Fashion brand Marc Cain’s state-of-the-art headquarters in Bodelshausen, Germany, is a model of efficiency: The company does nearly everything in-house on its massive campus—from design and knitting, to logistics and PR, and even branding—which helps the brand stay ahead of the technological curve and boast a “Made in Germany” label. With such an uncompromising focus on innovation and quality, it’s no surprise that Marc Cain has steadfastly grown its global presence. Today the company has more than 200 stores in 32 countries, and it makes handbags, shoes and fragrance in addition to clothing. Its third U.S. store—in White Plains, NY—opened in The Westchester mall last summer.
Karin Veit has been at the helm as Marc Cain creative director for 40 years. She’s created a line that’s multifaceted, much like the woman who wears it: The style is feminine, glam, strong and irreverent. The designs feature unexpected combinations of pattern, color and shape. We caught up with Veit during Berlin Fashion Week to learn about Marc Cain’s spring/summer line, and the key pieces to invest in this season.
What defines the Marc Cain brand?
At Marc Cain the collection is the star! The company philosophy was defined by the following guidelines: a sense of aesthetics and art, combined with casualness and naturalness, innovative thinking and exclusivity. [It’s] fashion that is always a bit different and yet true
How would you describe the woman who wears Marc Cain?
[She] lives for today, is confident, open-minded and curious. She loves being a woman, which she expresses through what she wears—naturally and effortlessly.
Tell us about your spring line. What inspired it?
The new spring/summer collection features high-powered looks for strong women. Influences come from the ’70s and ’80s and exude a confident nonchalance. Style clashes combining romantic with functional, sporty elements result in creative, bold outfits. The color palette ranges from vibrant azzurro, flame and pink down to earthy tones, with violet as a highlight. Delicate rose plus intense red equals a new, fresh color composition. The combination of off-white and light blue conveys maximum summer vibes.
Your massive building campus is revolutionary. What are the biggest benefits of doing so much of the production in-house?
Research and development play an important role at Marc Cain. Constant innovation is the basic prerequisite for running a production facility in Germany. Throughout the entire
procurement chain, Marc Cain follows a comprehensive quality-assurance system. The supplier management is shaped by close, long-standing relations and includes a portfolio of absolute specialists—there’s no need to jump back and forth between different suppliers and countries.
What’s your favorite thing about the Marc Cain campus?
The interior design displays an exciting mix of contrasts that at first sight seem opposed, [but] in fact create a harmonious overall appearance. I really like the generous architecture, the big-window concept, the rooftop gardens and the natural environment around our buildings.
What do you love about Berlin Fashion Week?
Berlin is a young, trendy city. I always find it inspiring here, and I am constantly discovering new things when I’m out and about. There’s a lot going on right now, especially in the young designer scene. Our own show is the seasonal highlight for me and my team
Do you have any prefashion show rituals?
I try to sleep enough, and running eases the stress, so if I have time I like to go running in the Teirgarten in Berlin in the early morning of the fashion show. Shortly before the show I try to be on an even keel.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received as creative director?
When I meet women that love wearing Marc Cain for years—that’s the biggest compliment for a designer.
Do you have any personal style rules?
You should always feel comfortable in your outfit. Then you have a certain charisma, and you look authentic.
Karin’s Spring Style Picks
1. Shirts and blouses with extravagant sleeve solutions
2. A black leather jacket
3. Gossamer-thin knitted tops and pants
4. Statement parkas and jeans embroidered with colorful patches
5. Kick-flared bootcut trousers
6. Swinging dresses and skirts, especially those pleated at mid-thigh
7. Jogging suits with decorative elements, such as hot-fix rhinestones or contrasting stripes