With childhood afternoons spent watching her grandma and aunt work as tailors, a curiosity in fashion came early to Leonie Mergen. Fascinated by the practice, she remembers playing copycat on her own dresses, customising and experimenting throughout most of her youth. Unable to shake this interest, Leonie enrolled in Berlin’s International University of Art (ESMOD) for Fashion, where she earned her BA in 2014. Since then, the young designer has been spending postgrad life working on her own collection with a series of designs inspired by Azerbaijan and one of its regions in particular, Nagorno-Karabakh. SLEEK spoke with Leonie about her Laissez-faire attitude towards creativity, Azerbaijani culture and her upcoming collection.