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  • Writer's pictureManja Gideon Foundation

“Take complexity seriously”

Sibylle, what sets your design apart?

Its complexity. I always let the material determine the form. That’s why I chose fabrics that I’ve used before. I integrated silk into the floral pattern together with other soft fabrics. Many of the edges are left torn. I sewed these fabrics in two or three layers one on top of the other. In comparison to cotton, it looks delicate and transparent. For me, the design reflects the reality of women's lives. We are multi-layered, learning more and more about ourselves over the course of our lives. For example, I discovered a new emotional side of myself and vulnerability when I became a mother ten years ago.

Janet Mueller, Simone Huser, Sibylle Kuhn, Larissa Kramer
From left to right: Janet Mueller, Simone Huser, Sibylle Kuhn, Larissa Kramer

What does women’s health mean to you?

My perception of my body changed dramatically when I became a mother. My approach to women’s health changed as well. Too often, we try to ignore our pain. Two years ago when the stomach flu was going around, I had severe stomach pains. I decided it was just the flu. That hesitancy to bringing my complaint to a doctor nearly cost me my life. Don't complain, I told myself, others have far worse problems than you. I lived with it for two weeks. Actually I had an intestinal obstruction. Before working on the project I had barely heard of ovarian cancer, although I myself had experienced some of the symptoms: bloating, diarrhoea and vague pains. I am a woman, every day and all day. But there are always turning points in life that make you suddenly see things very differently. An abdominal illness can be one of those turning points. Taking care of yourself means more than washing your body and hair. It also means paying attention to yourself, being honest with yourself and taking pain or discomfort seriously. My family doctor has known me for a long time, and I think it’s crucial for doctors take a holistic approach to health.

Why did you participate in the Storyfabrics + Manja Gideon Foundation project?

Working with other designers on a project is a collaborative process. But if your design is honest and comes from within you, then it is also a form of self-expression. Martina Unternaehrer and I met and talked at a number trade shows. We share the same values. That made it an easy decision to support the project.

Sibylle Kuhn is a dressmaker who studied fashion design. She describes herself as a maker of “season and trend-independent fashion”. After working in London and Zurich she founded her own company, seam. She lives with her family in St. Gallen.

The originals of these covers can be ordered at

For each pillow cover sold, 50 CHF will be donated to MGF.

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Additional information is also available at

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