Allude & Friends: Sabine Gripp of Agency Schumacher & Kubanek
The finest cashmere fashion remains a secret treasure in the designer’s studio, if no one sees to its placement in boutiques, high-quality multi-brand stores and concept stores. Sabine Gripp and her business partner Heinrich Kubanek (left) of the fashion agency Schuhmacher & Kubanek in Düsseldorf make sure that the fine sweaters, cardigans and many other luxury items by Allude are never far from their customers in Germany and Switzerland. Sabine Gripp, whom we’ve interviewed for this episode of Allude & Friends, still remembers the first Allude collection, which was displayed in her showroom in 1996: “At the time it only consisted of twenty designs. And now Allude fashion is available internationally at the fanciest shopping destinations.”
Your first fashion memory:
Antonia Hilke with her fabulous TV show “Neues vom Kleidermarkt” (news of the fashion market). Even as a little girl I was captivated by her reports about new trends in Paris or Milan. Her studio, too, was very innovative for its time: it was all white, without any decoration.
How would you describe your style?
Relaxed and subtle rather than flashy. I often wear high-quality tops without frills – preferably made of cashmere – combined with jeans and somewhat “wacky” shoes. That’s how my clients know me.
The most important rule in your style guide:
Never a “complete look”!
Which style icon do you admire most?
Even though it may not be very original: I think Kate Moss, with her effortless, highly fashionable outfits, is just wonderful.
Your favourite fashion film?
The documentary “The Eye Has to Travel” with and about the legendary Diana Vreeland.
Do you remember your first cashmere garment?
When I was twelve years old, I inherited my big brother’s cashmere sweater, which had shrunk after a wash at 90 degrees. He was devastated – and I was fascinated by this material. By now I have more than 100 different cashmere sweaters from all Allude seasons of the past 20 years in my closet, especially in all shades of “Heather Grey”. An art collection of a different kind.
Your favourite piece from the Allude Collection Fall / Winter 2015/2016:
The new textured pullover, which, of course, I’ve ordered in grey.
What makes working with Andrea Karg so special for you?
Andrea and I are very different personalities at work and approach challenges from completely different angles. Which makes it all the more exciting when we meet each other on the home stretch every time – really every time! – and from conflicting ideas and approaches develop the most surprising, creative, and ultimately the most commercially successful solution together.
How did you two meet?
A colleague of us brought us together. Andrea was looking for the right distribution partner, and my business partner and I wanted to offer a cashmere collection in our agency. It took only one meeting for everyone to realize that we were a fantastic match!
Your best tip for cashmere care?
Cashmere likes to be washed – with the right care product, of course. High-quality cashmere like that offered by Allude becomes even more beautiful when it’s washed.
The coolest song on your iPod or iPhone?
“Chaleur Humaine” by Christine and the Queens, aka Héloïse Letissier, a fantastic singer / songwriter and dancer from Paris, now based in London. In her songs she mixes not only the languages of both cities but also the style of French chansons with rhythm ‘n’ blues and pop.