How many times have you heard about sustainability and authenticity in fashion? What used to be a delicate topic, a marketing trick or an environmental issue has become a huge trend among fashion communities. Frisur believe sustainability is not a hard thing to achieve – it’s all about attitude and the desire to create a lasting piece. They also managed to combine together two things that never go out of style: high quality fabrics and relaxed, sportswear-inspired fits. Excited to know more? Here you have a talk with the creatives behind this Berlin-based label.
First of all, please tell us where the brand comes from and how these clean aesthetics of yours were built.
Frisur was founded by two longtime friends that shared the same idea on design. We’re now based in Berlin but originally we’re from the very north of Germany, which has definitely been formative for our reduced and focused design. We believe that a good garment should stay current. And despite having our origins in fashion design, graphic design and media arts influence our multidisciplinary background and define our way of working. Collaborating with a diverse network of talented creatives, we understand Frisur as a German brand with a strong international mindset.
Would you say you have a slow and conscious approach to the designing, the manufacturing? What’s your opinion on fast fashion?
We definitely have a slow and conscious approach to designing and manufacturing. Unfortunately, the discussion about sustainability is a very blown up topic with a lot of hot air. We try to keep it more simple. For us it’s a matter, of course, of treating people and nature with respect. By communicating honestly, by designing garments that are worth its price and last longer than a season or a trend, by choosing our suppliers just within the EU and establishing long-term partnerships where we have the feeling of control. That’s pretty much it. The brand is something very personal for us, something we identify with, and at the end of the day we want to be happy with what we’re doing. We’re not a very loud brand that tells people what to do, but we’d like to encourage everyone to at least inform themselves and to consume and enjoy fashion in an aware and reflected way.
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You are using high quality fabrics, including leather. How important and how difficult is it for Frisur to remain a sustainable brand?
In the end, it is not very difficult to be more sustainable. It starts with collaborating with local suppliers, producing efficiently and creating products that last as long as possible. And you’ve to understand that it's not about changing things and then, from one day to another, becoming sustainable. It is a mindset, something you always have to work on: keep questioning existing routines and not being scared of the constant challenge to improve the quality and its costs. But in the long run, following this path is valued by the customers and it builds an honest brand identity – we think it’s definitely worth it!
Which place does innovation occupy in your label's creative process?
On a product level, we like to question and re-think classics, develop new solutions for details and use materials different to how they are meant to be used. And on a larger scale, we like to think of fashion as more than just textiles. Collaborating with other disciplines automatically brings a new perspective on the brand and the collections, and leads to innovative thinking. But our ultimate aim each time is to translate these ideas into a collection that is interesting and wearable at the same time.
What do you think of the overall fashion style people have in Berlin? Does the location influence the vision behind the brand?
As we don’t follow so much any hype, it’s difficult to say. One very enjoyable thing about Berlin is that there are definitely a lot of people in this city minding about their fashion, but even more people not bothering at all – which helps you not to take yourself too serious. Being Berlin-based surely influences us, no doubt it’s an immensely creative environment and gives a lot of freedom, so for us it’s a good place to be. But it is also very easy to get stuck in its own little universe, because we think it doesn’t challenge so much compared to an international scale. We try to think more internationally: showing our collections in Paris, deepening our relationships with clients outside of Europe or starting to work with a Japanese distributor.
For the recent SS16 collection, you collaborated with an Italian design studio. Tell us a bit more about it, the inspiration behind the collection and the concept of “effortless cool”.
That’s right, for SS16 we teamed up with the likeminded design studio Fabrica. Together we worked on our first-ever design object: a minimal carafe with a cascading spout, produced by a traditional Italian manufacturer. Whilst its colors are influenced by the garments, the silhouettes and even some textiles are reflecting the shape of the object. Effortless cool for us means combining design objects, luxury yarns and fabrics with some easy denims, having at the same time relaxed, sportswear-inspired fits and not making a fuzz about these clashes.
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The garments of your collections keep authenticity while having a modern touch. What’s your opinion of following current trends? How important (if important) is that to Frisur?
Of course we’re personally influenced by current trends and that reflects in the collections. But actually we don’t really follow them. Our aim is not just to reproduce trends but to form our own opinion on them, independently. In the end, decisions on the designs result much more from the collaboration with the design studios we team up with or influences coming from somewhere else than fashion.
Frisur's style is also elegantly classy. Which are the garments that never go out of style?
In the end a good shirt, a simple crew-neck, a well-made coat have always and will always be timeless. For us it’s more about the materials. With the choice of an interesting high-quality fabric, subtle but surprising combinations, these garments will stay classic yet modern at the same time.
In your upcoming AW16 collection you refer to things such as coziness and warmth. How did this idea appear? Do you believe human values are what people really seek nowadays, besides the clothing itself?
No doubt there is the demand for more authenticity. People are valuing more and more the touch of a pure, natural material and appreciate to wear something real. For the AW collection, The Light, we teamed up with the designer Pascal Hien, who developed a hand-blown oil lamp that is going to be sold along with the collection. The ambiguity of this object stands for the whole collection: it simply works as a lamp but it also carries the idea of giving light and creating warmth and coziness. Just like the garments that keep you physically warm, embrace and shelter you, make you feel comfortable while also reminding of human values and closeness.
What are your upcoming plans?
Continue the good work (laughs). No, seriously, in the recent time we have had very motivating feedback and good results, especially from the international markets, we’re very looking forward to debut next season in Paris to show our collection and be able to reach out to new the markets. We’re continuing our collaborations with other design studios and want to open up our idea of fashion even further, explore more interesting disciplines and find out new ways to incorporate them into Frisur.
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