“A strong statement without a guilty conscience”. That’s the claim of German label Fritzi aus Preußen (Fritzi from Prussia), which uncompromisingly makes its bags from 100 percent naturally recyclable polyurethane and without the use of animal-based ingredients. For the new spring/summer 2020 season, the company is sticking to this claim but changing up its aesthetic with a new, feminine and trend-oriented look. We interviewed Lena Paetow, Head of Design Bags, and Björn Nadler, Head of Sales, to find out exactly what that means.
    Fritzi aus Preußen
    Fritzi aus Preußen SS20

    Björn, what news do you have to report from the Fritzi aus Preußen front?
    Björn: We are currently in a development process that is steering us in a new direction, which also happens to be a little further away from where we came from.

    What does that mean exactly?
    Björn: In the past, we focused purely on one product for the masses. But now we also want to integrate storytelling, simply for the reason that we have a story to tell. Trends play a big role not only for us, but also our target group, which is why we are currently working on a product assortment with a very high fashion factor.

    In that case, my next question goes to Lena: what does the new Fritzi aus Preußen range look like?
    Lena: To sum it up, we’re offering modern bags in a casual, urban look – of course with plenty of attention to detail and lots of functionality – and getting the season off to a fashionable start.

    We’re all very proud of our products

    Björn just mentioned that you’re upping your fashion game. Where is the SS20 season at Fritzi aus Preußen headed design-wise?
    Björn: In the past we’ve made a name for ourselves with our vintage materials – which are very sporty and rough. But when our customer sees our bags now, they will notice that the overall look is a lot more feminine. The labelling has changed, the hardware has changed; we’re now working with versatile materials, which are still very similar to leather. And we’re also still only working with animal-free ingredients.
    Lena: Exactly. Up until recently we were in a phase of self-discovery. We are very diversified, which means we have sporty but also very chic pieces. But it turns out that we have great credibility in both areas, which is why we’re continuing to try to serve both sides, but Björn is right; we’re upping our fashion game somewhat and trying to focus even more on our strengths. And that not only includes the contemporary design, but also the functionality. And that is often hidden, for example, in small bags. Things that you don’t notice from afar, but that really stand out upon closer inspection. The insides of the bags are something that we’re going to be focusing on much more.

    Fritzi aus Preußen
    Lena Paetow, Head of Design Bags
    Fritzi aus Preußen
    Björn Nadler, Head of Sales

    Which key colours are playing a big role at Fritzi aus Preußen for the coming SS20 season?
    Lena: In keeping with our new look, our colour palette is also taking a more fashionable route. The colours are very optimistic, feminine and bright. The collection features a number of pastel nuances, while fresh, fruity and vibrant colours like lemon and fuchsia are adding summery, bold highlights. Beige and brown nuances are also playing an important role and complementing the classic colours like black, blue and pink – the bag segment’s timeless colour spectrum.

    Do you have a personal favourite?
    Lena: To be honest, it’s really difficult to name just one. Personally, I’m a fan of the crossbody bag trend. Which, by the way, we are offering in a number of varieties in our different lines. Another cool look is our ‘Wallet on String’: a fully-fledged wallet to hang around your neck, with card compartments and room for your smartphone. So if you only want to carry the essentials around with you, you’ll still have a lot of function, but in a condensed size.

    Björn, let’s talk about the retail sector. How have the past few seasons been going for you?
    Björn: Admittedly, like everywhere else in the retail sector, they have been a challenge. If you look at the retail trade in general, you’ll see that it is really stagnant. But we have used the opportunity to be more selective and reposition ourselves in a new and fresh way. So, looking back at the last seasons, and despite the current challenges, we are not dissatisfied because we’ve increased the quality of our retailers.

    Fritzi aus Preußen
    Fritzi aus Preußen SS20

    Are there any markets that you still want to tap into?
    Björn: We’re very happy with our current ones. We are very well positioned – from the small boutique down to all big key accounts in the online sector. But what we never really had in the past, but would like to work on for the future, is the specialist leather bag stores.

    The upcoming tradeshow season will no doubt offer plenty of great opportunities for that. What are you looking forward to the most?
    Björn: Most of all, I’m looking forward to the feedback from our customers. We have been focused on collecting the experience and feedback from the last two or three seasons – from the customer and end consumer side. But we’ve also tried a lot of new things and are moving in a direction that will suit the new face of the brand. The new collection will no doubt reflect that very well. That’s why I’m really looking forward to presenting the new-look brand at the fair.
    Lena: I can only agree with that. As the designer, I’ll be keeping my eyes open at the fair and having a look around to see what’s happening in Berlin. I believe that all the input will give us a lot of energy, but of course I’m also primarily interested in seeing the reactions to our collections. It’s the icing on the cake that we’re constantly working towards. We’re all very proud of our products, which is why we’re extremely optimistic about the new season.

    Interview: Cheryll Mühlen

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