Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag are the creators behind the label Bless, hailing from Berlin and Paris.
Bless was founded in 1997 by Ines Kaag and Desiree Heiss, quickly evolving into an uncompromising, interdisciplinary and multifaceted brand, crossing the line between fashion, art and design.
Here’s an extract of the conversation we had with Desiree & Ines.
Read on for an insight of the brand’s dna, their unconventional presentations and free spirited approach to the industry.
Tell me a little bit about BLESS SS16 N°54 REMEMBRANCE SUBITO PRESENTATION.
We always attend your presentations in Paris with sheer excitement. Can you elaborate a bit on the process behind the conception of your presentations? they sure are very different from everything else.
Thank you for the flowers and we are happy to hear that our quite private ways of gathering friends & family during fashion week fulfills what we intend it to do: creating a good moment, where one feels simply comfortable.
Since our clothes are mainly made to support the wearer in daily life, we also try to integrate our presentations in our clients daily routine during fashion week in giving them rather a rest then a show. A moment to calm down, to see and touch the clothes from close, often good food, so the visitors can come and leave at their pace, according to their needs.
Apart from the current N°54 Remembrance subito collection we showed as well the N°53 Contenttender pillows that were originally created for the gallery Michèle Didier in Paris to host and present art editions. It´s very interesting to us though if people buy them as well for all day life usage at their homes. Our aim to emphasize on a rather private environment allows such pieces to get some attention, our guests could discover those things and see them placed and in action.
We also introduced Exoterika, a collective we formed with 7 of our former students, that aims to create sudden interruption of the daily routine.
Exoterika contributed to the presentation with a series of drinking glasses that modify the classic opening situation of everyone holding a glass. The approach of Exoterika is more meant to be a movement than a design brand.
We’ve recently posted a #tbt picturing your wig moment from Maison Margiela’s Fall/Winter 97/98 show; what’s your relashionship between Bless and the fashion industry as of now? how have things changed from the beginning?
Today we don´t consider ourselves as a “fashion” brand anymore as we are detached from the markets rules. It’s more some sort of a service and shared idea of a contemporary lifestyle that makes sense to us that we would like to publicate in form of all kind of products, clothing or not.
How you think the perception of your own work has changed throughout the years? how do you look at what you used to years ago?
Within the last 20 years our relationship, work method and sphere of activity has deepened.
Although the ephemeral character of fashion can also have something liberating in terms of no need to exist for a lifetime, we kind of abandon this freedom and aim for the opposite in constructing garments almost like an architect a house: we would love our clothes to be the perfect 1st shelter where you feel in a long run comfortable in. Rather not owning too many items, but investing in a very good quality. Feeling responsible for not creating waste, but supporting a certain classic style. We are aiming for a respectful exchange with the helping hands behind our productions and are enjoying close connection to our consumers, wholesellers and clients. But we are still working and creating things very egoistically for ourselves, our “near future”.
We never go with products on sale and rather upcycle our own leftover pieces. All time favorites we keep on producing eternally.
Therefore our past is also our present and future in one.
How do you manage to balance the commercialism / creativity trade off?
Actually, we don´t manage it at all, we stopped trying.
Today we simply do what we want to do.
We are aware of this luxury and the price is not being able to create a high income.
The best aphorism/motto to apply to your collective.
BLESS fits every style.
Wear and don´t care
What’s your take on 2.0 reality? how (if ever) do use it in your work?
We only use it as a communicating tool, when collaborators can´t be accessed elsewise.
Otherwise we believe in the irreplaceability of the quality of the analog world.
Photos from BLESS n°54 REMEMBRANCE SUBITO presentation in Paris (credit: Robert Hamacher) and of the BLESS Home in Athens.