Franklin & Marshall
The brand history of Franklin & Marshall
The difference between Franklin & Marshall and all other brands lies in the ability to take creative risks, risks that are based on the simple fact that style must be unique and innovative. The concept of style is taken from the true college lifestyle, a marketing mix that has continuously proven successful.
Franklin & Marshall was founded in 1999 on the intuition of 2 young entrepreneurs, Giuseppe Albarelli and Andrea Pensiero, who since then have transformed their ambitions, skills and ideals into a successful brand that is well known for its vintage-influenced design.
For Franklin & Marshall the word vintage (from the French phrase l’age du vin meaning the vintage of a wine) refers to the continued search for clothing and personalisation in order to express one’s identity.
The vintage T-shirt or sweatshirt becomes a memory of a moment in one’s life, an item that improves with age, just like a fine wine.
Franklin & Marshalls vintage collection was born from extensive research in legendary places such as the recycled clothes market in Rosebowl, Pasadena, the second-hand shops of Tokyo, on big city streets and by studying youth around the planet, because it is a style based on curiosity, life experiences and imagination.
The symbol of this unique and ever-innovative spirit is an old 1970s sweatshirt from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that Giuseppe and Andrea found in a second-hand market in London.
For Andrea Pensiero and Giuseppe Albarelli, who were always fans of North American culture, that sweatshirt was the inspiration for what would become a hugely successful idea: to bring American college style to Italy.
From that one single garment, comfortable and full of history, the idea was born to develop a simple and immediately recognisable youth clothing line.
The professional curriculums of Giuseppe and Andrea boast some similar traits: Albarelli, with a background in economy and management, sold bags made from fabrics found in his father’s sail making shop; Pensiero, who in the past designed for Fiorucci, Classic Nouveau and Wrangler, owned several vintage shops in Verona. An almost casual meeting and the discovery of a common passion for North American culture led to the creation of a label which brought college style to Italy and Europe for the first time. The new company provided the framework for the development of compelling styles within a completely new casual environment.
The Veronese company owes its success partly to its ongoing dedication to quality and originality. This dedication has won them the recognition of national newspapers, Ernst and Young International and the prestigious Bocconi Business School in Milan, when they were awarded a first prize in their jointly sponsored Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the business to consumer category.
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. F&Ms goal right from the start was to re-launch American College style and become a cult name amongst those who look to the recent past for their icons, who are inspired by the same values, such as liberty, respect for your fellow man and care of the environment around us.
From the choice of name to the choice of staff, from the headquarters to the collections themselves, the operation is based on a solid ethical foundation. Business decisions, whether they are about product design, distribution or marketing, are guided b the founding principles of respect, morality and sense belonging. F&Ms workers are young, dynamic and come from a variety of international backgrounds and the company headquarters, a specially renovated early 19th century factory which maintains intact original architectural features, is immersed in the greenery of the hills above Verona.