Hot, Wet & Uncensored
office called the designer to find out. Read our interview and watch the S/S ‘19 fashion film, premiering below.
How long have you been designing for? Was it something you always knew you wanted to do?
I have been designing a clothing label now for six years. I started with a label before this called Ammerman Schlösberg that I did when I graduated Parsons, but I always knew that I wanted to be a designer. My parents have this super embarrassing home video from my fifth grade graduation. When they would call each kid to come up and get their diploma they would say what that kid wanted to do or be when he got older and, of course, everyone was like a veterinarian or doctor, but mine was to be Gucci’s biggest competitor.
Where can I see this video?
Oh my god, I wish. My parents have it on this old ass VHS that barely even works.
How has your style evolved since then—or, at least, over the span of your career?
It's definitely changed a lot. I think coming out of a school and jumping into a partnership was, of course, amazing and I had the greatest time creating these things that were fun and fantastical. I was young and there were less consequences when I wasn't making enough money. It was just a different thing. But since I decided to go solo, finding my own voice was something that definitely took its time. After years of collaborating, you kind of learn to work in a way that works for both people. So, doing it alone definitely kind of evolves your own style.
You have full control.
Yeah, and finding the confidence in that control was the biggest thing. I always knew what I liked, but when you're in a partnership you have to compromise. So, being confident in what I thought I wanted was the hardest thing to learn, but I'm so glad that I feel like I’m finally there.
You're ‘About’ page on your website is amazing. It says: ‘Eric Schlösberg makes clothes for hot bitches.’ Is that all we need to know about your label?
Honestly, yeah. I make clothes for confident people that want to feel hot. And when I think about ‘About’ pages, it's good background to have but it’s not that important. It's just one sentence: ‘I make clothes for hot bitches.’ That's all you need to know. Hot is a mindset, it's an attitude—it's not necessarily anything physical. Hot is confidence—being brave enough to strut around in whatever makes them feel good. That’s hot.
So, making clothes for hot bitches—what does that process look like?
It always starts with a song. I like to walk around the city by myself with my music on and my phone on shuffle. I'll just listen to music and walk for hours until the right song comes on. Normally, I know it's the right song because I’ll start to see the final images. Like, the final image of my lookbook is the girl squatting on the floor over a shattered watermelon licking the juice off her fingers. That image popped into my mind immediately and everything kind of came from that, which came from the music. Once I see that in my head is when I start drawing. It's definitely a solitary activity. I like to be alone.
What was the song for this season?
Yes! It was “Chun-Li” by Nicki Minaj.
Let’s talk about the video for this collection. Why did you pick Ziayla for it?
When I was model casting I was looking for someone that was really spicy—someone that embodied that Miami girl in my mind. I met Ziayla on the street when I was grabbing a coffee and immediately fell in love her. She was so wild, full of personality, a go getter, like totally after what it was she wanted—and that's who my girl is. So many girls share that passion—that drive and intelligence. But I met her and immediately knew that she had to be the girl for the video. I asked her if she was okay showing her boobs because I love sheer everything, and she literally at that moment she was like, ‘Of course I don't mind at all,’ and lifted off her shirt in the middle of sidewalk and showed me her boobs. I was like, ‘Booked. Booked. Booked.’
A lot of your designs are pretty provocative. Is there a narrative aspect to your design process?
Definitely. I always tell a story about this one girl—from the time I started the label it’s been the same character and everything she's going through. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't living out my fantasy through her. I want to move back to Miami so badly. So, when I started designing this collection it all started with a story about the character being swept off her feet at the strip club she was working at by this crime lord from Miami. He flies her back to his compound where she lives just lives her life. She’s this fabulous rich woman now.
So, was this the same girl that was the stripper in Vegas from your last collection?
Exactly. So, he's goes there and finds her and takes her back to Miami.
Did you come up with that story before you listened to “Chun-Li” that day? Or vice versa?
So, I'm originally from Miami and my husband has been pushing me to move back there for the last three years. I feel like I'm finally coming around to the idea. And then Cardi B’s album came out with “I Like It” on it, which is just so reminiscent of my childhood, walking down Ocean Drive and hearing cars blasting reggaeton. So, it just all kind of came together in this moment where the girl goes to Miami.
Does this girl have a name?
I don't think she has a name, actually—I’ve never really thought about it. But I think I'm gonna kill her off next season.
What? No way!
I know! Juicy insider scoop. I mean, I’m still thinking about it, but it's been the same girl and the same story for three years now, and I feel like the story itself was really helping me personally work through being an independent solo designer for the first time and finding my voice. Like, I kind of gave myself this character to help guide me—it just felt like I had a clearer direction when there was a functional person involved, and I feel like I've worked through all of my own things with that character. But now that I've found my own voice, I’m feeling confident in what I’m doing and like I almost don't need her anymore. Now, I can just go forward with exactly what it is I want to do.
Video directed by Robbie Sokolowsky at TriBeCa Journal Studios. Photos by Amy Lombard, Hair by Sean Bennett, Makeup by Andrew Colvin, Nails by Eichi Matsunaga, Set by Kristian Kirk; courtesy of the designer. Music recorded and produced by Faysal Matin.