It’s located near the New Parish Church in the centre of Lech. In this small but fine shop, fashion lovers can expect timeless clothing that can only be discovered here on the mountain. The fashion label was founded by Sonia Zimmermann from Lech. In the interview, she reveals what makes a successful garment and why the individual plays such an important role in her designs. By the way, Lenai & Linai is now also available in our new Rote Wand Shop!
One of the most beautiful shop windows of Lech
How did you enter the field of fashion design?
I have always been fascinated by fashion design. As a country bumpkin, however, I never used to think I could do it. In 1998, I simply looked for women in Vorarlberg who knitted for me and I did the sewing myself. In hindsight, that approach seems rather naive to me, but that’s the way it was.
Why did you, as a fashion designer, choose Lech as your location?
First of all, I spent a long time in Vienna, Milan and Graz, where I gained experience. But I somehow ended up back home again and that’s how it all turned out. Looking back, I know that Lech was the right decision for me. For one thing, because I could develop at my own pace, meaning very slowly (laughs). And also because a lot of good, open-minded customers from all over the world come to my shop. This international clientèle inspires me time and time again.
You yourself call your clothes “fashion from the mountain”. How would you describe your fashion?
Actually, I no longer call my clothes ‘fashion from the mountain’ because I don’t find the word ‘fashion’ appropriate anymore. Fashion’ stands for something that is no longer ‘in’ after six months. But the clothes I make can be worn for years, they are timeless, ageless and oriented towards real people, not models.
What distinguishes a bad garment from a really good one?
A really good piece of clothing highlights the personality of a person and makes them radiate.
How do you develop a new design?
New products are usually created in spring and summer. A new design is created in many different ways. I draw a lot of sketches. But things are also created by chance sometimes, such as when a few pieces of fabric are on the table together and I discover combinations that I would never have thought of otherwise.
What do you think is the most difficult part of designing a new garment?
A good piece of clothing should be simple and straightforward, but never boring! It should fit many different situations. I try to do justice to everything.
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration everywhere and all the time. I keep my eyes peeled, like observing people and wonder what their needs are and how I could meet them.
What do you do when you are not designing?
Yes, I don’t only spend my time designing. During the seasons I am usually in the shop myself, which means there is not much time for anything else. But I love cross-country skiing and hiking.
Thank you very much Sonia for the pleasant talk!