For our brand new GERMAN ISSUE, we hooked up with Spanish laser/technology company Jeanologia and asked five German personalities to send us their very own artworks to be lasered on a personal denim jacket, kindly provided by Levi's. One of them was Laura Kaczmarek. This Ruhr area native is not only a rising photographer, but also a skater. And she knows how to blend her talents well-just take a look at her beautiful, almost architectural skate photography.
What does fashion mean to you?
To me fashion means feeling at home in clothing you prefer. Not to let others tell you that something doesn’t suit you or that it looks bad. To wear things you can identify with yourself.
How would you describe your own style?
I would say that my own style has two aspects. Of course, skateboarding influences me totally. I love sneakers, coach jackets, chinos and beanies…a rather boyfriend style, but still feminine. Then again, I also like it on the chic side. With Chelsea boots, coats and other accessories. But really all I need is black jeans, a basic white shirt and a loose jacket, and that does it for me.
You're a skater. How do you feel about skateboarding being adapted by so many big designers these days?
I find it really extreme the way skateboarding is influencing the fashion world at the moment. Skaters used to be associated with clothing that was bad, worn out and far too big. Nowadays you don’t see anything else anymore in the top fashion magazines such as Vogue. It’s actually an insult to skateboarding in a way, but most don’t care. People should wear things they like, and if they are so uncreative and need to fall for every trend, then so be it–that will pass, too.
"To me skateboarding is an attitude to life and has been with me for half my life already. [...] To be honest, I can’t say why [it] is fascinating so many outside the scene again."
What is it that fascinates people about skateboarding?
To me skateboarding is an attitude to life and has been with me for half my life already. In the scene itself it is the camaraderie across the whole world. Anywhere you go you are always made welcome, you have the same interests and you're immediately on the same wavelength. To be honest, I can’t say why skateboarding is fascinating so many outside the scene again. But I remember that skateboarding already had a certain influence on fashion in the 1990s and it all just keeps repeating.
You live in Essen, Germany. Do you feel there’s a certain fashion style in the Ruhr Valley?
Of course, the cliché is workout pants, a Borussia Dortmund or Schalke football shirt, white socks and Adilette slides. Of course, people who wear that style are out there, but otherwise the mix here is just as varied as anywhere else in Germany. Although you really do have to say that when it comes to fashion the Ruhr region is not quite as open as Berlin, for example.
What do you like about your home town/area?
What I like most in my home region is how open the people are. In the Ruhr region everything is very easy-going, and the local characters are really something special. I like the way people talk and interact with each other. In addition, it is totally practical that you can reach different cities in a few minutes; it’s never boring that way.
Would you like to launch your own fashion collection one day? What would it look like?
That would really interest me and I can immediately imagine doing that. But not standards such as T-shirts, pullovers and caps. I am totally in favor of jackets and would really go for it. I go shopping often and have an exact picture in my head of what I am looking for, what it should look like, and what material, color and cut. But I have never been completely successful. It would be perfect to be able to create that in my own collection.
"Really all I need is black jeans, a basic white shirt and a loose jacket, and that does it for me."
Which photographers do you admire?
I like the work of Diane Arbus, Gavin Watson, Larry Clark, Harley Weir and Roger Ballen.
Do you remember your first pair of jeans?
The first jeans that I can remember? They were certainly light-colored jeans with bell-bottoms.
What do you always keep in your pocket?
What is the most expensive piece in your closet?
Hard to say. I recently received a bag from Sandqvist and when I thought it over it struck me that it cost €300 and I would never have spent that much for it, even though I like the bag a lot.
...and the cheapest?
Several. I just love hunting for bargains. I simply have a better feeling when someone asks me where I got the piece and I can say, “Hey from there and it only cost €3.” It occurs to me now that for a long time people often asked me about a cap I had. I got it at Kaufland for 50 cents.
What’s your absolute favorite piece of clothing?
Leather jackets–I have been wearing them for what feels like always and it simply doesn’t get boring.
What would you never wear?
Probably over-the-knee boots, because I feel extremely uncomfortable in them.
Do you prefer fashion shopping online or offline?
Both. But preferably in a store, especially to support small retailers.
What’s your fashion faux-pas from the past?
When I was about 12 years old there were these Buffalo sneakers (I don’t mean those high boots or the ones with the flames). The shoes were extremely wide, but for that time not wide enough. So I stuffed a sponge under the tongue. When I think about it now it must have looked really awful.
...and now some “either/or” questions:
Rolex or Apple Watch?
Supreme or Palace?
Palace x Supreme collab.
New York or Biarritz?
Good book or cinema?
Düsseldorf or Cologne?
Currywurst with fries or a burger?
Currywurst with fries.
Terry Richardson or Peter Lindbergh?
Definitely Peter Lindbergh.
Kurt Cobain or Tupac?
Find out more about the stars and shapers of our GERMAN ISSUE in the brand new print magazine or check the digital magazine here.