Wearable Whimsy for Your Winter Wardrobe: Umsteigen!
Susanne Schubert of Umsteigen creates fantastically whimsical screen printed designs that will brighten up any winter wardrobe. Meet Susanne here!
Ever wondered how you get from fine art to fashion design? Just ask Susanne Schubert, creator of the Brooklyn-based clothing line Umsteigen! A New Yorker by way of Berlin with a stop in Montreal along the way, Susanne puts her fine arts education to a different use in her playful and wearable screen print creations. From delicate floral designs to old-timey bicycles, the super soft t’s and hoodies of Umsteigen have certainly found a place in our winter wardrobes. Head on over to BettyConfidential Shop’s exclusive flash sale to add them to your own!
Susanne sat down to chat with us about how she went from sculpture to screen printing, where she gets her inspiration, what tips she has for aspiring designers, and more!
BettyConfidential: What’s your background like? How did you become a designer?
Susanne Schubert: I studied in Montreal and ended up with a double major in Sculpture and Design Theory and a minor in Business. I’m a very visual, playful person; I taught myself to sew at an early age. In university, I was making my own clothes, and got started as a “designer” when I was asked by a friend if I’d be interested in selling some in her shop.
BC: You’re currently based in New York, but Umsteigen was originally founded in Montreal. How did you find yourself in New York? Can you tell us a little about the history of Umsteigen?
SS: I’m actually German originally—born and raised in Berlin. I went to Montreal to study and ended up staying longer to start Umsteigen, but eventually moved the company to NYC. Montreal is a wonderful, creative city and a great place to start a creative venture, be it music, fine arts or design; but eventually the cold winters got to me and I was looking for a change. New York, with its abundance of resources, was too tempting to pass up. There’s been a wonderful creative renaissance happening in Brooklyn these past few years that I’m happy to be a part of. It’s not an easy place to settle into, but now that I have, I love it.
BC: Had you dabbled in any other sort of design before you created Umsteigen?
SS: Lots! For a long time, I was working in sculpture with casting and large scale installations. I also worked in furniture design, graphic design, and of course print making, which lead to me discovering screen printing.
BC: What about design drew you to it?
SS: My battle was deciding between fine art and design. For various reasons, those two areas have been at odds with each other for some time, and I felt this immense pressure to decide between them. What eventually drew me more towards design was its practical approach—you make something with a clear purpose or use in mind. So pragmatic, I know!
BC: Where do you get your inspiration from?
SS: Inspiration comes from all over: Childhood, nature, the world around me, travel, chance encounters… For example, I recently got back from a week in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada which was so beautiful I’m at the airport coming back from a week in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, which was so beautiful; I’m sure will leave its mark in some form or another!
Up next: The first thing Susanne ever made, her best tips for aspiring designers, and more!