"Franklin & Marshall is for those who study, work and play for those who live life with passion and in harmony".
This is only one of their philosophies - something that any confident and aspirational Brand should have if they truly believe in their past and their future.
. . . . .
Giuseppe Albarelli and Andrea Pensiero are two such men that have these beliefs. With their fascination of North American culture and vintage-influenced design, a fortuitous meeting in 1999 of these two Italian born men with varied yet complimentary talents sowed the seeds for Franklin & Marshall.
Giuseppe comes with a background in economy and management who sold bags made from fabrics in his father's sail making shop and Andrea worked as a designer for Fiorucci, Classic Nouveau then Wrangler as well as owning shops in Verona selling vintage clothes and accessories. Following their chance meeting where the discovered common passions they committed to creating a label which would bring college style to Italy and Europe for the first time. Franklin and Marshall is a style based on curiosity, life experiences and imagination and the symbol of this unique and ever-innovative spirit is quite unbelievably a sweat shirt! Giuseppe and Andrea found an old 1970s Franklin and Marshall College sweatshirt in a second-hand market in London. From that one single garment, comfortable and full of history, the idea was born to develop and market a simple and immediately recognizable youth clothing line. Incidentally, their quest for finding vintage clothes takes them all over the globe from the recycled clothes market in Rosebowl, Pasadena to the second-hand shops of Tokyo whilst studying youth on the big city streets around the planet.
The choice of Brand name was particularly significant, Franklin & Marshall being the name of one of the oldest established colleges in the US, founded in Pennsylvania in 1787. Their goal right from the start was to re-launch American College style and to become a cult name amongst those who look to the recent past for their icons, who are inspired by outstanding values, respect and care of the environment.
The entire operation is based on a solid ethical foundation and any decisions, whether they are design, distribution or marketing related are guided by the founded principles of respect, morality and a sense of belonging - Franklin & Marshalls' workers are young, dynamic and come from a variety of international backgrounds.
Within the Franklin & Marshall designs you will find traces of post war icons - the Beat Generation, the Civil Rights Movement, Pop Art, Vietnam, 1968 - the golden years when young Americans discovered they had the power to change their country. Their aim was to preserve these classic symbols and to breath new life into them by looking at them with fresh eyes. Giuseppe and Andrea feel that each garment acquires a personal significance for the owner and that it becomes part of the young person who wears it, through association, with his or her own experience of life.
The F&M design formula knits together quality and attention to detail with vintage and streetwear. "Fans of quality" is the slogan that represents the philosophy of the Brand ... all collections are designed and made in Italy, a factor that allows the consumer a certain degree of security about his or her purchase. F&M clothing is created with passion and of exemplary quality and style.
Sweatshirts and T-shirts are still the company's signature items, a second skin for owners ... the T-shirts are timeless and they take on a semblance of the owner and adapt to his or her needs.
Style and quality, synonymous with Made-In-Italy, for a Brand continuously engaged in the search for quality and attention which give the F&M collections their distinctive character.
The ongoing collaboration and cultural exchanges with the Franklin Marshall College, the life, the clothes and the style of American college students are an authentic source of inspiration for the style, mood and communication of the Italian Company.
It goes without saying that F&M have a clear yet creative strategy targeting customers that appreciate
the fusion of Italian quality and American history.
"The F&M customer epitomises al the positive values of todays new generation".
WORDS / Kevin Langridge