Photo: © Open Iso


Shimmering lights, exclusive company, gallant wardrobe and...dinosaurs? For Samuel Gärtner, a dream came true in July. The 23-year-old POP student was able to exhibit his first own fashion collection at Frankfurt's Senckenberg Museum, amidst extinct creatures. The young designer organized everything himself, from event management to handcrafting the individual pieces - sounds like a lot of work. It's hard to believe that the project was born out of lockdown boredom. Read in the current feature. how a spontaneous sewing session turned into a successful event with T-shirt and T-Rex.

Photo: © Open Iso

The battle of creative forces 

You only have to take one look at the young designer and it immediately becomes clear: Samuel has style. Even as a child, he liked to dress smartly, for which he blames his fashion-loving mother. He learned the sewing trade at school; since then, fashion has been his constant companion, but by no means his only passion. The young Frankfurt native loves everything that has to do with social media, photography, marketing and management. When the time came to move on after school, however, Samuel faced a problem: He had too many interests. "I could never commit and was constantly in an inner battle - what should I do?" he recalls. "I was afraid that if I focused on just one passion, I would lose other interests forever".

Samuel has already tried lots of things. For example, he started posting photos of fashion and travel on Instagram, which then accidentally earned him over 67 thousand followers. Being an unintentional fashion influencer? It can happen.

After much deliberation, he decided to study music and event management at Deutsche POP in Frankfurt. Events can be organized in any field, so all his interests can be combined through this study. In the battle of creative forces, the young designer has found a compromise he is happy with. The dynamic subjects and practical units are particularly important to him: "I need a lot of practice to learn. I'm not a fan of dry studying".

"I was sitting there thinking - what do I do now?"

As a creative person, Samuel is a live-wire; the POP student describes himself as a doer. A lockdown restricts the creative flow; but really only if you let it, finds Samuel: "Boredom always has something good for me, because then you can work against it". The enthusiastic designer promptly dusted off his old sewing machine, bought a few fabrics and started tailoring. He didn't even have a collection in mind, but was simply happy to be busy. At some point he had 32 looks together - too good to not do anything with them; The idea of working towards the Frankfurt Fashion Week was born. 

Photo: © Open Iso

"I don't like to hand over work"

The time had come at the beginning of July - Samuel presented his 32 looks on 32 models in front of the Alte Oper and at the Senckenberg Museum as part of Frankfurt Fashion Week. Of course, putting the whole thing together by himself brings with it a mountain of tasks, but Samuel confesses: "I don't like to hand over work, I always have the feeling that it won't turn out so well if I don't do it myself".

The pragmatic event manager combines multi-tasking talent with a touch of control freak; so he had everything well under control: "Overall it was very stressful, but it was a lot of fun, I love organizing". Nevertheless, the tension was noticeable, after all, everything stands and falls with Samuel as the sole organizer: "Nights before, I dreamt that the event would go wrong. Now I'm finally rested again".

He is satisfied with the result:

"It couldn't have gone any better, the event was an extreme success",

he tells us later. Guests included many celebrities with social reach (e.g. Tiktok and Instagram influencers), so Samuel was able to expand his network. Bonus point: He was able to implement the event directly as project work for Deutsche POP.

Cobblers wear the worst shoes

For Samuel, fashion is more of an art than a craft. Through his creations, he wants to give others the opportunity to express their personality. When designing, he tends to think of other people rather than himself: "It's quite funny, I never see myself in the things I design. Maybe I'm a bit like Karl Lagerfeld, he never wore his own stuff either." Samuel also gets inspiration in fabric stores: "I go to the store, touch the fabric, then the ideas come up by themselves." Often Samuel simply works without patterns, as these are often more of a hindrance than a help, he says. Despite his talent, he is modest:

"I'm not a master tailor. If a real tailor saw my work, he would probably chop off my hands",

he laughs. Master tailor or not, his tip for beginners is to just do it, just be creative, don't be afraid. The biggest problem, he says, is the fear that things can go wrong. Fears should make you get motivated: "Life is made of risks, you should use them to get ahead". What the future holds for Samuel, he himself does not yet know. In any case, he is throwing himself fully into life! We congratulate the Frankfurt POP student on his success. 

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