Berlin's Making the Cut contestant Esther Perbandt covers the 360 MAGAZINE, shot by Vaughn Lowery.

Esther Perbandt



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Esther Perbandt has to be one of the most dynamic fashionistas of the modern day. Dressed in all black like the omen, she breathes fire into anyone in her line of sight. In fact, It’s one of the reasons why we all fell in love with her on Making The Cut. Recently, we literally bumped into her during a recent trip to Berlin. She’s an impressionable soul who breathes new life into someone who has been depleted by the daily grind or trauma. She moves like water, taking on the shape of whatever space she fills. “I would never have applied to the show because it’s really commercial,” Esther says of how she got on Making The Cut, “I was known in Berlin for being the arty Esther doing big fashion shows and theater. The word commercial was a no-go for me.” “When I read it (the invitation), I was like no way, not me,” luckily she didn’t answer right away, “but then I said: ‘Esther If you think twice, this is exactly what you need. Finally, the international attention.’ I was working my ass off at the time but it wasn’t really working.” The Queen of Black may not have won her Amazon Prime contest for a million dollars, but she’s certainly gained a million fans across the globe. Her supportive nature, loyalty, and tenacity have led to numerous collaborations, including the first-ever jewelry capsule with Adidas.

She admits that she isn’t as sustainable as she had hoped to be as a designer, but at least she is aware of her shortcomings. She does, however, state that she will drive two hours for locally sourced materials such as zippers made in Germany. “I have the goal to become sustainable or maybe 100% sustainable in ten years,” Esther states, “the vision of my brand in ten years is very digital, so I’m playing a lot with digital fashion…and also using it as a tool to become more sustainable.”

You’d have to be a fool to believe that this unpolished, meticulously engineered black diamond won’t have her moment to shine. Someone who has struggled on her path to success will eventually prosper. “People love to invite me to speak because I’m very honest,” Esther admits, “I talk about how bad it was sometimes that I was sleeping on the floor because I had to rent my apartment to get some money in, or how I had to take out large bank loans that I was almost unable to repay. But this is the life of a designer, and it was a decision. And it was also a decision not to have a family because I knew this job would be 24/7, and I wanted it and still want it.” Her passion for fashion, and meticulous attention to detail, combined with her monochromatic ensembles accented with gold accessories, will keep her on top. It is the reason why we celebrate her. Why we adore her. And how she takes on tasks at the drop of a hat – two collections per year, countless magazine covers, and speaking engagements in addition to Vogue editorials. Esther also held a solo exhibition of her artworks last year. “All of them were inspired by my collection. I used the same techniques and the same materials, but just created some 3D sculptures which you can put on the wall,” She explains. “I can’t focus solely on fashion for 365 days a year; I need some distractions,” Esther confesses. “So this art is part of it, and I’m hoping that this distraction will get me back into fashion, which is exactly what happened.” With so much talent at her disposal, she will stand the test of time, strangling fast fashion with her bare hands, just like her Avant trademarks. Her heart and keen ability to visually tell a story is what will propel her career forward.

Shop Esther Perbandt’s designs HERE

Article: Jess Chen, Vaughn Lowery

Previous Q×A HERE.

Esther in Interview Magazine.

Cover Photography: Vaughn Lowery