Designing an Award Winning Print at zLabels
At zLabels, we create inspiring fashion brands for the online generation. One of our 17 brands is mint&berry, which was founded in 2010. The brand showcases contemporary romance for women who want to feel pretty and like to express femininity through style. Our Berlin-based design team finds inspiration in vintage fashion and Nordic purism, which they translate into today’s spirit.
Browsing the mint&berry Spring Summer ’17 collection, you are taken on a journey around the world where cultures collide, inspire and create the captivating backdrop to this season. Bewitched by tales of explorers, Scandi style meets Asian allure and Oriental hues sit back amongst tropical patterns. This dreamy and romantic fusion creates the idyllic summer wardrobe for the modern and feminine adventurer. Our designers love and live fashion every single day.
This year, mint&berry won the Joy Trend Award for the Umbrella Print jacket.
We sat down with designer Haleh Esbak to learn more about the life of a zLabels designer and the story behind the print.
When did you join zLabels/mint&berry?
I joined zLabels/mint&berry six years ago, pretty much joining the brand from the very beginning. It was my first job after graduation.
What did you do before? What is your background?
I have a Bachelor Degree in Fashion Design from HTW (University of Applied Sciences) in Berlin.
Why did you become a designer?
Growing up, it was always something I wanted to do. My mom used to sew my clothes and created her own designs, which inspired me. I tried other directions at first, but in the end I followed my passion and became a designer.
What does it mean to be a designer for mint&berry?
As I joined mint&berry from the beginning, the brand became my baby and is a big part of me. I believe mint&berry (and zLabels in general) offers you more freedom as designer than other brands, and there is a good balance between creative freedom and commercial needs. zLabels in general has such an open and dynamic company culture that fosters development and creativity, which I really appreciate. We constantly strive to innovate.
What is the best part of your job?
Apart from the opportunity and freedom to create designs that I am truly passionate about, I would say the team itself. With 20 girls of about 10 different nationalities, we have nice team harmony and we are actually all friends, even outside of work. Half of the team has been a part of the brand journey from the beginning, so we are a combination of dinosaurs and newbies, which is great. zLabels offers a very international and diverse team of fashion enthusiasts, data tamers, distribution wizards and marketing scouts. This gives us the chance to learn from each other and to further develop every single day.
What is your biggest learning since you joined zLabels?
Honestly, everything is a learning, all the time, in the true startup spirit. For us who were here from the beginning, we grew up together with the brand, just like a family. As professionals, we aim to keep the mindset of a startup and continue to learn by doing, making the job more fun and staying creative. We share a common purpose and highly value open and constructive communication on an eye-level.
What was your design process behind the mint&berry Umbrella Jacket? What was your inspiration?
The idea for this season’s design was a story about traveling and discovering the world.
The main influences with the umbrella print was the history of the umbrella itself. Across the world and despite rain or shine, the umbrella has played a major part historically. Recently, in my travels in Thailand, I was inspired by all the colorful umbrellas on different streets. The image stayed with me and I tried to bring it all together with the mint&berry print.
How do you stay creative? What inspires you in your work?
For me, anything in my daily life could be an inspiration. Anything from walking around the amazing city of Berlin, to music and videos, to just watching people. On a business level we stay inspired by online but also offline research, doing international store checks as well as visiting different vintage market fairs and cities.
What does the Joy Trend Award mean for you?
It is my first award so it really means a lot and makes me very proud of our entire team's accomplishment. mint&berry is special to me and the brand awareness that comes with this award is fantastic – it is the biggest compliment we could get.
For other designers out there that want to join zLabels, what would be your recommendation to them?
Of course, you need a genuine passion for fashion. We are a bit different from other companies, so it is also important that you can identify yourself with the young and dynamic company culture. As a fashion designer, you also need to understand the importance between creativity and commercial as well as a good intuition for trends, shapes and colors.
Thank you Haleh!
Join Zalando and start your very own journey now!