Photography: Danica Kleinknecht
Models: Lee Dawson & Nora King
Juxtaposing two Lower East Side tastemakers—Lee Dawson and Nora King—against Franziska Fox’s sexy, angelic womenswear, photographer Danica Kleinknecht captures the complexities of this buzzing NYC brand. Baby blues, soft pinks and cutesy teddy bears help build a tender narrative, balancing out sleek grommets and oversized safety pin embellishments to collectively showcase the multi-faceted nature of FF’s woman.
Co-founders and longtime friends Julia Fox and Briana Andalore created this label with a proud “Girl Power” ethos, attracting a significant celebrity following from Kylie Jenner to Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea to Tinashe. BULLETT asked FF business partner and curator Richie Shazam to sit down with the designer duo to talk about growing up together, Parisian design sessions and Kurt Cobain.
Richie Shazam: Tell me about your first encounter with Briana. Was it love at first sight?
Julia Fox: “I met Briana in 2006 at a party. I was a runaway at the time, so I had my cat with me and she had pot. I liked pot and she likes cats, so it was pretty much an instant connection. A month later, she was on my [Myspace] ‘Top 8’ and in my senior year of high school, we moved in together and have lived together ever since. So yes, it was love at first sight.”
RS: Who are the most fashionable people you know, aside from me of course?
JF & Briana Andalore: “Matthew Mazur, Luisa O and their clique of awesome friends. We like their mix of vintage, Y2K, Dior/LV monogram, ’90s supermodel and animal print style. They always look effortlessly chic and super timeless.”
RS: What trend in fashion makes your heart beat and what makes you want to throw up?
JF: “I live for tasteful cutouts and strappy things. I feel bad for people who lose their own personal style by trying so hard to emulate what is ‘trending.’ Just be yourself.”
BA: “I am obsessed with Barbie culture and wearing PINK, which never gets old.”
RS: Is there an article of clothing you can’t live without?
JF: “My Hanes beaters and crystallized supergas.”
BA: “My pink Fiorucci jacket; it always puts me in a good mood.”
RS: What was your most embarrassing phase in fashion?
JF: “I used to match my acrylic nails to my sneakers in high school, pre-dating the ever-trendy nail art fantasy.”
BA: “My bow multi-colored headbands and when I shaved my head at the age of 18 (my Britney moment).”
RS: What’s your guilty pleasure?
JF: “My hair dryer addiction. It’s on at any moment; I sleep with it on all night. I’ve legit woken up with burns on my legs. My Con-Edison bill is $7,000.00, right now.”
BA: “Sugar. Rainbow cookies from my childhood bakery Rocco’s are my favorite.”
RS: Growing up, did you both want to work in fashion?
JF: “Gosh, I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, but yes I did always have a fascination with fashion because what you’re wearing is the first thing people will usually notice about you. They do this so they can place you and categorize you in their minds. Humans tend to do that with almost everything. I think the clothes you wear are very indicative of who you are inside. If I am not wearing too many clothes, it’s probably because I want some attention.”
BA: “I used to collect clothes and obsessed with the theatrical aspect of dressing up. When I left the house each day, it was important to capture a mood I was in, which translated to having a schizophrenic style. One minute I would be draped in silk and fur and the next night, I would be wearing plastic and platforms with my hair in pigtails like Baby Spice.”
RS: I know you’re both avid lovers of the gram. Whose do you find to be the most intriguing?
JF: “The prettiest Instagram: @john_the_baptiste.”
BA: “I love @CYBER.PINK.”
RS: Do you have a mantra you live by?
JF: “Keep coming back.”
BA: “One minute at a time.”
RS: I know you both have done a lot traveling. Has this been a source of inspiration?
JF: “Travel has been so essential in the making of Franziska Fox. We designed our first collection on gold post note pad in Paris at three in the morning.”
BA: “The last collection for spring/summer ’16 was inspired by my strange experience in Vietnam and Indonesia. I literally based a pattern [and] color story on the Indonesian sunset, including the hues of blues and greens.”
RS: Describe each other at 16. Were you troublemakers or angels?
JF: “Fallen angels. I think I was really restless and it’s hard to find yourself when there are so many freaking places to look. Everything was super accessible at the time. I found myself in crazy situations, and was always wondering, ‘Why God, why me?’ Finding Briana amidst the chaos was such a blessing. She is my sister, soul mate, business partner, ‘roommate,’ co-defendant and best friend.”
BA: “Troublemakers, together. When I found Julia, I found my long lost partner in crime. I didn’t know that someone could be out till six in the morning like me, rolling around on the streets in unison in our matching fur coats and Chanel bags.”
RS: So you guys dressed up a lot when you went out?
JF: “Yeah because we were so young, I think. I had braces at the time, so I had to make up for it. Briana inspired me and helped me evolve. She was really into couture and one-of-a-kind pieces. I like right off the runway kind of stuff. She wore gowns, over the top furs [and] red lipstick. She was way ahead of her time. No other 15 year olds were dressing like that. I was way more relaxed when we got together; we were ridiculous, but in the best way possible.”
RS: Tell me about the Franziska Fox girl.
BA: “The Franziska Fox girl know what she wants, she’s going to get it, and by any means necessary. In other words, she is us. She truly is fearless, inspiring and seductive.”
RS: If you could have anyone wear Franziska Fox, who would it be?
JF: “Mary Magdalene.”
BA: “Naomi Campbell.”
RS: Courtney Love, Madonna or Britney?
JF: “Kurt Cobain.”
BA: “I’ve had a moment with all of these ladies.”
RS: What’s next for Franziska Fox?
JF & BA: “We recently just signed with Vfiles Showroom Third Floor and are super excited to showcase our newest collection. Get ready.”