DBMS DESIGNER TALK: GABRIELE FRANTZEN
Gabriele, you were the co-owner of the multi-brand store “Frantzen & Frantzen” and manage your own distribution company “Best of 19 GmbH” together with your husband, as well as founding your own label “Gabriele Frantzen” in 2009. You have therefore been playing an integral and essential role in the fashion industry for 20 years…
My husband motivated me to take this step when he told me: “You’re always discovering things that don’t yet exist in Germany… do something about it.”
For whom do you design your extravagant creations? Or put differently, what does a typical “Gabriele Frantzen” customer look like for you?
My customers are modern, cosmopolitan and individual women who actively pursue their own fashion sense and use my pieces to accentuate it.
Your collections are worn by celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Olivia Palermo. How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel wonderful. After all, I consider these strong women to be role models and a source of motivation. The style icon Leandra Medine also loves my “Watch Candy” bracelets.
Your designs stand out due to their top-quality materials such as Swarovski crystals, vintage pearls or fur sourced from sustainable production. From where do you source these materials and how important are production conditions to you?
Every single one of our pieces is produced in Germany or Italy. We source our furs from Scandinavia and procure our Swarovski elements from their home town of Wattens in Austria. I’ve always considered quality to be extremely important and therefore focus on production conditions right from the word go, especially given that good production conditions secure local jobs and support and promote young talents.
NYC is pretty much your home away from home and you’re very well acquainted with the American market. So what exactly attracts you to the Berlin fashion scene in general and to the BERLINER MODE SALON in particular?
Berlin is just like NYC: a cosmopolitan and tolerant city. These cities provide a special niche for everyone, a sphere that is reflected in the wide range of different styles of fashion that can be found there. These metropolises are unbelievably motivating and inspiring due to the diversity of their residents and cultures, their range of arts and entertainment options and the fact that everything is constantly in a process of change.
The BERLINER MODE SALON is held in a historic building with a wonderful atmosphere, the Kronprinzenpalais. It brings together a selection of German designers and their creative approaches in a venue full of talent. This enables the event to showcase a curated selection of innovative collections to the world of fashion, namely to buyers and journalists, as a unique and powerful community.
You don’t like to stop moving and are therefore constantly expanding your product range. At the group exhibition, for example, you launched your “Phone Candy Bag”. Where do you get the inspiration for your creations?
I create most of my pieces in response to my own personal needs. This approach came about back in 2009, when I created my statement necklace after being unable to find anything suitable in this segment. The latest piece inspired by my needs is my Phone Candy Bag. I was having trouble finding somewhere to keep my phone: a large bag made it impossible to find but my trouser pocket was too small. I wanted to find a solution that would suit every style, every outfit and every occasion, which led me to the idea of having my jewellery designs printed on leather and transforming them into this bag, which has received a fantastic response. The bag is available in two sizes with different designs and in different colours of leather or vinyl material.
You always attend trade fairs and exhibitions in person and spend a lot of time travelling. How do you balance this out with peace, quiet and relaxation?
On my sailing boat. I either enjoy the wind and the waves or fall straight to sleep.
Photocredit: Gabriele Frantzen