Designer Conversations: ioannes

Before launching ioannes' first rental collection drop with Rotaro, Johannes Boehl Cronau walked us through his inspiration and process behind the pieces in the "Dahlia" collection with daydream-like conviction. If you're anything like us, you'll be headed straight to IMDb after reading.

We love your focus on sustainability and deciding to rent exclusively with Rotaro. What does rental mean to you?

Renting garments can give access to dressing up for a special occasion that you otherwise wouldn’t buy. I also think renting special pieces of clothing can be an opportunity to get familiar with a brand and explore how one feels in it; understanding its movements outside the confines of a changing room. From the garment's point of view, I like that a single piece can be worn multiple times in different situations without lingering around in the closet. 

Your brand emphasizes timelessness as an overarching theme; with all your travels, have you found this to be universal, or does it manifest in new ways?

This is both a personal and brand question for me. I see that in my private life I am drawn to very quiet, almost zen aesthetics. I used to find this in the Far East, but I just got back from a hike in the Dolomite mountains and am finding similar aesthetic pleasures in European landscapes and culture. For ioannes and as a designer, I feel I am getting more and more adventurous and exploring outside my former comfort zone. The tension between austerity and abundance, playful and serious is the essence of an eclectic minimalism I'm striving for. 

This is ioannes’ second collection that uses deadstock fabrics. What led you to this decision, and how do you think this will influence future collections?

Our sustainability strategy has been a long process of research and discussion. The key is finding the right partners for sourcing and production. It has been a lot of trial and error, but we use 100% upcycled yarns and fibers for knits, deadstock for woven materials and newlife material for all jerseys. Nona Source*, part of the Environmental Development Department of LVMH, is the main material sourcing service for all woven products that has supported ioannes since FW21. I was introduced to Nona Source through the LVMH sustainability manager who I met during my time at Central Saint Martins as one of their test brands. Our shared ambition is to contribute to a more sustainable and responsible fashion industry by using existing unused surplus fabrics sourced from major French Maisons de Couture.

Franka Dress in Black and White - Rotaro
Franka Dress in Black and White - Rotaro
Franka Dress in Black and White - Rotaro
Franka Dress in Black and White - Rotaro

Franka Dress in Black and White

Irene Satin Pyjama Top in Black and Yellow - Rotaro
Irene Satin Pyjama Top in Black and Yellow - Rotaro
Irene Satin Pyjama Top in Black and Yellow - Rotaro
Irene Satin Pyjama Top in Black and Yellow - Rotaro
Irene Satin Pyjama Top in Black and Yellow - Rotaro
Irene Satin Pyjama Top in Black and Yellow - Rotaro

Irene Satin Pyjama Top in Black and Yellow

Delos Long Dress in White - Rotaro
Delos Long Dress in White - Rotaro
Delos Long Dress in White - Rotaro
Delos Long Dress in White - Rotaro

Delos Long Dress in White

The beauty of hand-me-downs, stylish sportswear and 90’s inspiration are at the core of the Dahlia collection. What references did you use for this theme?

When working on any collection I imagine a very specific, almost cinematographic set. For the Summer 2022 Dahlia collection, it was all about the excitement of summer vacation turned into ennui. The long, sunny days lounging at the pool become something between pleasure and tortuous boredom. One big mood reference was the film La Ciénaga by Lucrecia Martel from 2001. 

What we love most about your collection is its bold approach to womenswear. What kind of woman do you hope your clothing enables Rotaro renters to become?

Any woman they already are or want to be for the occasion. I am honored that my pieces could add a bit to their own vision of themselves. 

Rotaro is keen to show our community a variety of ways to style the rental pieces. What types of situations do you envision the collection being worn in?

The garments move their wearer from a sense of strictness to sensuality, from the understated to its excessive core, work to play. They are worn with an effortless attitude and never compromise on comfort of movement. Or, in simpler words, anything from a day lounging at home to a night out.

What film or TV show would you love to dress in the Dahlia collection? 

We are currently discussing this in the studio! As for a movie, anything Luca Guadagnino I would love to be part of! 

What can we expect next from ioannes?

In a world that feels increasingly heavy, my ambition is to become a little bit better each season. To create garments that comfort the wearer and brighten their day to day.