A warm welcome to issue number 5 of Energy Transmission. Season 2 is in full progress and will peak in some traveling to LA. In this monthly newsletter I explore the question “what is the culture of tomorrow?” together with those who are close to the fire. I have conversations with people I crossed paths with, or who's work inspires me and pair it with stuff we both think is worth checking out.
This month: Marie Lueder (@marie.lueder)
We're again in London. Like, corporate downtown London. But the move from Hamburg to London is exactly what made Marie become what she practices today: a fashion designer in England's capital. If you follow these Energy Transmission well, you will remember her from last month's edition where I quoted her depiction of what a "nerd" or how she names it, "amateur", is for her. We had a great talk on the phone and found some significant parallels from her practice to mine, thus working in different fields of the spectrum. I am so happy to have talked to her once again and welcome her as guest on my newsletter!
“Hello, I'm Marie Lueder. I run a brand which portraits masculinities since November 2019. And I'm currently based in the city of London which is an absolutely corporate environment. Working in this space on something I feel personally and deeply motivated for.” Marie is a designer for male fashion exploring the vast field of corporate wear or how she calls it "creating mental armor for these masculinities through fashion. And making it accessible by selling it in a store or by my own."
Asking about the current state of contemporary culture, Marie said "I think there's two tendencies. And they sometimes get mixed up. One tendency is to create trust. In an object or something that is available and can be found by the individual. That has pop culture value. On the other hand, there is also the desire to be part of it somehow. Be part of it in terms of craft. Making stuff. Making your own Kimchi." That is a good reference back to my second issue when I talked to Cecile Poignant and she also felt that the need in working on product, crafting something is much stronger now. To be part of the community that we call "the culture" and due to the pandemic of course. Then, Marie continued with her observations in London: "There is a tendency to perform life. To be vulnerable. Also as musicians to sing rather than performing at CDJs with a USB stick. More and more band projects came from the lockdown situation."
Talking about the state of style on the streets, Marie told me that "of course, there was the tendency to be comfortable. So, a hoodie for me is a substantial kind of garment." Just a quick note from me on the hoodie that Marie is wearing during our interview, which I really adore: it's available here and you can have another look at it here. Sorry, I got to get this out quickly (haha). As Marie states it "you need this as an armor in your day to day life." In another anecdote about corporate people she referred to the trust tendency. Become a better earthling so to say. "I saw group of bankers standing in front of a supermarket shelf and discussing if it's healthy for them and the planet if they buy these pre-made lunch dishes. And they didn't look like anyone that cares for these kind of things."
Jumping from food back the fashion industry we came across the obvious topic of musicians making fashion of their own. Basically "merchandise", but it has become more than that. They launch decent collections. And a wide range of different products. "Merchandise is a big thing. I like the idea. Merchandise is a way of making something accessible. It's a way of making good products that are not very expensive because several places are specialised in it and make it in huge quantities and perfection, really. And based in your city really" is how Marie nailed down the takeover of merchandise in the fashion world. For me, it really is a movement that emerged from wearing band shirts. Talking movements, Marie noted that for Womenswear it's absolutely Y2K. "And art students wear what they conservative parents wore but with an ironic twist. That's not really new, but the era is new."
Covid also hit the smaller manufacturers quite hard. London is known for its tailors of extraordinary Menswear. But people didn't want to buy suits anymore. But it's slowly coming back. But different. As a retailer told Marie "There's is an interest again and a curiosity what brands are offering. What you're doing is increasing performance in a suit, making it extroverted and more flexible and due to that you feel more comfortable. You feel the uniformity and confidence but also performance and comfort." Furthermore we found out during our session, that there is more humour in style and fashion. More talismans or toys on your bag or more accessories that are some kind of "louder" and modification of your whole outfit.
Of course, going out to find inspiration is no more. No clubbing. Well, not as before Covid. So Marie tends to stroll a whole lot of Instagram for work and privately. But she told me that she feels inspired from both science and spirituality: "There is this amazing website which I go to every day which is basically explaining science and the origin of words. I draw a lot of inspiration from there. And I'm interested in spirituality. I doesn't occupy me in any way. But a friend of mine is an energy healer and I read a lot through her recommendations."
Before both of our talks, I was spending the nights watching the DONDA listening parties or strolling down reddit and Discord to find any new info on release dates etc. During that second LP in Atlanta (my personal favorite), I saw this picture of Marie on Instagram popping up. I thought to myself, that she must have been involved in the merchandise or something for the show. So, I used the chance to ask her about it. And yes - she actually collaborated with Ye. She was working with and for him on the handout fans/clappers showing a beautiful picture of Kanye and Dona and she worked on the long sleeves as well. "It was like totally crazy. In the middle of the night, I got a call from the manager asking me, not really awake, 'Have you time to talk to Kanye?' and I just mumbled 'Yes' and a moment later I was talking to this creative mastermind bursting of energy". Marie describes the days working on DONDA as "Tough time. Long days, nearly no sleep." but describes Ye as "Just amazing. He has so many ideas. He has such a great team of finding small creatives like myself and really falls in love with craft, skills and ideas and not just popularity. He will always be an inspiration to be honest."
