New York City on the afternoon of 3 September 2014. It’s Fashion Week. In a disused tunnel near the Hudson River, the adidas NEO show is about to get under way – showcasing this latest fashionable label from the well-known German sportswear manufacturer. Around 250 fashion bloggers, journalists and celebrities from all over the world wait expectantly. The show will be opened by special guest star Selena Gomez. And right in the middle of all the celebrity glitz and glamour is Therese Morich from Chemnitz. The 24-year-old stands behind the turntables on the stage. Her music will shortly accompany the models as they stroll down the catwalk in the brand’s latest collection. “I found the few moments just before the show incredibly exciting,” recalls Therese. “I’d spent two months working closely with the London events agency to fine-tune the selection of music. Everything needed to fit together seamlessly.” And it does. Everything runs smoothly and the show is a success. Bloggers and journalists post reports and pictures on social media. The extensive preparations have all been worth it – both for the company and for DJ Tereza, as she’s known on stage.

In the groove: it all began at a DJ workshop.

Therese’s journey from Chemnitz to NYC sounds a little bit like an American dream. It all started at a DJ workshop in Chemnitz back in 2009, just after Therese had begun her degree course in industrial mathematics at Chemnitz University of Technology. “A friend gave me his place at the workshop because he decided he didn’t want to go. So I just turned up and was immediately hooked,” explains Therese. “The workshop taught us the basics, like how to match the speed of two tracks for a perfect mix.” She carried on practising at home. “I already had a love and passion for music,” she says. As a child, she had sung in a choir, learnt to play the piano and listened to a lot of music, especially classical. Therese persevered at the decks, honed her technique and developed her own style. She began to play in the clubs around Chemnitz, received a growing number of bookings and became more and more successful. She was soon DJing at parties all over Germany and playing at corporate events for well-known brands, including adidas and Red Bull.

Student and DJ: moving between two very different worlds

Playing music has become a way for Therese to finance her studies, although it means constantly switching between two different worlds. In one, she attends lectures and does practical assignments, while in the other she travels the world as a DJ. Bookings are now coming in for clubs and events in Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France, Belgium and, of course, New York. Therese has launched herself on an international career at the same time as studying. But she is still firmly focused on completing her course and gaining a good qualification. That requires real commitment during examination periods, for example; most of her fellow students have much more time for study. You have to be smart, disciplined and able to deal with stress if you want to combine working and studying. That’s why it’s vital for the 24-year-old to have a space where she can find refuge – her home town of Chemnitz. Therese’s friends and family live here, people who are important to her and keep her grounded. She can recharge her batteries, and likes the fact that people are so welcoming in this city. She calls Chemnitz “an unfinished city” that she has come to love. Therese Morich doesn’t like it when people constantly moan. “If something annoys me, I need to take ownership and do something about it,” she says, and is the perfect example of action speaking louder than words.