About sustainable ball gowns, velvet hairbands and a vision of creating the fashion brand HvG

Unique, selected pieces, a joyful language of products and a custom-made approach make Henriette von Grünberg with her label HvG a name to look out for. Originally selling her dresses via direct massage on IG she now has her online shop and a modern approach towards production. She is a globe trotter with an open-minded fashion spirit, creating a collection we want to wear right now.

IRMA: What was the first piece you had in mind when starting your label?
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: I did not start with one product in mind, but as I started off making custom made dresses my main inspiration has always been the powerful woman and strong personalities of the wearer.

IRMA: You seem to have a passion for ball gowns. How come?
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: That comes from the years I have spent in Austria as a teenager and later for my first year of under graduation. Growing up in a family that moves across Europe every 5 years I am influenced by different cultures. But a very strong influence had been the flamboyant ball culture of Austria.

IRMA: How important is texture and the mix of different materials in your collection?
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: It has always been most important to me to use only natural material. Especially silk impressed me. It is always been surprising for me how little people now about the material they are wearing every day. I enjoy showing my clients exceptional quality material. It’s something literally everybody enjoys once they have tried it.

IRMA: You sell mostly via Direct Massage on your IG account, how does your fashion circle work, how many collections do you do and do you ship worldwide, etc.?
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: I started selling mostly though my Instagram, made appointments with my clients and created something made to measure and bespoke. Since February however, I am selling through the online shop where soon also the new collection will be available, as well as the bags, bows, headbands and my jewellery. Everything can be shipped worldwide. Against the breathless rhythm of the fashion industry with X collections a year we publish new pieces on a rolling base, because we belief in our products, not so much in collections.

IRMA: How do you produce your fashion highly sustainable?
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: Making sustainable fashion is influenced in three stages of our supply chain: the design stage & the raw material stage and the packaging.

My approach of designing sustainably is that I am aiming to create pieces that are very close to size independence, that significantly reduces the stock issues and therefor the waste. Further I am designing pieces that can be worn in different way. Like the new Mari dress with multiple buttons that can be worn on the back as well as on the front. This makes it more exciting owning two styles but one piece! One of the main issues of fast fashion and lag of sustainability in the fashion industry is also the short life span of a product. Through my design approach I am aiming to prolong that.

In the raw material stage, I am using left over fabrics I find all over the world and now I start working with actually recycled materials. The packaging I am using are all recycled as well and I am working on biodegradable packaging.

IRMA: Pearls and velvet hairbands, what comes to your mind?
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: Velvet, silk, cotton, pearls and many more things the nature has gifted us with is what really inspires me. In my recent travel through India it was also the natural colours, the old craftsmanship’s and the old patterns that influenced me so much!

IRMA: What is your personal vision on fashion right now?
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: Fashion has always been an emotional product. But while it has always been about desire and consumption Fashion now has to become a way of expressing and protecting values of sustainability and ethics in beautiful way.

IRMA: Where do you look for new input and inspiration?
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: After doing this for quite a few years now I realized a pattern of my inspiration. It’s either strong woman that influenced me through their beauty, style and personality or it had been my travels. At the moment its India, I absolutely love this country. The colours, the art, the architecture and also the people. It’s my entire inspiration at the moment.

IRMA: Currently on your travel list.
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: I am currently in Oman, coming from India and heading to Marrakech afterwards. So Home is on my list 🙂

IRMA: What book do you read right now?
HENRIETTE VON GRÜNBERG: Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater.