Like so many millions before me, I came to America through New York. It was this bright, shining city that attracted me all the way from Stuttgart, Germany as a kid. New York was, and remains today for so many, more an idea than a physical place – New York means being able to start over, fresh, in a new place. It means being able to create whatever you want and become whomever you want to be. Within the gridline streets of this concrete jungle, there is somehow the spaciousness to be free from old ideas and prejudices.
I came to America – and specifically New York – to study fashion at FIT. Even as a teenager, I knew I could express myself through clothing. Getting dressed in the morning, I was creating a new character, and figuring out who I was by what I wore. To be serious about my commitment to learning more and immersing myself in the fashion world, New York was where I had to be.
Five years and many travels later, I am still in love with this city, its vibe and everything it means to come to America as an immigrant. I love the optimism in the American spirit, the idea that if you put your mind to it, then nothing stands in your way. Man can go to the moon and back – in America, a man can also go inwards and decide who he is. I love that there is no set definition of what an “American” is – the motto “E Pluribus Unum” sums it up quite well.
Fashion is a way to express myself without words. It is an opening statement to the world. When I dress in the morning, I am thinking about what it is that I want to project. I partnered with American heritage label Abercrombie & Fitch to create this video and shots featuring clothes from the new collection. Abercrombie has updated its aesthetic with unpretentious stylings and lived-in looks that seem like they’ve always been a part of your wardrobe. It’s that American wardrobe staple that’s always been there, waiting to be rediscovered.