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Anne-Christin Hofmann (Anne-Christin Schmitt), the creative mind behind the modernist German accessory label Gretchen, grew up surrounded by leather goods of the family manufactory. Her intuitive understanding of design and a lifetime of experience with fine leathers reflect in her thoughtfully unconventional creations. Inspired by sculptural aesthetics and the architecture of nature, her handwriting is marked by feminine straightness and modern angles in distinguished shapes. With a vita so closely interwoven with fine leather goods, Anne-Christins’ understanding of quality in workmanship and luxury in material mirrors in each piece she creates. Eclectic combinations of shiny glazed and waxed calf leathers and elaborate profile elements are signature trademarks of the Gretchen look. The natural texture of these leathers exudes timeless luxury and lets the colorful collections shine. Challenging the conventional Anne-Christin takes on a different angle and gives way to new concepts when designing her bags, purses, gloves and other fine leather items.
About the Designer
Anne Christin is based in Berlin, Germany. She studied at Life. Her collections are produced in Italy.
Anne Hofmann was born in 1981 into a family business of leather goods. She grew up surrounded by fine leather gloves in the family production, and throughout her school and university education (in business, not fashion) she has worked in leather goods. From selling handbags in a store in France, to visiting tanneries in Scandinavia, New Zealand, the UK; from presenting the collection at trade shows in Milan, and working as a designer to selling to professional accounts in London and Madrid Anne has taken in all aspects of the business. "I never wanted to study fashion… sure you can learn techniques about how to develop a collection… but you can’t 'learn' creativity. Either you have it, or you don’t." After having designed an estimated one thousand different glove designs Anne was looking for a new challenge, a new product: handbags.
Whilst for a glove the shape is predetermined and the design is all about the details, in her handbag creations Anne felt free to focus on different shapes and experiment with forms. The results are pure and precisely cut handbags in combination with a distinct, sculpture-like aesthetics. After completing her university degree she launched her own accessories brand Gretchen, with a range of handbags, belts and yes, of course also gloves.
"The base for all that I do today lies in the gloves. This tiny little accessory has taught me so much. I couldn’t have undergone a better school" says Anne-Christin.