Francon is a new womenswear label from Rotterdam whose aesthetic represents a modern, iterative approach to dressing, inspired by functional archetypes in timeless architecture.
Produced to the highest standards using quality fabrics, Francon editions correspond to specific situations and the moods they evoke, rather than the distracting edicts of the fashion system. An emphasis on setting as opposed to season makes for beautiful pieces which build over time into a coherent and timeless wardrobe for the modern woman.
Founded in Rotterdam in 2021, Francon is an evolving collaboration between creative director May Kaan and architect Kees Kaan. Throughout a career working in communications for the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, May Kaan became acutely aware of the industrywide consensus that the fashion system, and its ephemeral output, is out of step with how we want to live, and ripe for transformation. The question remains: transformation into what? Her partner’s profession – specifically, good architecture’s devotion to context and continuity as well as aesthetics – proved an unlikely source of inspiration for an alternative way of thinking about, designing and manufacturing womenswear.
Francon’s five foundational lines are architectural archetypes. From the practical luxury of Chalet to the festive exuberance of Palazzo, each evokes and encapsulates a distinct and pleasurable way of being in the world. The first iteration of the Lake House line is inspired by the lakeside home that May and Kees are building in Zeeland, The Netherlands.
May Kaan studied at the fashion academy in Amsterdam and Willem de Kooning art academy in Rotterdam before starting her career at Yves Saint Laurent in London. She has since operated across the creative industries in diverse capacities, founding an agency to represent emerging artists, developing brand identities for architectural projects, and serving as an ambassador for the Boijmans Museum of art.
Kees Kaan is an architect and lecturer who co-founded Claus en Kaan Architecten before starting KAAN Architecten in 2014. He is currently designing the New Terminal at Schiphol and is known for many other projects including the new Amsterdam Courthouse, which has been nominated for the 2022 EU Mies van der Rohe Award. A graduate of Delft University of Technology, he is currently Chairman of the Architecture department at TU Delft and has his own chair there, ‘Complex Projects’.