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Barbara Lindner is a cultural manager. Yet, since 2008, her label ALILA (Sanskrit: “surprise”) has been deconstructing Japanese kimono silk with local master tailors to create unique dresses, bags and scarves with history.

The impressive selection of gorgeous kimono fabrics is the result of Barbara Lindner’s years of collecting. Early on, she collected fabrics from all over the world and brought them to Vienna.

„The appreciation of textile traditions and craftsmanship is one aspect of sustainability.”

The idea to create her own brand was triggered by a gift from a friend who was enthusiastic about traditional textile art. The resounding success of her first designs among her friends finally led to the founding of the label, and Barbara began to turn her XL collecting passion and appreciation for traditional textiles into a profession. The worn garments are thus given a brilliant second chance. Where does she get the precious fabrics from? Through personal contacts, which she maintains with Japanese flea markets and second-hand shops.

ALILA – Clothing with character and individual history

The kimono fabrics are not new. ALILA does not regard textile flaws as faults, but as charming features because each piece has a distinctive character and tells an individual story.

© Stephan Friesinger

Japanese silk x „Mühlviertler“ organic linen

Because this type of vintage fabric is becoming increasingly rare, the ALILA founder combines traditional Japanese textiles with new fabrics from sustainable or local production. The portfolio includes “Mühlviertler” organic linen, plant-dyed wool from Austria as well as plant-dyed Peacesilk (Ahimsa silk) and hand-woven Indian organic cotton.

“I have stopped justifying my prices when compared to prices of fashion chains.”

The vintage fabrics have come a long way before they land on the sewing table. Production is carried out under socially fair conditions by a small team in Vienna.

More about ALILA. Click here