The Opulent Ostertag

by jennine on September 4, 2008

One of the rising stars of German fashion, Marcel Ostertag, still in his 20′s is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Producing entire 50 piece collections on his own, hard labor, doesn’t come without benefits, after all he is the winner of the Karstadt New Generation Award during Berlin Fashion Week, this is only the beginning of his career. The other day, we sat down together in his Munich studio/shop to have a chat about his inspirations, what it’s like to be an independent designer…


“I’m not one to design something practical”

While at Central St. Martins, Marcel Ostertag studied Menswear, but moved towards womens clothing, because women are more keen to wear more daring things… “I’m not one to design something practical.” He then found himself going through old Vogue magazines, particularly the issues from the late 1970′s, dramatic, opulent silhouettes. Of course, the collection isn’t merely repeat the past, it has a modern twist, metallic fabrics, sequins, and a high contrast color palette.

Being Independent

Being an independent designer is tough work, there is a lot to compete with these days, but the challenge doesn’t deter Ostertag. It’s difficult because often you’re on your own while big design houses have research teams, checking trends, inspiration… etc. As an independent designer Ostertag, will have a student studio assistant for two months and by the time he gets to know them and get a good report it’s time for them to move on. Then there’s the pressure to produce a large collection of 50 pieces or so, because no one wants to look at a designer with 10 or so pieces. The samples is produced in the studio, from inspiration, to the patterns, to what you see on the runway. Then the rest of the collection for sale is produced in Germany, so the profit margins can be really tight.


When so many designers try to move to the big fashion cities like London, Paris, New York, Marcel moved away out of the mainstream centers. After five years in London, it was time to move back home, where the quality of life is higher and one can really concentrate on the important design aspect of fashion. Besides, being outside the mainstream has it’s fringe benefits… Marcel Ostertag, is frequently noted as one of the hottest designers in Germany, and he gets a lot of attention in the German press, and you can just tell he has the drive to expand his brand to international status.

You can find him at
Photographer: Oliver Rau

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patti September 4, 2008 at 12:01 pm

!!!!!!! Swoon!!!!

home girl September 4, 2008 at 2:36 pm

the sillohettes, the ruffles, the fabrics, everything is a dream come true! this guys looks to me like a major talent. cant wait to see how his label evolves. great post thank you!

WendyB September 4, 2008 at 7:41 pm


Skyla September 5, 2008 at 11:52 am

Stunning! Ofcourse in years to come people will be laughing at these designs, as they now do with Abba outfits etc, but i think they’re gorgeous. I’d love to dress up in them.

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