We are happy to introduce you to Nicole Künne, Dimension-Polyant’s Head of Technical Fabrics based in its Kempen headquarters. Nicole, with her extensive experience in fashion tailoring and textile technology, joined Dimension-Polyant 6 years ago to help the company introduce its innovative X-Pac® laminates to European outdoor and fashion brands.
Nicole loves interacting with people and says if you put her in a room with strangers, she can quickly find topics of conversation to discuss practically anything for hours. She is a ‘trust your gut’ type person who has learned that her intuition has served her well. While multi-tasking works for many, Nicole prefers to concentrate on completing one task at a time to achieve better results.
Please read on to get to know more about Nicole!
What is your role at DP, how long have you’ve been with the company?
I’ve been responsible for all inquiries regarding the development and support of the business outside the sailcloth market since 2017. The main focus was initially placed on my introducing X-Pac® laminates into the European market. I am now also the key account manager for the European brands.
What are a few unique qualities/areas of expertise you bring to DP?
I was trained in fashion tailoring, however because job prospects for this profession in the 1990s in Germany were drying up, I added an engineering degree in textile technology. As an Engineer graduate, I bring a lot of experience in the field of finishing, coating, and lamination for various applications.
My professional positions have always focused on the R&D of technical textiles and process engineering, and have included Spinning Mill, Supplier for Military Worldwide and lastly Heat Protection for Automotive, Marine, Aerospace and Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE).
What drew you to Dimension-Polyant?
I was bored with my old job and was looking for a new professional challenge. Dimension-Polyant was looking for a textile person for its newly created position, Head of Technical Fabrics, who had the ability to understand the textile world and think creatively around the corner. The company also wanted my help in introducing X-Pac® to the European market in order to make it better known.
Will you please share a work experience that you are most proud of?
Looking back, there have been highlights in every stage of my career. For example, I was instrumental in introducing a new 2D camouflage net into the German military Bundeswehr and Luftwaffe in the early 2000s. I worked closely with the partner companies and institutes, but also with the soldiers. I also had to demonstrate to the soldiers how to correctly camouflage a tank, or a tracked vehicle with thermal protection tarpaulins, camouflage net and poles. This was not always easy for a “girl” among so many “boys”. But I am sure that many still remember “Little Miss Sunshine” .
Is there a place you are most looking forward to traveling to?
The global pandemic has changed many things, including my vacation habits. Before the start of the pandemic, I was flying all over the world, both professionally and privately. Vacations were always connected to diving. I love the ocean, colorful fish and sharks. Through the pandemic, I have come to better know and appreciate nature outside my doorstep, and now even enjoy going hiking!
But someday I will be traveling again to dive, and I’m really looking forward to that. Diving clears my head, and I would love to spend the whole day with my head underwater.
Diving is a great sport to stay physically fit, but also to make you aware of how beautiful the underwater world is, and how we need the ocean to live. It also makes you aware that our oceans are completely polluted, and that we humans have finally realized that we need to protect the ocean.
What is the last book you read?
The History of Bees. It’s about England in the 19th century, America in 2007 and China in 2098. Three families in different countries and at different times are all connected by one thing: The bee. Maja Lunde writes in first person from the point of view of the three protagonists who live in different decades and in different parts of the world, but whos’ fates are linked by the bee and its history. I particularly like this style of storytelling, as it allows us to see the big picture. The beginnings of beekeeping, the great (unfortunately still current) bee mortality and a possible outlook into a future that hopefully will not occur – because without bees, man cannot survive. The next book on my bookshelf is “History of Water”, also by Maja Lunde.
Tell us about one of your most exciting adventures?
One the journey by train from West Germany to Croatia, including 20kg of diving luggage AND the scuba tanks. Unfortunately, it is too long of a story to tell here!
What was the first concert you ever went to?
I love music. Depending on the mood, from classical, rock and pop to techno and musicals. I also like to go to the theater or ballet. But it doesn’t always have to be serious plays – life is serious enough. My first concert was an OpenAir concert of U2 at the end of the 1980s.
This year I am looking forward to concerts of Meute, Kiss, Rammstein”, NOTP – Night of the Proms and various others.
What is your favorite X-Pac® fabric?
To me, there is no such thing as a true favorite fabric. Due to the many different styles, every single fabric and every single color has its raison d’être for its multitude of different applications.
I always find it surprising that the color black is so often preferred in the most diverse areas/applications. I also think our camouflage styles are cool… probably due to working with the soldiers that has influenced me for life!
Especially as a scuba diver, I am also very pleased that Dimension-Polyant is increasingly taking on more sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives with regards to its X-Pac® fabrics, it is now producing the RX styles where the face fabric is made from recycled PET bottles primarily collected from the sea. And I am proud that the company supports the climate offset project “Plastic-Free Oceans” with Climate Partner.
If you could make/or have anything made with X-Pac®, what would it be?
It would be a dream to see bags of any kind on the Pret-A-Porter runways of this world.
A fancy little handbag/pouch from Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino Garavani, or Roberto Cavalli would be an absolute hit for me.
Thanks for all of your time, Nicole!
We look forward to sharing more interviews with our X-Pac® Team, so please visit our blog for our latest updates!