It’s not only fun traveling around the world, very often it has a very positive impact on your further life. That’s exactly what I experienced when I talked to Arno Ende, the founder of the Cologne based fashion label FPPO.
Arno, before we talk about your label could you please tell us a bit about your professional background?
In the early 90ties I graduated as a tailor to have a good base for studying fashion design. In these times, as side jobs, I worked as a model and DJ. Things were going well and so I started traveling frequently to fashion metropolises where I had luck to work with great designers and photographers. To see these people passionately working plus their perfection inspired me a lot. The creative pulse of cities like Tokyo, Paris, Milan or London confirmed my wish to get things started before the end of studies.
In 1994 I founded my label FPPO. The idea was and still is to combine influences from different continents, their human cultures and elements of nature into collections with a wink. From the beginning I was experimenting a lot. Trying unconventional ways, materials & technics. Try and error – learning by doing. Following the goal to get better not necessarily bigger and build an established and healthy label.
All collection pieces are manufactured in Cologne with passion and the intention to create high quality menswear for a fair price.
'FPPO' stands for 'for peaceful people only'. How did it come that you choose this name? Is it a message?
As a group of DJs and friends we were holding a party-series called 'love club' from 1992 - 95. For the wish of having only nice peaceful guests we added to all our invitations as the last sentence 'for peaceful people only'.
When I started designing fashion and developing my first collection a friend had an idea to use this sentence as the label’s name and shorten it to FPPO. Good idea, I thought…done. Thank you, Mario!
Freedom, respect, tolerance and the love for nature and humans are highest values for me. I don’t want intolerant, racist, aggressive people to wear the clothes I made with love and passion. They are made for peaceful people only.
FPPO is a menswear label? What are the characteristics of your clothes?
Characteristic for FPPO is a mix of sportive elements combined with a casual elegance manufactured in high quality.
For me very important in menswear is a natural casualness, durable fabrics and functionality. Easy going materials, comfort and enough pockets to store keys, wallet and a phone.
FPPO does not have seasonal collections? Why?
FPPO is not strictly separating spring/summer and autumn/winter collections. It’s a continuing story through the seasons where the clothes stay combinable continuously.
All clothes are produced in limited editions or even single pieces, so when they are sold out that’s it and new designs show up.
Like this FPPO stays unique and is moving forward in itself without following trends. In addition it’s possible to react fast to costumer feedbacks or the weather.
You are fashion designer and photographer. Do both influence each other?
I don’t feel it as two separated fields. Fashion design and photography complement each other perfectly. It’s an amazing playground to be creative. Being able to do both allows me to picture the images I have in mind without compromising.
Equally it’s always a pleasure to work together with other creatives and see amazing results happening. Truly inspiring
Are there “typical” FPPO customers?
Smiling ... Peaceful people.
Thank you for the interview!