UF Voic­es — Melanie Faulhaber

Unit­ed Fash­ion has already tak­en me to dif­fer­ent places that I would nev­er have visited.”

Faul­haber prod­ucts was found­ed in 2017 by Melanie Faul­haber. The label focus­es on leather goods with a unique and time­less design. Faul­haber was one of the Unit­ed Fash­ion design­ers dur­ing Fash­ion week­end Skop­je and 48H Maisons de Mode Lille in 2019. As a fash­ion design­er, she shares her expe­ri­ences and out­comes from her par­tic­i­pa­tion to Unit­ed fashion.

When and why did you start your own label?

We start­ed in spring 2017. I worked for dif­fer­ent fash­ion labels that time and had been search­ing for a way out of the sea­son­al fash­ion rythm and its fast pace. I felt the need to move on to more durable and sus­tain­able prod­ucts with more impact. At that time I made bags and acces­sories just for myself in my spare time. But lit­tle by lit­tle I made the first bags for my friends and then I was lucky that a store own­er became a fan of my bags and start­ed to sell them. So the label was found­ed and since then it has been con­stant­ly devel­oped and professionalized.

What is the DNA of your label?

We cre­ate com­pan­ions for every­day life. Prod­ucts from veg­etable tanned leather. We focus on belts, bags and gloves. We want to cre­ate the most durable, sus­tain­able and eth­i­cal prod­ucts that can be passed on to the next gen­er­a­tion with a clear conscience.

Where do you get your inspi­ra­tion from?

I get my inspi­ra­tion from big city life, but also from nature impres­sions while trav­el­ing or work­ing. Most inspir­ing for me is to bring every­day life and nature togeth­er and trans­form it to real­i­ty. I’m used to have a very big cre­ative out­put and often work on dif­fer­ent projects at the same time. On the oth­er side I am very demand­ing and per­fec­tion­ist. From the first idea to the final ver­sion in the shop can take a year. This decel­er­a­tion should also be reflect­ed in my products.

What do you con­sid­er the biggest chal­lenge the fash­ion indus­try is fac­ing today?

The biggest chal­lenge for the fash­ion indus­trie is to bring back the trust and good will­ing to the con­sumers. In our mind this trust should be based on trans­paren­cy and a human friend­ly, fair and eco­log­i­cal sup­ply chain. We fear the price fights after this cri­sis. But we will not give up to show, that fash­ion and acces­sories can be good, that prod­ucts can be a great impact for life and fash­ion can make you feel better.

How are you involved with Unit­ed Fashion?

Unit­ed Fash­ion has already tak­en me to dif­fer­ent places that I would nev­er have vis­it­ed with­out this net­work­ing and engage­ment. And I would nev­er have met the peo­ple at these places. Unit­ed Fash­ion brings the var­i­ous inter­na­tion­al scenes togeth­er and net­works the play­ers involved. The result­ing exchange of knowl­edge and best prac­tice meth­ods is unique and push­es me forward.

How did you expe­ri­ence your participation?

It was a great expe­ri­ence and a great spir­it dur­ing the dif­fer­ent events. All par­tic­i­pants were hap­py to share their knowl­edge and expe­ri­ences, which gave me a lot of support.

What result­ed from your par­tic­i­pa­tion to Unit­ed Fashion?

We got a bet­ter insight in inter­na­tion­al fash­ion mar­kets and indus­try. We had the chance to show our col­lec­tions to inter­na­tion­al buy­ers and built new partnerships.

What’s next? What are you cur­rent­ly work­ing on?

We are cur­rent­ly work­ing on some head pieces, a chair made of our pro­duc­tion left over leather and to keep our busi­ness boat float­ing in this crazy times. Now­er­days we are not mak­ing mon­ey with retail and see­ing a lot of stores strug­gling and at the same time we are con­cerned to loose our part­ners, who bring our ideas to life. As all of them are safe and healthy we are slow­ly pre­pair­ing for win­ter sea­son. At the same time, we are keep­ing our eyes open and look­ing for new part­ner­ships and alliances, espe­cial­ly in the retail sector.


Pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Celi­na Guhl