Quick Q&A with Laura Schrandt | Fashion Designer
Handmade and unique designs by Laura Schrandt. As the emerging designer from Germany, the label is stepping out into the light into the fashion world of creativity and collaboration. We are honored to represent Good Night Medusa | Lingerie.
-What & Who is your brand?
My brand “Good Night Medusa | Lingerie” is based on harness fashion in all different creative ways, containing handmade and dyed lace, straps, chains, fringe trim, sequins, cork leather, and plenty more different materials to create unique designs. Good Night Medusa is not just a brand itself, it represents harnesses in a fashion way, working with other designers to bring outfits to another level. It was created in Germany - where I was born and raised, but it’s growing and is internationally known, especially now in the the U.K, since I moved over here last year.
-What is your typical day when running a brand like yours?
Well, what about living a man’s dream, working with beautiful and stunning models from all over the world, undressing and dressing them and oiling their half-naked bodies! I always make jokes about that, as it is kind of true on shooting days, but actually my main work is computer based. It’s a lot of paperwork, communication and marketing. I work out a lot of concepts, not just as a designer and wardrobe stylist, but something like a creative director as well. When I plan my tours, all the responsibility is weight on my shoulders and therefore it needs weeks or months of preparation.
-In a brief description, how do you approach the business side of fashion when you first started?
I think I am a really marketing-thinking person and one of the major pros of harness fashion was the flexibility in sizes, as they fit nearly every model size. Even though I personally love lace bras, I decided against them as they are harder to fit and shootings are more difficult. The most important thing I did at the beginning, was working out a business concept; who do I want to have as my target audience? How can I reach them? What is my market price? Who is important to work with? That’s how I work It out.
-When you cater to your consumers, do you look for a pattern within your analytics to better serve them? If so, how do you go about that?
Actually it’s the other way around. I influence and form my work in a way that I only reach consumers who fit into my niche. For sure, there are still quite a few different personalities, but then it’s more a form of communication and taste, which is different with every consumer.
-As the owner, do you see yourself more on the design side or more on the business side? Or is it pretty much balanced?
At the moment I think it’s still balanced, but as the brand grows more, the more business it becomes. I am still fully responsible for every single creative process, but I notice already, that the time I invest into designing is less than the time I invest into paperwork and business and it becomes more important with every single project.
-Were there any setbacks to getting your label off the ground? How did you overcome that?
To be honest, I was pretty lucky getting my brand off the ground as I had a really good network beforehand. I have been involved in the photography scene since I was 16, therefore I knew how to contact artists in the correct way, how much they cost and how to work with them. But if you ever have problems with getting your brand off the ground, never forget how much input social media and influencers can have, if you use them correctly.
-Who are your target consumers & how do you get them to look at your products?
I can be really happy about the fact that my target consumers are wardrobe stylists, models and photographers who would like to offer their audience a little bit more glamour. I always wanted to work with exactly that target group, as I know that these people are the ones who helped raise my brand, I made some good memories with and are the reason why I have such an awesome portfolio. Sure, I have “normal” ladies as consumers as well, but the majority are based in the fashion and photography scene.
-Obviously you created a unique brand, we would like to know if you collaborated with anyone to help you produce such a phenomenal set of collections?
In some ways, all of the people and friends who worked and collaborated with me to build up my portfolio, helped me to “produce” all of my collections, as they were the ones who gave me feedback, pushed me and even inspired me! Even though I do all the design, sewing, and creative process on my own, it’s sometimes helpful to have a companion sitting next to you whilst having a good conversation or enjoying a good series during the production.
-How would you describe yourself as a person & artist?
Wow, I have no idea! I think I am quite ambitious, but still always having fun at the same time; yeah, I can promise you German’s do have humour! Not all prejudices are true!
Even though it sounds quite weird to some people, I really like working and I always liked going to school, so I’m quite aspiring with whatever I do or plan to do. I used to be a workaholic, had about three or four different part time jobs next to my studies a few years ago, but nowadays I definitely appreciate having spare time and I now spend more money on travelling than I did before.
Photo & Retouch: Gesche A. Ringer | Hair & Make Up: Viktoria Handke | Model: Svea-Jill Czech | Agency: JAY JAY MODELS
Designer: Good Night Medusa | Lingerie
-What made you so interested in becoming a fashion designer & brand owner?
