Antje Pugnat: Passion about knitwear

Antje Pugnat: Passion about knitwear


The ultimate combination of Renaissance era and modern world knitwear. We talked to the successful German knitting artist Antje Pugnat about her own brand PUGNAT and approach to fashion.


You studied clothing technology at the University of Applied Sciences and Master’s degree in Fashion Design Knitwear at the Royal College of Art in London. What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?

The magic moment at the knitting machine during my first studies, at that point I knew my passion is knitwear.

You started PUGNAT right after graduating from your studies. Did you always know you wanted to have your own label? 

No, I just followed my life circumstances.

Photo by Stefan Maria Rother

You have extremely elegant and feminine style in your collections. Can you explain who is a perfect PUGNAT woman?  

The perfect PUGNAT woman is sensual, self-confident, independent and aware.

Each piece in your collections take on a shape, form, and texture we never imagined possible with knitting. Can you tell me, what inspires your fashion designs?

In my hand-knit work, I follow a chain of experiments. I try to develop new techniques leading me to forms.  As the other part of my work is very delicate machine-knit. Here, I play with the different characters and colors of yarn. I love the richness and the organic structures in nature. Also, I admire renaissance paintings and the clothing worn at that time. Especially, I have a weakness for the sleeves.

It seems like perfectionism is a big part of your work. Is this the key for PUGNAT?

I think details and finishing in fashion make the difference between a piece of cloth with soul or without. I aim to make soul pieces.

In WUNDERKIND collection you worked with Wolfgang Joop. How did you catch his attention? 

My very first hand-knit jacket was offered in Lil Shop Berlin. Wolfgang Joop used to be a customer there and he bought the jacket. Three weeks later I got I phone call, of WUNDERKIND, asking if I was interested to cooperate.

Did you ever consider doing menswear?

Yes, there are many ideas in my head, but I haven`t had time enough yet.

Antje, do you remember the first piece of clothing you were really obsessed with?

I loved the 80ies plisse dress of my mother. I was fascinated by the elegance and the femininity garments gift us with.

Literally, “I couldn’t pay my credit card, but I had to have the dress,” situation is possible for many people. According to you, is fashion ultimately about emotion for you? 

In my eyes, the beauty and strength of nature should be mirrored in fashion.