Oliver Palnau is a German-American fashion designer. He gained the respect of the maritime community for his translation of mega yacht design and quality levels to menswear. At age 20 he started attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City’s fashion district. There he discovered the magic of fashion. Fashion could transform an individual. There Oliver Palnau decided to apply the pursuit of perfection he found in mega yachts to clothing. We have conducted a short interview with him.
How has your background in mega yacht design and quality added to your success in the fashion industry?
If we look at the aesthetics, mega yachts are a form of opulent elegance. These massive structures stick to the same base colors because they focus more on a refined elegance versus trying to get attention with flashy colors.
If we look at the quality standards, mega yachts need to be perfect. The gentlemen who purchase them do it maybe a few times in their lives and want all parts of their yacht to be flawless. I applied this same philosophy to the shirts I make.
What kind of menswear do you specialize in?
Menswear for me is how do you make a guy look effortlessly amazing. I'm not into the whole mixing random colors into bold prints and telling guys they'll look good, because they won't. Any of the gentlemen I admire do not want to draw too much attention to their clothes. However, they want to draw enough to command respect and control these variables in their interactions. One of my clients once called it 'billionaire-chic.'
My shirts are my greatest skill. I wanted to create very comfortable, yet durable shirts and based on feedback I think we're almost there. My suiting is still developing but is definitely next on the list.
What inspires you to pursue perfection in clothing and fashion?
Clothing is one of the most important variables in people's lives. It is how they express themselves. I realized a lot of gentlemen I have met act differently when they feel insecure with their appearance.
Fashion pushes people to think differently, to wander in their minds. It also saves people time. Others immediately understand what you are interested in and will approach you if you have something in common. That is why I did not agree with the shift to logo-less clothing of the past few years. Not having a logo on your clothes is like not having an opinion. Who wants to be the same as 98% of the other people in a room?
In your opinion, how does a great design contribute in transforming an individual?
Clothing is the first impression you give the world. I want to help people feel at ease and be fully confident in themselves. The fit and style of the shirts we offer is somewhat a coefficient of modern business dress. When someone looks good and they know they look good they are free to conquer their day.
What is your dream and in the near future, what fantasy do you see in this business?
Near future we are going to develop the Palnau Alliance with partner companies to provide our clients as much value as possible. We are in talks with a German car manufacturer and a resort chain so far.
Ultimately the feedback has been so good that it propels me to forge ahead and expand our product offering. My clients like the time they save by letting me deal with the trends, fit, and fabrics to make them look extraordinary.
My clients are very ambitious gentlemen. Oliver Palnau shirts serve as a great tool for them to build their empires. We will be a presence in people's lives for the next 30 years.