Discover Benelux, Issue 20, August 2015

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I S S U E 20 | A U G U ST 2015








P R O M OT I N G B E LG I U M , T H E N ET H E R L A N D S , L U X E M B O U R G & F R A N C E

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Strip bar aand late night restaurrant Foood, drin nks and dancingg in on ne p part and in thee other part the only real r strip bar in n town Come and d visit one of the mostt amazing venues ve in Luxembourg rg Foor your ev events: contact@s or 00352 621 183 135

Foood seerved until eaarly morning . Open every day f from 8pm to 9am Addresss : 13 rue Dicks L-14177 Luxembourg Teel : 00 0352 49 05 52 www.sau

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Discover Benelux & France | Contents

Contents AUGUST 2015




as it boasts impressive sights, a fascinating history and superb museums and attractions. PLUS: The Steichen Collections, page 16

Tiësto Grammy award-winning DJ Tiësto is a true phenomenon of electronic dance music. With a career spanning two decades, he told us how he stays at the top of his game.



Dress to Impress





Yacht Design & Engineering Hit the ocean with in this nautical mini-theme, starting with a preview of SAIL Amsterdam and followed by two special features for yacht enthusiasts.

Company profiles, regulars and more Luxembourg takes centre stage this month as we discuss its labour law, reveal the insand-outs of wealth management and analyse its insurance industry. PLUS: Business calendar, page 61

Summer Sights & Attractions Starting with an inviting feature on Gouda’s famous cheese market, we give you some exciting tips on what to visit in the Netherlands this month.



Home Decoration & Design Make your home or interior ever more exceptional with exclusive plant design, giant ceramic apples, comfortable sofas and more.

Music Feature: Leaving Eden Coinciding the release of Eden, we interviewed the man who inspired the film and learned how French Touch music took hold in the 1990s.

This fashion and accessories special presents a stylish overview of innovative and distinctive businesses designing clothes, jewellery, shoes and bags.


Responsible tourism in Sommières Discover the very best of a region as a responsible tourist and get a true local experience, just as we did in Sommières, France.

DON’T MISS 6 Fashion Picks | 8 Desirable Designs 71 Out & About | 68 Lifestyle Columns


Luxembourg Travel Feature Often overshadowed by its neighbours, Luxembourg is a country that should not be overlooked


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Discover Benelux & France | Editor’s Note

Dear Reader,

Discover Benelux & France

Rosanne Roobeek

Issue 20, August 2015

Steve Flinders Stuart Forster

Published 06.2015 ISSN 2059-1454

Cover Photo Francesco Carrozzini

Published by Scan Group


Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Sales & Key Account Managers Mette Tonnesen Micha Cornelisse Lucile Hamiche

Mads E. Petersen

Kirsten Schoon



Myriam Gwynned Dijck

Scan Group 15B Bell Yard Mews

Copy Editor

Bermondsey Street

Isa Hemphrey

London SE1 3TY

Joseph J. Ewin

United Kingdom Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax +44 (0)870 933 0421



Ariane Glover Berthe van den Hurk

I had to find out for myself. Just before leaving the Grand Duchy, I got my hands of a copy of the Luxembourgish Wort, their national newspaper. After several pages of German writing, I was convinced he had tried to fool me. But then I spotted a French advert and an obituary in Luxembourgish and more features in French. Three different languages in one newspaper, I was fascinated.

Sophie Plenert

Creative Director

Graphic Designer

“Your newspaper has articles in three different languages?” I asked. “Yes, you’ll find German, French and Luxembourgish printed alongside each other,” he said. I didn’t believe it at all when our guide told us this during my visit to Luxembourg last month (see page 12).

Caroline Edwards Cathy van Klaveren Diego Philips Harun Osmanovic Janine Sterenborg

Language is such a powerful tool that can instantly embrace some and shut out others, and in many multilingual nations its use has deep rooted cultural connotations. Though the Luxembourgish people don’t seem to think twice about what they speak. Not only are they fluent in all three languages, and often in English as a fourth, they speak one as eagerly as the other (although I noticed Luxembourgish was slightly preferred). Sure enough, it also leads to dilemmas, like when placing an advert or writing a brochure you have several options to choose from and you can’t change the language when it’s printed. But the consensus seems to always try and write everything in all three alongside each other. I like to think it shows how open minded Luxembourgers are and during my trip I certainly felt very welcome. I would like to invite everyone to go to Luxembourg to discover the strange cacophony of languages for yourself, as well as its rich history and stunning sights.

