Meet Leni Bolt – Berlin’s self-declared Psycho Princess who is redefining gender and fashion norms in the most delightfully outrageous ways possible. An individual of many talents, Leni is both an established unisex fashion designer and a queer performance artist who knows how to get the party started. Fearless, passionate, inspiring and powerful, Leni sends out a clear message that it doesn’t matter what people think – you should be your own person, and most importantly, have fun doing it!
Leni came to visit our Studio to film the latest pieces from the Boltish collection: ten different chokers, handmade in Berlin, that you can buy today on the YEAY app.
Interview by Jayne Phillips
Tell us a bit about yourself, Leni! How did you find yourself in the world of fashion design?
I started my first brand ‘wronkowitz’ at the age of 16 and I was labelled by the press as ‘Germany’s youngest fashion designer.’ The outcome from this work progressed to me showcasing my collection at Berlin Fashion Week. I was invited to a variety of talk shows and that allowed me to share my experience of working as a teenager in the fashion industry. I developed the brand’s concept and have now chosen to design the collection of chokers as it fits to my own personal maverick style.
How would you describe your style?
I would say it’s a mix of minimalistic garments and trashy items. I’m too busy to spend too much time in front of my wardrobe, so I randomly mix things up! Sometimes it works, and sometimes not so much, haha!
Would you say you’re more of a fashion designer, or a performer? Or maybe both?
I couldn’t live without either of my passions. They are so different, and that’s why they fit together so well. As a designer, I am quite isolated in my studio, working on the new collection and doing a lot of stuff all by myself. It’s a great job, but you can feel lonely at times. Being a performer allows me to break out of this atmosphere and show the performance side of me!
What does it mean to be Boltish?
Boltish means to break free from stereotypes. I want you to find your inner truth! Life is too short to give a damn about society’s opinion.
You grew up in a small Catholic village – what advice would you give to someone in the suburbs who doesn’t fit in?
In small villages you will always have narrow-minded people around you who will never understand the way you choose to express yourself. So why should you waste time, trying to fit in? It’s great to be a misfit, there are many misfits out there waiting for you.
Which designers or public figures have particularly inspired you?
Who would be your dream person to wear one of your Chokers?
Paris Hilton would be lit!
Why do you think it’s important to promote genderless or unisex fashion?
I feel like there’s a general change coming up in our society. People want to be seen as an individual rather than getting a prefixed label like ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Genderless fashion is just the answer of human needs and I’m supporting that movement.
What’s your favourite video you’ve seen on the YEAY app so far?
Honestly, it’s Candy Ken promoting his facial Hello Kitty stickers. He is just adorable!
What’s your favourite Berlin party?
Is it too scandalous to say Berghain?!
Do you have a favourite inspirational quote you’d like to share with the YEAY community?
‘Chokers gonna choke!’ by me…
What’s on the horizon for yourself and your Boltish label?
I want to reach out to the people globally. But my next step will definitely be South Korea and Japan. I love the kawaii aesthetics so much, and I want my brand Boltish to be a part of it. Follow my private instagram account @lenibolt to see what happens next and if you want to see the choker collection, check out my channel on the app, because #itsonyeay.