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Discover Benelux  |  Dutch Design  |  Made in the Netherlands

Helping businesses with corporate clothing TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN  |  PHOTOS: PAUL SCHULTEN

As one of the Netherlands’ most reputed designers, Paul Schulten is the kind of fashion designer who loves to challenge himself. Tutored by the famous creative Edgar Vos, Schulten designs almost exclusively women’s wear and has made a name for himself with daring suits and dresses, the use of unusual materials and a colourful style that permeates throughout his work. Not content with creating only haute couture, the Dutchman is also famous for his ‘ready-to-wear’ collections and corporate clothing. All one has to do to get a good feel of Schulten’s style is step inside his shopcome-studio in Badhoevedorp, just a stone’s throw from Schiphol Airport. Though the space may be small, the dresses on display make for a mustbrowse selection of garments that fill the room well. Schulten is extremely 30  |  Issue 51  |  March 2018

happy with his newfound place, having previously resided in Amsterdam’s arguably most affluent shopping street, P.C. Hooftstraat. “Many tried to buy me out of that place and then somebody came along with an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he grins. “Now I’ve got a place for myself with a showroom, a studio and there’s also the fact that I can practically walk from home to my store.” Schulten’s down-to-earth attitude might be in contrast with the lush dresses he designs, and his approach to design is very much the same: “Whether it’s haute couture, ready-to-wear or corporate fashion: it’s a matter of getting behind that PIN code and learning what makes somebody tick. If it’s a company I’m clothing, I want to know what they stand for. That takes knowledge of three sides that are equally important for haute couture: the creative, technical and

social-psychological sides. It takes more than just a good suit to underline a woman’s identity. I work with many women who work on an international level and want nothing left to chance. A good suit can make all the difference.” The fashion designer has had multiple successes dressing both men and women for different companies such as Spirit Hostess & Promotions, Hotel Okura and its highly regarded Ciel Bleu restaurant. “They’re all in that particular field where representativeness is key. There are many talks between me and the uniform commission that precede, but once I see those people in my clothes, it’s really something special. It feels like being more than just a fashion designer; call it a consultancy firm,” smiles Schulten. Web: www.paulschulten.nl