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Be your own boss
"German Fräuleins" conquer New York

own label, own ideas


Sexy, stylish, strong: the German Fräuleins summer collection 2010
Sexy, stylish, strong: the German Fräuleins summer collection 2010
Businesswoman, mum or both: women want to be sexy
Alexa and Angelika’s clothes are intended to be a celebration of what they see as the new version of femininity expressed in the diversity of modern women's roles: businesswoman, mother, perpetual single, globetrotter, or a little of everything. More than anything, they believe, it is versatility and diversity that women today have in common.

Highest quality at a fair price
For the designers, too, quality is enormously important. All of their pieces, which are mainly made from cashmere, are handcrafted in Italy by family businesses. Yet they still strive to keep their prices affordable. "We want to convince people through the quality, not the fact that we are extremely expensive.”

This reflects what Alexa and Angelika have gone through themselves. The college friends studied together at the ESMOD in Paris, and "worked damn hard," they say. They started working around the same time, and quickly made their mark at top labels, Alexa at Jil Sander and the Prada Group, Angelika at Strennese and Gabriele Striehle.

Own label: bye bye Zac Posen and Prada

Eventually, work brought them both ended to New York, where almost simultaneously, Angelika became involved in a start-up project at American Eagle, and Alexa joined Ralph Lauren. She later moved on to become chief designer at Zac Posen.

But aside from their similar paths through the fashion world, their lifestyles could not be more different. Angelika, 36, lives alone in a huge loft in New York. When she is not travelling on business in Italy or elsewhere in Europe, she travels for pleasure: to Morocco, India, China and all over the US.  Alexa, on the other hand, recently had her second child with her partner.

Fashion designer and mum: "You work until the next nappy change"
Still, the two women are equally strong in their independence, energy and professionalism, and they share a common understanding of beauty and elegance. 

Innovative and unusual – these are not only the characteristics of the label's approach, but also of the way its designers work.

"But this is mainly determined by the two youngest members of the team," they joke. 
The thinking up of ideas, the designing and the drawing generally happen between or even during feeding and nappy changing times for Alexa’s children, or afterwards, until the early hours of the morning.

"Until the first one start squawking again – or the taxi for the airport is at the door."


Women in Focus Editor
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