Achtung Baby

German designer Wibke Deertz is on the move and commanding attention with euro hipster classics.

Sometimes when you’re flipping through a look book you just want to jump into the pages and join the well-dressed models—or in the case of Joseph Altuzarra’s look book, I wish I could jump into the pages and become Vanessa Traina. In any case, a flip through add’s Spring/Summer 2009 collection yields that familiar response. Maybe it’s because the weather has changed to fall—but the photos of sun-kissed models sporting a polished European hipster look makes me long for warm summer days that are now, at the very least, eight months in the distant future. Each look builds on itself, with loosely tailored men’s button-downs to a relaxed version of the polo dress; it’s hard to believe that the line is called add. The association that is often made with those three little letters (and I’m not talking math class here), is a stark contrast to the refined and clearly focused design sensibility.

Designer Wibke Deertz created add in 2000 and refuses to adhere to seasonal fashion trends that are often force-fed down our throats. Instead, she allows her inspiration itself to guide her designs. German-bred, Deertz studied art at both Washington, D.C.’s Corcoran School of Art as well as the Utrecht School of Art in the Netherlands before returning to Germany and settling in Berlin to cultivate her business. So with her concentrated dedication to studying art and design, what’s in a name? The inception of add as the name for her collection arose from Deertz’s passion for travel and experiencing foreign cultures. Rather than relying on a routine when designing her collections, Deertz jumps around the world, never focusing on any area in particular, and lets her surroundings (and her experience on the road) dictate. A 2004 trip to Buenos Aires led to the add Fall/Winter 2006 collection, while an extended stay in Hanoi, Vietnam provided inspiration for Spring/Summer 2008. A look through add’s past collections reveals a European simplicity that is mildly reminiscent of another impeccably designed European back-to-basics line, apc. Deertz has also expanded her line to include a permanent collection of classics made available year-round, a sort of step up from American Apparel if you will. With add’s continued success under her belt, Deertz has gone on to collaborate on projects with her fellow artists that will include dabbling in furniture design in the near future.

Unfortunately, we may have to take to Deertz’s traveler’s lifestyle as add is mostly available in Europe. For those New Yorkers, add can be found at Orchard Street boutique,
Still Life. 

TEXT BY Ashley Brewster