Making a Splash

INTERVIEW. Malaika Raiss is one of the lucky few that successfully head her own label in Berlin. Her Spring/Summer 2013 collection is set to make a splash.

Image for Making a Splash
Photo by Christoph Neumann

An interview with label head Malaika Raiss.

There is quite a contrast between 
Malaika Raiss’ white, airy atelier and 
the graffiti-ridden streets of Friedrichshain outside. The soft-spoken 
designer, who at the age of 27 is 
already at the helm of her own
 eponymous label, enjoys living in a
 city that “is less conservative than
 others in Germany and therefore a
 great source of inspiration.” Raiss
 moved to the capital after finishing 
her fashion degree in Mannheim and 
interned with several Berlin designers, 
including the city’s reigning queen of 
ready-to-wear women’s clothing, Leyla
 Piedayesh of Lala Berlin.

“I learned more working for Lala than I did throughout my whole time at university,” she says. The experience gave her the confidence she needed to start her own label. “Getting financial support is the hardest thing for a young designer. It was tough at the beginning; this place was empty and I was doing all my sketches on the floor!” Now only a couple of years later and with four shows already behind her, Raiss has succeeded where many have failed in a city where state support for fashion designers is limited.

The label’s growing success, both in Berlin and abroad, can be attributed to the fact that her women’s wear is both contemporary and wearable. Current designs are in tune with the trend of sheer knits and transparent blouses, but in a way that will translate well off the runway. “I like to think that my brand is ageless. I know that sheer items will be of interest to younger women, but I also know that women who are a bit older may not want to show their arms, for
she says, 
holding up 
an olive 
green silk
 dress with long sleeves.

Raiss doesn’t shy away from colour. Her Spring/Summer collection for 2013 is awash with bold powder blues and emerald greens, aqueous hues befitting a collection named after the David Hockney painting “A Bigger
 Splash”. Raiss has already grabbed the attention of the fashion press and the all-important buyers, who 
recognise a label that will sell well. 
The promising young designer may 
well soon challenge Lala Berlin for
 the throne

Available online from, and in Berlin from Wald ( and BAERCK (