Wibke Deertz founded fashion label A.D. Deertz in Berlin a decade ago as a unisex brand, but has since focused on globally-inspired, high quality men’s garments. Her colourful men’s collections, marked by vivid hues and urbane cuts, reflect an itinerant life designing across Europe, Asia and South America. Wibke took some time out from her flagship store in Mitte to chat…  


Since establishing A.D.Deertz you've moved around the world, designing and producing collections in cities such as Buenos Aires, Hanoi and Bangkok. What was that like? 

It’s really great to work in other cities – with time pressures and the goal to be productive you get to know a city through a much different angle than just a fun visit. I got to meet great people who I’ve since worked with and learned A LOT! I now know industry specific words, like ‘pocket-lining’, ‘hole punch’, ‘button’ et cetera in Spanish, Vietnamese and Thai, and I know now I can work anywhere in the world.

I’ve also learned how German I am in certain ways and what that means – it’s hilarious. For instance, we may think time and money are related parameters, but that’s not true in most parts of the world. I’ve really seen and experienced amazing things with tailors in each country I’ve worked in and I can’t wait to set out to other parts of the world. 


A.D.Deertz began as a unisex range. The recent 2009/2010 A/W collection established a switch to solely producing menswear. Why the change? 

I prefer to work only on menswear. It doesn’t include me as a reference – when making women’s pieces it started out with the question: “What do I want to wear?” but I don’t care about my wardrobe too much nor do I want to think about it too much. Making menswear is a better challenge to my work, my personality is there but I don’t have to physically or mentally have to be in it. 


What inspires you? 

Ugly and unaccommodating things usually inspire me – I like to look for garments that are ugly and find the nice parts in them.  Colours inspire me too: from the colours I’ve seen in Hanoi I can keep working in that palette for years to come. The colours there are completely different from anything I’ve seen before. 


Does Berlin inspire you? 

Yes, Berlin inspires me, as does the city’s lifestyle and architecture. My friends here also inspire me.


NAN GOLDIN - Berlin Work 1984 - 2009

CORY ARCANGEL - Here Comes Everybody

STEPHEN SHORE - Uncommon Places


Graham Caldwell



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You studied sculpture at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. How does that knowledge inform your fashion design?

I don’t think there are major differences in different genres of creative work. I have an urge to be very productive, so fashion design works for me. It’s also rewarding to have a product that you can sell. 

The great thing about art school [at Corcoran] was that they teach you that you can be anything you want. The philosophy at the school was very hippie-esque but we were extremely hard working. I like that mixture. 


Is there a static process you follow for each collection or does it happen fluidly? 

It’s very fluid: I look at lots of fabrics and think of the garments I want to make. It happens over a period of a few months… not easily, but if I keep going on it continuously it does all come together in the end. The end result looks calm and straight but the process is not at all!


Previously you've hosted concerts in the shop, including artists such as Bodi Bill and Anti-Pop Consortium. What gave you the idea for these events? 

I love music and I know a lot of people who make music. I totally adore these two bands and it was great to host their shows and have so many people come to see them. There are not many places in the world you can block the street, put a blasting sound system on the sidewalk and get away with it. Berlin rocks for that.


Have you got any other gigs in store this Spring/Summer?

I hope to have the Dragons of Zynth play in the shop within the next months. This month there is a little festival I’m collaborating on with another store. We’ll keep you updated. 


Any final words? 

Keep moving.

Text: Melisa Gray-Ward | All Photos Courtesy of ADD