Discover Benelux, Issue 36, December 2016

Page 18

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium

Quality, timelessness and functionality are the three core principles that Gunther Thienpont, global art director of Hedgren, strives for with every new collection.

Functional bags for quality seekers TEXT: SOFIE COUWENBERGH  |  PHOTOS: GUNTHER THIENPONT

Whether you are a businessman, a traveller or a woman always on the move, Hedgren has just the bag for you. Over the last 23 years this Belgian brand has launched a wide range of timeless bag collections and, for more than half of that time, Gunther Thienpont has been the driving force behind the bags’ timeless and functional designs. It is easy to forget Hedgren is a Belgian brand, with stores selling its bags across the globe and fans from North America to China. Hedgren thanks its broad appeal to a combination of quality, functionality and styles that survive every seasonal trend. “We don’t call ourselves a fashion brand,” art director Thienpont says. In18  |  Issue 36  |  December 2016

stead, Hedgren creates bags that are hard to replace. “Compare it to a lady who wears painfully high heels to look nice on a night out, but will always choose her comfortable flats to go to work, do groceries or visit her family. She might like the heels, but she’d hate to lose those comfortable shoes. Our bags are like those comfortable shoes,” Thienpont continues. “Once you have one, you don’t want to go without it anymore.”

Minimalistic quality without the extra weight Overseeing Hedgren’s design processes, he makes sure all bags are top performers when it comes to usability and sturdiness. Every bag is made to last a lifetime using

high-quality materials and the usage of the light material nylon ensures that your backpack or tote does not put any extra weight on your shoulders. The multiple compartments on every bag emphasise the brand’s focus on functionality without ever making them bulky. On the contrary, Hedgren bags usually boast a minimalistic look that make them a good fit for any day-to-day occasion. Inspiration for that look has come from Japan, where overcrowded cities force designers to make optimal use of spaces while keeping them appealing to the eye. This result is achieved not by implementing tons of frills and decorations, but by paying close attention to finishing touches

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