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Fashion Designer Marina Hoermanseder on Her New Rado Collab ADVERTISEMENT

You know a Marina Hoermanseder dress when you see one. Her signature? Unmistakable buckle work ?not just the errant buckle on a dress or trench, but tops and skirts made of buckles. Her comfort and familiarity with leather and closures and minuscule details make her pastel-hued dive into the world of replica watches a no-brainer, yet the Captain Cook Marina Hoermanseder still manages to surprise.

The collab blends traditional concepts of perky pink femininity with the modern notion that all replica watches are for all people. With a case size reaching upwards of 42mm, the Captain Cook is a hearty chonk of a fake watch ?which is why it's so delightful to see it given the Hoermanseder treatment. Each of her 37mm pieces comes with three strap options; black, pink, and an extra-long pink strap designed to be wrapped around the wrist twice.

Hoermanseder's work is rooted in craftsmanship. Her fashion school didn't offer a class she wanted to take, so she found what she needed in an orthopedic technician's office. After an internship at Alexander McQueen, she put in the hours learning how to mold and sculpt prosthesis and orthopedic shapes. Now she puts that sculptural knowledge to use dressing the likes of Lady Gaga.

While Hoermanseder knew she wanted to work on a fake watch eventually, she didn't want to collaborate with just any brand. After a chance meeting with a Rado team member at a tennis tournament and a trip to the Rado museum, Hoermanseder found the right partner. She wants to give women a fake watch that makes a statement, that gives them control over how they want to wear a timepiece, and in turn how they want to be perceived.

Rado Captain Cook x Marina Hoermanseder comes in a pink leather case ?which you'll want to hold all those straps.

What do you consider the relationship between fashion and watchmaking?

Wristwatches were originally seen as jewelry. I consider replica watches to be fashion, to be honest, because they're about not just seeing what time it is, but about colors, materials, trends. Just like fashion, watchmaking doesn't look away from trends. I consider a timepiece an accessory to round out the style that you're aiming for.

Was there a big difference between working with fake watch people and fashion people?

In some ways, absolutely. But while they might think differently, our communication level was that of understanding how important a nanometer is. Not only inside the fake watch but also in the design. I got to work with people who understand my language of, "no this rivet really needs to be a millimeter smaller because it changes the whole look.?It was also my job to say, "I really didn't want this color and I want a rose shade, and not just any rose shade, this shade.?So we had to go through a lot of feedback, but in the end it was just the understanding of how important the small things are.

How long did the whole design process take?

I went to Switzerland at the beginning of last year, right before the lockdown. And then everything took longer because of that, getting materials and such, it took about a year. Then there was me calling the headquarters, "I was thinking we can go a millimeter smaller.?And everything had to be done again! But nothing is a coincidence, everything is very thought through and tried and redone. So it took a lot of time to make the perfect piece.

How did you land on these three strap options?

The Captain Cook is quite big. I know nowadays we're not talking about a female fake watch and a male fake watch because the trend is so unisex. But I knew from Rado that the Captain Cook is not a fake watch that women automatically opt for. You see it in a window, it looks big! So there is a barrier for a woman to just try it on. I want the colors not only of the metal but also the leather to be feminine, just to give this fake watch a feminine touch.

With the wristband, if you don't feel like wearing a watch, you can just wear the wristband. So this mix-and-match was important for me because sometimes you just feel like a black, easy strap and on another day you might go full-on with the long rose strap. I like giving women these options on how to wear their fake watch each day.

What's your personal relationship with watches?

I have to admit, my very first fake watch was a digital one because I had trouble telling time. Now that I'm a mom, I look at my fake watch much more. During the day I was never stressed, I had appointments, but I just had to follow my own rhythm. Now it's the rhythm of a baby, and there's nothing more strict than that.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

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