Following she studied at KASK in Ghent, where her interest for design grew. Nele's love for fashion and leather will always be infinite and that's why she started her own label called NELE Maroquinerie.
You can see and buy Nele Huysmans' work at the Designer Market. Friday July 1 open at 18:30 and Saturday July 2 open at 16:00 (free entrance).
When did you realise you wanted to be a fashion designer?
The fascination for fashion is in my blood, at the age of 14 I chose to go that way in school as well and went toward studying Fashion and Creation. My creative en technical skills were encourage more so after Secondary school I therefore chose the Fashion Academy of Ghent. However after two years I decided to specialize in leather processing, focusing on handbags. And am since this year studying shoe design at SASK academy in Sint-Niklaas.
'Fashion is coping with your emotions.'
I’ve been a guest designer in many pop up shops and regular shops, this mainly with individual work that was made by me when I was still searching for my own style,… My main achievement will be this summer; in July/august my first tot
al collection will be presented at the public and what will be showed at fashionclash 2016. From than on it’ll be my goal to get the world to know I exist. Get my design to the customer by convincing the stores there is a world were fair fashion is a possibility.
In what projects are you involved at this moment?
Urban Dreamers: where young entrepreneurs get a chance
How would you define fashion?
Coping with your emotions
Who are your artistic influences or inspirations and why?
Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Murielle Scherre, Trixie Withly, Dries Van Noten and Jeff Buckley 3 individual, strong women. With have their own distinctive approach of what beauty and aesthetics are to them, with a strong connection to humanity and social boundaries, something I'm trying to put in my own work as well. Next to that,
Dries van Noten is an unbelievable high of fashion. Everything comes together every time again. He's an inspiration in the combining of colors, simple looking, yet complicated shapes. Where ethnicity receives high state. Jeff Buckley is in my mind, always.
Finding your own voice is difficult, where and how do you find your personal creativity (before you start designing; during the design process)?
Nature is never for away, the creatures that live in it, the flowers with such inventive shapes, but aswell the smells that come with them are an every day inspiration. I try to get inspired with all of my senses. Next to that, I closely follow everything what’s going on in the world. I observe and right or draw down my concerns.
What challenges did you face during the design process?
Taking a step back and picking little details out of the more extreme and creative design to make something for everyone, something more commercial.
What do you want to communicate with your designs in general?
Can you tell us something about the project you will present at the FASHIONCLASH Festival?
It is a sober collection with distinctive keys and sometimes unexpected forms. As well I only work with naturally tanned and dyed leather, with attention to health and the environment.
What does your collection try to communicate (what is it about)?
This ‘Share your smile’ collection is a call for optimism and to let go of the fear of that and those we don't know. The realization that happiness is universal from the moment we get on this earth, we all strive for the vitamin D on or head and the fresh drop of water on our tongue. Share your smile with the stranger that walks by and it will be the start of a better place. With the marble structure in the leather I wanted to make a cynical resemblance to all the actuality and all the stranger we didn't let in our life. For whom this all is a respectful tombstone.
Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?
I've been following the project for years now and it seems to me, because I'm still at my first seasons it was the perfect match to get attention for my work from an international, professional and open minded public.
What can we expect from you at the festival?
As I’m being a participant of the designersmarket on the 1the and 2the of July I will make a stand that’ll be intimate, relaxed and human, that last word is how I want to connect with people, is how I
stand in live. I am a people person from a distance some of them say. I love to give them a smile that’ll stay with them the rest off the day, ‘caus there our smiles on our way that can do this. And we should use this power more often.
Can you tell us something about your heritage?
I grew up at the countryside in a little village not far from Antwerp. Away from the city center we could play on the streets with our nabors and friends. Our garden was a paradise to climb in trees hide in the bush, count the birds that come by and build a camp in the middle. I grew up in an environment where nature and keeping an open mind to whoever came around stand central. I grew up thinking this was normal. It was normal to give everyone a fair chance and it was normal to live for nature and what’s living in it in stead what lives in nature lives for us.
How is the theme Heritage related to your work (can be also preferred to previous work)?
In my earlier work I’ve done a little project around insects, my attention for this little creatures that came in the weirdest combination of colors and forms is something that still triggers me. As well inspires me.
(How) do you reflect your personal heritage into your design(s)?
It’s more an inspiration, a mindset and atmosphere. But I think no one that designs can deny his/her heritage and your designs are always affected by it.
If you could trade your heritage, for what would you trade it?
I wouldn’t, it took me a time to realize, but I know I’m having a pretty good life. I’m surrounded by good people. I get support and the time and place to try to make and do what I love. I’m old enough to take matter in my own hand if I want to see the world that’s possible if I want to build a family that’s possible, … I live in my heritage and respect it from others.
Describe yourself in three words.
Independent, overthinker, slightly naief
What’s a standard day for you?
Get up around 8h00 - Put on the kettle and have a cup of homemade, hand picked tea from my mum (if it’s summer) - Put all the doors and windows open so I can hear the birds or if someone’s doing their lawn - Having breakfast - Clean my whole working table (at the moment our kitchen table) first, so I can start freshly for that day - Checking my email - Make/check the to do list for that week and start doing it - Have a break around 13h00 - And work true till my better half comes home around 17h00 - We take a minute to talk about our day - Make dinner Work till 21h00 - Snuggle up in the sofa
Vegan, vegetarian, healthy diet or any food will do?
Flexitarian, but open to try everything!
What is your bad habit?
Are you a people's person or a loner?
Small groups are the best
Do you have a pet?
David the rabbit
Are you going on holiday this year? If so, where are you going?
A road trip through Southern France, we'll see what comes our way.
What/Who do you miss the most when you are not at home?
Who are your target consumers? - How do you define them?
Women between 25 and 45 years old, average salary, edgy, on top of their game
What is your price range? - How do you balance between the function of the items and the appearance of them?
Between 250€ - 400€ I'm still searching how to, it's been one of the hardest things to do since I'm doing this professional.
Read more about Nele and her brand: www.nelemaroquinerie.com