Table of contents:
- When it comes to the origins of Freywille, it's obvious: you are closer to them than anyone else. How did the brand develop in the last century?
- You really love Russian culture. How did the collections dedicated to her come about?
- Hope to see the next "Russian" jewelry soon. What is your latest collection dedicated to?
- What are the main stages of production. Inspiration first, and then …
- What materials do you use?
- Where is your production located and do you have a large team?
- Who is your target audience?
- Which country is most important to you?
- Who is your main competitor?
- What is the essence of Freywille's work?
- Do you have clients who have been loyal to your jewelry since the beginning of the brand's existence?
- Where do you think you can see a woman wearing Freywille jewelry?
- Which piece from your main collection should every woman have?
Video: Life At Freywille
The next year, Freywille, founded by artist Michaela Fry, celebrates its 65th anniversary. Launched shortly after World War II, in 1951, the brand quickly became the benchmark for hand-painted jewelry: Michaela Fry, a specialist in floral design and technology, invented her decorating system and quickly conquered Europe. On the eve of this significant date, we decided to recall the most important moments from the history of Freywille, together with one of its most experienced employees. Friedrich Wille joined the company 20 years after its foundation in order to reorganize the workflow. And he stayed with her for 45 years.
When it comes to the origins of Freywille, it's obvious: you are closer to them than anyone else. How did the brand develop in the last century?
The founder of the company, Michaela Frye, married an Englishman and moved to London, so the Freywille brand was initially represented exclusively in British department stores. And only a few years later it appeared in stores in other European countries. When I joined the company in the early 70's, I started looking for artists and designers. My wife joined the new team - her career at Freywille as a designer began when she was 21 years old. She is a wonderful artist. This period was marked by a collaboration with Hermès: we did a lot for each other. In 1996-1997. we started building our own chain of stores: in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Soon our boutiques appeared in Russia. I have been waiting for this for a very long time, because I love Russian culture, especially music and literature.I fell in love with Russia after going to a ballet in St. Petersburg. I was impressed to realize that cultural heritage is highly valued in your country. We want to stay on the Russian market and create a new future together. We have 18 stores in Russia, half of them in Moscow.
You really love Russian culture. How did the collections dedicated to her come about?
Certainly. The first idea of jewelry in the Russian style came to me in St. Petersburg, when I was studying the Kazimir Malevich exhibition at the Russian Museum. Then my wife and I saw the same exposition in Vienna and decided that we simply had to devote the collection to the genius of Suprematism. Its design "screamed" about the need to enjoy life and look at art. When I try to explain this to journalists, for example, they don't always understand me. Obviously, very few people are in love with abstract art.
To fully understand Russia, you need to love ballet, Tchaikovsky's music, but not everyone is capable of this. But everyone understands "Kalinka". And Golden Kalinka jewelry is our bestseller: it is still on sale!
Two years ago we created another Russian collection - Russian Passion. Elements of Russian folklore were taken as a basis, especially Khokhloma interested us. Russian culture is very curious to the West, because so many others are mixed in it! This is because your folklore combines European elements with Asian ones, in particular Mongolian ones. To fully understand Russia, you need to love ballet, Tchaikovsky's music, but not everyone is capable of this. But everyone understands "Kalinka". And Golden Kalinka jewelry is our bestseller: they are still on sale and, by the way, are very, very popular in China. If you love classical music and ballet, you will immediately understand this collection. It contains old stories of Russian culture, traditional style, matryoshka … But this is not the end. We still have a lot of ideas for creativity.
Hope to see the next "Russian" jewelry soon. What is your latest collection dedicated to?
Paintings by Claude Monet. The collection includes several important motives of his work - for example, the water lines depicted on Orangerie products, or irises. The latter are especially popular with everyone who likes to introduce impressionist art into their style, and therefore they can remain in the main collection forever. By the way, all 25 jewelry and an exquisite silk scarf, also dedicated to Mona, can already be found in our boutiques.
What are the main stages of production. Inspiration first, and then …
Inspiration doesn't come on schedule, so sometimes we start working without it. And the theme of the collection comes to the artist in the process. It takes six months to develop the design, after which we start production and, finally, testing the product: we display jewelry in Vienna stores and see what tourists prefer. Paying attention to the country from which they came, we know perfectly well that Russians, both Americans and Chinese, are most often chosen.
What materials do you use?
There are three types in total: 18K gold, diamonds and enamel.
Where is your production located and do you have a large team?
In the center of Vienna. About 50 people work on Freywille products. Of these, five are artists and the same number are graphic designers.
Who is your target audience?
People who understand and love art. Those with a lot of money can easily afford an 18k gold piece. But in our case, understanding Freywille's design is very important. In addition, the buyer should understand where and how he wants to wear our jewelry. I always think that they are intended primarily for educated people.
Which country is most important to you?
All of Austria, of course, as well as France and Russia. China moving forward year after year. By the way, we began to cooperate with him even earlier than with Russia.
Who is your main competitor?
It's simple - they are not. Our brand idea is unique. The only problem is fakes in China. Despite the fact that only a small fraction of our products are “made” there, this gives us a lot of trouble.
What is the essence of Freywille's work?
The main focus we are on is our product. We want to keep this in the future. That is why we do not want to expand.
Do you have clients who have been loyal to your jewelry since the beginning of the brand's existence?
Our jewelry was very often bought for children, especially in Germany and Austria. But now, in my opinion, is a different time. People cannot afford to spend so much money on a child.
I can agree with you. However, many brands still create small children's collections
We also have one called "Princess", but it is not presented in all stores. Yet we want our jewelry to be worn not only by wealthy people, but primarily by those who can be described as "educated and cultured.
Where do you think you can see a woman wearing Freywille jewelry?
It depends on the country. But most often - at holidays and special events. 40% of clients are women who spend their money on themselves. Because our products are for those who earn money and are successful in their profession.
Which piece from your main collection should every woman have?
Never thought about it before. I think a bracelet. With the image of certain art elements. Most often, rings are bought from us, but it is he who is our cult product.
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