Following on from last season’s Denim and ‘Le Smoking’ Tuxedo projects, JOYCE ICONICS leads a project to celebrate the t-shirt. Often overlooked, the understated piece forms the backbone to any wardrobe. Partnering with a new generation of brands, JOYCE seeks out young designers with a new take on an old favourite.

A total of five brands have been invited to exercise their artistic freedom, each designing and producing their own capsule series of tees.

¨ Charles Jeffrey

¨ Faith Connexion

¨ Ottolinger

¨ Wales Bonner

¨ JETPACK hom(m)e

The result is a series of t-shirts that often have an intimate story behind their design: comforting and informal, but always of personal significance to each designer. An authentic reflection of today’s youth culture.


It is fair to say Berlin-based brand Ottolinger wholeheartedly embraces contradiction. Known for their grasp of balancing couture creation and destruction, the design duo behind the brand, Christa Bösh and Cosima Gadient are masters of juxtaposition.

Take their latest collection for example: their signature Punk anarchy combined with wholesome Swiss folkwear – an unexpected assemblage with strikingly balanced results.

Charged with creating a capsule line of white tee-shirts for JOYCE Iconics, the duo shed light on how both connectivity and conflict are key to their harmonious process.

in your own words, what is Ottolinger about as a brand?

Ottolinger is a women who goes out a lot but still manages to get her life together.

You have shown in New York and Paris, but call Berlin home. Is there a reason behind your choice of location?

Berlin is our base – it’s where all our friends live. It’s a good work environment for us.

Is there a particular way you like to be described? How do you hope others view your work?

We like if people describe us like the cooler older sister they never had.

How do you work together as a team? Does one person specialise more in one area? How do you think your team dynamic affects the final collection?

Our mind never sleeps we constantly work on the collection somehow. We can’t wait to start the next one. Being a duo comes with disagreements, challenges and misunderstandings of course, but most of the time we can support, surprise and push each other – and this is very precious.

Ottolinger has a distinct punk influence. How do you manage to marry this with more seasonal themes, for example rural Switzerland that inspired your last collection?

We are hands on with our garments – meaning that handcraft plays a big role in our collection. We develop all our colour by ourselves. Also we like to treat the garments in a special way, so they become our own fabrics.

Connecting and combining contradicting elements is something that can bring wonderful and unexpected results. It became very much part of our basic creative thinking. We are interested in this unlikely harmony. When we start working on a collection we might have very clear references, but through the process of developing these ideas and constantly rethinking and reworking them, this probably gets more and more covert.

So is this contrast deliberate?

It’s not a conscious decision, it happens through the creative process of editing and rethinking things.

Can you explain a your Tee shirt designs for JOYCE?

Tie-dye has became a significant language for us, we still do all our prototypes at our studio we love to discover interesting colour combinations.

Do you have any thoughts on the significance of the tee-shirt as an iconic fashion piece?

The white t-shirt is the base layer to any wardrobe. It’s so multifunctional that it`s almost the most important piece in the wardrobe

Most people have a favourite tee that they refuse to throw out, do you have one and if so, why have you kept hold of it?

We own shirts that are so old you can barely wear them anymore because they seems to fall apart. But I guess that’s exactly the beauty of these shirts. The story they carry makes them the most valuable to us.




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