We visited the amazing Felina and interviewed her on her creative process, inspiration and goals.
Here is what she had to say about her designs and brand aspirations. Prepare for an interesting read!!!!
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself
A: I'm 25 years old from Berlin and studied fashion design at the Lette-Verein Berlin. I grew up in a very artistic family, everyone has and had something to do with painting, theatre, photography, design. And I have always had the urge to act creatively, so it was actually clear from the start that I couldn't do an office job.
Q: What got you into designing and inspired you to create Felina‘s?
A: My mom also studied fashion design and taught me how to sew and knit at an early age. So I've somehow got into design without really thinking about the fact that it could one day become my career. My decision to study fashion design was also guided by the fact that I had an incredible desire to learn the craft. After I finished that, I suddenly realized that I really don't want to become a fashion designer.
Our world is flooded with newly produced clothes, it just didn't feel right to be one of the people who contributed to it. I knew that sewing and tailoring were my passion, but I wasn't sure where my place was in it all.
I don't even know how exactly I came across handbags, but somehow I started sewing bags out of everything I could find at home. And that's how my concept for Felina’s came about.
Q: We know besides being a designer you're also a model: does that influence your brand? What, in general, influences you?
A: In some way, everything I do in life influences me and my designs, so probably also the modelling and the people I get to know through it. But actually I model because I just enjoy it! At the moment my focus is completely on building my handbag business.
I'm generally less inspired by other fashion brands, but I find inspiration in many other areas, such as nature, music, art and culture, fashion epochs, the people who surround me.
Q: Repurposed fabrics are the distinctive trait of Felina's bags. Can you tell us a bit about the process of sourcing the fabrics and constructing the bags?
A: A lot of people now contact me if they have sorted out clothes and then I see what can be used. I often go to second hand shops and see what is smiling at me, when I see a material that I find great, an idea usually arises in my head.
Or I have an idea beforehand, such as for my latest collection: Denim Drop 01, and then I start looking for who might want to get rid of materials in that direction.
Another possibility is that someone has a jacket at home, for example, that they no longer wear, but still find the material really great. Then you can come to me with the material and get a Customized Felina’s handbag from me.
Q: How did the creative process evolve since you started the brand?
A: In the beginning it was just something that I try out and see what happens. There are so many ideas in my head and at the beginning I simply tried to implement as much as possible. Meanwhile, I take an idea and focus completely on it, I work on it
The good thing about the fact that I don't produce in bulk is that I can still implement my many ideas because there is always only a limited edition of bags.
I think I just take it much more seriously than at the beginning, I see it much more than what it is: my business, my job.
Q: Do you have new projects coming up? Any collaborations with other Berlin based designers?
A: Oh yes, quite a lot. I think I mapped out the next two years. Also some collaborations are not only with designers but every kind of artist. It is also something that I just really enjoy working with other artists and creating something that I could not have done on my own. You can definitely look forward to a lot!
Q: How do you see Felina's and yourself growing and what are your goals for the brand?
A: Definitely my goal is to get a little bigger so that I can get a few more people on the team. But my concept will definitely remain the same, that means no mass production, the bags remain unique and handmade.
But who knows, maybe I will expand my range at some point.
Q: What's your favourite thing about Felina's?
A: To have found a way to express my creativity, to show people a part of my personality through my designs. And people seem to love it!! That is the most beautiful thing for me!
Q: What advice would you give to designers looking to start a business?
A: To be ready to invest all your strength, energy and time in the business. If you do it half-heartedly, it won't work.
And: make a plan and a structure from the beginning! It is much more difficult to bring structure in retrospect
Thank you so much for this amazing interview Felina!!!