Across China: German designer makes new life, clothing line in China

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SHENYANG, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — Barbara Elisabeth Freiman has made paper-cuttings and lanterns, and bought goods for the Spring Festival.

“I also prepared ‘hongbao’ (red packets) for my staff, and they are real red leather handbags! Of course, I also put cash in it. When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” she said.

“My youngest daughter was born here and loves to eat double-cooked pork slices. We all call her ‘little northeasterner’,” she said.

In 2015, Freiman’s family moved to China as her husband started to work at BMW Brilliance Automotive in Shenyang, capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

“Shenyang and Germany are quite similar. They both have sauerkraut and pig knuckle. It’s very comfortable to eat and live here, except that it’s a little colder in winter than Germany,” she said.

After graduating from high school, Freiman was accepted by a university in Germany majoring in graphic design. However, she then changed her major to law at the urging of her parents.

Yet Freiman never gave up on her design dream and in Shenyang, it ultimately became a reality. In 2016, she opened her own studio and became the founder and designer of a children’s fashion brand “coco & ray.”

“I like mixing some Oriental elements into my designs. For example, I designed pockets for qipao (cheongsam) so it’s more practical for children,” she said.

“A good mother and a boss,” Freiman’s 16-year-old son replied, when asked to describe his mother. Her three children were her initial inspiration for making children’s clothes.

All coco & ray clothes are handmade with carefully selected fabrics and customized buttons. At present, Freiman’s studio has 10 staff.

“In China, I have wonderful tailors to help my designs come to life,” she said.

It will be the first time for Freiman’s family to spend the Spring Festival holiday in China. “It’s a ‘safe’ home here,” she said. Enditem

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