JET BELT® – “Autodidact, rebel, renegade”
May 2005: Andreas Felger rents a worn-down apartment-shop-hybrid in Munich. It is located in the Dreimühlenstraße 30. To turn this into the JET BELT®-Store, Andreas hires architects and craftsmen. He spares no expense and permits no compromises in order to see his vision of the JET BELT® store come to life. Finally, in March 2006, the JET BELT® store opens its doors for the first time.
Ten years earlier, an idea had grabbed him. This idea would define his life and drive him to travel half the world. Nevertheless, he would not deviate from the path this idea had set for him. The JET BELT® store is this pursuit and creative drive made manifest:
The space is sleek and solid. Its structure is elegant as if it were die-cast. Its incredible daring and will to form reveals itself only at the second glance, details precipitating from clear shapes, only to unite with them once again. Taking in the whole space, his creative universe becomes apparent: sophisticated technology, magnificent materials, and exquisite craftsmanship, cast into flowing shapes, radiating unequivocal modernity. Here, a soaring refinement reveals itself as if obvious. Beyond all thinking, a feeling remains: A sensation, a memory. (Architect Erich Gassmann, selected among the 10 best showrooms by AIT, DETAIL 2007, 2008)
That’s the JET BELT®. And this is its story.
LEARNING TO FLY
At 22, Andreas Felger has realized: Advancing obsequiously step by step up the corporate ladder, caught within a stultifying net of hierarchy, is just not an option for him. His father, a successful top executive of an international corporation, had imparted in him the knowledge: He could and should do his best, needed to expect himself to do his best, and could only ever be satisfied with the best possible performance. But in what way, in which area? Patiently waiting his turn was out of the question. He knew himself to be a rebel, a renegade, a fighter: He needed to create a brand, a product, one to identify with, to own, to fashion as he saw fit. This would be his herculean mission, the one he would pour his lifeblood into.
To achieve this, Andreas studies law, works in the hip and trendy Munich techno clubs, invests that money into the development of steel picture frames, files a patent, looks for investors, but to no avail. On a commission from the Bogner fashion company, he develops a handbag with integrated lighting. He assembles exhibition booths. Sustenance, independence, discovering his idea – that’s his challenge!
„FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT“
The idea for the JET BELT® was born through a sound:
The heavy, dark, and metallic CLACK, produced by the closing of the airplane flap buckle. It is a decisive sound, marking the inversion of opposites: open – closed, safe – dangerous. The belt buckle is the heart of the design. Its development alone will take three years: Andreas Felger will not rest until his vision of a shape that is both powerful and sophisticated has been made manifest. He transforms the lifeless rigidity of the buckle into a dynamic shape of slightly rounded, convex surfaces, whose contrast does not detract but, rather, enhances the dark and heavy sound and weight of safety.
Its unique characteristic is the opening and closing mechanism. It is based on Safety-Belt technology, the very same that keeps you safe and comfortable on every flight. You use it to open and close the belt within milliseconds, and to equally quickly and effortlessly swap the buckle. In this way, the wearer can pick the buckle that matches his outfit, mood, and style. It also features seamless adjustment, concealed in the buckle. It makes a perforated, holey belt a thing of the past.
After three years in development, the first JET BELT® is born. It features a webbed strap; the leather option is added later.
At an exhibition, Andreas Felger meets Ludwig Schröder, a belt-maker. Andreas convinces Ludwig Schröder to manufacture the leather belts – and a long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnership begins.
All belts feature superior quality without compromises. To earn the label ‘premium’ and meet and surpass expectations, they are hand-crafted from superior materials.
The JET BELT® has come a long way – the current JET BELT® represents the fourth generation of these products.
JET BELT® MUNICH
Should you be in Munich, it’s worth stopping by the JET BELT® home base. If you have the pleasure of meeting Andreas Felger, you’ll meet a tall, laid-back man with a wide, friendly smile. He is a thoroughly easy-going and cosmopolitan person. When encountering him, there is a high chance you’ll find yourself chatting and looking at various versions and prototypes that the belt has gone through. Over some delicious coffee, you’ll be absorbed in his world.
But even if you never have the pleasure of visiting Munich, you can get a taste of the JET BELT® showroom – and choose your favorite belt – at www.jetbelt.de.
Finally, the JET BELT®:
Put it on, close the buckle: CLACK! – you’re ready. No matter what:
You can seize the day.