Thomas Steinbrück is a good friend of WAA. Working in the creative scene globally, he has defined creative and brand directions and designed collections for Elie Saab, Porsche Design and Reebok. Today, he is more focused on trend directions for the tech and streaming industry. Meet Thomas!
Thomas, you worked in the creative scene all over the world. But how does Berlin influence your creative work?
Berlin influences my work a lot as it’s a very complex and incomparable city. It’s a city that is neither rich nor poor, it’s everything and with that, nothing. There are so many layers of the city with its ever changing history. We have seen tragedy and terrible leaders, but we have also seen strong bursts of happiness and joy, such as in 1990 with the German Reunification. No other city in the world has so much in one place.
And with all that, the city is a cultural hotspot and a trendsetter for certain subcultural communities and directions. I personally don’t go to one source of inspiration. My inspiration comes from art, music, architecture, people, political conditions and subculture. When it’s all in one city, it creates a vibe that you can thrive from and also helps you to anticipate the trends. But it’s important to take all of this, filter, analyze and use it in what you specifically need. If not, you might get overwhelmed.
What is your personal Berlin? How would you define it?
Berlin is a very quiet and serene place for me. A place that doesn’t feel as hectic and stressful as other cities, it’s more personal and approachable. That might be because it’s Germany and it’s my birth place, but it might also be because of the character of the city as it has a very approachable appeal. It’s not so anonymous or strange in comparison to other cities where I lived. And don’t get me wrong, depending on where you are in your life, there will be a city with a certain dynamic that will fit you best.
As a person who is deeply rooted in the fashion scene, I would assume you definitely have a Woman Author of Achievement from the world of fashion?
Always and eternally, since I was a teenager, the one and only woman for me is Coco Chanel! Many people today don’t know her story that well, but let me tell you, she was a woman like no other. Born in the 19th century, she became the trendsetter and force of the 20th century. She was one of the first women who built her own business empire during her lifetime. She knew how to sell her ideas and get investors — today that’s considered normal but at that time it was considered scandalous. Coco was and still is the most successful couturier and fashion icon in the world. And she was always first! The first to use a jersey as a fabric for women, the first who licensed her perfume, the first who brought her fashion brand and who built her business in the United States. And that for me is an iconic woman!
Cheers to Coco! And, what is your favorite WAA Podcast episode?
I am torn between two episodes - the one with Catherine Bischoff (E.01) and Claudia Bothe (E.15). Both are super inspiring women, so it’s a tie! What is so special about the both, is that they are extremely feminine and strong feminists. I think it’s the best mix!