what Covid has changed about his job, Dahlmanns said, "Before Corona, we travelled more, of course. At least twice a year, I went to the fabric fairs, and to our production partners in New York, Taiwan and Tokyo. It felt like you were travelling somewhere almost every month. But you quickly get used to a new way of working and look for inspiration elsewhere. You can always find some positive aspects in a negative situation. Amsterdam is so exciting and interesting that you don't really need to travel to get inspiration. I do miss travelling to Tokyo, though, and I'm looking forward to a time when that will be possible again."
Information originally sourced from Fashion United.