Learn a little bit about us, where we come from and why we do it
Adelheid Bergin is a small, hand-made apparel brand, women owned and operated. We release two micro-collections a year; one for A/W and one for S/S.
Each micro-collection is uniquely branded, telling a story composed of graphics, colors, textures, imagery, video, and music. We love to tell a story and each micro-collection’s trends come through in our seasonal branding story. We feel all too often clothes are made “just because” and don’t connect to any aspect of current life. We wanted to change that in the way we do things. There is a personality and emotion with each seasonal release.
Started in 2013, each garment is hand-made, one at a time as they are purchased. We are not into fast fashion or throw-away fashion and each item is intended to last many years with good care. All of our fabrics are cruelty-free, so you will never find silk, wool, leather or the like. On occasion we can be lucky enough to source some organic material, bamboo or hemp, but for a small business like ours, these materials can often be hard to come by. We hope with changing public knowledge and better manufacturing, these will be more available to us in the future.
To learn more about our shop policies, please see our Customer Care section.
My name is Heidi Bergin and I’m the eponymous founder of the Adelheid Bergin (AB) brand. We are often asked - what is Adelheid? It is the modern High German form of Heidi. When launching the line I had the idea in mind that I would create menswear and found a way to use my name while simultaneously making it androgynous. And beyond that, it gave the brand its own life.
It has not been easy to bring AB to market. I don’t have an apparel degree; I have a business degree. Having grown up in a small midwest town, I didn’t think pursuit of any creative field was realistic. These were the dark days before world had YouTube and acquiring skills meant a family member must pass down the craft. I didn’t know how to sew or draw and that was that. In 2007 after graduating college, I relocated to Portland, Oregon which is a mecca for creativity and entrepreneurship and doors opened for me to piece together apparel classes and learn the trade. Fashion illustration here, patternmaking there. When I decided to pursue launching a fashion line, it was 2013 and I was in my late twenties and working a full time job that was all wrong for me. But over the years I gained the skills needed to launch my first collection and produced “Bavarian Twilight” which was picked up by a local boutique.
The first collection was in fact womenswear. As well as every subsequent collection. To meet dress code during my day job, I had to shop for a type of clothes - “for work.” And often the garments that met standard in terms of length and fit (and so on) were devoid of personality. Wearing these clothes - blazers, dress pants, button down shirts - made me feel like someone else. I felt older than I was, less interesting than I was, and unattractive. And I was nostalgic for the days of shopping for fun. So with respect to my apparel ambitions, I started down a journey in apparel with a mission to revive the careerwear category. Because every time I tell my story to another woman she says “yes, totally!” and I am reminded that careerwear is necessary. Except, we should be excited about it!
I’m a busy body by trade and love working on everything all at once.
My background is in design, having switched majors three times from fine arts, to industrial design, to design management; I have a very broad background that helps me well. I’ve worked in product design, drafting, operations, IT, graphic design, and marketing over the years.
All of these skills have been of tremendous benefit in starting an online apparel business. And for apparel experience? A big fat nothing. But as you get older, you can learn whatever you want to. It’s all about attitude, commitment and discipline.
I started working on Adelheid Bergin when Heidi was releasing her first collection; Bavarian Twilight back in the spring of 2013. She had been going to trade skill to learn the craft and her first runway show was approaching. I offered to help layout the lookbook and with the visuals for the show. I didn’t really know anything about fashion at that time, other than one art history class I took in school that touched on fashion for a meager four weeks. So this was a completely new experience for me.
Seeing the models make their rounds wearing all the clothes Heidi worked so hard for, I was hooked. Good thing too, because Heidi decided to create another collection and I was in!
Fast forward to now, I spend my time handling all the back end operations from website to social media, seasonal branding, graphic design, photography, runway preparation, fittings, cutting fabric, sourcing material and more. About the only things I don’t take part in is the collection creation, sample making and sewing; I leave that to the expert.
I have a lot of varying interests that really help my creativity when working on AB. I’m a huge music fan; and you can almost always find me listening to varying forms of electronic music, classical, instrumental, or jazz. I could eat pasta, udon soup and beans and rice everyday and if sweets are involved, I can’t be held responsible for my actions.
Working with Heidi on Adelheid Bergin has been a great adventure. I get to do a little bit of everything I love with the person I love for the purposes we love.
I’m Chia! I’m a little 8 pound chihuahua/rat terrier mix. Heidi and Mikael adopted me when I was looking for a new home. Nobody knows much about my first few years of life but I’m sure I’m better that they are behind me. I’m a dog with many sides although most new friends notice that I’m a little unsure about things.
When not being a big chicken, I LOVE belly rubs and playing with my squeaky toys. Taking walks is my favorite thing to do and sunbathing in the summer when it’s warm and sunny outside. I could eat all the peanut butter cookies in the world and still be hungry.
Sometimes Heidi and Mikael make me sit around the studio when they are making all the pretty clothes. It can be boring, but at least we go out afterwards and they take me out for photoshoots and anywhere else I’m allowed. I can’t wait to go to the dog park again soon; I usually just walk around the perimeter since I’m a very picky little dog.