Fashion Entrepreneur Andrea Karg: Persistence In The Belief Of Ideas

Andrea Karg: The Queen of CashmereAndrea Kolb meets Andrea Karg, fashion designer and founder of luxury fashion label ALLUDE. 

Cashmere – sensuality and passion – fine and robust – a material with character. Over twenty years ago, lawyer Andrea Karg got in touch with cashmere and was fascinated by the sensuousness of the material; this fascination has never left her.

She founded luxury fashion label ALLUDE – a niche – this made her the queen of cashmere. The central theme of her designs is always her love of experimenting.

To this day, Andrea Karg tries to combine her favourite material, cashmere, with new, high-quality fibres and materials. She never accepts that something might not work; she always works with the very best craftspeople to overcome barriers and to engage in innovative, surprising dialogue with her luxurious cashmere and other materials, whilst always meeting the highest quality standards. 

Andrea Kolb was lucky enough to speak to this extraordinary designer – a down-to-earth, yet confident, creative and visionary business woman.

TNW : You are a kind of a role model for women who want to create a business. You have studied law, have twins, work and live together with your partner and are an internationally successful business woman. You are accessible, natural and cool – what is your secret?

AK: I don’t think there is a secret.

I had an idea, a vision and I believed in it – paired with hard work and a great team.

TNW: Coming to business: You started ALLUDE 20 years ago. What was your dream, your vision?

AK: ALLUDE can’t change the world, but with our fashion we can make it a little bit more comfortable.

TNW: Times have changed a lot in the past 20 years – you created the brand ALLUDE in times when the internet was still in its baby shoes. Over twenty years ago, you were traveling to China without being able to book your flight through to your final destination. What in your opinion has changed the most regarding to running an international business?

AK: Everything has accelerated and got more transparent

TNW: What is the most fascinating about cashmere for you?

AK: I love the ability of transformation and the way the material takes on colours.

TNW: Where do you source the cashmere wool and what role does sustainable sourcing play in your business?

AK: The biggest provider of the raw material is China. We have been working there for over 20 years with family-run enterprises. Cashmere is, despite the finesse of the yarn, very robust and therefore – if we don’t consider the fashion aspect – very durable. As we have the whole production in one place, the life cycle assessment is optimal.

TNW: What have been the major milestones in your career?

AK: The biggest milestone was the acceptance of the official Parisian Fashion Show calendar.

TNW: What role do online sales play in your business nowadays?

AK: We are online through our dealers – and this presence is growing steadily.

TNW: Are you using social media? If so, which channels are the most successful and important for you?

AK: We are using Facebook and promote new lines, fashion show appearances, etc., there. We have 3868 followers at the moment. 

TNW: What inspires you?

AK: Inspiration is composed of various components. It's like a puzzle, art, music, literature, a walk, whatever.

TNW: Quality or Quantity?

AK: Quality.

TNW: Sunrise or Sunset?

AK: Sunrise. 

TNW: What is the best advice you've ever received?

AK: You should only spend the money when it is earned.

TNW: What advice would you give to any aspiring designers?

AK: Work hard, do not take yourself so seriously, and persist in the belief of your idea.

TNW: Any creative role model?

AK: Architects.

Andrea Kolb, the conductor of this interview with Andrea Karg, is a marketing expert and social entrepreneur. In 2001, she founded the communication agency Calliope. Six years later, Andrea and her husband Bernd moved to Marrakesh and opened a city palace they had previously restored, the Ana Yela, a “Place of Inspiration” established as a hot spot for international thinkers.

Living there inspired her to create the social fashion brand ABURY. Under the positioning of “Beyond Fashion”, ABURY combines the desire for style and ethics, exclusiveness and sustainability in a unique and innovative concept. 

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