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The German actress is the face of Adidas’ latest campaign highlighting three iconic sneaker silhouettes.

From brat to professional killer to fairytale princess – not only the storylines, but also the styles of Jella Haase’s roles over the years couldn’t be more different. However, privately, one of Germany’s most successful actresses is deeply relaxed and a true sneaker fan. One of the reasons why Adidas has chosen the Berliner for its latest iteration of its “1000 Back” campaign. The campaign highlights three iconic silhouettes: the Gazelle, the Samba, and the Handball Spezial. Originally designed for various sports, including training, soccer, and handball, these classics have consistently left a mark across different decades, cultures, and movements since their inception. With a series of images and videos Adidas celebrates the diverse range of individuals and personalities who wear these silhouettes today, each styling them uniquely and contributing new narratives to the timeless icons. Jella Haase talked to Fräulein in an interview about what her story is.

Interview by Ann-Kathrin Riedl

Fräulein: What does fashion mean to you? Is it something you’ve always been interested in, or did your interest develop later due to your career?

Jella Haase: I approach fashion playfully: What does it evoke in me? How does it feel to wear a garment? I always imagine what clothing might express about the person wearing it, about their personality. Do they have an extravagant or more simple and structured style? Does their private life, their home, reflect the same vibe? Fashion, in my mind, always tells a story about the person wearing it.

Have there been moments in your life where your style has taken a completely different turn or evolved significantly?

I think my style is always evolving. There’s also a difference between Jella in private life and Jella on the red carpet. In the past, I experimented a lot. When I look back at my younger self, my style was wild: leggings, lots of jewelry, layering pieces. Punkish, grungy, and messy. Today, I might be a bit more refined. 

For the red carpet, I always worked against the roles I played, which was fun and exciting. I first had to discover and find my style. I think I’ve always been adventurous and bold, but now I also enjoy dressing classic and elegant for certain occasions. This mix of daring and delicate is a style that always has an appeal for me. 

There are also looks I wouldn’t wear anymore. When I look at some pictures of myself I see that I’ve been dressed by somebody else. Today, I’m more confident in my decisions and taste. I’ve been working with my stylist Kilian Kerner for over 10 years, and we always have a lot of fun. But it’s extremely exciting to meet new stylists for campaigns, photo shoots, and editorials, and gather new inspirations and ideas there.

Do you often clean your closet to make room for new items, or do you find it hard to let go and prefer to hoard?

I had to laugh at the word „hoarder“! Unfortunately, that’s probably what I am: a hoarder. Although I sold a lot at the flea market and on Kleiderkreisel during the pandemic. I’ve received so many gifts of clothing. Clothes almost always have a story for me, which is why I find it difficult to part with things, but I’m learning more and more. For now, I have to admit: my closet is bursting.

What current fashion trend do you find exciting?

I really enjoyed watching the „Dune“ stars on their premiere tour. Each outfit worn by Zendaya and Co. was a masterpiece! What’s happening now on the red carpets, also the way Kristen Stewart is making statements, is extremely exciting.

Do the aesthetics of the various roles you play stay with you after filming? If yes, please tell me about an example.

When I played „Kleo“, it was the silhouette that Ramona Klinikowski, the costume designer, and I developed together. Kleo’s fashion was like a coat of armor, and in all her styles, as absurd or timeless elegant as they were, she was always ready for a fight. One of Kleo’s classics is a large blazer and athletic, tight-fitting pants. There was this wonderfully cut 80s pants from the costume stock, from which we then took the pattern and gave Kleo her own signature look. I was allowed to take this pants home once in a flowery version and once in a tiger-striped one, and they are still my favorite pants to this day. But I also loved Kleo’s tracksuits and see them as an exciting connection to the Adidas campaign.

For your recent role „Chantal in Fairyland“, you dressed up in real princess dresses instead of tracksuits. How did it feel? How much princess is there in you?

That was incredibly exciting. Costume designer Esther Waltz did an amazing job. I’ve looked closely at it: She and her team of up to 60 people alone made more than 70 costumes for the main and supporting roles. Even the boots are custom-made, mostly by shoemakers from Italy. In addition, more than 1000 extras were dressed in costumes from the Renaissance and early Baroque periods, which came from theater and film stocks in Berlin, Prague, Rome, and Madrid. As soon as an extra stood out from the crowd, their costume was usually custom-made.

So, every one of my dresses was tailor-made! I don’t remember how many fittings we had between the first design and the finished dress, but I got to live a real dream, bringing such dresses to life on my body. We immediately broke the princess-like aspect in the film with Chantal’s character, although the elegant dresses tempt you to move enchanted and elegantly.

You grew up in Berlin. What defines the aesthetics of this city for you and how much of it do you see in your own style?

That’s an interesting question! I think I’m a true Berliner. In this city, Charlottenburg’s old buildings, graffiti, Plattenbau, and Späti all go together. Berlin is edgy. Cool. Androgynous. You can wear whatever you want. However, I also think there’s a classic Berghain chic – dark leather outfits that date back to the 90s and the techno scene. I don’t think I belong to that crowd, but I love that anything is possible in Berlin. The imagination is limitless.

You are often in the spotlight. What must a look have for you to feel confident in such a moment?

I have to feel comfortable. Right now, it’s loose clothing, my Tiffany’s sunglasses, and a balaclava knitted by Ida’s mom.

How do you communicate with your 1.5 million followers about fashion and appearance? What attitude do you want to convey?

It’s really important to me that people feel comfortable and stay true to themselves. There’s this great quote by the artist Laas Abendroth that I really appreciate. He wrote on a big canvas: I WOULD LIKE TO ALWAYS BE THE SAME. LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. LIKE YOU. That, ironically, sums up the problem for me. I don’t see uniformity as something desirable, but that’s exactly what social media tends to promote. We’re constantly comparing ourselves. Why? We only have one life. And we should live it the way we want, with the things we like, because we like them, not because everyone else does. It’s also a good self reflexion for everyday use: Am I doing it because I want to, or just because everyone else is doing it?

Let’s talk about sneakers. Are you among the first to try out new models, or do you prefer classics?

I wear my sneakers until they’re completely worn out, and my mother says: You can’t wear them anymore!

What makes a sneaker classic for you? 

That you can wear it in any situation.

The new Adidas campaign focuses on three famous sneaker models of the brand. You’ve worn them all. Which one is your favorite, and how would you personally style it?

The white Samba, because it’s simple and timeless! The light blue Spezial stands out more, and I’ve been approached about it the most so far. Of course, the Samba, Gazelle, and Spezial models go well with sporty outfits, but I also think breaking the vibe, for example with a long elegant coat or a summer dress, can be exciting.

What role do sneakers play in your style overall, and what’s one of your favorite combinations?

Sneakers always add a casual touch and are comfortable. My favorite combo is probably a very classic one: sneakers with jeans or leggings.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received for an outfit? 

Casual, yet elegant.

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