Reinis x Double Notch November 13, 2016 – Posted in: Designers, Double Notch – Tags: , , , , ,

If some say: the devil is in the detail, in case we are speaking of Reinis Ratnieks (which we are) some would say the devil is in the form and innovation.

It is already freezing-cold and all-white winter in Riga , so we meet with the designer REINIS RATNIEKS for a hot coffee in a grey midday, to talk on lack of system, power of boredom and personality cult as an essential fashion industry game changer.


What would you do, if it wasn’t fashion?

It would probably be related either to architecture and construction or real estate.

Do you have any taboos as a designer?

I don’t. Everything is possible if you have the right motivation. The thing with me is that I can do everything until it stays interesting, the moment it gets boring – I stop.

… zero-waste method is dependent on the design, but it shouldn’t be the other way around.

Reinis Ratnieks Double Notch

Do you work systematically or spontaneously?

Absolutely spontaneously. I’ve got no system at all. I’d like to say it’s my brilliance and my misery, but rather misery [laughing].

The thing with me is that I can do everything until it stays interesting, the moment it gets boring – I stop.

What usually works as an inspiration for you ?

It’s everything that surrounds us – fashion itself. Especially youth fashion you see on the street every day. Taking in consideration the globalization and the fact that masses wear what they see in a music video or commercials, I still think that street fashion in some ways is unpredictable and keeps reflecting the mood of society. I don’t find it necessary or interesting to show who I am with the help of my outfit no more, but young people still do – and that is where you can see the real fashion.

How did your path in fashion design began? Is it true that you applied to a sewing school just because you knew there will be no other guys ?

It all happened accidentally and spontaneously, like many things in my life. I’m sometimes surprised I’m still not homeless [laughs]… It all happens chaotically, but it’s heading somewhere. I am sure it was in my subconsciousness all along. Ever since I applied to the sewing school I haven’t got any doubts about my choice. I think it’s my personality who allows it – being (almost masochistically) patient is essential to the process.

Reinis Ratnieks Double Notch

Simplicity is an essential concept in your design, as well as accessibility. How exactly that affects your design?

I focus on form instead of focusing on details. The performance artists, actors and designers know – while you are, for example on the stage, people only notice the big things – form, silhouettes etc. And that is basically what I work with.

I like to play with the constructions and patterns. I never create work just because I want to, I always try to surprise myself and add something new, different and unique. Sometimes the force that makes me come up with innovative techniques or ideas is laziness – I’m trying to find the simplest and most effective ways to accomplish certain results.

I still think that street fashion in some ways is unpredictable and keeps reflecting the mood of society.

I know you practice zero-waste fashion. Why is it important for you in the first place, and what does it mean practically ?

I like the idea itself, yes. However, once I got to know the method better practically, I realised it doesn’t really justify itself and becomes and end in itself. It’s all good when zero-waste method is dependent on the design, but it shouldn’t be the other way around.

How do you think, what does fashion need the most nowadays?

There was this point recently at which I could feel that there is personality cult everywhere – people where thinking about their values on a deeper level and along with that came new ways of perceiving the way we express ourselves through clothing. And I can feel it’s fading away now. But it’s good for fashion.


Interview by Eliza Aboltina
Photos by Laurél Photography

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Reinis Ratnieks Double Notch