Born into a family where the passion for shoes runs through the veins, Federico Frison, the son and grandson of great shoe professionals, created his own brand to ignite the glamour of women through their choice of shoes. The Designer has a great combination of the technical aspects acquired during his studies at the Cercal International School of Footwear and the inherited appreciation for this amazing universe of shoe making.
"We thank ERA KI for its kind contribution in bringing the brand and designer to the attention of D.A.R.E. CLAN magazine.
ERA KI is the organizer of the UNICORN FASHION AWARD also for 2021".
Interview taken by Luiza Pegrucci within the Maieutics Capital Programme of ERA Kapital (Chairman, Riccardo Aimerito) whose purpose is to draw attention to brilliant female and male entrepreneurs who have an impact on their communities and create shared value.
Hello Federico, when was the shoe brand FRSN born?
FRSN was born in Bologna in February 2020. I graduated from the Cercal International Footwear School and Research Center where I attended the “Shoe Stylist/Modeller” course. During the course, which I initially attended to become a model maker, I realized that my creative streak prevailed over the technical side. So I started my career by printing underheels at a heel factory up to the role of model maker, designing the heels of the biggest high fashion brands at CAD. But all this was not enough for me. I wanted much more from myself but above all from my life.
The brand was born already in 2019, while I was looking for the idea that could change my life. Since I started my career as an under-heel molder, I wanted to give meaning to this experience. So, after several months looking for something new, one day, while I was working on a heel for Hermès, I put a ball under a heel and that’s when I was enlightened. At that particular moment the Tacco Drop, an innovative ball-shaped underheel, was born and that became the reference point of my brand.
I started designing the heel myself, projecting it with the help of my manager and colleagues.
After a year of studying and planning, I decided to quit my job and thus start this new path just a week before the pandemic, but this certainly did not stop me.
At the beginning the brand did not have this name, I was forced to change it due to a matter of homonymy. It took me over a month to find the right name. Eventually, I decided to simply delete the vowels from my last name, and that’s how I found what my brand is and will be. However, the pronunciation remains the same: in fact, it is written “FRSN” but pronounced “FRISON”.
How did your relationship with shoes start?
I was born in the world of shoes. My grandpa was Bruno Magli’s model maker, while my dad is a footwear technician who now works for Louis Vuitton. This is the reason why I’ve always lived inside this reality, breathing and experimenting with shoes every single day. I’ve always been fascinated by them, as a sort of obsession, and I’ve always wondered if it would be this way even if my family had a completely different job. I think the answer is yes.
I absolutely loved seeing my mum leaving the house every day in high heels on her way to work; a woman who wears high heels, higher or lower, fascinates me. I know that all women think “easy for you to say that we look great in high heels, you’re not the ones who suffer”. Allow me to say that this sentence (which in time has become a sort of quote) isn’t true for two reasons:
men wear uncomfortable shoes as well
when shoes are well-made, they don’t hurt
Another aspect that has always amazed me is how a woman’s body, any type of woman, changes when she’s wearing heels. It seems like her body is levitating off the ground as it stretches upward and gives the person a totally different posture. I understand that sneakers are a lot more comfortable than elegant shoes, but aesthetically they will never reach the level of beauty that a décolleté has.
I noticed that my creative process depends on my mood: when I’m upset, nervous, angry or I feel “negative” emotions, I know it’s the right time to grab a pencil and start drawing. Happiness will never, ever give me satisfaction in creating.
Where do you get your inspiration to create?
If I said that I don’t take inspiration from everything that surrounds me, as all designers do, I would be lying. In my opinion, the secret doesn’t lie in “where you get your inspiration”, but in “how you get inspired from what is around you”.
My latest collection is called “ICONIC” for two reasons: in order to dedicate it to the powerful women of history, but especially to the ignored and marginalized ones. To all those women who had the strength within them to fight and even lose their lives in the name of a right that was theirs, but whose actions were misunderstood or not considered at all.
The inspiration comes from them, women, who are very important for the world. If the world would have been ruled by women it would certainly be a better place, and in my own small way I want to have a say as well, through my art, creating a fundamental item that women can wear every day to enhance their personality and self-esteem.
What does luxury mean to you?
Luxury is showing off a particular outfit no matter the occasion, that’s why, in my opinion, luxury is a way of being, rather than wearing something designer.
FRSN is a luxury brand for its simplicity and attention to detail which I believe is crucial. I’d much rather have a black thread stitching on pink leather than a Swarovski accessory on real python shoes.
FRSN is a brand for empowered women. What kind of message do you want to convey?
FRSN is a brand dedicated to all types of women who, wearing my shoes, feel powerful and independent.
The message I would like to convey reflects the brand philosophy and that is: despite the stereotypes imposed by all that surrounds us, every woman can feel appreciated and above all can appreciate herself, even if not reflecting, if I may, the canons of perfection which, in my opinion, does not exist.
The FRSN woman is a woman proud of herself and her life, a woman who, with simple jeans and a blouse, wearing my black satin pumps with the red heel, feels like she can face the day in a different mood. The woman who, with that décolleté, goes to the office, to the grocery store, to visit her friends for a chat. This is the FRSN woman: a woman who is confident or wants to feel confident.
FRSN is been a great success so far. What can we expect next from the brand?
I don’t really know how to answer this question, to be honest. I’m working on a bunch of different projects and all of them are interesting and innovative. Looking to the future is not an easy thing to do; fashion changes day by day and it always goes beyond man’s perception. I truly believe in the beauty of simplicity and attention to detail, and I will surely be tied down to this point of reference for my next steps.
My hope is that women’s taste will get back to what it used to be, which means wearing heels as everyday shoes replacing sneakers which are not ugly shoes by all means, but women can be much more powerful if they wear a pair of heels.
My expectation is also to expand the brand and the company outside Europe. Who wouldn’t want that for their brand?!
Definitely Federico Frison provides a glamorous choice for women who want to have the feminine experience of wearing high-heeled shoes in a classy way.
Article & Interview by
Riccardo Aimerito & Luiza Pegrucci
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