“Step by step and stitch by stitch, the whole set-up will become more elaborate,” explains Maria Koch, discussing their upcoming products as she runs her hand over one of the prototypes for 2017. Her feet are surrounded by half-empty cardboard boxes; between her fingers, nothing but pure excitement.
“We will become the largest fashion label operating from Berlin,” claims Jörg Koch, a man who has embraced his own unique style of communication: making brash announcements that he then brings to life. His wife Maria studied fashion design before working at Prada and Jil Sander, as well as teaching at the renowned private school Esmod. She has also been a fashion consultant for Kanye West.
been crafted with the precision of a master tailor: every cut, collar size and thread is carefully checked and calculated. A collection of erotic drawings by Jean Cocteau, something motocross related and a second collaboration with Carhartt are set to appear in the coming months. Since July 2016, the magazine’s eclectic and style-conscious range has been made available not only through their own website but also via Canadian online supers tore ssense where Jörg Koch also works as editorial director. Pop-up stores in Milan, Moscow, Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo are planned for the coming year.
MAKING IT MAKING IT
Photo Lukas Wassmann
A quick glance at the list of available products reveals a Gosha Rubchinskiy long-sleeved T-shirt, a woven merino intarsia blanket featuring the gap-toothed face of Lara Stone (from an old 032c cover), a Romy Schneider memorial sweatshirt by Californian artist Cali Thornhill DeWitt, and sports socks bearing the message ‘Remove before Sex’. As well as unleashing a whirlwind of aesthetic and cultural references, these are products that have
Jörg and Maria Koch have also spent most of the last year developing a product line that goes beyond what the rest of us would term ‘merchandising’. The concept is more akin to an exchange of merchandise and information with readers and fans. It doesn’t follow the same rhythm and rules as a comparatively slow biannual print magazine. It also aims to answer the question of how to produce and sell fashion in the digital age.
As is always the case with this pair of quick-witted minds, it’s hard to know where to begin. Should I start by discussing their new lambskin coat in silver-grey? Or perhaps the inventory management system that needs to be urgently installed because their jointly owned company, 032c, is producing, publicising and selling items at such a fast pace that their DIY set-up is struggling to keep up? The project is run from the former parish hall in St Agnes Church where 032c magazine’s editorial team is based. In December a store was also opened on the ground floor. The product range is as concise as it is distinct, featuring past and present editions of a magazine that is highly praised around the globe.
by ADRIANO SACK
Fashion expansion: Maria and Jörg Koch take 032c to the next level
Nothing but pure e x c i t e m e n t