photo: Markus Lambert
If busy-ness is a measure of success then it would appear that things are going very well for René Talmon L’Armée, lucky last in my Accessory Dairies interviews, mainly because he was endlessly hard to pin down. Always apologising profusely for being terribly busy whenever I finally got him on the phone. Rightly so, as he points out in regards to surviving as an accessory designer in Berlin: “If you are good, you can make your living from whatever you do.” And it is quite clear from his beautifully hand crafted, precious metal jewellery that he is very good at what he does…
Where are you from?
I was born and grew up in Berlin, but lived in Paris and London for 17 years .
What are you doing?
I do jewellery design for the fashion market, but in precious metal and stones, with natural coloured and black diamonds, Tahitian black pearls, printed leather jewels.
How do you support yourself?
I make my living from selling my jewellery at my shops and in international shops worldwide (Europe, US, Australia, etc.).
Where can we find you?
You can buy my jewellery from my shops in Paris and in Berlin (on Linienstr. in Mitte), where we do a lot of one-of-a-kind and special demands and of course the actual collections! I don’t sell online, it’s too impersonal, i like to talk with and advise my clients.
What is Berlin’s appeal (to you)?
Berlin is freedom and a lot of space for me. Riding my bike through the Tiergarten and on the riverbank of the Spree. Good clubs and restaurants.
Do you think its easier to support yourself as a designer here?
I think Berlin is changing very fast, Berlin was a beautiful capital in 1900 and it will come back, old houses mixed with modern buildings, ugly ones and nice ones, people are poor and rich, that’s what makes Berlin maybe “sexy”…
Berlin, poor? sexy?
That’s over now! Berlin is sexy, because of its mixture of people.
My son Lukas, Issac Sellam (makes great leather garments), the new Darklands store, my street, Mitte, the river Spree, the Museumsinsel, the Tiergarten, 17. Juni fleamarket, and my local restaurant “Lokal” and my friends…
Nervous and angry people, traffic jam, hypocrisy, bad quality…. etc*
* On a side note: René’s original ‘I’m very busy’ answer to this question was “I LIKE MANY THINGS AND FEW I DON’T LIKE !!!” which I thought was quite funny but nonetheless harassed him to elaborate a little in the interest of your reading enjoyment!
Interview: Millicent Nobis
Millicent Nobis is a graduate fashion designer from Sydney, Australia, who now lives in Berlin running her own jewellery label Mies Nobis. You can follow her explorations of the Berlin fashion and art scene on her blog Mies in Berlin. For iHeartBerlin.de Milli has interviewed 6 accessory designers from all over the world about their life in Berlin.