Josiah Fisk Liz Wenger Matt Antoniak Paola Westbeek

Myriam Gwynned Dijck, Editor

Paula Hammond

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Group – a trading name of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles.

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Discover real Private Banking At SEB Private Banking, we acknowledge that everyone has a unique set of challenges. It’s why we do not offer ready-made solutions, concentrating instead on developing meaningful, long-lasting financial relationships and making the effort to really understand you and your requirements. Our international network of private banking offices will look after all aspects of your family business finances, from daily transactions to long term investments. Its services cover everything from tailored financial management, through to helping you to optimise the legal and tax structures within which your assets are held. As one of the world’s strongest banks and with more than 150 years of experience in private banking, we have just what it takes to ensure your future prosperity. To find out what SEB can do for your personal wealth, contact us in London: Our SEB Private Banking Team +44 (0) 20 7246 4225



Sweden • Norway • Denmark • Finland • Luxembourg • Switzerland • United Kingdom • Singapore • Estonia • Latvia • Lithuania

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Discover Benelux & France | Design | Fashion Picks


Fringes, we love you! From designer brands to high street fashion, the ‘70s style is hitting the stores once again. It’s all about fringes, high-waists, suede, colours, earth tones, denim and flares this season. We have picked our favourite fringed items, that are also office appropriate. TEXT: ARIANE GLOvER | PRESS PHOTOS


1: Stylish seventies This flared, ‘70s inspired jumpsuit by Scotch & Soda is a comfortable and airy option for the late summer nights. The polka dots bring a playful touch to the item and it can be combined with simple pumps for an elegant look or flat, black sandals for a casual style. Jumpsuit: €180


2: Laser cut This white sweater is an interesting piece to wear with the lovely laser cut details on the front and fringes hanging down on the side. We think it’s very stylish and this month’s pick of the bunch. €449

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5: Kimono This dress, matched with the tassel-detailed kimono, is absolutely gorgeous for hot summer days. A maxi dress is perfect when you don’t want to show too much leg and the kimono will be your main accessory in case of the occasional breeze. Dress: €150 Kimono: €80


Discover Benelux & France | Design | Fashion Picks


3: Bronze Seeking a new bag for the office, or maybe even a last minute beach-bag? Then this is right for you – the bronze reflecting colours, fringe details and its ideal size make this your perfect companion wherever you go. €269


4: Feet fringes The fringes on the heels of these Christian Louboutins are so eye-catching and edgy that your office look will go from ‘flop’ to ‘top’ within seconds. €859

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Discover Benelux & France | Design | Desirable Designs


Come together Creating a sense of togetherness is what summer is all about. Leave your worries behind and pursue outdoor activities with a little help from brilliant designers; go explore by bike, cook in the outdoors, or reach the skies in a thrilling jump. TEXT: CAROLINE EDWARDS | PRESS PHOTOS

1. A bicycle that takes you anywhere vanmoof is known for their excellent bicycle designs fit for modern city dwellers. This special F model, however, is celebrated as the original Amsterdam commuter bike, perfect for getting from A to B in style. It allows you to see the city from a new angle in comfort. €598

2. Ready to cook outside? OneQ’s Barbecue Set is much more than your typical grill, it is more like an outdoor kitchen, fit for a professional. Practice under the open sky and find your inner chef! After all, there is no better time than summer to polish your culinary skills. €599

3. Swing in elegance The Bundle Swing from Extremis combines relaxation with playfulness and fun. Sit back and swing from side to side or simply enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in the summer sun. Brighten up the white look with some colourful cushions and make the swing your own. Price upon request

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4. Let the fire guide you Cox & Cox’s Iron Brazier, provides you with the perfect opportunity to get together with friends during the chilly summer nights – and its design is gorgeous too. Enjoy the warmth stemming from the flames whilst exchanging stories after a hike in the great outdoors. There is no better way to end your day. €135

5. Get fit the fun way With this Mini Trampoline, which is suitable for indoors or outdoors, you can test your acrobatic abilities, or you can use it as a work out. By jumping on a trampoline, you use all your muscles, from legs to the stomach and back, getting you summer fit in no time. €129

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Discover Benelux & France | Introducing | Lo誰c Nottet

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Discover Benelux & France | Introducing | Loïc Nottet


