How has Hannoh lasted so long? In 1994 German-born, Paris-based Hanno Wessel started his label Hannoh with only fifteen pieces made from bed sheets and linen canvases typically used for art work. Since then it has survived the fashion industry’s manic-depressive moments, the severest in the aftermath of two Iraq wars and the global economic crisis. Now the brand is expanding.
This month Hannoh launched its fall-winter 2011-2012 collection — a light, earthy affair — in the tiny studio where it all began, within walking distance of the bustling cafes of the Marais district and the rows of cheap Chinese fashion outlets in the eleventh arrondissement. In September Hannoh will open a second store in the sixth arrondissement, Paris’ historical fashion center.
The label’s longevity can be attributed to Wessel’s timeless pieces that allow women to develop their personal style slowly. He starts by envisioning the full lifetime of the garments to ensure their beauty as they age. The pieces must be easy to wear without being too stiff or “mumsy”. “I’m very concerned with mumsiness,” he says in a German accent, softened by 23 years in France and shaped with the Queen’s English.