“I don't have Falke in my blood,” explains Kristina Falke, international International PR Director of (you guessed it) Falke, “I married the brand, meaning I married my husband who is the fourth generation of Falke and we've been together for a very long time, over 30 years,” she tells Hello! Fashion.
Kristina met her husband in New York, "I needed a place to stay, I swear. And, it was just for one night," The friend she was lodging with wasn’t arriving until the next day, and the budding PR guru didn’t want to spring for a hotel for just one evening, so she called her sister who had a friend she called ‘the sock guy’ with a guest room, "So that’s what I did, I stayed there, he was very friendly. The next day I moved back to my friend's house and we met again at a party… I never really thought of having a German boyfriend. I never had one before," she explains in an accent imbued with a distinctively cheery South German lilt. She’d be a hard person not to fall in love with.
The rest is history and led to her 25 year tenure with the brand, “Back then there was no Falke press office, nothing.” She started small, working with the brand in Germany then across Europe and eventually became the head of their global outreach, “When I first started working for the company, it was really more of a man's sock brand. Although they already had socks for women.”
The label is now synonymous with luxury, quality and is a darling of the fashion industry. And the blonde powerhouse can certainly be credited, at least in part, to the international success of the heritage brand. Falke’s tights have adorned the legs of the world’s most revered supermodels, household names like Victoria Beckham and Princess Diana and the brand has also collaborated with the likes of Manolo Blahnik, Phillip Lim. Not to mention they have of course been championed by fellow German Karl Lagerfeld, all thanks to Kristina.
There have been occasions where they couldn’t meet demand due to the popularity of Falke, “It was back in 2010 around the financial crisis we couldn't produce enough, people were just dying for our stuff,” she explains, “So, we get a request for the Chanel show, and the PR team said no, we just don't have anything. And I said to them, ‘I'm so sorry, I can't send you anything.’ Then like three weeks later I get a note saying ‘Hello, I know you didn't want to give me any tights. So we just bought the Falke tights in Paris, - Best Karl,’ Which I think was amazing, you know,” she laughs.
When it comes to the decisions for who Falke should collaborate with, Kristina admits that “Usually I pick it,” explaining, “Sometimes we reach out, sometimes they reach out, I mean, Manolo they reached out and that was really the nicest call up ever. Everything was so elegant, you know, they are so polite.” Her business acumen is clearly at the heart of all her decisions however, “I see something I'm like, ‘oh, that could be a great match.’ You know, we are luxury, they are luxury. They are nothing in Europe. We're great in Europe. Or we are not that great in the US at the moment, and we are so let's create synergy.”
Despite marrying into the sock trade, Kristina is clearly a hosiery aficionado all of her own accord, “they make the legs look much nicer,” she tells us, “Even in the summer, I wear the Shelina which is very thin and ‘people say, oh, you're not wearing any tights’ and my legs just look nicer…. more one colour, you know, and you don't see every little detail on your leg which you shouldn't see.”
What Kristina doesn’t know about tights isn’t worth knowing, and luckily she gave Hello! Fashion the do’s and don’ts of hosiery:
How do I prevent tights from snagging?
"Always check your fingernails before you put them on because if there's even a small hangnail it can ruin it.”
How do I correctly wash my tights?
“Always wash them in a machine and put them into a little bag,” explains Falke, “Preferably on the wool cycle and don't wash them over 30-40 degrees. Never put them in the tumble dryer, always air dry.”
What tight trends are going to be big for 2023?
“So much colour, a lot of colour and, and I think some glitter is coming back.I thought it was over but it's not, we see a lot of gold coming back.”
How do you wear coloured or patterned tights?
“With black dresses and can put on some, some black tights with a pattern and you look different. It looks interesting. With the patterns and bright colours, you should put on the tights and then choose what you wear. But with a black dress, anything goes.”
How do I make my legs look longer in tights?
“If your legs are not so thin, don't wear too bright colours. No yellow, no red, go for black and the more opaque, the better.”
Can you wear tights all year around?
“When spring comes, please keep on wearing tights, it just makes your legs look nicer.”
Tights to shop in 2023:
Like this story? Sign up to our Hello! Fashion newsletter to get your weekly 'Fashion Fix' delivered straight to your inbox.