His insane love for details is something that will probably never go away. Luckily. He is the one who makes sure we never compromise on our commitment to quality.
His biggest wish was for the HSV football club to stay in the first league – unfortunately, and for the first time in the history of the Bundesliga, that was not what happened.
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When and where should you wear a beanie?
Combining heritage with modern functionality, a unique collaboration between Closed and its original founder François Girbaud.
– 2nd Edition
Closed always tries to reinvent itself, also when collaborating with its original founder after parting ways almost 30 years ago. At the centre of the 2nd collaboration with François Girbaud – a creative mind that tirelessly creates – are topics of the everyday life in today’s world: Sportswear, Denim and Social Media.
But first it is worth taking a look back: Closed was founded in 1978 by Marithé and François Girbaud. The duo was not only pioneers of European sportswear – forerunners of today’s streetwear – but also committed innovators who set boundaries for modern denim design. François Girbaud was the first designer to use stonewashed denim, a signature style that is now a casual-wear staple. As a vigorous source of ideas, he can’t help but outline his enduringly avant-garde, forthcoming versions of his concept of denim; he is always looking for the next point of perfection and delights in the possibilities of pattern-cutting and fabrics, pushing the very boundaries in order to bring Closed’s vision into the design.
Subsequently, they revolutionised casual wear. They reinvented classic denim fits with the Pedal Pusher – a style that was inspired by postman uniforms in Italy. Further, they went onto refining the laundering treatment of denim. In Girbaud’s view, design should be forward looking and avant garde, reflecting the properties of the materials, and thus functional and innovative.
He began his career at Closed, and he has spent time in New York and Munich between then and now. Now he’s back. Thanks to Niko Wessel, men’s jeans no longer just fit well, they now sit well – a portrait of a clothing technician.
A yellow measuring tape hangs around Niko Wessel’s neck, standing out against his black shirt. He looks a bit like a tailor. Wessel laughs, “Almost! It is actually my most important work tool. I measure a lot, every day.”
Wessel works in quality assurance at the headquarters of Closed in Hamburg. His area is the men’s collection. And above all it is jeans.
Before a collection is produced, each piece often goes back and forth numerous times between the designer, sewing room, laundry – and, of course, Wessel.
And there are many things that can go wrong along the way. “There are always problems. That’s part of my job and I have to manage all of it so things turn out well.” Sometimes it’s people who are the problem, sometimes it’s about communication, and sometimes it’s about the threads themselves. All this, says Wessel, is completely normal. So, along with six other team members, he controls every detail before an item is finally produced. The biggest focus is on the fit. This, by the way, is something that is not only tested theoretically, but also practically. “We always try on things – we make clothes that must fit well and sit well.” And making jeans, explains Wessel, is a science in itself.
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