BETTINA MARIA is a German born fashion designer who has been designing one of a kind fashion for women since the early 90-ties out of San Francisco, California. Initially experimenting with surface design, knitwear and handpainted specialty fabrics, she created her own private label BETTINA MARIA.
San Francisco, New York, Chicago…
Bettina Maria’s opulent collections were featured at the Pacific Designer Collection at New York Fashion Week, at the SOFA Show in Chicago and Chicago’s ONE OF A KIND SHOW, the American Craft Council Fairs in Baltimore, Atlanta and San Francisco, as well as her own store COUTURISMA in Mill Valley, California. Her work was featured at Bergdorf Goodman and high-end boutiques throughout the United States. She won the Award of Excellence as „Best in Art To Wear of America“ in 2016 at the prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art & Craft Show.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Her direction was dramatically changed by having lived around Avantgarde Art To Wear in America to discovering the vibrant culture and artistic expression of the early Tango Argentino. The designer was looking to create an interesting sub collection next to her high end fashion when she realized a promising niche market during her first travels to Buenos Aires in early 2000. It inspired her original passion designing for stage to create a fantasy fashion collection for Tango Argentino. Her early collection „MODAS DE TANGO“ resembled a fusion of contemporary bohemian West Coast flavor as well as the elegance of European couture. Moving to Buenos Aires in 2007 allowed her for three years to escape the stress of constant deadlines and high overhead to completely immerse in Tango and its rich culture, to develop something very unique, which greatly influenced her future direction. The small artisan workshops in Buenos Aires with its often European roots matched her upbringing and love for traditional European tailor shops much more than the world of massproduced fashion in America.
Bigger is not better
While growing her wholesale business in the United States, Bettina Maria had learnt, that bigger was not necessarily better, being aware of the cost of corporate fashion production, the stress it produces on the designers and its devastating effects on the environment. Having seen sweat shops throughout Indonesia and even in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, she promised herself, to never produce this way for profits.
Traditional European Tailor Shop
Today, her collections are produced in her atelier in Berlin, Germany and have been renamed COSTUME COUTURE BERLIN. There, each pattern is initially draped on the figure, considering the fluidity of the fabric and its functionality for the movements of the dance, before it is individually cut and sewn in the traditional style of a European tailor-shop. Out of principle, she believes in the importance of keeping alive the tradition of European craftsmanship and recycling left over fabrics into new unique designs.
Dancing around the World
„COSTUME COUTURE BERLIN“ has been featured in major Tango Events in Buenos Aires, Europe and the United States of America, developing private clients in many parts of the world from San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York to Hongkong, Tokyo, Perth, Melbourne, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Oslo, Kopenhagen, Rome, Milano, Paris, London, Vienna back to Berlin. It is a special joy for her to know her fashions keep on dancing on many special occasions around the world.