Friends of Friends

Interview by Jerry Goh
Photographs courtesy of Claire Cottrell & Freunde von Freunden

Do share with us the concept behind Freunde von Freunden.

FvF is an independent and international online publication documenting inspiring people from diverse creative and cultural backgrounds. Our content presents multifaceted personal perspectives that offer impressions of cities, various artistic industries and international urban living. We introduce real people from around the world with an authentic approach and focus on quality content and intriguing worthwhile stories.

From NoMoreSleep to MoreSleep to FvF, how did it all start and how have you evolved in the creative field?

Torsten Bergler and I started NoMoreSleep as a design studio back in 2006 and while doing a lot of projects and work for local brands and agencies in Berlin we organically grew into a small agency supplying international clients as well as our own projects. One of those projects was FvF, which we founded out of NoMoresleep in 2009 and got Timmi Seifert on board for. In 2010 we incorporated NoMoreSleep into the TBWA\ network after our successful work in pitches and other digital projects.

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Then, in 2011 we made FvF international and released our first book. Further down the line, in 2012 we resurrected MoreSleep out of NoMoreSleep’s ashes. Today we are 20 people with international clients serving strategy, consulting, design, development and branding through MoreSleep while FvF delivers and produces all content and editorial we need for our own magazine, online shop as well as for all clients.

FvF has taken on many forms while building a community—from simply an online magazine to books, to the apartment, and evolving into an international platform for a diverse group of creatives. Could you take us through this unusual journey of FvF?

What’s always at Freunde von Freunden’s core is the ability to evolve and be versatile while exploring different creative possibilities. When we started FvF it was just a simple WordPress blog and we were doing most interviews via email. As we kept on growing and amassed a large number of interesting portraits in Berlin we thought of collecting the best from the city in our first tome.

The FvF Apartment came afterwards through our partnership with Vitra in the same building as our office, and is a physical expression of our online publication—a multi-faceted space for friends and partners to gather and express their creativity through dinners, workshops, presentations and get-togethers. Recently, we released our second book which has more of an international scope and our newest addition is the FvF Online shop which focuses on curated shopping and exclusive collaborations with our guests. The FvF community of creatives and intriguing personalities keeps on growing and expanding into different branches that feel like natural steps as we are working on a communication tool to connect the FvF community globally and get rid of a significant amount of emails.

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Your platform reaches a diverse network of creatives. Please share with us an interesting story, or a memorable experience, of a friend of a friend that you have met.

A very memorable experience was the interview and video production with Christian Boros because it led to him becoming our publisher and enabling our two books. Also, he has a lot of stories to tell when you ask him about his art collection inside his bunker, his office in a historical Berlin building or the loft on top of his bunker.

Read more in The U Press N˚9 (Singapore edition).