Michaela Frey vintage costume jewelry
Austrian jewelry brand founded by Michaela Frey (1926-1980) began its activity exactly 70 years ago. A talented twenty-five year-old artist, Michaela graduated from the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna. She founded the eponymous company Michaela Frey Emailmanufaktur, and opened a small workshop in 1951.
From the very beginning, Michaela used a unique technology of using multi-stage hot enamel mixed with 24 carat gold powder. As an artist, she drew jewelry sketches, showing deep knowledge of ethnic ornaments of different peoples. Influenced by Monet, Klimt, Mucha and Hundertwasser, her jewelry is a wearable art.
Dr. Friedrich Wille joined the business as an accountant and lawyer in 1969, and took over the company in 1972. In 1980s Michaela Frey passed away (she was 54), and her daughters sold the company to Wille. Thus, he became the company’s sole owner. The new chief designer, Simone Grünberger-Wille (she later became his wife) was a professional artist. Simone brought in her colleagues from the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna, who joined the team. Thanks to them, completely new shapes and high artistic level appeared in design. Most notable was Avantgarde collection with geometric shapes and bright color enamel.