Discover Benelux, Issue 40, April 2017

Page 18

Discover Benelux  |  Design  |  Made in Belgium


Nonchalant glamour, made in Belgium TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA  |  PHOTOS: K&J

Timeless, classy, effortlessly chic… these are just a few ways to describe Belgium clothing brand K&J, where quality is always the main focus. Each collection tells its own story. Let us tell you the one for this summer. But first, let us go back to the beginning. How did Kate and Jules, or K&J, originate? It all started in 2007 with Catherine Standaert, a couple of scarves and two belts. Armed with those few creations, Standaert went from store to store looking for sales – and it worked. People loved her quality fashion pieces and casual chic aesthetic. “Gradually I started to expand the collection. I have an eye for trends and materials. So, I design myself, but I also know my weaknesses. I work with great family production companies who help me with the technical aspects, their knowhow and experience are priceless,” she explains. K&J’s collection also includes items such as knitted and woven scarves and silk 18  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

kimonos. All the knitwear and woven scarves, plaids and ponchos are made in Belgium. The belts, silk scarves and kimonos are made in Italy. What have all the pieces got in common? “Quality,” asserts Standaert. “That is by far the most important factor for me. But also a fair price; especially when you see and feel the fabrics I work with.” The collections are designed for all sorts of women, not just one type. “It could be a mother/ daughter thing actually. My typical customer is aged between 25-50, a natural woman who knows quality when she sees it and loves a unique item.” Every collection Standaert creates is conceived with a theme in mind. This summer, it is the photographer Slim Aarons. “He photographed beautiful people in beautiful places from the 1960s to the ‘80s. I love that period, it was a freer time. You could do what you wanted, act the way you wanted – there was such fearlessness,” explains the designer, who

appreciates nonchalant glamour: “That’s what I based my current collection on.” So, is each K&J collection always inspired by a photographer? “No way, inspiration always comes from unexpected places. It could be anything,” adds Standaert. For example, next winter’s collection was inspired by the singer and poet Patti Smith. The K&J collection is available online and in 50 stores, located mostly in Europe.

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