Designer Maurice Martinez has one of the few real fashion shows

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Of: Catherine Rosendorff

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Frankfurt fashion designer Maurice Martinez with a dress from her collection. Maumar is the name of his label. © Peter Julich

Maurice Martinez grew up in modest conditions in the Dominican Republic. Now he presents his elegant, colorful women’s collection in the Frankfurt Fashion Lounge. It’s one of the few real events around the second fashion week in Frankfurt.

The silk dress, which has colorful fabric flowers and fabric butterflies sewn on it, looks like something Carrie Bradshaw would wear to go through the New York night in Sex and The City. However, the dress does not hang in a fancy New York store, but on a tailor-made dummy by Frankfurt designer Maurice Martinez. In his studio, which is also his home not far from Merianplatz, the 39-year-old designs and sews everything himself. His fashion brand is called Maumar. His women’s fashion is sometimes Caribbean colorful, sometimes white, but always cheerful and elegant.

His new collection can be seen on Wednesday for his show at the Hotel Sofitel not far from the Alte Oper. “Until now, I have primarily designed evening dresses. But in my new collection, for the first time, I have also designed skirts, blouses, pants, blazers and coats. In other words, clothes that women can also wear in everyday life in the city. ”

Martinez’s show is part of the Frankfurt Fashion Lounge: one of the few real events around the second Frankfurt Fashion Week, which opens on Monday in the middle of the Omicron wave. As the opening act, dancer Viktoria Nowak will present a dress from Martinez’s new collection on the catwalk.

“Working as a designer makes me very happy,” Martinez emphasizes. It is not an empty sentence. Because the chances of Martinez ending up in the fashion world were slim. Martinez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic in the city of La Romana. His father, a singer, left the family when Martinez was three years old. He grew up with his mother, grandfather and three siblings. “My mother was a hairdresser. She fought hard to give us the best she could. ” His mother is a role model and made him a feminist.

He drew clothes from an early age. “My best friends always said, ‘You have to design my wedding dress for me.’ But he did not have the money to study fashion design in his home country. “There was a design school in La Romana, but they wanted dollars, not pesos.”

His mother allowed him to join a theater group at the age of ten, even though she was very religious. He receives a scholarship and as a teenager goes to the capital Santo Domingo with the theater group. “I attended dance and drama classes there and also had a lot of performances.” As an 18-year-old, he also met Germans through the theater group, who became friends with him and invited him to Germany. “It was my door to Europe.” Martinez goes to a language school in Frankfurt and decides to stay.

Maumar dates and shows

personal agreements Customers can make an appointment for tailor-made fashion by designer Maurice Martinez with his Maumar label at https://maumar.de.

The tickets for his show in the Frankfurt Fashion Lounge in the Sofitel at the Alte Oper is already sold out.

Martinez is with his collection also on 19 January from 12:00 to 20:00 in the hotel’s showroom. There is free admission, but also here you have to register in advance due to the pandemic. 2G-Plus and FFP2 mask apply: https://frankfurtfashionlounge.de

In 2005, he graduated from the Technical School of Fashion and Clothing. “This was linked to an internship in a costume rental. The education was more theoretical at the time.” During his early years in Germany, he took on many part-time jobs: “I worked as a waiter, served breakfast in hotels, but also cleaned toilets. All to support my family in the Dominican Republic.”

But even during this time, he continued to draw clothes. In 2008, his friends said to him, “You have to use your talent to try to study fashion design.” He applied to the private design school “Best-Sabel” in Berlin. His portfolio is compelling and he gets a scholarship. But during his education he experienced a lot of unpleasant things: “There were not only sayings because I just looked different, but also because I was already 28 years old. Most of my classmates were only 18. They said, ‘What are you doing here at your age?’ ‘People asked him at parties. “Do you know German? How funny.” It hurt him almost more than the xenophobic slogans, “As if they did not trust me.”

Three months after graduating, he returns to Frankfurt in the summer of 2011. “Berlin has never made me feel at home. Frankfurt always came first.” When he returns, he continues to work: “I had a bad conscience because I could not send any money to my mother during my apprenticeship. ”He finally founded the company in 2015, four years after graduating.Maumar own fashion brand.

His favorite fabrics are merino wool, pure wool, silk and tulle. Everything is tailor-made, customers come by in person for advice, the models are individually tailored. “I look to see what color and what length of dress suits the woman.” It is important to him that his fashion is sustainable.

Like the red and white checkered wool coat in his new collection. “The fabric is from an interior design shop in the center, it was leftovers that would otherwise have ended up in the landfill.” Martinez’s very first collection was initially fast fashion, he says. But he could not reconcile that with his conscience. When he was a child, his neighbors would have worked in the factories in his hometown of La Romana, where fast fashion was mostly produced for the American market. “My mother took care of the children. The parents worked seven days a week from dawn to dusk for starvation wages. I can not support such a human mess.”

Martinez ‘blouses cost between 175 and 250 euros, office dresses between 300 and 400 euros. The silk dress with the corsage and the colorful applications costs 1,800 euros if a woman can have it made for her.

A few weeks ago, dancer Viktoria Nowak tried on the pink sequin dress, which now hangs on a hanger in the studio, for pictures. “She’s not going to wear it to the show, though. Your outfit should be a surprise,” Martinez says, laughing.

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