This stubborn Belgian founded by love for twenty years: ‘its own face is a good strategy

Twenty years, as long as jobs mother Washed Dehert and daughter Els Van den Berghen is a way through the turbulent modelandschap with their founded by Award/t. With falling, getting up, but especially: with resolutely their own thing to do. A portrait of one of the standvastigste rebels of the Belgian fashion.

© Awardt

Creativity was always in the fingers. When mother and daughter are in the mid-nineties enrolled for a course hats in school, graduated, Els was still in interior architecture and spending Grew in her days as a teacher in arts education. The hats evolved from a hobby to a vocation, and in 1997, the duo made a first own collection has been expanded, which they promptly sold it to two bruidswinkels in Mechelen. “And yes, the next step was the exhibition in Paris, hey.”

Law of the avondschoolbanken to a leading stock exchange in the modehoofstad of the world; that impulsivity is a characteristic of the business model of the tweegeslacht. “We are not a people who long babble about decisions. We follow our heart, our gut feelings and we go for it,” said Els while searching for her mother is looking for confirmation. Meadow nods. “We have sometimes one look is enough.”

“For the first time in Paris that was…”

– “An experience.”

“I think we were five hats sold?”

“Nine. I will never forget it.”

– “Nine hats. And with that order we had a whole season can bridge. When have we even wondered where we are in godesnaam to started. And at the same time, we were very proud. We are that order all by itself going to deliver in Paris.”

“That person has to us as an uncovered cheque. Upon closer inspection: we are still not paid for.”

100% Belgian

In the deep dive – Els was only two months graduated as an interior designer – have the women themselves, immediately, the ropes need to learn. With a founded by completely produced in Mechelen. “I wanted our project to really give a chance,” says Wies. “I have my own ceramics combined with my other job and I noticed that you always must make choices, which is one of the two there is always to suffer. I wish not this time.” Els falls for her. “I had also soon realized that my passion for architecture was. So for me, it was good that I immediately had something for me to focus, and that I had at home could continue to live. Award/t was for me something immediately wherever I am for the full one hundred percent could hurl, and I’m my mother’s very grateful for that.”

© Awardt

In 1999, also Grew up her job as a teacher, and they could both concentrate on their own brand. In 2002, Award/t the now well-known shop in Mechelen. “It was meant as a kijketalage, but when I saw this house and it is a shop become”, schokschoudert Meadow. “Mama, now it seems as though we are in a constant onberekende to make choices!”, interrupts Els. “That’s not so. That store was never the initial plan, but we knew very well how much the renovation would cost and how much revenue we had to run to us as’n property to be able to afford. We are impulsive but not reckless. I call it: safe risks.” Washed fill. “That may only be because we do everything ourselves. We are aware of every penny that comes in and buitengaat, and we should not take into account the wishes of an investor.”

In the doctrine of Delvaux artisans

2002 also marked the start of the expansion of their range: in addition to hats would Award/t now also for handbags. Wies: “We wanted a leather hat, but we couldn’t with the material, so we went to have a course maroquinerie follow in Brussels. In that training gave all artisans of Delvaux les handbags so. Then you don’t saw the hat, but if you take everything in like a sponge. With me hit the spark immediately over: that accuracy, that patience, that fits with me.”

© Awardt

In the meantime, the majority of Belgian consumers Award/t also know of their handbags with unusual shapes, tanned leather, and different proportions. No classical models such as Delvaux, but just statement pieces that stand out on the shoulder or the arm. “That we of the craft can is our biggest advantage,” says Els. “Most designers put their vision on paper and give it to their studio without they know or what they want is actually possible. We kénnen the craft – of course not as good as our professionals, but we can help. And just because we know what is realistic, we dare to be more creative.”

Each season brings the label a new collection of fifteen pieces, all remain popular classics such as belly bags, or the viet in the range of sit – in the new colors of the season. Taking into account hype and what other brands are doing is not in their DNA. “On the contrary: if we are to Première Vision to see that gold buckles in his, is that for us just a reason to” gold buckles to use.”

“We are building our collection as a pyramid.” Wies’ hands form a wide triangle in the air. “We start at the top, the pieces directly to our brain shot, where a lot of time in crawls and also more expensive.”

– “That’s really our creative outlet, it is for us not so important or that sold get.”

“No, these are especially for ourselves, it must be fun to continue. We start with something pointed, and there we make a portable version of it. The base of our pyramid) of our collections that speak to the widest audience.”

– “And in every collection there is a grandma Rosa.”

“A handbag that her grandmother worn would have. A bit of a classic model, not too big, but where there is a umbrella, a big wallet and a packet of biscuits.”

A own face

© Awardt

In the year 2017 may be accessoirelabels two sides: on the one hand, to withstand the test of time, because they are more personal and tijdlozer and people sometimes wars of the trends, their hearts follow. On the other hand, they receive the heaviest blow because just with accessories trends will be shaped, and also fastfashionspelers increasingly bets on bags and shoes. With its eye-catching designs seems Award/t for the time being with the first group to hear.

“When people fall in love with a bag, then that’s their mind, because they will not elsewhere find. We make no ordinary totes hey,” laughs Alder. “We actually did our fan club and people who are here on the floor, also specific for our product here. Thus, we see a piece of the market as a designer.”

“As a wholesaler you still get a different picture. We find that shops are more cautious are going to buy. Less fool to do with colors for example. Or the middle segment removed. Or go for stuff that they themselves did not support, making their whole range of changes. That way, they might have other customers, but they also play a lot of loyal customers lost.” Wies sigh. “You will not hear me say that it is easy, but we do note, however, that the fact that we hold on to our values and standards are appreciated. A bit of a mug having a good strategy is.”

© Awardt

For their twentieth anniversary have Wies and Els still their most popular model – the viet – taken in hand. The bag was slightly reduced and in soft lambskin running in twenty different abstract designs. Each design was only one made. The collection will be on 29 september in Mechelen exhibited, the bags are on request to purchase.

Awardt/t – Adegemstraat 3, 2800 Mechelen.

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