There were a few different influences that made me passionate about becoming a fashion designer and brand owner. I used to work for a lot of up and coming streetwear brands and always wanted to design my own, but actually never did. On the other hand my mother is a clothing technician and showed me how to transform and sew cocktail dresses and evening gowns. It just needed a little bit more time until I found the fashion direction which inspired me the most, until I actually started my own brand. And there we go! It’s Good Night Medusa, nothing more to say!
-Do you have a favorite designer who inspires you? Why is that?
It’s hard to limit my choice down to just one designer, as there are quite a few latex lingerie designers that I follow, but also lots of Avant Garde designers. I would love to work with Alexandra Fuks or Marina Hoermanseder one day, but would love to learn from Elissa Poppy or the team of Westward Bound, as I am always interested in new materials, just like latex, and learn how to work with them.
-What story are you trying to convey through your designs?
Self-confidence! That’s definitely the main and most important characteristic I would like to communicate through my designs, especially as my designs are really body-hugging. Even though my main clients are models, stylists and photographers, I am convinced that there shouldn’t be any room for body shaming, even though it exists, especially in the model scene. I am always ensure that my models are healthy, no matter whether they are plus size, normal or petite, as everybody should be happy and self-confident in their own skin!
-Did you ever see yourself to be so successful in establishing a known brand?
Good Night Medusa came into existence because I was kind of forced to give up photography and was looking for another creative hobby; I really never expected to become a fashion designer. I mean, there are so many girls and boys out there who dream about becoming part of the fashion industry, but I myself never had this dream before I started. My dreams were more like becoming a cinematographer or backpacker; living the simple life travelling around the world and catching some awesome photos, which doesn’t sound like the glamorous life of a High Fashion designer at all, not to say I’m not enjoying it now!
-Tell me about your latest collection. What was your vision when you created it?
I’m not always working on just one specific collection, but my latest already worn collection is completely different to what I have ever done before! Photographer/good friend Gesche A. Ringer and I joked about creating a “rainbow” or “unicorn” inspired collection and I was actually thinking about dyeing lace in rainbow colours until I came up with, in my opinion, the better idea of using colourful reflective sequins. It’s a completely different result, when compared to my first thoughts, it was a risk, but it worked out well!
-To be a designer, you had to undergo a lot of struggles. What was the most difficult obstacle for you when putting together your collection?
I actually never had to go through many struggles as I was pretty lucky. Like I mentioned before, with a good marketing plan, a vision and enough ambition, you will be happy with building up your brand, no matter how long it will take. Just make sure you have a financial backup at the beginning, otherwise your “hobby” will put too much pressure on yourself.
-If you could showcase your designs anywhere in the world, where would you start and why?
I’ve never been there, but I would love to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York one day, why not start there?! Ok, let’s be realistic – anywhere in the world! I would just choose a place that I would like to visit anyway; let’s combine it with a high fashion city. Seoul or Tokyo might be on the top of my list; especially as Japan seems to have an insular and surprising culture and is the home of some unique legendary brands just like the family of COMME des GARÇONS by Rei Kawakubo. I absolutely love all of her designs, so let’s start in her hometown!
-Who excites you the most (Celebrity) & why?
Personally, I am not really excited about celebrities, as they are just people like you and me (more or less). For sure there are designers I follow, but it’s definitely because of their art and not because of their personality. All my team-members and friends excite and inspire me more than enough, every single day, that’s where I want to invest my time!
-How is your brand different from any other designer brands?
Honestly, I didn’t reinvent the wheel, most artists and musicians might have the “problem” that there might be another artist in the world doing something similar. Obviously I don’t copy and I try to find influence from designers outside of harness fashion. Brands are always about the quality itself, service and the marketing concept and I think I’m quite special with my target audience and know how to communicate with them. I also think my designs are quite special in the way that I combine them, as I am working as a wardrobe stylist as well, so it’s not only about the product itself but the image as a whole.
-What are your world-dominating goals?
Being happy would probably be my “goal” in life, I previously would have thought being healthy would be my goal, but as I’ve spent quite a bit of time in hospital in my life and I have a lot of annoying allergies, I am kind of convinced that being happy is more important than being healthy. Just enjoy your life, make the most out of it, and try to make as many good memories as you can, that’s about it!