It’s late afternoon in Midtown Manhattan and Janine Fichna is racing the traffic to be at this meeting. She is in New York to showcase Antionette, a heritage brand that re-launches this season with a fresh take on a familiar European favorite. It’s a project that is close to her heart, one that melds her experience in the fashion world with her passion to create a brand that is as luxurious as it is wearable.     

“The Antoinette lady is a woman who loves fashion that is very feminine and elegant,” explains Fichna. “It’s classic but with a certain touch.” She herself is dressed head-to-toe in Antoinette—one of the perks of the job, she laughs. Like all good things, this launch has been a long time in the making.

“My business partner and I, Franz Xaver Haushofer, had a vision, but it was a very long process,” explains Fichna. “But it was an amazing journey as we needed to travel a lot—for inspiration and also to find the right suppliers, the right partners for production, for PR, for sales and the right Antoinette Team. Franz and I started the brand in November 2013. Today, our team is complete with our designer Christine Lebsack and Laura Goergens in sales. We even changed our logo three times until we werefinally happy with it.”

The aesthetic of Antoinette is rooted in elegant and romantic details; everyday wear for those with an eye for design and a lust for quality. “We really do love lace, volants and bows,” says Fichna. “We find a lot of inspiration for details which have been typical in times of our muse and name giver, Marie Antoinette. For our next collection, Christine—our designer—was inspired by origami and architecture. With edgy shapes, we will create soft volants and round forms. You will be surprised at the ongoing evolution of the brand.”

In the world of fashion, relationships are everything—something the great Marie Antoinette knew all too well. This is one thing the team of Antoinette prides themselves on, with great connections with top fabric produces in Italy who count some of the biggest luxury brands as their clientele. The brand keeps production close to home, opting for European-based manufacturers over cheaper overseas alternatives. This allows them to keep a keen eye on every step of production.

Innovation meets tradition, is the motto of this soon-to-be fashion favorite. And indeed everything from the design to the choice of fabrics is done with this in mind. “We are women, making fashion for women,” says Fichna. “We place a lot of importance on the fit, style and quality of our pieces. We believe in today’s world, this is something unique.”

As Antoinette hits stores around the world, we can only assume a modern-day Marie Antoinette would be proud. We are certainly eager to follow in the footsteps of one of history’s greatest fashion influencers particularly with designs as chic as these. — A.G.