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How did you first get involved in the family business of Fabric Frontline and how was it for you to become the owner of the company? 3 years ago I met Andy Stutz the founder of Fabric Frontline. We met to share know-how, ideas, etc. as both of our companies (Fabric Frontline & Trudel) are one of the few remaining companies in the famous Swiss silk industry. We recognized very quickly that a close cooperation would offer unique opportunities for both companies. Becoming the owner of such as unique luxury brand as Fabric Frontline is an honour but also a great commitment. How would you describe your work and your position within the Fabric Frontline world? As CEO and owner of the company my role is to coordinate and motivate our professional team and enable them to develop unique products and provide stateof-the-art services. I give them the vision and personally live the Fabric Frontline dream! When you first arrived at Fabric Frontline in early 2012, what where your observations about the state of the business at that particular moment? The brand recognition of Fabric Frontline was still very high and the brand was known for impeccable quality and unique designs. In some areas like collection development, distribution and marketing our innovative strength was not strong enough. Besides the very successful classic designs we were missing enough contemporary designs in order to also address a younger style group. During the last 18 months the whole team worked very hard and we are back on the red carpet. Imagine I’m a customer that is new to the Fabric Frontline brand. Describe the key elements of this brand that are important for people to know: Fabric Frontline stands for unique, colorful designs, the most precious natural materials (silk, cashmere, etc.) and traditional craftsmanship (handmade in Switzerland). A touch of unconventionality and the affinity to art make the brand unique. The main business of Fabric Frontline is creating “Made in Switzerland” silk scarfs, but the brand is also known as a supplier of silk fabrics to the fashion industry. Could you give us an overview of the business, and the history of how it has developed? From the very beginning Fabric Frontline cooperated with the most famous hautecouture houses of the world. The creativity and the unique design language caught the interest of some of the most famous international designers. Today Fabric Frontline is closely cooperating with companies like Dior, Chanel and Vivienne Westwood. Furthermore Fabric Frontline has a long tradition in supporting and sponsoring upcoming young designers. What would you describe as the most significant development in contemporary textiles within the last 5-10 years? On one side the new manufacturing processes like e.g. inkjet printing offer interesting and fascinating opportunities. On the other side there was and still is an enormous development in the world of technical fabrics. Besides the functionality of these fabrics they offer unique design opportunities because of their look and feel. How important is “Made in Switzerland” for you? “Made in Switzerland” is part of our DNA and essential for Fabric Frontline. Besides from a strong statement towards quality and service it is a clear commitment to the Swiss values social responsibility and innovation. It is our ambition to support traditional craftsmanship in Europe and to create new design jobs in Switzerland. China is the inventor of silk and known for its very long history in developing the most lucrative silk fabrics. What do you think about Chinese competition? China has a very long tradition in silk and today is the only producer of high quality silk besides Brasil. We are closely cooperating with our Chinese partners already for many years as the selection of the raw material is key for a high quality end product. With regard to the final product China is not a competitor for us as they are more involved in medium to low qualities. More and more fashion brands, including also some high fashion brands, shift their production to eastern countries to reduce manufacturing costs. What do you think about this trend? The competition in our industry is extremely hard. If you want to significantly grow your business you need substantial investments for distribution and marketing. As consumers are getting more price conscious the reduction of manufacturing cost is an important aspect. At Fabric Frontline quality is more important than quantity and this in every aspect. We therefore stick to our production process (Switzerland&Italy) and make every scarf/foulards a unique masterpiece. Sometimes it seems people don’t care about the country of production. What is your opinion about that? Would you pay €300 for a Jeans made in Turkey or Indonesia? It depends a lot about the positioning of the brand. In the premium and luxury world people are getting much more interested about where, under which conditions, etc. the product is produced. When I buy a product I am not only looking at the production country. I always consider all steps involved likedesign effort, material, workmanship, etc.. 54 | loveFMD.com
PLEASURE STATE WHITE LABEL BROCCATO PUSH-UP PLUNGE BRA €34.32, PLEASURE STATE WHITE LABEL BROCCATO STRING THONG BRIEF €17.15, FABRIC FRONLINE BRAIDS SCARF FUCHSIA & NOTTE LUMI- NOSA EACH €345 Do You think that there is a real future for manufacturing in Switzerland? It is and will remain a great challenge especially for the textile industry. With the growing consumer awareness for social responsibility, manufacturing in Europe will be able to keep its niche position. With regard to the fashion industry of course only on a premium / luxury level. How do you think has the Swiss fashion industry developed in the last years? For many years the Swiss fashion industry stood for quality and innovation. Since 4-5 years a very creative group of Swiss designers caught the interest of the international fashion scene. These designers combine traditional craftsmanship, innovative materials and a multicultural, cosmopolitan design approach. What do you feel is the hardest step in creating a successful print? How about in creating a collection of prints? I would say in the case of Fabric Frontline it is to find the perfect balance between saving the brand identity and creating new, contemporary designs at the same time. And of course always keeping the high standard of quality our customers are used to. Furthermore the coloration is an essential component in the development process of a beautiful design. A small change of a color shade and the respective design immediately appears more lively. What inspires Fabric Frontline’s designs? Where does the team gather inspiration for their work? Our beautiful nature with its gorgeous flowers, plants and animals is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. There are so many colours and amazing shapes. But also art from all different cultures inspires our designers. There is no recipe for gathering inspiration. Openness towards other cultures, curiosity and a positive attitude to life are the best sources for inspiration. What defines good design? Good design thrills fashion interested people by a harmonic combination of material, pattern and art. Furthermore it stands out from the great mass. What about the new collection – what can we expect? The motto of our Spring Summer 2015 collection is “Tell a Tale”. A great theme and infinite source for creative people, as you can surely immagine. So I would say, wait and see. What should every woman have? Of course a selection of scarves that delight with precious materials (silk, cashmere) and unique colorful designs that give that certain something to every look. 55 | loveFMD.com