In 17 years, Markus Lupfer has made a name for himself with his Pop Art-esque knit sweaters, sequined with everything from his signature lip print to flamboyant flamingos. With stockists all over the world like Colette in Paris, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and Club 21 in Southeast Asia, his collections reflect the fun side of fashion and have earned him a legion of fans. In his lilting German-accented English, Lupfer talks to Buro 24/7 Singapore about his signature knits, what's coming up next season and how exactly to wear knit in our perpetual summer.
You're known for your witty, irreverent references and fun, playful approach to fashion, what was the starting point of your label?
The Internet was an important point to start with and I wanted to create something that was cute, different, and unusual. Traditionally, knitwear is just a plain jumper. You have one that is black, grey, blue or striped So I wanted to create something that was quirkier, almost like a new T-shirt. That was the real starting point and it all developed from there.
When you started your label, did you specifically decide to focus on your signature sequined sweaters or was it something that evolved over time?
It did evolve over time. It started with the lip print, because when I sign my name, I usually write, "Markus, XX. Lip, lip." You know, kiss-kiss kind of thing. Then I thought, "Oh it would be so nice to have that lip signature on somewhere, or on something." So we sent the lip artwork off to get developed and I said to them, "Oh, can you do a few techniques, but in one technique can you use sequins?" Then I showed them where to put the sequins, in what colour, and when it came back I was like, "Oh my God, this looks really cool!" It really got me so excited and it was almost total coincidence.
Why did you choose the knit sweater?
When I started there was something exciting missing in knitwear, and when I looked around, I was bored. So I thought, "there must be something else we can do here." I got inspired to find something new and make it a really important part of [my brand]. There was a challenge in making it different, but I've always loved knitwear.
You recently started incorporating prints into your collection (pre-fall 2015) —how did that come about?
Prints are something that I have always loved because it's a very modern technique. It has evolved over the past 15 years and it has become more interesting. I wanted to do something special for us, and [making prints] allows us to develop our own fabrics and make it really Markus. We work with this amazing place in England and we weave our own fabric, so we can create something really special and exclusive for our customers.
How would you wear a knit sweater in Singapore's weather?
I always think you should wear it with shorts or a short skirt. It's light, so in this environment you can wear it easily if you find the right balance. It also depends on the material: For example, we do lightweight cotton, so it's a little bit easier to wear.
What are you looking forward to next?
I'm already excited for the next season, but we're working on resort at the moment. Then, we have the next presentation in September during London Fashion Week, so that's really exciting. There's some cool stuff we're developing at the moment with techniques and fabrics.