1. Dear Julia and Susanne, I am very pleased to be able to introduce you and NINA REIN as part of our Female Founder Community. Please feel free to tell us a little about yourself and your company.

Dear Lisa, we are happy to be there! 

I am Julia, passionate fashion designer and mother of two great boys. Design, creativity and innovative developments in fashion fascinate me. After I couldn't find a brand that convinced me with its design and values, I founded my own brand. 

I am Susanne, co-founder of NINA REIN. Just like Julia, I worked in the fashion industry for a long time. The more I learned there and the more insights I got, the less I wanted to continue working in conventional fashion. That's why I joined Julia's project in 2020 and am responsible for marketing and sales.

NINA REIN stands for a clean, colorful style. We combine business wear and sustainability!

2. The terms “sustainability” and “responsible production” in the context of fashion are being used more and more frequently - even by companies to which one would not directly ascribe these characteristics (Primark, H&M etc.). How do you define sustainability at NINA REIN?

Sustainability is part our company DNA, we want to change the world with our fashion and it's not enough to just look at a small part of the material, but the entire company. We take responsibility for our actions and are happy to pass on our knowledge so that the fashion industry can regain its shine.

Our supply chain is transparent; we can name the manufacturers and fabric suppliers with a clear conscience. Through this open communication, we make consumers aware that they can question how fashion is made. And we want to motivate other companies to become more transparent. 

We almost only work with natural and renewable materials. And we promote self-determined work, craftsmanship and flexible working hours everywhere in the company, including in our production. We support women in Europe on their path to self-employment, which often means taking a step towards independence. 

Our holistic approach was even awarded the German Sustainability Prize, which we are extremely proud of.

3. What does a classic design process look like for you, from the first idea to the finished product?

Before we start a new collection, we look at which items our customers liked buying and what customer feedback we can incorporate. It is particularly important to us to make our customers happy. From these findings we create a board of sketches and ideas.

After many individual sketches, we select which ideas and models will be realized for the collection. So-called worksheets are created for the models. These contain a lot of technical information about the fabrics used, buttons, inserts and where they should be positioned. Processing instructions and a technical sketch also belong in the documents. From this information, the pattern maker creates a paper pattern, as we know it from Burda. Using the pattern and the worksheet, the seamstress sews the first prototype in a sample size. In Munich we check this sample for fit and workmanship. If the prototype meets our ideas and quality requirements, the garment goes into production and is manufactured in additional sizes.

4. Global company vs. young start-up in the fashion industry: what advantages and disadvantages do you see for yourself in a direct comparison?

A huge advantage of global fashion companies is the huge advertising budget they have at their disposal. And they usually have many employees who are very specialized in individual areas of responsibility.

Young companies have to work through all of this first. We cannot afford expensive advertisements or huge productions at lower costs. We have to be creative to get attention. We rely on honest transparency and responsibility for our product and our actions. But we are flexible and agile and can make decisions quickly

I see the proximity to the customer as the biggest advantage. We incorporate customer feedback directly into the new collection and we are also happy to respond to special requests for “custom-made” items. Many young companies respond to inquiries individually and personally. This leads to happy customers and far fewer returns, which has a positive impact on our ecological footprint.

5. What have been the biggest successes since NINA REIN was founded that you are really proud of? 

We are very proud to have been awarded the German Sustainability Prize. But we are even more motivated by the great feedback from our customers. 

When I hear the following sentences, I can't stop beaming and am more than motivated and confirmed to do the right thing: 

“Your brand is great, I’m thrilled to have finally found sustainable business fashion.”, “I always get great compliments when I wear your fashion. Do you feel the same way?", "Thank you for your transparency and industry insight. I now shop much more consciously and with better quality.” The feedback shows that our company philosophy is not just written on a piece of paper, but that we actually manage to implement it and contribute to a better and more sustainable society. 

6. Let's talk crisis! Since the beginning of Corona and the drastic events in 2022, all of us young companies have not been able to avoid this - but some have done better and others have had greater difficulties. Do you have any tips on how to practice good crisis management? 

It feels like we are running from one crisis to the next. The crises are here and we must under no circumstances deny them. However, we must not let this get us down. We have to act and inspire our customers for sustainable and fair products. 

My tips: 

  • Keep eyes open! Know your own market and keep an overview across all industries. 
  • A lot of exchange with like-minded people and skeptics. We can all only learn from this. 

    7. Last but not least: what are your 3 trend pieces and colors for summer 2023?

    1. In summer you can't avoid lilac/lavender/violet blue etc. This color is pure spring, as you can see with our Lea dress able to see. And it can certainly still be worn in the coming summers.

    2. Dresses should never be missing as a key piece in summer, they are particularly fun in berry tones.

    3. Our favorite is and remains the Luka jumpsuit . The stylish outfit is ready with just one piece!



    If you would like to find out more about Julia and NINA REIN, please take a look here:

    To the website: www.ninarein.com
    To Instagram: @n inareinfashion