Gabriele Frantzen Jewelry (visit her website here) made its U.S. debut in September 2009. Made by hand in the USA from genuine Swarovski crystals, Czech glass, vintage beads, nickel-free metals and French silk, these statement pieces adorn the necks, wrists and waists of fashionistas all over the globe.
Gabriele’s designs have been featured in countless publications including German Vogue, InStyle, French Cosmopolitan, Bunte and many others. Fans of the line include Stylist Mia Morgan, Fashion Guru Stacy London, and actress Tiffani Thiessen and all of us at Michelle-en-Vogue are excited to offer several pieces from this amazing line and the following story recaps the journey I took to bring this line to our site.
Gabriele and me in Duesseldorf, July 2010
Back in February of this year I headed to Duesseldorf to attend the CPD. This was my first shopping tour for Michelle-en-Vogue and it was exciting to be back in the German fashion circuit. But since I had not been at the CPD for over ten years, I was a little bit nervous to find the right collections to start with… I kept wondering, “will I still know anybody, colleagues, former customer, or better, will they still know me?”
Boy, what a positive surprise … it could not have been better. After my first day there, it felt like I had never even left. It was great to see all my former friends and colleagues, and the great news is that we connected right away; hugs everywhere. Somewhere down the past 15 years of raising my family, I must have lost a little bit of my former self-confidence in regards to my career, but really, that day restored my confidence in just a couple of hours.
So the next morning after a wonderful diner and lots of wine with a couple of friends, I got up carefully getting myself ready. I cannot remember, when I had ever spent so much time thinking about what to wear, except for my wedding. I rolled up my sleeves and threw myself out there.
After lots of visits in showrooms and lots of talks to the sales managers, I found myself still without placing one order. Why? Because, when I was talking about the idea to launch a website in the U.S. that not only featured America’s most iconic fashion designers, but also wonderful European designers that I know very well, I got many doubtful looks. Many would say “why don t you come back when you have launched your site and then we will think about it.” Not exactly the response I was hoping for. They would also tell me that so many designers tried to get their foot into the U.S. market and have typically failed. While this may have been true, it does not necessarily mean it has to be like that forever, and I was convinced that Michelle-en-Vogue was going to be different.
On my way back to the hotel that night, I decided to stop by a showroom to say hi to a former colleague of mine. What a smart move on my part, as that was the turning point of that whole day! Her name is Michaela, she was wearing Siwy Jeans, Diesel Sneakers, a white Julie Park T-Shirt and a wonderful black jacket from Dolce & Gabbana and a necklace, (a one of a kind) I have never seen anything like that before (and I have seen a lot … believe me ..). So stunning, so unique, so much fun, so wooooooooooow, ) that I was hooked in an instant. (I bet you will be too, just look at that picture…)
I knew I just had to have this for Michelle-en-Vogue. So I asked her, where she bought that necklace… “Oh, a friend of mine, Gabriele Frantzen, is making this jewelry,” she replied. “It is a newly launched jewelry line that already found huge supporters in Germany. Her showroom was just around the corner.” You should have seen me running on my high heels to still make it on time, it was already late in the evening and everybody was about to close down for the day.
Trying to catch my breath, and get myself together, I entered the showroom, introduced my self and my intentions, and we immediately connected not only on the business part, but also we found a great personal connection as well. We ended up placing an order, she told me about her debut back in September 2009 onto the U.S. market, chatting about how to conduct business and what a great perspective her outstanding collection will have in the U.S.
A week later we met in New York for the fashion fair again and I dare say, we are already friends! She helped me set up appointments for collections like Julie Park, Love Quotes, Torn, David Lerner and many more.
While my husband started getting concerned where on earth I was going to store all my jewelry from Gabriele Frantzen (I literally have almost every piece of her collection) and already contacted California Closet to ask for a custom made solution… I cannot wait to see more from her. I truly believe it will soon be a huge hit in Hollywood and all over the U.S. and I am proud to contribute a little part to it.
The great news for Michelle-en-Vogue customers is that we just shot her new collection and it will be on the website pretty soon. Get ready for some more excitement from this amazing designer at Michelle-en-Vogue, where you’ll find the biggest variety of her collection in the U.S.