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Giulia & Romeo Founder DANIELA BRUNNER on Reshaping Fashion

For DSCENE Magazine Daniela Brunner talks with Sussan Zeck about creating Giulia & Romeo with animal preservation in mind, using only vegan materials and the state of animal welfare in the fashion industry.

For our Summer 2020 edition DSCENE Magazine‘s Germany Editor SUSSAN ZECK sits down with DANIELA BRUNNER perhaps one of the bravest fashion entrepreneurs on today’s fashion scene. With her label Giulia & Romeo, Daniela is a pioneer to an entirely unique model in the fashion industry. Her label is founded with a true dedication to animal welfare with a business model investing back all of it’s profits into animal welfare programs. 

Giulia & Romeo stands for vegan high-end fashion which is glamorous and sexy plus should capture the zeitgeist of cool fashionistas and support animal welfare 100%. You can purchase this collection online and for the future we are planning to open stores in the most important cities worldwide.

Giulia & Romeo certainly stands out due to this collections’ glamorous, sophisticated yet contemporary approach. Daniela Brunner, the CEO, designer and founder of her own label, creatively plays with vivid colours, incredibly interesting cuts and flowing silhouettes. However, what makes her creations even more inspiring is her dedication: with this collection, she is focusing to make this world a better place for animals. Or, to say it more precisely, she takes her inspiration from designing a collection without causing animal suffering.

In addition to that, her focus is to end factory farming. Therefore the products of this line are 100% vegan. On top of that they don’t contain any animal materials. For that purpose, the label even checks the dyes and adhesives to make sure none of them contains any animal fabric. Worth mentioning is also the fact several materials are never applied, for instance leather, cashmere, wool, mohair, angora, down, silk and fur.

The current situation offers a lot of opportunities to work with animal welfare in mind. I’m hoping for changes, especially when it comes to nutrition and expansion of consciousness of the people. In the end, the consumer decides the direction. When it comes to fashion, I believe sustainable fashion will be more present and I pray that at least fur and leather will vanish.

The current collection predominantly uses fabrics from sustainable sources, for example pineapple leather is utilized as a non – leather substitute. The whole range is produced in Germany. When observing these smooth looks clearly, you will notice wearing fair and vegan fashion can be highly stylish! With this collection, Daniela Brunner actively supports animal welfare: 100% of its total net proceeds are donated – out of which 80% go to the animal welfare organization Animal Equality, whereas the rest is given to various animal shelters and animals in need. Ecological and ethical values play a central role for the label and for the designer herself. For Giulia & Romeo, every animal has the same right to live a life filled with dignity and love, as every human being. Needless to mention, we had to take a closer look at this inspiring project and met Daniela Brunner to get to know more about her life, work and her ideas behind.

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How does a successful day start and end for you?
For me a successful day starts waking up well rested, then I go with my dog Greta to Lake Starnberg, where I go swimming for an hour. A successful day ends with my husband, our son Romeo and our dog at home, where we chill and eat in a comfortable way.

Could you please introduce us to the concept of your label?
Giulia & Romeo stands for vegan high-end fashion which is glamorous and sexy plus should capture the zeitgeist of cool fashionistas and support animal welfare 100%. You can purchase this collection online and for the future we are planning to open stores in the most important cities worldwide.

What are your personal favourites of the current collection?
My favourite pieces are the green “Stella” trousers and the statement “Jade” shirt in pale-grey.

Which trends will come, go and which will stay?
Trends come and go but also keep repeating themselves. I love casual fashion that is converted with a few accessoires, suitable for any occasion. A trend that won’t vanish in my opinion are sneakers, bomber jackets and jogging – like styles. I love these styles!

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Extreme. Persistent. Generous.

Your label shows unparalleled commitment to animal welfare. How can we the consumers contribute to animal protection?
We can all contribute to animal welfare by buying products with clearly defined animal welfare standards such as ours. I can say when it comes to Giulia & Romeo, so far globally no other label works with this business model. Our intention from the start was to donate all of our profit to animal welfare.

How did you get the idea to support animal welfare with an own fashion line?
First of all I was wondering how can I truly push forward the fight for animal rights and protection of animals. That is how I got the idea to develop this business model further.

I deeply regret that some consumers prefer sustainable fashion over vegan one. Finding a way to avoid animal suffering must be our most important priority!

Your label pays special attention to the materials used to create your garments. Which materials are applied and which are renounced?
We entirely produce our collection on our own, including textile. The production process involves no animal origin materials or components. Furthermore I try to integrate more and more sustainable fabrics in our collection. This is not as easy, because I often like eccentric and fancy fabrics and these are rarely sustainable. Worth mentioning is the fact my aim is not only to produce vegan fashion, but also sustainable one.

Where do you see animal welfare in today’s fashion industry, as well as within the tendencies to go sustainable?
The current situation offers a lot of opportunities to work with animal welfare in mind. I’m hoping for changes, especially when it comes to nutrition and expansion of consciousness of the people. In the end, the consumer decides the direction. When it comes to fashion, I believe sustainable fashion will be more present and I pray that at least fur and leather will vanish.

I deeply regret that some consumers prefer sustainable fashion over vegan one. Finding a way to avoid animal suffering must be our most important priority!

How important is it for you to take time for yourself and find a moment to rest after a busy day?
Finding a moment to rest is actually very important for me and I could say is also my priority. As already mentioned I start my day by doing an adequate amount of sports outside in the morning. By the end of the day I try to spend the evening with my family at home. I try not to eat too late and light, ideally do some yoga in the evening and have a cup of tea with my dad. And if with all of that I get to go to bed at around 11pm, then I am very well rested.

Besides your dog Greta, do you have more animals?
Yes! In addition to my dog Greta I have three black sheep named Ememo, Elena and Eleonora.

Daniela, could you please finish the following sentence for us: “I am happy, when…
Let’s say it this way – I’ll be truly happy when no more animals will be exploited for food, fashion, interior design, entertainment …. and no animals have to suffer.

What are you looking forward to in the next months?
I am looking forward to a nice summer.

Finally, what is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always follow your heart!

Sussan Zeck’s interview with Daniela Brunner was originally published in DSCENE 013 Summer 2020 issue – available now in print and digital.

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