With Amsterdam Fashion Week just around the corner, it’s high time to find out who the masterminds behind successful Dutch brands are. Bazaarer Fenna Brinkmann talks to founder and creative director of Francon Editions, May Kaan.
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Francon: from Dutch soil
Franco is a womenswear brand from Rotterdam that develops a wardrobe for the independent woman who goes her own way. This wardrobe consists of high quality items that meet the clothing needs at a specific time of day in a specific location
‘We feel for this woman, how she lives in 2022, how she fulfills multiple roles in her life, takes on challenges, has ambitions, chases dreams. For example, by ‘act the presence’ Giving belongs to a certain look, depending on the occasion, while at the same time feeling comfortable and safe. For this woman, we create a clothing collection with the most beautiful materials and with a good ‘flattering’ silhouette, so that she can effortlessly excel in everything else,’ says May.
‘It is of course important that a piece of clothing is modern, but even more important is the quality of design, material and use. This determines the owner’s love for the garment and thus its durability. Francon pieces are not made for a season, but for a lifetime.’
Sustainability and a timeless wardrobe
Designed to transcend the everyday, Francon’s pieces are made for a timeless wardrobe. ‘Our process of designing and development is inspired by the way an architect approaches the design of a building. During the design process, questions such as ‘who will be the user and what do they expect from the building, how does the building relate to the environment and the city’ are asked. We think in the same way about our collections, which correspond to the context in the broadest sense, i.e. place and what is happening there, under what circumstances the wearer is and how the clothes support her performance.’
That this comparison is taken very literally is evident from the way in which Francon bases collections on building types for habitation, because there are different circumstances that are very decisive for how one feels, behaves and also what one wears there. ‘It’s about the feelings around a place. For example, we have a Tower collection with designs based on city life: rushing out the door in the morning, countless appointments, picking up the kids, work dinner, a cocktail with friends in the evening, hurry hurry. You leave the door in one glance, as you should be able to easily up or Dress more casually. For example, we have a minimalist dress with thin straps and detachable sleeves with frills there instant give a party vibe while sleeveless with a jacket over corporate appearance.’
It would go too far to explain in detail all five lines, which consist of Lake House, Tower, Cabin, Chalet and Palazzo. Together they form building blocks of a combined wardrobe, so that customers can collect pieces within the overall collection. For May, it is important for customers to think about what and when they buy something so that they are emotionally connected to the piece.
Show during Amsterdam Fashion Week
How do you stay creative in your designs as a creative director? May says: ‘I’m always on. For people, my environment, for beauty. I am always extremely interested in creation, in the broadest sense of the word. art, architecture, ballet, high culture, low culture. Besides family, the most important thing for me is to nurture and develop yourself with new thoughts and ideas. Honest personal development is the mission of every human being.’
On September 1, Francon organizes the first show during Amsterdam Fashion Week at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen. ‘I have been an ambassador for the museum for years and the depot is a dream place to present our collection alongside a self-portrait by Charley Toorop or a high-profile installation by Maurizio Cattelan. I like to work interdisciplinary and to involve and collaborate with professionals from other fields. A good team is the most important thing, I don’t believe in one person having all the good ideas, in the end it’s a teamwork. In these collaborations are story Francon plays a very important role. History facilitates that collaboration, so to speak, it is an open one invitation to think with.’
Dreaming about the future
The first show during Amsterdam Fashion Week is undoubtedly a dream, but where does May want to go with Francon? “I would like to see Francon grow into a brand that can be bought all over the world, with a loyal customer base of people who appreciate what we do and every day find themselves reaching for an item from Francon, just because they feel good and beautiful in it.’ She would also like to add other product groups, such as accessories, but above all she enjoys her work. ‘I am very aware of how nice it is to be able to do this work every day. It gives me a lot of positive energy and I hope I to radiate and pass on.’