She didn't purchase very much lately, but she was of course hooked on Ye's work, music and all kinds of fields he's acting in. Thus, there was only one definite answer, because there is so much stuff going on in her life. A friend of hers who also was involved with Demna Gvalasia and the Ye listening parties in Atlanta:
“He is a set designer and an architect as well. He was working through Demna (Gvasalia of Balenciaga) with Ye. He is really exciting.” I reckon this exhibition of him with Anne Imhof in the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. "I follow him and look at his work. It fuels me with a lot of good vibes."
“In my dreams it's vulnerable, collective and new. It's a lot about trust I think. I hope that trust can be redeveloped. Trust in the government, in products, in everything. The future basically. Because the lack of it leads to lots of matters, like mental health issues. There is no tomorrow, no culture, without trust.”
For Marie the culture of tomorrow is built on trust in the future.
Every issue, after the interview section, I share with you some things I found on the Internet or in streets, that infused me with good vibes. These are my new energy sources:
Delve back into those glory days, when you procrastinate on your parents' house computer. Nothing there to play, watch or listen to. So you just pump up that good old Paint.exe and imagine you will be the next big digital Picasso. Now you can revisit the beast of a painting tool again here. I know, you will paint some lines and then fill the spaces between with the bucket tool. We all did that. Gaze upon my masterpiece above. Maybe it'll make a good header for the next issue. Anyways, this video shows you what else you can paint. If you need some inspiration.
Every quarter LYST, basically Google Shopping only for fashion and a beautiful looking app, ranks the word's hottest brands and products in their "Lyst Index". It analyses their on users' behaviour and nails it down into a few clear lists. No pun intended. It's great to see Nike as a mainly Sportswear brand and also a smaller one like Jacquemus up on the one list. And of course, Balenciaga tops them all. Fortnite, Simpsons, Ye listening parties... it was a blast quarter for Demna Gvasalia. But have another look at the top products for Men. It gives hope for male shoppers to experiment more and more.
Staying in the fashion field for a bit, not only for my marvellous guest today: I'm a regular browser of Nowness just to stroll around and look for inspiration or the missing muse kiss. You know, just looking at gorgeously crafted pieces. I stumbled upon this article about the evolution of fashion film and I highly recommend checking all the films out. What stood out for me are two things: I forgot how amazing Jean Paul Gaultier designed the costumes for The Fifth Element (1999) and used it as perfect advert for his collections. The other thing is last year's GucciFest from, well, Gucci. A virtual film festival for and with creators of Gen Z. Down the rabbit hole of fashion films!
Moving from fashion into another creative field that massively fuels my drive: music. One producer, whom I consider one of the greatest creatives is Rick Rubin. Before I continue, please check him out on Instagram. One posting at a time, giving you life advice. Just great! Anyways, this is a documentary about him and his work with the biggest artist in recent music like Jay Z, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and of course, Kanye West. But it also analyses how he keeps his privacy, his invisibility and not suffering from mental issues. Highly recommend taking the full 33:45 minutes to watch it on YouTube.
I'm sorry for having so much Ye-related stuff on this issue, but you usually do not have a guest that has directly worked with and for the creative genius. Haha. Another artist I admire is also linked with Ye with his collaborations on a lot of different projects: Wes Lang. And I already recommended to check out his monograph published at Rizzoli. As part of the Adobe Creative Luminary sessions they dropped a short 11-minute interview with the LA-based artist. My favorite quote that I will write down to read it again and again is this: "You've gotta just not listen to other people. You've gotta believe in yourself. You've gotta go through the doubt. You've gotta accept and embrace the doubt. And do not equate financial success with succeeding. Cause they're two totally different things."
With that said, keep on giving ENERGY!
...and I once again ask you to give to Stolberg and other areas and people that are still left devastated after the flood catastrophe: http://fluthilfe.jetzt/ 🫂
Nevertheless, have a great one - sending good vibes and energy to you all!
For the next issue I had planned to go to ComplexCon, stroll through the city of angels, run a marathon and lots of other things. The lifting of the US Travel Ban got postponed until November 8, so no ComplexCon and no marathon for me.
But anyways, I will still travel to Los Angeles meeting various people there. My next issue still will be an LA special and it will release in December.
A lot to keep you and me excited.