Fritz & Fräulein is one of those rare, brilliant designers who can transform reclaimed materials into stunning and practical pieces. Case in point – this iPad case.
How was Fritz & Fraülein started?
Fritz & Fräulein was an idea I had for a handful of years, born out of my love for all things vintage combined with my personal passion for sustainability and formal training in design. In my travels to flea markets around the globe, I always came across gorgeous pieces that inspired me and where, oftentimes, their original use had become obsolete. I instinctively always looked to see if I could (and should) breathe new life into them through functional redesign. I started collecting many of these vintage pieces and, with the encouragement of family and friends (and overflowing storage unit of my finds!), officially launched with a handful of items in August of 2012. It has only grown from there and the response has been nothing short of amazing! Also – people always ask about the name. Fritz comes from my Great Grandfather, who lived to be 103. His wisdom and approach to life continues to be a very positive and inspiring force as I build my business. I chose Fräulein, an old German word for young, single, girl, as a nod to my heritage.
What’s different about Fritz & Fraülein?
I’ve always been a details person, so taking a vintage or remnant piece of material and repurposing it into an item is one thing… but for me, a finished item has to be perfect, from the design down to the trim. I combine the quality, function and design details you get from premium brands but use sustainable materials, materials with a history, with a story – while making the least amount of environmental impact possible. We marry great quality, design and functionality with sustainability. I rarely, if ever, see all four of these combined, but always have been priorities for me as a consumer. When I created the brand, these components had to be and will always be at the core of the company as our product range expands in the seasons and years to come.
Where do you source your materials?
Everywhere! Family, friends, online, flea markets, estate sales, antique stores, you name it.
Do you have a textile / design background?
Yes. I was in the fashion design program at Syracuse University, which is where I learned design and construction. Despite my mother sewing when I was growing up, I actually didn’t touch a sewing machine prior to Syracuse and learned on their industrial Singers. Quite the crash course, but I picked it up rather quickly!
What are Fritz & Fraülein’s plans for the next few months?
We’re focusing on expanding our retail presence online and off. We have plans to launch our own e-commerce site by the end of summer and expand to additional online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Otherwise, we have a fantastic retail/charity partnership coming down the pipeline, but that’s all I can say about that at the moment! Stay tuned!
You can find Fritz & Fräulein’s textile goods on our Brooklyn Makers Shop.