Portrait Carolin Ermer

about me

What are you doing?

The most difficult question of all.
Most of the time you are and are doing a lot at once.
I am a fashion designer, social scientist, author, teacher and of course also a learner and always searching.

After studying fashion design in Hamburg, I first got to know the world as an editorial assistant for one of the biggest German women's magazines. Photo shootings in the Caribbean and in the deepest forests of the USA, but also every month I fly to Paris for a fashion show or an important trade fair. But as I quickly realized that I preferred to design fashion myself, I quit my job and started working as a junior designer for a small German label, where over time I was not only responsible for women's wear, but also for the knitwear line, accessories and the photo shoots. After a stopover in the USA I settled down in Berlin. By coincidence I started there as a very inexperienced head of studies for fashion journalism at a university and started my label "caro e. - knitwear and accessories" at the same time. "caro e." was one of the first green fashion labels in Berlin and in the beginning, it was very frowned upon to use the word sustainability in combination with fashion at all - too angular and too clumsy the whole thing. One associated "Eco-Fashion" with tea-dyed linen and hemp clothes in impossible cuts, all not fashionable, not wearable. But as soon as I added the word "sexy" to my eco-knitwear, that changed. The label was very well discussed in the press, I gave interviews all the time and after a few years I sold the collections, mostly hand-knitted accessories and sweaters made of the finest natural materials, in a total of 40 international shops from Helsinki to Tokyo.

Today you would say "caro e.", that is emotional design.
The customers have fallen in love with the caps and if one was lost, they would desperately call us in the studio: “My Ella - cap is missing, do you have another one?" Making fashion is hard, no question. If one or two seasons are sold little because it was a warm winter and the shops are still full or even go broke, then as a small label you have a big problem right away. I looked at it for a total of 10 years and then pulled the rip cord, because the fun of design was receding more and more into the background and went back to teaching. I was given the opportunity to help design the international master's course "Sustainability in Fashion" at Esmod Berlin and it was a great pleasure for me. Sustainability and fashion and teaching and research at a high level!

In the meantime, I have landed at the University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW) and have established my own international and interdisciplinary course "Sustainability in Textiles and Fashion Design". The projects of the students, who come together from different contexts from all over the world and learn and develop ideas together in my courses, are innovative and encourage. This is what fashion will look like in the future! I am currently researching and publishing at the interface of design and science in the fields of competencies for fashion design and transdisciplinary design and continue to learn every day through working with my students.