PictureDress is a German start-up founded by Magdalena Hisserich. She is a graduate designer and lives in Braunschweig, Germany. Behind the name PictureDress lies the idea to cover pictures or frames with constantly changing fabrics (dresses) and to be able to quickly and easily create a completely new atmosphere in the room. We conducted an interview with the entrepreneur and asked her about the story behind the idea.
Ms. Hisserich, how does one come up with the idea of covering pictures with fabric and creating a completely new decorative object out of it?
Magdalena Hisserich: I am a very visual person. I identify thumbnails, which are displayed when searching for materials or images on the Internet, as a picture motif in and of itself. I was looking for individual fabrics for my new home and was so impressed by the photographed previews, which are sometimes these “thumbnails”, that I wanted to have them as a motif or picture on my wall.
And since I did not want to get new pictures for a potential next move and I also like to renew accessories as a designer, I have counted one and one together. I came to the conclusion that you would have to have fabric motifs that are changeable, such as bed sheets or pillowcases, for example. Since my very own Google search did not show anything attractive, I decided: “I’ll do it myself!”.
In other words, you offer “interchangeable covers” for picture frames. How does your system work?
MH: Sometimes a circumferential tensioning means (which may be e.g. a rubber band) and / or a reinforcing agent is used. Not every fabric behaves the same way, so the choice of technique depends on fabric, frame size and frame model.
In principle, does any fabric work on a frame, whether cotton, jersey or velvet?
MH: At PictureDress, we have not really tried every single fabric in the world but the most common ones that you can find at wholesalers. So theoretically the answer is yes. That was the requirement, so that you can be diverse in design and not just confined to cotton fabrics.
Your system is patent pending. What’s the difference to DIY or consumer upcycling projects?
MH: Basically, these are different techniques and all the combinations that I have applied for a patent application. Incidentally, these were funded by the BMWi. Sometimes it is a combination of reinforcement and rubber band, sometimes rubbers are used and sometimes you have to leave a corner open. I experimented and perfected a lot, so I always use the right technique for the chosen fabric. This ensures that the cover is later professionally applied.
A big selling point of your system for us is that you make it totally easy to redecorate.
For hotels, restaurants or cafes, this means that new seasonal decorations do not always require new products. You could use your PictureDresses. These are stowed away quickly and space-saving after an event. For cleaning, it can be cleaned with a lint brush and ironed from the left. Totally easy.
Or the stationary trade could use synergies here. You need less space on the valuable sales area for your system, because a motif can be shown, but at the same time in different sizes or fabrics (picture frame, stretcher) space-saving and immediately available on the shelf. Even for the millions of decoration fans in Europe, your system is certainly interesting. Quick to redecorate? Just swap the picture motive! You told us that you are currently working on talking to brick-and-mortar retailers, decorators, and architects to promote your PictureDress system more widely?
MH: Yes exactly. It’s planned to create designs according to customer requirements for typical festivities such as Easter, Christmas or Halloween. In addition, you can also work with seasonal looks (spring, summer, autumn, winter) or offer something for certain themed parties such as carnival, Oktoberfest, weddings, or the next big football event. I’m very flexible. At the moment it remains with the approach to win one or more distributors, where the “PictureDresses” are then available.
3D motifs are currently very popular in DIY forums and in commerce. But here these images are usually even bulkier than 2D motifs in terms of storage. How is that with your motives?
MH: I would like to use primarily textile 3D application, so you can easily stow the designs. These are either firmly sewn or glued to the base fabric. Or they can also be freely removable, e.g. by a Velcro device or a brooch on the 3D application. As a result, you could stow underground material and application independently. Again, there is nothing to prevent a space-saving storage, as you can still fold the PictureDress (carefully) or roll and stow it in the closet or dresser.
Is the “dress” handmade by you or do you have cooperation partners who work for you?
MH: For the sampling I work with some local dressmakers, as well as with a young, ambitious, budding fashion designer from Berlin. I will do the series production in other European countries.
Let us now come to the question of the price. How much does a typical PictureDress cost? For example with a very simple cotton cover?
MH: This is very difficult to answer as it depends on so many components. However, I can say that for a printed motif on deco fabric in limited series, which is then sewn to a PictureDress (on a 50×70 cm frame) you would pay about 39.99 € in the store.
Thank you very much Ms. Hisserich for the detailed interview. We wish you every success in your search for cooperation partners and we look forward to hear about your first major hospitality project, or to see your motives and ideas in the store.