INTERVIEW THOMAS RATH

Fashion wizard and Renaissance man

German designer Thomas Rath’s energy levels could light up a town—he positively zings with vitality. Alongside his Thomas Rath Semi Couture brand, he has a premium pants brand called Thomas Rath Trousers, a skincare line called TR Skin Couture, a regular slot on QVC, and he still found the time to open a Thomas Rath cruise liner boutique on board Europa 2. As if that’s not enough, he’s Germany’s fashion ambassador, and was a presenter on German television’s Next Top Model alongside Heidi Klum. Now, in his latest development, he has collaborated with Swarovski to produce a new jewelry line. To say that the man is busy would be the understatement of the century.

Thomas Rath Thomas Rath

On starting out…
I come from an entrepreneurial family and had already decided at a very young age that I’d enter the fashion world. I was hired as a self-taught fashion designer by luxury labels like Windsor, Jil Sander and Mulberry, where I was sometimes also responsible for production, marketing and distribution—in addition to design! It enabled me to take something away for myself from every opportunity, and eventually I felt ready to start my own and brand, Thomas Rath.

On the woman he designs for…
The customer I appeal to values a sporty, everyday elegance. My fashion is a luxurious, semi-couture lifestyle collection that suits all women. I pay close attention to detail—solid workmanship, great cuts, and the best quality fabrics and trimmings. I know exactly what my customers need—above all, they want to be extremely well dressed!

On being a jury member on Germany’s Next Top Model…
I was supposed to be on the panel the previous year, but I was too busy. They asked again because Heidi (Klum) was hell-bent on having me! It was very strenuous, but wonderful. However, I was only able to do it thanks to my great team and my husband, all of whom I can totally depend on.

On being appointed German design ambassador…
I was asked by René Lang, President of the German Association of Fashion and Textile Designers to be a "representative" for young talent in European fashion design. I bring young labels and the market together, and take care of upcoming designers. We need them because they are our future! Design makes our world more beautiful and gives it richness.

On being phenomenally busy…
I juggle many different roles: there are days when I have events, I’m on the road as design ambassador or on-site at QVC, or I’m working with KLAPP cosmetics on my new skincare line, TR Skin-Couture, taking care of fittings, liaising with staff, and then dealing with production, corporate management and distribution—and bringing all these strands together. It means I can't go to every party and red-carpet event. I lead a very healthy life, watch what I eat, and make sure I get enough exercise. I enjoy staying home in the evening.

On his new jewelry line with Swarovski…
Swarovski has always fascinated me. This partnership is very special—we complement each other perfectly. It's something you normally only dream of. My favorite piece is The THOM by Thomas Rath Crystal Fine Rocks necklace. My visit to Swarovski's Kristallwelten absolutely blew my mind. Now I finally know what it feels like to be inside a crystal—mystical, magical and scintillatingly beautiful! The combination of Crystal Fine Rocks and the THOM star, which is the key feature of the THOM brand by Thomas Rath, is a perfect eye-catcher. The casual spirit and the sporty design paired with glittering Swarovski crystals create an extraordinary, and at the same time, everyday look.

On alternative careers…
I’d like be James Cameron—I've always wanted to make a film. Or Michael Bublé—singing would be a big dream. And if that doesn't work, a chef!

Swarovski Crystals Magazine #01 - Everyday Extraordinary

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