Camille: Maison C.C. was started by myself and Christoph Stender in 2015. We each followed different paths before meeting in 2013.
Christoph: I left Düsseldorf to experience Barcelona. Then I moved to Berlin to study communication design and to pursue a carrier as an art director. Camille: On my side, I left Bordeaux, France to study Graphic Design in London then worked as a designer in New York before jumping into the advertising sphere in Berlin. This is cheesy but, I like to say that behind Maison C.C. stand two incredibly close friends who are on the same creative and ambitious wavelength.
How did you come up with the idea of building your own business?
Christoph: Camille and I worked together in the same team at DDB for a couple of years. We clicked immediately. We knew when to be goofy and when we had to get shit done. We were the tall and goofy giraffes of the agency. I learned a lot in the advertising system, but I knew it was just an in-between step. ….We found love in a hopeless place….lol! We are two art directors and combine our complementary skills in MAISON C.C. It is our baby, business and platform to express our creativity.
Camille: Previous experiences taught me how to run a graphic/creative business and this was very inspiring. The idea of being independent and free to create present / work the way you choose was fundamental. The dream was to be creative on our own terms. I was secretly hoping that one day I would find my ally and out of the blue, Christoph walked into my life. After a few years of working together (and a lot of secret plotting), Maison C.C. was a natural progression for us.
Christoph: Clear, emotional, conceptual. For me it is important to find the right balance between creating a visual concept and an emotion. At Maison C.C. every client arrives with a different challenge and we push to deliver results that we are proud of.
Camille: This is tough… When it comes to Maison C.C., I design with the objective to communicate the essence of a brand, company or person with just a monogram or a font. Like reducing and representing an attitude through visual combinations.
What do you find beautiful personally?
Camille: My two beauty or artistic shocks this year came from two artists who at first wouldn’t seem to have much in common but who in my eyes share a sensibility for minimalism, subtility and powerful poetry. The first piece is the concrete shell on the island of Teshima, Japan by Ryue Nishizawa and the second is the work by New York artist, Obarh, who I encountered selling his prints in the Manhattan subway.
Christoph: I was really inspired by the ZERO group. I love how they created a post war international movement. Otto Piene was one of my favorites and he didn’t limit himself in his means of expression. He was experimenting with multi media combinations.
Camille: There are iconic works that I admire but would never dare to make them my own. At the moment though, I am obsessed with YouTube drag queens.
Why are you obsessed with drag queens?
Camille: There are iconic works that I admire but would never dare to make them my own. At the moment though, I am obsessed with YouTube drag queens. They combine everything: acting, comedy, signing, entertainment, costume design, drama and activism! I have a huge respect for these unapologetic performers.
Speaking of obsession and inspirations, what or who is it that inspires you the most?
Camille: A family friend, fashion designer Maud Frizon, was a big inspiration. I like her killer no-bullshit personality, she had a castle and horses and was an iconic shoe designer. As a little girl, I would present her sheet after sheet of shoe design proposals.
Christoph: I left Düsseldorf right after graduating high school. I think that it’s a nice place to grow up, but I always felt restricted and not really inspired. Düsseldorf is a bit too Vanilla. As a child I always appreciated and looked up to funny and eccentric characters. I remember a friend of my parents named Joe Brockerhoff. He is an air brush artist and spray-painted the rooms of the old posh brothel on the Rethelstraße. He placed a chicken bone in his nasal septum. I also would like to mention Frau Viktoria Ourman my art teacher. She inspired me a lot.
“I left Düsseldorf right after graduating high school. I think that it’s a nice place to grow up, but I always felt restricted and not really inspired. Düsseldorf is a bit too Vanilla.”
You are both based in Berlin, for how long are you living here and what do you like about it?
Camille: I finally moved to Berlin in 2012 and I still love this city as much I did when I first visited in 2009. The list of what I like about Berlin can go on and on… I like the spontaneity, the honesty and the rock-solid friendships Berlin has given me.
Christoph: I’ve been living in Berlin for 13 years and I still enjoy the city. Sometimes I need a little break, a Tapetenwechsel [editor’s note: literally meaning change of wallpaper, like change of scenery], but I think that is pretty normal. Berlin is a free place and you can be however and whoever you want. It is just important to set your own rules to not get lost. You can have different lives and lifestyles in this city. It depends on yourself. Other big creative cities seem a bit more competitive than Berlin. So far a lot of people have been really supportive and helpful since we founded MAISON C.C.
Camille: A big shout out to our first clients and close friends from Hülle & Fülle <3
MAISON C.C. FOR HÜLLE & FÜLLE
And what do you hate about Berlin?
Camille: I’ll let Christoph take this one.
Christoph:The library is open: I hate it, when people constantly talk about Berlin. Yes, it is an amazing place, but it’s also just a city. Is Berlin in or out? Whatever it’s just a city.
“I hate it, when people constantly talk about Berlin. Yes, it is an amazing place, but it’s also just a city. Is Berlin in or out? Whatever it’s just a city.”
Berlin is a capital for many creatives around the world, do you see tendencies that this is changing somehow? And if so, how is the city changing? And what it different compared to the times when you arrived?
Camille: I think it’s become a cool a mix between those who have truly shaped the city for the past decades and those who are creating completely new things. We have the chance to work with Fiedel, a real Berghain and Ostgut OG and who has been a force within the Berlin rave and techno scene since the early days, as well as fresh label Altered Soul Experiment that brings a very unique point of view to the current club and music culture.
Christoph: In general I like how the city changed. It became more and more international, which is really nice. I just hope that Berlin will manage to find the right balance between keeping it’s unique and free identity while becoming more important internationally. I love the nightlife here, but it will be interesting to see what else the city will have to offer besides that.
MAISON C.C. FOR FIEDEL
MAISON C.C. FOR ALTERED SOUL EXPERIMENT
Camille: No! But we have been fantasizing about doing a season in LA, you know, since it’s so similar to Berlin…
Christoph: Yes. That is what we have done already. I love to be self employed and have the freedom to sometimes work for one month from sunnier places in Europe.
Camille: Well we are best friends and soulmates so each morning starts with mutual praise and adoration followed by a catch up on what went down the night before. Then we get more serious and jump into work.
Christoph: Especially after a weekend we need a looooooong catch up. We always check in with each other.
Camille: To avoid confusion, let’s point out that we are not in a romantic relationship.
Christoph: The clothing line is a fun and side project. We started it as a promotion and PR idea. In general we like to involve our friends. In the near future we plan to develop it further in collaboration with our friend and talented illustrator Benedikt Rugar. Together we created the branding for the NYC smoking bar Sugar East.
Camille: We’ve sold out of all of our previous tees and sweats and we’re still receiving many requests. So it’s time to get to it.
MAISON C.C. FOR SUGAR EAST, Illustrations: Benedikt Rugar
Photography: Jaqueline Loaiza, Models: Aaron Jamal Marx & Julien La-Brien Sherman
What projects are you currently working on? And whats Next?
Christoph: At the moment we have ongoing work on various music projects, balanced with some more unusual industries (like working with biology professors or a renewable energy start-up).
Camille: The work is split between our Berlin and our internationally based clients. This transatlantic connection is something we definitely want to pursue, be it in New York or beyond.
FOLLOW MAISON C.C.s JOURNEY HERE:
WEBSITE: MAISON C.C.
SHOP: MAISON C.C. SHOP
ALL CONTENT © MAISON C.C.
HEADER © JACOB E. SCHICKLER