akris fall/winter '09 collection

From the Akris Fall/Winter '09 Collection. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Akris is a luxury label with a rapidly growing celebrity following, including Angelina Jolie. The family-owned house is currently under the design leadership of Albert Kriemler, a soft-spoken, serious and gently-intense man. You can see his love of architecture in the structure of his elegant designs, and the Swiss attention-to-detail in the fine tailoring.

Mr. Kriemler brought his latest Akris collection to San Francisco for a fashion show at Neiman Marcus, which also benefited the San Francisco Opera Guild. Before the show, which was the the first since the Fall/Winter '09 collection was unveiled in Paris, he took a few minutes to talk to StyleList about inspiration, comparisons and celebrity fans.

StyleList: You are well-known for your architectural inspirations. In this collection you use a trapezoid shape quite a bit. What inspired this motif?

Albert Kriemler: In China, there is a Pavilion in Jinhua Architecture Park, designed by Tatiana Bilbao, which uses that shape. I kept a photo of it on the mood board while I was designing, and it's included throughout the collection.

StyleList: You're often mentioned alongside classic luxury brands like Armani and Chanel. What are your thoughts about the comparison?

Albert Kriemler: It's very flattering, but I don't know that there is much comparison, really. I try to make Akris sporty, modern and easy to wear. You can see it in the quilting, the materials, the dark shades that can be worn by everyone.

StyleList: Which designers inspire you?

Albert Kriemler: I admire Jil Sander. I like designs that are made to be worn, from materials that are meant to be felt.

StyleList: What's the role of a luxury brand in today's economy?

Albert Kriemler: In all of my collections, I try to make the perfect item, which you will wear again and again. In this one, there is the perfect black cashmere and leather skirt. You don't need to buy several skirts, you just need the one.

StyleList: You have a fan in Angelina Jolie who has appeared several times wearing your label.

Albert Kriemler: It is wonderful! She found us. In fact, she bought the first trench in a Neiman Marcus. It's when the clothes are right for a woman, that she wants to wear them, that is so satisfying.