IWTB Interview: Antje Winter
By Heather Dunhill
It is a rare opportunity that we get to hear from the person behind a fashion icon like Carine Roitfeld. But, here at I Want To Be A Roitfeld we’ve had an exclusive inside chat with German-born Antje Winter who served as Carine’s right-hand woman for nearly two years then worked with her as a fashion editor for Vogue Paris for two more years.
Not only does Antje have an oh-so-enviable résumé as a stylist — working with names like Mario Testino, Karl Lagerfeld, Paco Rabanne, Louis Vuitton, Max Mara, Shiseido, and Costume National — she also has launched her own fashion collection, which is divinely simple in design. You must check it out. But, first… some insight from Antje on Queen Carine….
However did you land the coveted role as Carine Roitfeld's assistant?
I was an intern at Vogue Paris in the right time. Benjamin Gallopin had just left and Carine and I got along really well so she asked me to become her assistant. Later on, Vogue Paris asked me to become a fashion editor — three months later Carine became editor-in-chief and was my boss again.
Dying to know, what was it like to work with the queen of fashion as she ruled the Vogue Paris headquarters?
It was a great pleasure every day. Carine is funny and cool and generous and we shared so many unforgettable moments. In the time before Vogue Paris, Carine was very rock 'n' roll, she picked the exciting jobs, which came with a great trip or an incredible styling story where we had the freedom to do what we wanted. So working with her was never boring.
What’s the Roitfeld process while putting together a feature?
I would say Carine’s way of putting a story together is very intuitive. She has a vision of what she wants and an incredible memory of the collections. So she picks the right pieces and turns them into a new silhouette, makes them her own language.
Any memorable pieces on which you collaborated?
To mention some: Gisele Bündchen mod fighting for The Face. Or Eva Herzigova for Vogue Paris all in white, “blanc absolu," or Gisele wiping the floor in Naples for the Pirelli calendar.
What did you learn about style and styling from CR?
Carine Roitfeld is not afraid to share, so working with her you are part of every process, you get to learn everything about fashion. But one of the most important lessons was to stay authentic and treat people well and keep a smile on the face.
It’s my feeling (#wishhopedream) that Queen Carine can make anything happen. Tell us about a time that she pulled a rabbit out of a hat…
I watched her once transforming a random Brazilian jeans line into something hot and edgy and desirable. She does it so easy and natural and all of a sudden every silhouette looks like her.
Okay, enough about CR. What have you been up to since your days at Vogue Paris…
I have had a wonderful styling career so far and I am a very thankful for all the great opportunities I’ve had working with inspiring people and traveling to the most incredible places. I had a small break, as I am a mother of three girls now but back to work and excited for all the upcoming jobs and projects. I started a small capsule collection on my own called AWINTER. Lets see how that works. :)
How about a no-fail signature styling trick for those of us who love French fashion tips?
Do not be scared, use your scissors, pull your imagination, transform if needed, and build your own silhouette. But always keep it simple and respect the designer’s work.
For more of the stylings of Antje Winter at Vogue Paris, see the editorial "Bande A Part" from the April 2001 issue.
Antje Winter and Carine Roitfeld photos courtesy of Antje Winter, Art Partner, Self Service, Miguel Reveriego, and Condé Nast.