Stories to marvel at
Works of art
Margret Schiestl is a Zillertal superwoman and has made a dream come true with her fashion label. Her trademark has long been known far and wide.
Sometimes nature provides original answers. Did you know that a female eagle is larger than the male and the queen of the air has a greater wingspan than the king? You could call it women’s power with tongue-in-cheek humour. And consider Margret Schiestl’s comprehensive work from this perspective as well. The Zillertal native created Tiroler Adlerin and made a name for herself with this brand, that has long been known far and wide. Anyone sitting opposite the lively woman to listen to her story certainly knows after a few words, a few gestures, a few seconds just how imposing the self-confident designer’s wingspan is.
We meet Margret in her impressive store in Ramsau. The rooms are bright, the fashion is colourful, the boss is both in her own way. The Tyroler Adlerin can be seen everywhere. A symbol of personality, will, creative power. An art professor had once recommended that she sketch a buzzard and following her intuition it ended up as a female eagle. Last year, Margret Schiestl celebrated her 70th birthday. And anyone who thought the artist might be convinced by this anniversary to take it easier was mistaken. On the contrary, she sprays and works and so wishes that a day had 25 hours. Or 26.
As the daughter of a seamstress and a farmer, she grew up in Hippach, where her interest in sewing and weaving blossomed early. Margret was one of seven children, the oldest of the five girls, and she studied at the HBLA in Kematen. Before the call of the big city sounded, which she followed to devote herself to education and accounting. And fate then paved the way – as where do you come across art, if not in Vienna? Margret attended seminars, developed a passion for design painting. A desire arose, but was only fulfilled many years later. “I can remember exactly,” she says. “It was on the train home on 7 July 2007, and as we were reaching Stans I suddenly saw the image of the female eagle in front of me.” Seen, done.
From that day on, she developed her label with amazing energy. “Tyrolean women are no softies,” she says. And then explains to us the symbolism of that eagle, which can be found on every piece today, whether large or small, dominant or subtle: “The female eagle has wings but is still grounded, and the fashion is like my Zillertal, traditional and modern.” What started 15 years ago as personal fulfilment in a small room has now found its destiny in a spacious business setting thanks to its success. This is mainly due to Margret’s talent of coming up with extraordinary ideas, different ideas, new ideas.
“Mum doesn’t even give it a rest at night,” says her daughter Melanie, who works as a manager in the business. “This type of hyperactivity can be quite exhausting for all of us, we had to compromise. But today I know that Mum is just Mum, you cannot change her, you simply have to let her be.” Margret’s husband can probably confirm this. There is not one single room at home, from the living room to the garage, that is not packed full with art treasures, pictures or sculptures. “Too little space for too much creativity,” Margret laughs, showing us how she skilfully places the female eagle on a jacket using the screen print technique. Tirelessly. “On 7 July, we are celebrating our 15th Tiroler Adlerin anniversary this year,” she says proudly. And it seems as if its soaring flight of success has only just begun.
Image: Angelo Lair and text: Michael Hufnagl
Zillertal magazine winter 2022/23
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