Representing the creative future

Masters of NYC: Anna-Marie Grüber

Developing actual body support through fashion.

“The clothes are there to feel good, to perform a task but also to celebrate a woman’s body,” says Anna-Marie Grüber of her Parsons graduate collection. In an industry where the word ‘functional’ is often associated with aesthetics of utilitarianism or a particular idea of sportswear, Grüber proposes an interpretation that is something quite different. Through meticulous fabric experimentation and projections onto clothing, enforced by her research into body map studies that show where muscles need most support, she came to create something that’s less ‘minimal’ and more functional than it looks.


What stands out about your thesis work is the focus on functionality and ergonomics. So can you talk a bit about that? Was that something you knew you wanted to focus on when you went into the program?

Not really. We have a few different projects before we get into the thesis year. One was sponsored by Swarovski so we got to use crystals; the brief was that we had to make the crystals work functionally. So I guess in that sense I started thinking about function, but not in a sports sense. Then we had another project that was called the Kering project, where we were given a brand that’s part of the Kering group. I was given PUMA, and I think that going from Swarovski into PUMA, I started getting a lot more into the sports element.

Around that time there was this video that went viral on Youtube in Australia – it was making fun of people wearing gym clothes and active wear, but who are not doing any sort of sport activity.

I found it hilarious and all these things were coming to mind, so I decided to look more into it. I went to make clothes that were functional not necessarily for the gym, but functional for everyday life so you don’t have too… You are not expected to go to the gym in it.

In your way of looking at sportswear, I get the sense that there is an idea of making clothes in general perform better for the individual? 

Yes, exactly. I come from a sports background: I used to do tennis and row a lot. And yet the uniforms we had there weren’t particular to the sport itself. I wanted to dissect that all and look at what we want in everyday life, like a dress. But we also want clothes to celebrate our bodies, which is where the sheerness and the different layers come in. The clothes are there to feel good, to perform a task but also to celebrate a woman’s body.