Siddhartha grew up in Auetal in the Lower Saxony region of Germany. Both he and his parents are passionate Hermann Hesse readers. The 30 year-old designer first tried his hand at sewing at the age of 15. He practiced his sewing skills by making skirts for friends (what a man!).
After graduating from college with an art diploma he initially started training as a natural health practitioner in Berlin. At the age of 20 he decided that the health industry wasn’t for him and turned to fashion – the thing he loved best. He used a sewing machine that he’d found on the roadside to practice sewing trousers. It took him ten attempts to make a pair that actually fitted.
Siddhartha has drawn inspiration from sculptures ever since he was at art college. He sees things in objects. Some artists see a lion in a piece of stone. Siddhartha sees new fashions in old garments. He told us that he needs old fabrics as a source of inspiration. That’s why he buys his materials in second hand boutiques. The final collection that he submitted as his entry for the ‘Designer for Tomorrow’ contest is made from second-hand garments that he purchased at Motz, the famous store which owns the street magazine of the same name. Wealthy ‘Berliners’ take much loved and respectfully treated garments that they no longer want to Motz. Siddhartha loves the inspiring Yves Saint Laurent pieces that he finds there. He turns them around, alters the seams and lines and creates brand new looks. Even old Escada and Gerry Weber pieces are given a face lift by Siddhartha.
I didn’t ask Siddhartha whether he was bothered by the musty smell in second hand stores because he has already written an interesting theory on that: “The smell is important. Can I smell the person who used to wear the garment?” Siddhartha transforms old skirt suits into ingenious and masculine men’s fashions. He uses the ladies fashions for base fabrics because they offer him a greater choice of colours and materials, and there’s another aspect about this approach that is important to him: “I give men something that they never had access to before.