The HvG Fashion Collection

Klaus Höller and Hubert von Goisern

Text: Sarah Marchant | Photo 1: © Klaus Höller; 2: © Sarah Marchant

AssasynDesigner Klaus Höller and Hubert von Goisern first met in the late eighties, when Hubert and his musical partner Wolfgang Staribacher were still street musicians in Vienna.

Klaus had his own fashion store and design studio, "Assasyn" on Sterngasse in Vienna's first district while Hubert played to passers-by on the busy shopping street of Kärntner Strasse.

"Hubert visited me and I lent him some clothes for his act," says Klaus Höller, "He played for a few hours and suddenly he had 'stage costumes'. I think it helped both of us."

Later, when Hubert von Goisern was enjoying great success on stage in the nineties, the stage clothes his Alpinkatzen wore - from Sabine's black cotton canvas dress to Reinhard's embroidered waistcoat - were also all designed by Klaus Höller in his Assasyn studio.

Shortly before Klaus emigrated to the USA in 1994, Hubert told him that Markus Meindl of Meindl Fashion wanted a "Hubert von Goisern Collection". "Markus Meindl got his wish," says Klaus, "It's just that I designed the collection, not him."

The collection was a success although the pieces were rather expensive as they were determined that production of the clothes should take place in Germany and Austria. However, the project ended after a few seasons as "there was just no ideological match" with the comparative conservatism of Meindl.

Klaus Höller Klaus Höller

on 1st march 2009 my friend klaus höller stepped through
the gates of eternity.

i can still hear his laughter in my ears.
his unshakeable optimism was infectious.

may his soul rest in peace and his wife and family find strength.

hubert von goisern

On the trail of time

25th January 2003 | Photos: © Meindl

Goisern in fashion

Leute 1994 | Text: Peter Leopold | Photos: Meindl

Hubert von Goisern now presents his fashion collection: an alpine tightrope walk between tradition and modern

Hubert von GoisernThe saying has long become of keynote quality: "Take lederhosen from the right-wing extremists!" demanded Hubert von Goisern time and again in interviews and his manager Hage Hein (from Munich) adds: "Tracht (traditional dress) was always occupied by the CSU (Christian Social Union) and the FC Bayern. Now we are here."

The striptease of traditionalists can begin straight away: tomorrow, Friday, Goisern is presenting the HvG Collection at the farm of the Tracht manufacturer Meindl in the Bavarian Kirchanschöring. Shoes, several pairs of trousers, shirts, jackets and braces made from linen and leather, which have one thing in common: they combine modern elements with traditional, translating Goisern's musical idea into clothing.

Hubert von GoisernStreet music. Likewise the idea developed between Goisern and the Assasyn designer Klaus Höller, born in Upper Austria. Seven years ago, the then impoverished Goisern borrowed his modern traditional garments for his street music appearance. A year ago, after his Vienna shop went bankrupt, Höller moved to New York where he became a successful designer and interior designer with the opening of an office on the 75th floor of the Empire State Building.

High price and quality. Goisern only wanted to make his fashion idea a reality with him - and after discussions with cheap manufacturers they meandered their way to the old-established manufacturer Meindl. Manager Hein: "The more reasonably priced variations would have meant inhumane and environmentally-damaging production in India." Now it will be produced by hand, high priced and high quality in the 450 employee Meindl factory in Kirchanschöring. Junior boss Markus Meindl, 23, united with tradition via his catalogue photos which were shot with Goisern in New York: "With it we are building on the story of the Luis Trenker film Der verlorene Sohn (The Lost Son).

Costs. The Goisern collection is guaranteed not to be mass-produced: you can wear the Arizona lederhosen smooth "until the end of your life" (Höller), so they are about 14,000 Schillings (1020 EUR), linen trousers cost about 5,000 Schillings (360 EUR), shirts about 2,000 Schillings (145 EUR), HvG braces a round 1000 (72 EUR). Goisern, Höller and manager Hein make a profit on the trade price together with a percentage around the same as a record - a round 70.

The production is held correspondingly low: it is scarcely three figures at any time, but can be immediately produced again. Work is already in progress on the second part of the Goisern collection for autumn 95. A further step by Hubert von Goisern towards the synthesis of the arts.

"I don't like fashion, I like things to put on"

Photos: © Franz Sövegjarto