Photography Ari Iskandar, Fratello Photography
“We kept everything in black and white to keep it all simple” – Franky Wongkar
“I’d rather call this place a private showroom rather than a boutique” – Jeff
A second home for local accessories designers Jeff and Franky Wongkar is more than a working place to them: it is their soul. Every detail in the building, which is located in the Senayan area, is a true representation of their characters.
When Indonesia Tatler Homes visited the young designers in their new place, there was something unique about the main entrance. Instead of entering through the front door, a member of the Frej team guided us to another entrance at the right side of the building, which connected directly to the office and workshop area. Both designers were waiting for us.
The six-level building is unique with a clustered architectural exterior that houses a somewhat contrasting warm and modern industrial-style interior. The whole place is dominated by black and white with a few pieces of the owners’ personal collections becoming some of the main attractions of the place itself.
Friends since 2007, Wongkar and Jeff effortlessly click in many ways, including in their visions for their careers. Their contrasting personalities complete each other in so many ways. With Wongkar’s jewellery and accessories education background in London and Jeff’s fashion education background in Jakarta, they finally decided to make an accessories brand named after them: Frej.
The pair then took Frej to a higher level in 2011, with more serious and professional business planning. “We started as a home industry in my little room at my home,” says Wongkar with a laugh. But as that room got more crowded, they decided to expand and move to somewhere strategic.
“We started with only the two of us, but as the time passed we added more and more employees, so we needed a real office,” adds Jeff. So here they are, in a cozy space that they refer to as the “loft”.
Besides showcasing Frej’s new space, the pair also discussed the new ready-to-wear brand designed by Jeff. This accessories and fashion collection is exhibited in the showroom area, on the first floor. “I’d rather call this as a private showroom rather than a boutique,” Jeff explains.
“This floor is dedicated to showcasing our collection. Not only for our private customers, but also for the media and whoever wants to see our collection.” The private showroom was designed by renowned local interior design consultancy Domisilium Studio.
The other floors were originally created by both designers themselves, just as a third-floor office and workshop. “We kept everything in black and white to keep it simple,” says Wongkar. “Our concept is minimalist industrialist.” Wongkar also tells Indonesia Tatler Homes that the office and workshop represent something modern, clean and functional at the same time, and was also influenced by the American loft style.
The fourth floor is rented to another company and the fifth floor is used for yoga sessions, with Jeff functioning as teacher for a very small and select private group. The highest floor is used as the fashion brand’s workshop. The loft is like a second home for both founders of Frej: a place that reflects them as people and as partners. The opening was held in August 2015.