​Bless Designers Desiree Heiss

​Bless Designers Desiree Heiss

Bless is the creative platform established 21 years ago by Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag. Though formally trained as fashion designers, the duo has always done more than simply make clothing, and they have consistently resisted conforming to conventional fashion formats. “We have created a working system that’s made-to-measure to our personal needs,” notes Heiss who resides in Paris; Kaag is Berlin-based. “Alternative” isn’t a buzzword for these two, it’s an M.O., which is evidenced by back-to-back New York Fashion Week installations showcasing their latest projects: Bless No. 60, “Lobby Conquerors,” a furniture collab; and Bless No. 61, a fashion collection titled “Swimming Together.”

Even before they’d organized as a company, Heiss and Kaag were breaking with tradition. Rather than wait to be discovered, they borrowed money from their parents and placed an ad in i-D magazine, listing their phone number next to a Polaroid of a fur wig they had designed. “We were so naïve,” says Heiss now. But they were also smart. The ad generated two inquiries: one from Sarah Andelman, who, at that time, had not yet opened Colette; the other from a Martin Margiela press person that resulted in a commission for similar wigs for his Margiela’s Fall 1997 show. (The designer insisted they be made from deconstructed vintage fur coats rather than new fur.)

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