We interview FACINE designers Matan and Liat about their relationship (siblings), collaborating on ideas and being young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Read on to find out more about this brother and sister duo who have creativity running in their blood.
When did you start designing for FACINE?
M: I think there never really was a definitive point when we started designing, but it sort of happened as a progression. Even when I was younger I used to look at my clothes and say “I wish this was done in this certain way, or why did they add this”.
L: But we started FACINE in 2012 and haven’t really looked back since.
Do you both work well together or do you ever have sibling rows?
M: Overall I think we work well together, and after a while you pick up on when to deal with each other and when not to. I think it actually helps that we’re siblings, because designers can get very defensive and protective and as siblings we can yell at each other and move on as if it’s not a big deal.
L: I think there definitely was a bit of an adjustment period to working with him. But at the end of the day, it’s like any other partnership, you have to respect your partner and their ideas and figure out how to work well together. At the end of the day, we have the same goal and it’s nice that each of us brings something different to the table.
What inspires your designs and how do you collaborate your ideas?
M: For me it mostly comes from anything I see really, sometimes I even have dreams about bags and I wake up and jot them down before I even say a word. I like to keep things simple and relaxed. Nothing too shiny or too ostentatious, but subtle touches that are in the details that make you go “wow, I can’t believe they thought of that”.
L: For me, it’s a combination of combining beauty and design with functionality. I, obviously, have more experience wearing handbags, so I try to incorporate the functionality aspect into our bags. But, as Matan said, we are inspired by things around us all the time. We go to museums, walk around our neighbourhoods, travel and if there’s something we see that inspires us, we take pictures and keep it for inspiration.
M: We really work together all the time whenever we think of something, and it helps that we’re a very casual office so we just walk around and talk.
What turn of events led to you both working together?
M: Well after graduating Liat was already working with my father, and it always seemed like a logical fit for me to join them. Just happened to be that I graduated at the right time to get FACINE started.
L: We had always wanted to start our own brand. I was ready to move back to the States after living in Asia for so long and Matan had just graduated University, so it just seemed like the perfect time to partner up and start our own brand.
Is it hard to be young entrepreneurs? Do you think people take you even more seriously?
L: It definitely is not easy. There are ups and downs all the time, and you never get to check out and go home and turn off. I’m always thinking “this is another minute I could be spending writing another e-mail, or working on another design”.
M: To be honest, I think that people take us less seriously. Most of my friends work in finance at big corporations, so I always think that they’re saying I took the easy way out and decided to do this. As if working for yourself is easy because I don’t have a boss.
How did your career start off?
M: For me it started in Hong Kong doing some production work for some other brands. Even then I always thought to myself, why did they not design it like this or that.
L: I started working for the family business in manufacturing. I lived in Shanghai for about a year and then moved to Hong Kong. I would travel often to the factories to learn the production process, which has been immensely beneficial in starting our own brand and finding the connection between design and production.