Tom Rebl, an up-and-coming German designer who is based in Italy, presented his men’s and women’s collections in Paris for the first time this year. We sat down with the designer during Paris Men’s, and chatted about his eponymous brand, his true awakening at Central Saint Martins, and why Italian craftsmanship matters to him.
MODEM: Tell us more about your background and why you chose to be a fashion designer...
Tom Rebl: I was born and raised in Germany, then I moved to London to study Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins. There, I had a true awakening: I was immediately impressed by London’s underground scene, which made me feel free to express myself and eventually helped me to find my real identity. A few years later, I accepted a job opportunity in Italy, where I have being living for the past ten years. I am glad that my ‘passion for fashion’ has turned into my main occupation — I hope to never get tired of it.
MODEM: Why did you eventually decide to start your own brand?
Tom Rebl: I never intended to start my own label — back in the days, I didn’t thought it was the right time — but I was given the opportunity to work on my own label, and I think that in life you don’t get these kind of opportunities simply by chance, so I accepted without taking too much thought. The brand "Tom Rebl" is a space in which freedom, individuality and independence live together and fuse into each other. It actually reflects my own lifestyle, that’s why I named it after me.
MODEM: What is your main source of inspiration?
Tom Rebl: Music, for sure. If I had not become a designer, I think I would have been a musician by now. Many years ago, I was playing guitar in a band, but for various reasons, unfortunately, I had to leave, and now I prefer to to simply enjoy music, to be in front of the stage rather than on it. Music is still a strong passion of mine; it is in my life all day, every moment, like a daily soundtrack.
MODEM: Your designs are sharp and bold, and your sense of style does not go unnoticed. Who are your muses and ideal clients?
Tom Rebl: In terms of music, my idols are David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Through my collections, I try to convey a certain glamrock spirit, which is provocative and slightly extravagant. In terms of womenswear, I like to blend masculine and feminine elements. This is why I love women with an androgynous style, such as Tilda Swinton and Agyness Deyn. I like people with a strong personality, who are able to impress you with their individuality, rather than with their mere appearance.
MODEM: How important is Italian craftsmanship for you?
Tom Rebl: Craftsmanship expresses personality, which is something unique that provides added value to a product. Italy has an extremely rich culture and fashion heritage like no other country, so I decided to settle down here and design my collections in Italy.
MODEM: What are your plans for the future of your brand?
Tom Rebl: I’d like to focus on developing the Tom Rebl Woman, and I’d like to expand the Tom Rebl Eyewear line as well. In addition, I’d like to strengthen the brand's presence on the international market by presenting my collections in Paris-based showrooms and trade-shows.