Ohne Titel Are Inseparable
“I think women who are true individuals – who are known as much for what they do as for how they look – will always inspire us,” says Flora Gill in Ohne Titel’s sundrenched Manhattan studio on a Tuesday afternoon.
“We admire strength and individuality.”
Gill and her design partner, Alexa Adams, possess both in droves, and, since launching their label, Ohne Titel (German for “untitled”) in 2006, the duo has carved a niche with their covetable knits, innovative weaves and striking silhouettes. Friends from Parsons and both former staffers at Karl Lagerfeld, Adams and Gill are always seeking new ways to create pieces for “urban cool girls” and their forthcoming collection for MADE Fashion Week fuses carefree surf vibes with structured elegance.
Often choosing an artist as their design muse, the new collection began with the work of Bianca Pratorius, whose explorations of pattern, structure and repetition kick started the pair’s imaginations. “The new collection really started with her work,” says Adams of Pratorius.“She does really beautiful slashed and fringed artwork so we wanted to play with some of those volumes. We wanted the overall feel to be surf meets urban elegance, so some of the pieces combine a neoprene surf element with something that’s more elegant for the evening.”
Adams and Gill, who were both fashion obsessed as kindergarteners (Gill, whose grandfather was a tailor and made suits for Al Capone, remembers her artist parents buying her two books as a child – one on Yves Saint Laurent, the other on Comme des Garçons) say their partnership is at the heart of Ohne Titel, and their inspirations and creative processes are always closely aligned.
“We do everything together,” says Gill with a laugh.
“We sketch together and we sometimes start sketching on each other’s drawings. We have the same vision, and a lot of the time it comes to life in the fittings. You can sketch something but sometimes you get the result and it’s not exactly what you want. Together, we make changes to the volume and the trajectory of the piece every time we fit it.”
Ohne Titel has produced bespoke shoes for its shows since 2008 and Adams says they hope to expand the brand to incorporate footwear and menswear in the next couple of years. As for continuing to find inspiration for their work, Adams and Gill say they’re forever searching for new techniques and trawling unusual places for ideas.
“I love going to places like Paragon Sports and seeing crazy sneaker technologies and designs that are meant to make you better at what you do,” says Gill. “We’re always looking for ways to make knits new and interesting.”
“It’s about going to shows or exploring or reading books,” agrees Adams. “Whatever inspires us to create for our girl, who is strong, international and independent. I think she can range in age from 20 to 80, but it’s not about age – it’s more of an ethos.”
Ohne Titel are showing at MADE Fashion Week on Monday, September 8th at 1pm.
Ohne Titel photographed exclusively for Milk Made by Andrew Boyle