Do you see any similarities between Raf, Ann and Walter?
They’re so different from each other, but one thing they have in common is that they’re both very down to earth and down to earth people. They’re still ambitious, but I find it’s all about work and expressing myself. Their approach is also very unique. I respect their work ethic the most. It’s not about the party, all of them have real enthusiasm and I was lucky enough to witness that and it’s something I carry with me now. Also, it’s like some kind of family where you can see that you can achieve something.
In your opinion, how do you think fashion has happened since the 2001 years changed?
It’s becoming more and more commercialized. The biggest challenge for young independent designers is finding their audience and being heard.
Why do you think people are interested in s?
They are drawn to some kind of nostalgia [for something they never had. It’s also a time when fashion isn’t over-shared, sometimes with just a few key images, so that leaves some room for the imagination.
Do you feel like you’re back in your Belgian moment?
Belgian designers have always worked in the big fashion houses and still do; now Matthieu Blazy at Bottega, Pieter Mulier at Alaïa, Prada Raf Simons at Diesel/Gaultier, Glenn Martens at Diesel/Gaultier… students come from all over the world to study at the Royal Academy, so being a Belgian fashion designer has more to do with the emotion of the designer [rather than nationality] . This means a deep respect for history and craftsmanship.
How did you come to work at MoMu [Fashion Museum]?
In 2001 I did at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp fashion department Internships to help them complete their graduation show. Linda Loppa was head of the department at the time, she was also responsible for promoting fashion at the Flanders Institute of Fashion (now Flanders Fashion District), and curator of the MoMu Fashion Museum. I had so much energy that she hired me to work at the Flanders Institute of Fashion immediately after the show. Sometimes it’s funny because I’m taking care of the press when they come in, and then I’m also walking the show. I worked there for eight years. We went to all the Paris Fashion Weeks at the time and handed out a little red guide with the addresses of the shows and showrooms of the Belgian designers (then before the Internet). Since I have also assisted the international jury and graduation show media for the RCA Fashion Department. At 2009 I started working on press and PR for MoMu.
Which Belgian designer are you following now?
I collaborate with Antwerp-based menswear designer Jan-Jan Van Essche. The way he was raised was very true to himself, and it was conscious. I’m also following Meryll Rogge, another very down-to-earth designer. 2009 20092002
2009 This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 2009