After more than 30 years in the development of high-quality women’s and men’s fashion, founder Harald Schönach has fulfilled his dream of owning a label with NEUN SINNE. His aim: to emphasize the personality of women with excellently designed clothing without disguising her. The trousers, skirts, dresses, blouses and jackets in sizes 34 – 44 flatter the female body by combining the greatest art of cutting and the finest fabrics to create a total work of art of the highest comfort – which shines in everyday (office) use as well as on fine occasions.
In our interview you will learn more about Harald and why every woman will fall in love with his collection.
What was your childhood dream?
Becoming a designer and doing fashion was definitely my dream. When I was a little boy, I enjoyed shopping with my mom and advising you. When my big brother’s girlfriend did an apprenticeship as a tailor, I soon sewed a lot for my siblings and family. I was increasingly interested in fashion and then went to the super great Avantgard fashion shows in the German Museum in Munich. A tailoring apprenticeship and a visit to the master school in Munich were the result. I still love fashion and I am glad that I have chosen this path because it is my passion.
How did the foundation of NEUN SINNE come about?
In 2000 I started my own business and worked as a freelancer for many high-quality fashion labels. But after they also produced more and more in Asia and low-wage countries and the quality became worse and worse, I wanted to start creating something of my own with high quality and fit. Another reason for me was to do the production in Germany and to strengthen the few companies that still exist before they have to close because the price war with the Far East and the nearby foreign countries is very high. Unfortunately, “Fast Fashion” (Pronto Moda) is also produced in old Italian textile factories at the cheapest prices in Italy, which were taken over by the Chinese. This is something I do not want to support because the workers are not paid and treated fairly.
In addition, more and more companies that I have worked for have filed for bankruptcy or moved development abroad. For me it was a sign that I was creating my own label. If not now then when? I had experience in some areas and was able to learn a lot of new things.
What makes the NEUN SINNE collections so special, especially for business women?
I know some business women and can put myself in your skin. It is important that you feel good! Especially after a long day of meetings and trips, you may have a meeting for dinner or a social event in the evening. However, they do not always want to change their clothes or do not have the opportunity to do so. So it is important to make fashion that can be worn during the day as well as in the evening, which can often only be replaced by details such as shoes or trousers with a skirt and thus gives a new look. The silk that I process has many great properties that are very often appreciated. I am currently in a new development of blouses that support the immune system with components in the fabric, which is often useful and balanced in a stressful everyday life. I’m currently testing this on myself and various people. If everything goes well, I will offer a small selection in autumn.
Our silk fabric prints are all developed in-house and manufactured in Como in one of the best printing companies that also print for Etro, D&G, etc. The basic goods for printing are supplied by us and therefore have an influence on the quality. Our prints are colored indanthrene and the print goes through and through. So there is hardly a difference between inside and outside. Very few substances have these characteristics.
You took the plunge into self-employment after 30 years. Would you jump again?
After 20 years of experience as a freelancer, it wasn’t a big step. Of course, you have left safe waters, but it is also important to get out of the comfort zone and get involved in something new. The build-up phase is not very easy because the price pressure and the competition is very big. Of course you can find similar products cheaper elsewhere, but this is not about disposable items. Our selection of materials, ingredients and also the cut and the processing is absolutely high quality, many other labels cannot keep up.
What are the advantages of self-employment for you?
There are currently hardly any advantages. It used to be easier. I have been working mainly from home since I was self-employed and could also spend more time with my family during the day and then work when the children were in bed. Now I work almost around the clock and hope that it will get better soon.
What are the most important marketing tools for you?
I’ve tried a lot but haven’t found the one that’s right for me. This year I wanted to try something new, but everything was canceled and canceled due to Corona. Because of sustainability, I didn’t want to offer my goods online and sell everything through retail. I was at trade fairs in Berlin and Düsseldorf, but retail is not ready for new things, so I currently only sell through my own pop-up stores and now with you through styles4work.com.
You primarily sell offline in pop-up stores and online via Styles4Work.com, what are the reasons for this?
I originally wanted to sell it in boutiques and go through retail. So far, it was important for me to feel the proximity to the customer or to find stores that have a good relationship with the end customer and advise accordingly. Now I do it myself in my own stores, with which I am always in different places. It’s great because you get to know so many nice and lovely people, whether you buy them or not. Very often it is interesting encounters that enrich life. I am lucky to make even small series or one-off productions and do not have to do as much in advance.
Where do you see NEUN SINNE in ten years?
If I’d know that? Of course I have a vision until I can see if this can be implemented in this way. In the current economic situation, no one can make a real forecast because so much depends on it. Of course, I hope that more and more customers will decide on regional goods and that a new awareness will set in.
What were your most important learnings from NEUN SINNE?
It is important to remain flexible these days, which I have managed quite well so far. Of course I gather new experiences every day and that’s good! Since I have been doing everything on my own so far, my tasks are varied and a lot of fun.
As a man you make fashion for women, so you’re not the only one. What are the advantages?
Sometimes I don’t know if there are any advantages in making fashion for women as a man. I have a good sense of proportions and the implementation from sketch to cut. It’s very often a matter of feeling and I’ve always had a good feeling about it otherwise I wouldn’t have been so successful in the past 20 years. There used to be a lot of male tailors, but today it is something special. There weren’t many in the master school either, but there were three in my year.
As a woman, you have a lot more advantages because you can often carry your own creations and market them better.
Fashion is a personal, emotional topic. What does it mean for you?
For me, it also means saying how I feel! When I wear a shirt that I really appreciate and like, you have a completely different posture and charisma than when I only see the shirt as a normal everyday item of clothing. Many only wear special and more expensive items of clothing on special occasions. I will not do that. I also wear them in the garden or when I don’t go out. I don’t do it for others, but for myself, because I am worth it. What good is a nice piece of clothing for me that I only wear twice a year and then only feel great twice a year? The purchase is not worth it. I think you should wear your favorite items as often as possible and prefer to buy less, but specifically and not large quantities that end up in your garment bag unworn. Above all, this would help the environment and also the protection of resources.
How important is the right business outfit?
It plays a big role to choose an outfit in which you feel very comfortable. That also goes down well with the other. One of my senses at NEUN SINNE is the sense of color. Here I go into which color you should wear for which meetings and events. Colors have certain properties and modes of action, which also affect the person.
Do you have any advice for women who are still looking for their style?
It all depends on the type. A lot of people don’t dare to wear colors because they could quickly become the focus. I think everyone should wear what they enjoy. In business there are often guidelines that should be followed. But they are also there that you can break something like that. It doesn’t have to be provocative.
Which social topic is close to your heart?
There are many overarching topics such as sustainability, energy, global trade. A lot is twisted by the media and every day we are shown what is the right way, which many take. However, there are various lobbies behind it, which you only see when you question these topics and make your own picture. It’s a lot about power and money. Very few have the time to question these topics. This is very important to me, so I would like to use my label NEUN SINNE to set an example that there is another way. Money and fame is not everything, happiness and health come from within.