Timo Weiland Talks Trends, Proudest Moments and Finding Inspiration

Photo courtesy of Timo Weiland

Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein.

Launched in 2010 by design duo Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein, the Timo Weiland brand has been gaining a strong following in the fashion world and beyond, scoring fans in everyone from the Upper East Side socialite to the downtown hipster.

With vivid colors, statement textures and signature graphic prints, the Timo Weiland aesthetic continues to evolve each season, enticing more supporters to jump on the Timo train.

Timo and Alan, the brand's designers, talked to FashionEtc about how they got their start, plans for the future and which celebs they would love to see sporting Timo attire.

How much do you follow trends?

Timo Weiland: We observe trends and are aware of them, but we definitely do not design to follow suit. We design with only our core customer and values in mind.

Alan Eckstein: I see trends, but I don't follow as much as I acknowledge them. You cant escape the trends that make sense for you, so I do essentially follow them but I'm not trend driven.

How did you get into fashion and designing and why did you switch from investment banking to fashion?

T: Since I was a little boy, I always looked up to my grandfather who was a German-American dandy gentleman. His flair and obsession with the finest tailored suits, brightly colored ascots, and brocade trousers definitely wore off on me. He is 95 years old today and continues to inspire me. I came to the realization that I was more interested in creating a brand that exudes my own lifestyle and that of those around me, rather than rise up the ranks of corporate finance.

A: I switched from a music background to fashion. I left school in upstate and started a streetwear label with my friend, Alex. Through that first business I met Timo.

What is the proudest moment you've ever had in terms of fashion?

T: Our covers of WWD and our first back cover of the New York Times during NYFW. Andrew Garfield wearing our men's collection has also been a highlight.

A: We've had some good moments! I think last season, right after our show was over, I had a tremendous feeling of relief. I was very proud of our show.

Do you prefer designing for men or women? How is it different?

T: We design for a pair, a man and a woman with complementary styles and personalities. There are some juxtapositions as there is more room to experiment overtly with womenswear. That said, the TW guy is quite adventurous coupled with effortless nonchalant cool.

A: I love designing for both but I feel more excited to design men's clothing. It's more natural for me and I'm more confident in my design approach. Plus, I'm always thinking of next season's wardrobe for myself. I have good options, which is fun.

And would you ever want to have separate runway shows?

T: Eventually it would be ideal to have a runway show for Women and a standalone presentation for Men.

A: Yes. I think that is a future plan. Someday. Maybe Men's in Europe, Women's in New york. I like distancing the two.

How would you describe your aesthetic? What type of person do you imagine wearing Timo?

T: Scholastic sportswear. Tailoring with a bookish, outdoorsy twist. Boarding school surfers.

A: We're a fun brand. Both our girl and guy has a sense of freedom in the way they dress but understands quality and has a feel for something unique but doesn't want to necessarily stand out.

Where do you tend to find inspiration?

T: Our group of friends. Travel. New York. Surfing. Youth culture. Contemporary Art.

A: Everywhere, really. The streets of New York is a great place to start. I look at my girlfriend, and my friends because that's generally who I look up to and admire. And then the good feelings of rock 'n' roll and hip hop legends that come into the mind are the fantasy/aspirational inspiration.

Timo Weiland


Looks from Timo Weiland's Fall 2012 Collection.

Who was your first role model?

T: My grandfather. My mother and father.

A: My grandfather. He could always joke about any situation.

What actress or celebrity would you be most excited to see wearing your designs?

T: Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton, Keira Knightley, and Kate Moss. Steve McQueen.

A: Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Williams, Mos Def, Kim Gordon, Keira Knightley, Jason Segal, Kirsten Dunst—a strange list.

What is your favorite thing about summer?

T: The ocean—warmth!

A: The ability to go relax in a New York Beach! An accessible beach! The freedom to be able to relax somewhere wonderful.

What does the future look like for the Timo brand, and for you?

T: The future is bright—a lifestyle brand centered on coastal life in New York. We plan to expand into high-end accessories and open a flagship in downtown NYC in the next couple of years.

A: Future looks great! My girlfriend and I are getting a dog sometime in the fall. Very excited for that. For our brand we just need to keep moving and innovating. Keep elevating our dreams.