Loïc Nottet At age 19, Loïc Nottet is Belgium’s new up-and-coming pop star. Composer, interpreter and dancer, he already has a versatile array of skills and is certainly a talent to be reckoned with. His first shot to greatness was as a finalist in the 2014 television programme The Voice Belgique. Then, he was selected to represent his home country in the final stage of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest where he earned Belgium its best rank in over ten years. Discover Benelux & France rang him up to ask about his career, his style and future projects. TEXT: HARUN OSMANOvIC | PHOTOS: JOSH BRANDãO

You earned Belgium a 4th place at the 2015 Eurovision. Can you tell us more about this experience? It was a very nice and memorable experience. To tell you the truth, it was not something I had planned at all. I was as surprised as anybody when the RTBF selected me to represent Belgium and really took the time to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to participate. But I met amazing people and am very happy about how it all turned out.

an artist is not only about interpretation, you must invest yourself in your art, search for new sounds to match emotions, collaborate with writers, or even get involved in the choice of clothing. I don’t see people who only interpret as complete artists. One must invest oneself and be willing to pay the price.

How did you get into singing? very naturally in fact. I just kept singing – in my bedroom, under the shower… Until it really became a passion.

You are working on an album, can you tell us more about it? We have a few songs ready that I cannot wait to share with the fans. We are trying to find producers who are in the same mindset as me to make the album cohesive. We are also thinking about the release and how to surprise the fans with some exciting stuff. I cannot say much but there will be a lot of vocal work, strong choruses. A very pop sound!

What is your first musical memory? Can you tell us more about your influences? Probably Thriller by Michael Jackson. I love pop music. I respect Sia enormously as an artist. She really resonates with me and I feel like she’s very successful at putting into sounds and words what goes through my mind too.

Photo: Dieter Nagl – AFP

What is the price you pay? The fame and loss of privacy, but also taking risks and being willing to fail.

Do you have a release date in mind? We are aiming at early 2016.

What are your aspirations as an artist? I really dream of breaking into the United States scene and be able to perform there. Ultimately my goals are very simple. Giving joy to people and taking some myself. Touching and moving them with my songs. Making them forget their daily routine. You are very involved in the song writing process – do you see yourself more as a performer or a singer-songwriter? It is all one thing. I try to be an artist. Being

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Discover Benelux & France |  Discover Luxembourg |  Travel Feature


Europe’s little cultural gem Located in the heart of Europe, it is easy to overlook Luxembourg. With only half a million inhabitants, it is one of the continent's smallest nations, both in size and population. Despite this, it has a wealth of sights and attractions, a captivating history and stunning scenery. Add on a cuisine combining hearty German portioning with French refinement and you’ve got your ideal holiday destination. TEXT: MyRIaM GwynnED DIjCk  |  PHOTOS: MaIn PHOTO: DRäI EECHELEn © FOTO aCPRESS(E) / OnT

To prove our point, we went on a trip to uncover  all  the  unexpected  sights  the Grand Duchy has to offer and, following a quick  Luxair  flight  of  an  hour  and  a  half from London, we arrived in Luxembourg City.  after  checking  in  at  the  Hôtel  le Châtelet, we start our visit by refuelling at the  Chocolate-House.  Located  in  a vaulted,  medieval  building,  we  are  instantly  seduced  by  the  inviting  cakes, chocolate bars and other cocoa-inspired treats on display. Our tasty main course of salmon quiche is, of course, followed by a chocolate dessert. “Prepare for big portions, the host doesn’t

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want  anyone  to  go  home  hungry,”  says Rachel  from  the  Luxembourg  national tourism  office  (OnT),  who  joined  us  for the  day.  when  the  cakes  arrive,  we  see what she meant. The trio of scrumptious treats  is  wonderfully  tasty  but  also  very rich and could serve as a meal on its own.

A walk with a view Ready to shed the calories, we embark on a walking tour with our guide Elke. Starting at the Grand Ducal Palace, residence of Grand Duke Henri, we ponder over the beautiful 16th century sandstone façade. Passing cobbled streets and medieval alleyways, we make our way to the edge of

Luxembourg City. with just over 100,000 inhabitants it feels more like a lively town than  a  capital  which  Elke  emphasises, “finding a quiet spot here is never difficult.” we  continue  our  path  down  the  wenzel route. The circular, three kilometre walking trail  takes  you  around  Luxembourg’s  old outer  walls.  we  descend  towards  the winding alzette River with lush vegetable allotments on its banks. as we reach the bridge, Elke tells us to watch for splashing mermaid  fins.  “This  is  where  Melusina dwells.” Recounting the popular myth, she tells how Count Siegfried, founder of the House  of  Luxembourg,  married  the

