Meet Marianne Framhus, the visionary founder behind the exquisite world of Framhus. In the realm where Scandinavian minimalism meets the vibrant energy of downtown Manhattan, Marianne has masterfully woven a tapestry of timeless elegance and bold creativity.

Born and raised in Norway, her designs echo the modesty and practicality of her roots, combined with the daring spirit she encountered during her years in the high-end fashion industry of New York City.

With a background in Fashion and Textiles, Marianne’s artistic prowess finds its voice in the intricate prints, sophisticated silhouettes, and sustainable fibres that define Framhus.

As we delve into her inspiring journey, prepare to be captivated by the fusion of contrasting worlds, the delicate balance between art and fashion, and the relentless pursuit of sustainable elegance that defines Marianne Framhus’ unique approach to design.

Your brand, framhūs, effortlessly combines Scandinavian minimalism with the eclectic vibe of downtown Manhattan. Could you share the story behind this unique fusion and how it influences your design philosophy?

MF: Scandinavian minimalism is a fundamental element in framhūs as I was born and raised in Norway. Norwegians, originally farmers, are modest and not too vocal about achievements, preferring practicality and minimalism, strongly influenced by nature. framhūs utilises natural fibres, with a core collection mostly in black, white, and neutrals that stand the test of time. The styles exude effortless sophistication and confidence, empowering femininity from the office to a night out or a special occasion.

My years working in the high-end fashion industry in New York during my mid-20s to early 30s form the other component of this fusion. The dressing there was creative, experimental, and free from constraints. I aimed to infuse elements of that spirit into framhūs, inspiring others to embrace their authenticity. My love for designing prints, embroideries, and fabric manipulations, whether subtle or bold, adds depth to our creations.

Together, these aspects define framhūs as timeless, sophisticated, and original.

The concept of contrasting moods and feelings within each collection is intriguing. Can you elaborate on how you choose and curate these contrasts to create a harmonious yet diverse range of blouses and prints?

Yes, this extends from the fusion I mentioned earlier, where two contrasting worlds meet: the clean, uniform style, and a wilder, more artistic side. Achieving the perfect balance, where both these worlds complement each other, is my strategy. It’s about creating a rhythm and balance in the collection that exudes timelessness and modern sophistication, with an element of surprise. The juxtaposition of soft and hard, edgy and romantic, creates excitement. The creative process involves constant tweaking and balancing, akin to painting the final picture.

High-quality fabrics and natural fibres are a hallmark of your brand. How do these elements contribute to the timeless nature of your collections, and what impact do you hope to make in today’s fast-paced fashion world?

MF: Natural fibres have always been essential to me. Even my first collection as a graduate student from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco featured silk dresses and tops with wool overcoats, blending practicality with artistry. I prefer investing in pieces that endure seasons, opposed to contributing to the mountains of waste fast fashion generates. My approach avoids trends; instead, I focus on enduring styles. Many today are concerned about overconsumption in fashion, and though I’m a small brand, I aim to produce intentional, lasting collections and avoid overproduction. Limited editions for statement pieces contribute to this sustainability effort.

Your journey from working as a textile designer for established brands to launching your own label is inspiring. How did your experiences with renowned names like Nicole Miller, Marc Jacobs, and Ralph Lauren shape your vision for framhūs?

I moved to New York in July 2001, working as a textile designer and later with Nicole Miller, where I created collection prints and became the in-house illustrator. Working closely with designers like Nicole Miller, the Marc Jacobs team, and others allowed me to understand the industry deeply. Freelancing in London for major names like Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan, even while they were based in New York, enhanced my experience significantly. These opportunities exposed me to varied styles, techniques, and creative processes, shaping my vision for framhūs as a blend of artistic freedom and refined elegance.

Your background in Fashion and Textiles is undoubtedly a strong foundation. How do you see the intersection of art and fashion in your work, particularly in the intricate prints that define framhūs?

As a textile designer, I am an artist. I use art as inspiration or create new pieces of art in prints. Surface design, embroideries, fabric manipulations, and intricate detailing are crucial. Putting a collection together is an art, focusing on achieving a specific mood or feeling. The intersection of art and business is integral; it’s about finding a balance between creativity and market viability.

Launching framhūs in 2018 with a collection of printed scarves was pivotal. Can you describe the emotions and inspirations that fueled this launch and how it set the tone for your subsequent endeavours?

The launch of my scarves in 2018, initially under my full name Marianne Framhus, was filled with excitement, gratitude, fear, and stress. It marked a new chapter, with every obstacle teaching me essential lessons. The transition from scarves to blouses, despite challenges like the Covid shutdown, was an evolution that kept me inspired. Each obstacle strengthened my belief and passion for framhūs. The clean slate feeling with every new collection inspired fresh ideas and directions, essential for an entrepreneur’s passion and dedication.

Culture, history, art, and design play a significant role in your creative expression. Could you take us through your thought process when translating these diverse influences into wearable art?

MF: I draw inspiration from historical events, people, art, and culture. Creating mood boards with images, quotes, and playlists sets the tone. I simultaneously sketch and refine the mood board, constantly editing to maintain excitement. Researching sustainable fibres and collaborating with fabric suppliers precedes print creation. The prints, embroideries, and manipulations merge these influences, resulting in unique pieces. For instance, my Frida Kahlo collection juxtaposed Scandinavian minimalism with Mexican folkloric flowers and a modern grid overlay, embodying her spirit and constraints.

Sustainability is a growing concern in the fashion industry. How does framhūs address sustainability, both in terms of design longevity and responsible production practices?

MF: Sustainability is crucial. Choosing sustainable, natural, or recycled fibres in small quantities, using low-impact natural dyes, and adopting biodegradable packaging are key steps. Rigorous factory audits, ensuring worker conditions and certifications, are non-negotiable. I continuously explore new sustainable fibres, prioritising quality. Longevity remains a focus, making enduring pieces both in style and quality.

Over the years, you’ve seen your designs featured on runways and in stores. What has been your most gratifying moment as a designer, seeing your creations come to life in the fashion world?

MF: Early moments like my first fashion show at Nicole Miller in NY were thrilling. Meeting icons like Oscar de la Renta and seeing my work on runways motivated me. Today, it’s feedback from customers feeling confident in framhūs pieces, empowering and inspiring women, that truly gratifies me.

With framhūs established, what are your future aspirations for the brand? How do you envision its growth and impact in the ever-evolving fashion landscape?

MF: I aspire to expand framhūs into a lifestyle brand, broadening the collection with new fabrics. I recently launched wool flannel shirts and plan to explore diverse sustainable fibres. International expansion, both physical stores and online, is crucial for tactile experiences. My focus is on craftsmanship, flattering silhouettes, and high-quality fabrics, taking a slow and confident approach. Building a team to support this growth is paramount.

Your personal journey and experiences have clearly shaped your brand’s identity. What advice would you give to aspiring designers looking to carve their own paths in the fashion world, based on your remarkable journey?

MF: Follow your passion and dive in. Gain as much experience as you can, but remember, you’ll never feel completely ready. Focus on your mission, learn from mistakes, and regard them as valuable lessons. This journey is a lifestyle, not just a job.

Lastly, our readers love to travel. What destination is at the top of your bucket list?

MF: Hawaii. I visited as a child, and its exotic beauty left a lasting impression. I long to share this experience with my son, connecting him to its warmth, kindness, and natural wonders.

For more information, readers can visit and follow us on Instagram and Facebook @framhus.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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