Berlin is certainly a dynamic city in which fashion can flourish. In this context, fashion designer Moritz Iden - founder of its label IDEN - is exploring and defining his practice in a very digital space. Fascinated by intangible things - the spiritual and the emotional - digital art has become a medium he uses to communicate. With his poetic 3D prints and knits, Moritz wants to bring “something new to the table”.
Approaching the digital world as a safe space, Moritz has gained a lot of online attention through his projects. It led him to launch his label at an early stage in his career. Since, the pandemic encouraged him to explore the endless possibilities of the virtual. Whilst the situation was and is challenging for many creatives in the fashion industry, lockdowns did also bring some opportunities. Moritz had the chance to be mentored by Hussein Chalayan during this time. This experience had, and still has, an important impact on his practice today. Digital escapism and a lack of human contact allowed him to define his role and vision even deeper. He hopes IDEN will make us think and change our habits towards fashion - including the well-established culture of narcism and elitism.
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 6.jpg
Could you first introduce yourself and your work?
Hello, my name is Moritz Iden and I am a fashion designer from Berlin. My work is largely inspired by digital connections and underlying emotions. IDEN is where the intangible becomes tangible.
As a young designer, how did you experience studying fashion in a city such as Berlin? What is unique to the city?
Berlin's beauty lies not in the architecture, monuments or greenery, but more in its rich history, nightlife and youth culture. Simply by walking down the streets you are confronted with so much diversity, opportunities and dangers. Berlin has its dark sides but without the people, I have met here I wouldn’t be where I am today. Sometimes, it feels like the city has a mind of its own, but interacting with it has been an incredibly enlightening experience.
IDEN is “inspired by the intangible,” as you state. Could you explain further what you mean by this?
I am very much inspired by all things intangible- the spiritual, the digital and the emotional. I like to use art as a medium to communicate in a very cryptic way. Also, the digital aspect of print, textile design and 3D art has always fascinated me in many different ways. The endless possibilities it provides somehow brings me joy. I think it is so interesting how we can be drawn by these virtual imitations of ourselves.
The digital world has a real influence on your approach. You seem to give your interpretation of what wearable digital items could look like through IDEN. What first drew your attention to it?
The digital has always been more or less a safe space for me. The Internet feels infinite and the digital possibilities we have are incredible. I am truly fascinated by how we created intangible spaces where we can recreate and reimagine ourselves in different ways. It simply provides opportunities we never knew we had. Similar to that I think 3D art provides possibilities we never knew could take tangible forms. I always love seeing the boundaries of art being pushed in new ways.
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 1.jpg
Although working for a more established label could be an option, why did you decide to create IDEN? What was your purpose through this project?
I have always shared my work online and it honestly happened quite organically. Launching my brand this early in my career had not occurred to me until a recent project of mine gained unprecedented online attention. I launched my brand and haven’t looked back since. I try to bring something new to the table by using my 3D prints and knits in a poetic way that can truly move you. The fashion industry is always so quick with what they like and dislike and I think that is due to a lack of personal connections to what we wear. I strive to make people fall in love with my clothes. The moment you truly cherish and adore a piece, you never throw it away.
You are frequently using 3D imagery through your designs and your approach. Could you take us through the process of creating your garments?
I almost always start with a feeling or an emotion. I like to use the digital features of print, textile design and 3D design. I use it to my advantage to encrypt and translate it through the art. Often working on these designs can be very healing due to their personal nature. It is really hard to describe the process because it is still very different for every garment. My newer work is often influenced by the previous ones. In the end, it really is just a lot of trial and error. Until something is actually ready to be photographed for Instagram or to be produced it can take months.
You did a collection named Mars in Scorpio, what was the inspiration and meaning behind it?
It was one of my earlier university projects and the sportswear collection was inspired by human aggression, higher power and danger. It drew from fight culture like boxing, wrestling etc. Mars is the planet of passion, anger and war and scorpions are the most dangerous yet weirdly beautiful. The higher power of spirituality and religion was a big inspiration for this collection. Hence, it fits the concept quite well. This idea gave birth to the Mother Mary dress.
Studying fashion during a pandemic might have been very challenging. How did you experience your learning since the beginning of this pandemic?
I had the opportunity to be mentored by Hussein Chalayan for that particular semester in my studies. It led to a turning point in my work as a designer. Even though quarantine was incredibly stressful at first, it served as a great inspiration for a new collection. The digital escapism was heightened and the deprivation of human touch translated into my work and solidified my standpoint as a designer. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I don’t know if I had ever launched my label.
Many shifts have occurred within the fashion industry lately. This ever-changing field constantly has to adapt and reinvent itself to stay relevant. From a personal point of view, what would you like to see evolve in this industry?
I hope we all find more compassion, a lot of the fashion industry - consumers included - has always been incredibly egocentric. That goes for how we interact and treat each other but also for how our clothes are manufactured and consumed. This culture of narcissism and elitism has to change and I think it is our challenge to do so.
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 9 3.jpg
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 8.jpg
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 3.jpg
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 2.jpg
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 4 2.jpg
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 10.jpg
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 7.jpg
Moritz Iden Metalmagazine 11.jpg