Harris Tweed Hebrides first met Christoph Rumpf when we sponsored designer fabric for the undergraduate show at the Vienna Institute of Design in 2017.

Christoph has since won the Première Vision Grand Jury Prize at the prestigious Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival. This year's festival jury will be presided over by multi award-winning designer JW Anderson.

We caught up with Christoph in his Vienna studio as he was working on a variety of designs - including one very special Harris Tweed fabric piece.

HTH: Do you consider yourself an artist who designs clothes or a designer who makes works of art?
CR: I consider myself a fashion designer not an artist but I feel very flattered when people consider certain garments an art piece.
HTH: Winning the Premier Vision Grand Jury Prize at Hyeres is a big achievement, are you now working with other brands or doing collaborations?
CR: I work with the Metiers d´Art and Petit Bateau at the moment. I also will start some other projects soon but I can tell you more in April, but collaborate with other brands and doing collaborations is a great way to see how people work and to learn.
HTH: You used Harris Tweed fabric as an undergraduate student. What qualities does it have as a fabric?
CR: Well first of all it has a unique and very strong look which I haven't seen anywhere else. It is very forgiving and easy to handle since it is woven so loosely but still you can form all kinds of shapes with it.
HTH: Storytelling and sustainability are two main tenets of the current zeitgeist and central to your work. Were these always important for you or have you became more aware of them in recent times?
CR: Both. I also recycled in my first year of university but now I am really trying to think about how to make my collections as sustainable as possible and to combine recycling, organic fabrics and low impact fabrics to build a brand. But I wasn´t always aware of how damaging the industry is to our environment.
Storytelling started 3 years ago. It helped me to focus and a story is more flexible and natural to me than some kind of concept.
HTH: Harris Tweed has a strong story and a unique dimension of sustainability what does this add to the finished garment?
CR: Strength. I think Harris Tweed gives garments strength and adds a classical and natural touch to each garment.
HTH: Your designs have an ethereal aura about them but they also have intellectual and historical reference points too. What is more important for you, fantasy or reality?
CR: For me it is important to put fantasy in reality. I love fantasy and dreams but at the end of the day I make clothes and I want to see people in the streets wearing them.

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