“We kept it close to ourselves…”
The two young designers live in Amsterdam and met each other in during their student period. What they have in common is their similar taste for the good things in life, although the two have very different characters and backgrounds.
Alfredo Silva (30) is born in São Paulo, Brazil, as the son of a painter and an actress. As artists, both his parents are familiar with the art-scene of the city at that time – as a result, Alfredo grows up in a house where fashion designers, writers, architects and actors walk in and out. Therefore, creativity and artistic expression were encouraged to him from an early age on.
Eventually, Alfredo’s father finds it difficult to combine his parental responsibilities with his art and extravagant lifestyle. That’s why his mother, after breaking with him, entitles him as an uncle and no longer expects him to fulfill his parental responsibilities.
Years later, she marries a Dutch engineer whom Alfredo regards as his true father from the beginning. Alfredo learns the aspects of the Dutch culture and later the language, before moving to the Netherlands. Alfredo studies in Nijmegen and in Barcelona and after graduation, he finds a job in advertising.
However, after three years he decides to quit and undertakes something more close to his heart – the design of watches and Fromanteel. Martijn van Hassel (30) is born in Brabant, a province in the south of The Netherlands. At the van Hassel home, a Burgundian lifestyle is respected. Martijn learns from childhood on to appreciate the fine things in life, such as delicate cooking, family, art and photography.
Although his father spends a lot of time abroad on business, the family ties remain strong. It is his father who encourages entrepreneurship from an early age. “It’s best to show some initiative and to have an open mind about things, then to sit around waiting for things to happen.”
A study in Delft results in a degree in engineering, but this degree doesn’t represent the real passion and ambition that lies inside Martijn’s heart. Creativity runs through his veins, accompanied with the idea to one day start his own business.
His broad scope of interests is not limited to the Netherlands only. That’s why Martijn decides to move to Milan, a city where fashion and design coexist. Eventually Milan, the Burgundian lifestyle and the entrepreneurship encouraged by his father form the basis for the foundation of Fromanteel.
The two founded Fromanteel with a strong conviction to design watches that tell something about the personality of the owner. Watches with a personal touch and signature. No mass product, but unique timepieces that would make its owner proud to be wearing it.