The presentation of the INHORGENTA AWARD will take place within the framework of a festive gala at the Munich Postpalast on February 19, 2017. The accolade is granted as an acknowledgement for special products and services of the jewelry and watchmaking industry. The award is conferred in six categories. Franziska Knuppe is one of the seven jury members who will select the respective winners. In the following interview, the top model talks about gems bringing back memories to her, her role as a jury member and pop starlet Lady Gaga.
Ms Knuppe, you will be a jury member for the INHORGENTA AWARD of Messe München on February 19, 2017. You lived in the city on the banks of the river Isar from 1993 to 1996, when you pursued training as a hotel manageress at the Park Hilton hotel. What memories do you have of this period?
It was shortly after my high school diploma. The fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of Germany did not date back very far yet. And I moved from Potsdam to Munich. This was a huge step. (smiles) As an East German—or, as the Bavarians say, a “Prussian”—I sometimes felt like an alien. Nevertheless, I managed to settle in and even worked in a Bavarian alehouse during this period.
This sounds audacious. Do you still have connections to Munich?
Funnily enough, I am in contact again with two girls with whom I completed my training at that time. Facebook makes it possible. Meanwhile, one of them no longer lives in Munich but in Vietnam. Every now and then, I am in Munich for professional reasons. And sometimes, during taxi rides, memories come back. For example, memories of my first dwelling in a girls’ home managed by nuns. My second flat was located near Stachus square. When I am in Munich, it always strikes me that this city scarcely changes.
In contrast to INHORGENTA MUNICH which is constantly developing new formats. At the forthcoming trade show, you and your colleagues on the jury panel will confer the INHORGENTA AWARD. Would you say that you are a severe juror?
Let’s put it like this: I am able to recognize differences in quality pretty rapidly. That is to say, I can see whether the finishing quality of a product is good or rather poor and what the underlying idea of the manufacturer was. After all, I am dealing with jewelry and watches almost daily. And, most importantly, I think I am able to assess how much passion has flown into a product or brand. And that is what I will consider in my ratings. If this can be called severe—yes, then I am severe. Even so, I am not, and exactly for this reason I am waiting for many exciting applications.
You will meet fashion designer Michael Michalsky on the jury. Do you know each other well?
Yes, we have known each other for a very long time. I was a guest when he presented his first collection in Berlin. I vividly recall this event, which is mainly due to Lady Gaga. Michael had invited her as a musical interlude. At that time, she was still unknown. One year later—after her first album—she had become world-famous, however. Michael really has a flair for such things.
What kind of jewelry do you wear preferably?
This entirely depends on my outfit. When I take part in an event where I am photographed, as for example at the Bambi Award, I prefer wearing earrings. After all, the majority of the photographers focus on the face, and therefore earrings actually look best. Otherwise, I rather stick to the principle “less is more” in all that relates to jewelry. I do not like to be draped like a Christmas tree. Rather, I prefer to wear one genuinely beautiful piece of jewelry than three at once. By genuinely beautiful I mean jewelry and watches which do not go out of fashion after only two or three years. I have had my watch for quite some time now, but I have three wristbands for it. In this way, I can wear this timeless watch on any occasion and with any outfit.
Do you have gems evoking special memories for you?
I have two inherited pieces: earrings of my mother and a wristwatch of my grandma. But I leave them in the safe. Wearing them, I would be much too afraid to loose them. Since I am travelling a lot, I do not have my wedding ring with me either, for example—after all, it could forget it when I have to put it off for one of my model jobs. That's what I would like to avoid. Therefore, I mostly do not wear jewelry at all when I am on business travel. All the more because I am dressed on site anyway. One of my favorite gems is a very delicate necklace with a heart pendant consisting of a myriad of small sparkling diamonds.
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