Upon walking into Fratelli Leather Luxury Boutique you get the feeling of walking into a very chic boutique that one might find in Europe. You cannot help but notice the elegant chandeliers that hang from the ceiling. The merchandise is displayed with a mondernistic yet upscale feel. There’s a special kind of practical opulance that embraces you upon entering Fratelli Leather Luxury Boutique. The owner Kasha Kowal wouldn’t have it any other way.
"The difference between style and fashion is quality.” Giorgio Armani
As a designer Kasha Kowal knows a great deal about style and quality when it comes to leather garments. Kasha Kowal is the owner of the Fratelli Leather Luxury Boutique, an upscale boutique that features high quality leather apparel and accessories. The boutique opened in the Fall 2015 is a great addition to the Birmingham, MI area. The store features men’s and women’s leather jackets, shoes, handbags, belts and fur. The boutique carries its own in-house label, Fratelli, which Kasha has designed herself. I had the chance to chat with Kasha at her boutique for some style advice and a little girl talk.
Kasha Kowal is originally from Poland where she owned a Fratelli Leather Luxury Boutique as well. After connecting with her husband to be, Richard, in Poland and in subsequent visits to the US, the couple married and she moved to Michigan. Kasha’s husband encouraged her to open Fratelli Leather Luxury Boutique here in Michigan. She was a little skeptical at first as she didn’t know the market very well and was a little unsure of how to do business here. She also shared with me that she spoke very little English upon arriving to the US. I think it’s safe to say that Kasha has overcome those obstacles and Fratelli Leather Luxury Boutique is going strong. When deciding on where to locate Fratelli Leather Luxury Boutique she found Birmingham to be the perfect choice because of its walk-a-bility factor and the many high end boutiques that already exist within in its borders. Kasha says of Birmingham, “It feels a little like Italy”.
Kasha has been designing leather goods for many years. She realized early on that she could create unique garments that were missing from the market. Her design inspirations are based on practical, yet still striving to create a unique garment. Kasha selects the highest quality Italian leather for her designs as she travels to Europe frequently. Kasha is very passionate about her work as she shared with me how to differentiate between average leather and high quality leather. She showed me a swatch of the Italian leather used which was extremely soft with a drapability quality that could very easily be made into a dress. Her design ideas are instinctive, for example the idea for a flower print leather jacket came from watching flowers being painted. The flowers are imprinted on the leather with a technique that uses laser to create the beautiful pattern. Kasha also shared with me some ideas she’s thinking about for her Spring/Summer line which may include more flower prints. The leather is buttery soft and supple to the touch as well as beautiful.
The men’s and women’s shoes and boots are the same high quality leather found in the leather garments she designs. Always thinking of the practical Kasha has designed some men’s leather shoes with a rubber soul for those harsh winters. Even the most stylish of gentleman will appreciate this attention to detail.
My time went by so fast with Kasha, as we shared a few great stories and much laughter. I felt as if I was talking to an old friend. If Kasha were not a designer she says she would have been a painter and she proceeded to show me a piece of art that she created when she was very young. Kasha’s happy place is having her morning cup of coffee with her husband Richard. That is a beautiful thing.
Fratelli Leather Luxury Boutique is located on 303 E. Maple Rd. Birmingham, MI. For more information on Fratelli Leather Luxury Boutique check out their website at www.fratellileather.com or you can also find them on Facebook.