The Austrian Florentina Leitner has been studying fashion since she was 14. Her brand is an extension of her personality and a sample of her daily life.
Who is Florentina Leitner?
I create clothes for people who feel young but are not necessarily young. My brand is driven by nostalgia. I give my childhood memories a mature and modern update. As a child, I did gymnastics and equestrian vaulting, which is why you often see bodysuits and rhinestones in my work. My Catholic school’s pleated skirts and uniforms also make regular appearances. The same goes for flowers, because I grew up in a wine region and spent a lot of time in nature. But I am just as inspired by anime.
My creations may look cheerful at first glance, but there is always a creepy side to them. I want to give the wearers of my clothes a confident and happy feeling and bring out their inner child, but it can also be dark sometimes. My next spring collection is inspired by the horror film Picnic at Hanging Rock. And this winter, a collection based on Joan of Arc, but in my case, the models survive the burning stake and rise from their ashes.
Seeing my ideas come to life is the most enjoyable aspect of my job, and, at once, also the most painful. Because it raises so many questions. Is that possible? Do we have enough budget? As a designer, problem-solving is your main activity. Even though I also think it is important to leave room for error. Sometimes, that’s how you arrive at something more beautiful than you had in mind. I find the fashion rhythm quite tiring. I sometimes need a break, but that is not so straightforward when you have a brand and a team to run.