The name Rothöll

My name is Annekatrin Döll (born 1986). I am Rothöll’s founder and owner. Many people ask how the name came about. They often wonder if the name is associated with Icelandic lava flows, which it is, in a way.  But really Rothöll is nothing more than a slightly abbreviated portmanteau, comprised of roð, the Icelandic word for fish leather, which is also the central theme of our logo, and my surname Döll.

Nature and culture

Iceland is the island of my heart. After completing secondary school in 2004, I initially went to Loire Valley in France to train as a stonemason with a specialisation in restoration. After returning to Germany in 2006, I began studying sculpture at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. That is where the relationship between objects of nature and objects of culture became a central theme in my art; in my work I began transforming materials and surfaces in unexpected ways.

Surrounded by the sea

There is hardly a better place in the world than Iceland to experience the interplay between the forces of highly geologically active nature and the local culture of the people challenged by these forces. In 2008, I was in search of fresh inspiration, and lived as an au pair in Sauðárkrókur, a village of 2,500 inhabitants high in the northern part of the island. The local tannery there very quickly grabbed my attention- that is where I first became acquainted with fish leather. I began sewing small samples and was fascinated by the possibilities that could be created with this material. The texture is reminiscent of the surface of the sea as it moves, the lightness of the leather would make you doubt its durability- and yet, people in Iceland wear hiking boots of fish leather.

Iceland, mon amour

I brought the idea of Rothöll back with me to the Fine Arts Academy in Germany, and continued to experiment. In 2012, I designed the first bags of fish leather that were well received. Since completing my studies as a master student in 2015, I live in Leipzig and devote myself fulltime to working on the future of Rothöll. Every year, I return to Iceland, island of my heart.