interview with Heidi Pulkkinen | savage wear | clothing 31/10/2013

Q: What kind of design interested you in the beginning?
A: Back then, before I started with latex, I used to sew clothes for myself and also sometimes for my friends. I used leather, lace, velvet and pvc and that was all more or less gothic. Also when I started with latex early in 2004, I was still a lot into gothic, but I loved to use all the colorful latex.

Q: Who is the person you're most grateful when it comes to inspiration?
A: Am I supposed to say here “my mom”? haha well honestly, I pick my inspiration from so many different things. Nature, pictures, street styles… Or if I’ve got some theme, like on a fashion show, it makes getting inspiration usually easier. Especially if I know which models are walking for Savage Wear. Or sometimes I just get the inspiration before I fell asleep.

Q: Looking at your portfolio, makes me feel like I'm part of an erotic story. Really cool, indeed. How has your style developed through years of experience?
A: Well thank you so much! Like I told you, in the beginning it was more gothic style. But as I also developed myself, my style did too. So nowadays there are many kinds of design in my portfolio. From somewhat gothic to pin-up, burlesque and to very classy evening gowns.

Q: What kept you motivated when you were starting out?
A: I found latex as a material very interesting – the elasticity, odour and of course the fact, that it was possible to glue (or better: weld) it. When I moved from Helsinki to Berlin in 2003, I had to find something to work with, so I started with latex. Alexander, who is nowadays a good friend and my business partner, brought me the idea to make latex clothing.

Q: Would you say that your clothing style express your personality?
A: For sure, personally I would wear all my designs, I like all my designs – otherwise I wouldn’t have designed them. :) Basically I’m a positive thinking person, I always find something good at things and I enjoy the little details around. So my designs are also playful, colorful and elegant.

Q: Your creations seem to be very brave, unique, sexy and a bit eccentric. How do you combine the basic ideas with the final sketch-design? Tell me about the making process.
A: Quite often the designs get some new aspects during the making process. I have a basic idea how it should look like and during gluing the pieces together, I may add some more details or just make something in an other way like planned. The sketch is for me just a raw idea, the final design is that, what I have glued together.

Q: What other materials do you use for your clothing lines, instead of latex? What is most difficult part in creating a latex clothing line from creative and practical aspect?
A: I use rarely other materials together with latex, just because other materials don’t usually have the same elasticity like latex. But I do use for example fringes and some light, volant materials to give a special accent.

Q: I bet, women who wear your clothes are really unique. What's the basic idea of creating that clothing style?
A: I want to make our customers to look good! Every piece is handmade and we take the time for all the details and perfect finishing. The collection has grown already quite large, since I’m working on that already about for 10 years. So there are already very many kind of designs for powerful women – and also for powerful men.

Q: Nowadays, we're almost overwhelmed by the Tv-fashion shows, mainstream etc. Would you say that is hard to bring something really different and unique?
A: To be honest, I don’t really know what’s going on TV nowadays, I don’t have time. I just do my thing and try to create also clothes, that are not all so outstanding – sometimes my customers find the more simple designs easier to wear.

- What would you recommend to all the girls who are constantly complaining about the modern media? What women should improve in their style?
What are they complaining about? About the clothes or too thin models or what? I guess there are always many things to complain. ;-) I find it important to have an own style and not to follow every new trend. Or do it only if you like it and it fits in your style. ;)

Q: Many people are constantly trying to grow by actually copying someone and then trying to make something "new". How you "handle" the copy cats, the crazy comments, would you take that as a compliment or you get mad at times?
A: There have always been copycats and there always will. Sure it makes me mad to see some of my designs sold cheap somewhere “made in China”. But unfortunately there is not much you can do about it… I just hope that people will see the difference, that begins from the quality of the latex and the fitting on the body to the finished seams and edges.
Because there is always a difference.

Q: After years of experience, you luckily end up working at "Savage Wear" - tell me about the design company and the collaboration with your partner Alexander Heim.
A: I stated alone with Savage Wear, but after a while we decided to run it together with Alexander Heim, we were also together back then. Now I am working at the store – consulting the customers, making the designs for women, gluing the latex, answering the emails and interviews, planning the fashion shows and all that stuff. Alexander is working outside the store, he does more promotion and online shop.

- Would you say that the team work helped you to grow?
I would say that I don’t really know how I would manage all this alone, I’ve got only 24 hours a day too.

Q: As a Finish fashion diva, would you get back in Finland and lunch a new, crazy clothing line or you prefer to stay in Germany?
A: I prefer to stay in Germany. Finland with its about 5,400,000 inhabitants is too small to have there a store like Savage Store. Of course anyone can order the clothes, we ship them world wide. I prefer to keep Finland as a nice, peaceful and clean place to have a vacation.

Q: What's the opinion about the fetish style in Germany? It's almost impossible to skip talking about the shows you guys organize in Germany, do you think that doing a fashion-fetish shows will help in representing the style and brake some taboos?
A: Until now we have had fashion shows only at bigger fetish parties, so our clientele is already there and they know what’s going on. It would be indeed interesting to have a fashion show between mainstream fashion shows, like in the Berlin fashion week. Maybe we should think about this. ;-)

- A catwoman walking on the streets in red latex dress would be really nice to see... :) How do you pick the models, are you making castings?
It depends on where the fashion show is and what’s the plan. Those bigger fetish parties like Fetish Evolution and German Fetish Ball have already lots of gorgeous models on their model lists, so I can just choose the ones who would fit the best. Also often the models ask me as soon they see that we will have a fashion show somewhere. So we don’t really make castings. Important is, that the measurements fit about the standard sizes and that the models preferably have some catwalk/stage experience.

Q: Best memory of a fashion show? What's next goal?
A: Oh there are so many good memories, I can’t choose the best! Our very first fashion show was in 2005 at the German Fetish Ball, then we started to do the choreographed fashion shows. We wanted to have something more than just a catwalk and we still do the fashion shows like that. We just had one show two weeks ago here in Berlin and the next one is not yet planned, but probably some time the next year!

Q: Any inspiring designers that you would love to collaborate with?
A: I can’t name at the moment any, but if there are any interesting projects, I’d like to hear! :)

Q: What is the biggest mistake when it comes to progress?
A: To put too much in one piece. It doesn’t matter if it’s a piece of clothing or a painting or a song, but mostly it works the best, when you don’t add on it everything you could.

Q: What would be the sexiest- blow-minding creation that will come up in the near feature? Do you work on some new designs?
A: I work almost constantly on some new designs. Not always on the table, but as a sketch or as an idea in my head. I’ve got some new sexiest-mind-blowing designs still on paper, but I haven’t made them yet. Maybe for the next big fashion show then!

Q: What's your advice to all designers that are just starting out their careers?
A: It is a lot of work and planning and you can’t expect the customers to find you immediately. But at least it’s your own thing to do and something that you can be proud of!

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Heidi Pulkkinen