“Our bodies are influenced by our way of living. And yet, our body is more than just the sum of its parts. Subsequently, we are more than the sum of our experiences. We are malleable like wax.” This is how Franziska Fürpass describes her work. She is a fashion designer and the female half of Femme Maison. Sia Kermani, a visual artist, is the other male half.

Franziska studied fashion under the direction of Veronique Branquinho and Raf Simons at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna where her work attracted attention early on. It was during this time that the idea behind the project Femme Maison was established. In 2012 she founded the label alongside Sia Kermani. Works by Auguste Rodin and American-French artist Louise Bourgeois have provided important inspiration for Franziska. A particular love of experimentation and sculptural qualities can be found within the Viennese women’s fashion label.

Originally from Iran, Sia came to Austria as an eight year old. After working for a while as a software developer in the digital world, he was drawn to painting in search of a sense of ‘humanness.’ His works process autobiographical fragments of The Gulf War and the consequences of the current Islamic revolution from his own experiences as a child. Later, he learned how to use a camera and spent time in Milan for several years working as a fashion and portrait photographer. These credentials make him the perfect candidate for managing the visual appearance of the label.

Their atelier is located in Alsergrund, a Viennese district which was lucky enough to conserve its diversity. Due to the close proximity of the university there are lots of small shops and cafes nearby with a distinct student flair. On the other spectrum, there are also more elegant pockets to be found. This mix offers an exciting backdrop for an afternoon spent with Franziska and Sia to discuss their work and experiences within the fashion world.

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