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Discover Benelux & France |  Discover Luxembourg |  Travel Feature Luxembourg Grand Ducal Palace.  Photo: Claudine Bosseler / OnT

Casemates. Photo: Paddy Cummins / ONT

Casemates. Photo: Paddy Cummins / ONT

ermaid  pretending  to  be  a  woman. m when  Siegfried  discovered  her  secret, Melusina fled to the alzette. now she only shows  herself  once  every  seven  years. “But no one knows when the seven years are over, so keep your eyes peeled,” she adds with a smile.

burhuc,  or  little  castle,  Count  Siegfried built the first fort here in 963. From here, Luxembourg grew and in the 19th century it  boasted  some  of  the  most  impressive fortifications in the world, largely thanks to the  strategic  military  engineering  of Vauban.

after walking through splendidly green surroundings, we make our way back to Luxembourg’s  rocky  plateau.  arriving  at  the top, we find that the steep climb was certainly worth it. “This is Luxembourg’s most spectacular viewing point,” Elke says, and we  immediately  agree.  Looking  out  over the river below, the neumünster  abbey is beyond with a beautiful sloping landscape stretching to the horizon.

Sadly, nothing remains of the old castles as all fortifications had to be demolished in 1867 with the signing of the Treaty of London.  The  one  thing  that  remains  are 23 kilometres of underground casemates, chiselled  into  the  rock  in  the  17th  and 18th centuries. able to house over 1,000 soldiers along with horses, housing, workshops  and  bakeries,  the  passages  and galleries are a joy to discover.

Going underground

The  highlight  of  our  visit  is  the  aperitif served in one of the sections that can be rented  out  for  events.  Here,  we  are  invited  to  taste  Luxembourg’s  very  own sparkling  wine,  or  crémant.  In  the  impressive setting with beautiful views over

after briefly refreshing at the hotel, we go to a place a little more secretive, Luxembourg’s casemates. They are located underneath the spot where the Luxembourg City founds its foundation. Called Lucilin-

the  surrounding,  we  instantly  fall  for  the bubbly drink. For dinner we head to the restaurant am Tiirmschen that specialises in  Luxembourgish  food  with  a  modern twist.  we  feast  on  a  starter  of  feierstengszalot, a cold beef salad, and a main course of creamy chicken and mushroom vol-au-vent.

Music meets modern architecture The  next  day  we  head  to  the  modern kirschberg district. Our first stop is the impressive  Philharmonie  concert  hall  and we  get  a  tour  of  the  building’s  intricate contemporary architecture. Shaped like a droplet when seen from above, the building was designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc  and  was  constructed  ten years ago. The walls of the roomy foyer are entirely made of glass, with the roof supported  by  823  slim,  white  columns. Our  guide  johannes  says:  “Initially, Portzamparc intended them to be trees, but  this  was  technically  somewhat  unachievable,” he comments.

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Discover Benelux & France |  Discover Luxembourg |  Travel Feature

Luxembourg’s most spectacular views from the old wall. Photo: Marco kany / OnT

The Grand auditorium seats 1,500 people, but feels a lot more intimate. The design, inspired by a Mediterranean town, features four box seat towers on each side, shaped like houses. “The only things missing are the laundry lines hanging between them,” johannes  jokes.  The  acoustics  were  designed by albert yaying Xu who made sure there are no bad seats. To finish our visit, we go to the adjacent Chamber Music Hall for 300 people. The intimate space has a beautiful curved shape and dozens of ceiling spotlights reminiscent of a night sky.

A royal encounter we  continue  to  our  next  brief  stop,  the museum Dräi Eechelen. Housed in the renovated 18th century Fort Thungen, the mu-

MUDaM. Photo: Christian aschmann / OnT

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seum goes through the history of Luxembourg from the Middle ages to the late Victorian times via artefacts, maps, uniforms, paintings, original documents and other objects. Right behind the Dräi Eechelen is MUDaM, a  contemporary  architectural  exhibition space.  apart  from  the  temporary  expositions, it also hosts events, such as the one we encounter; a mini market fair where independent  designers  showcase  and  sell their  work.  just  as  we  enter,  Valério  from OnT whispers that some royal visitors are on its way. and a few minutes later we catch a glimpse of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa who is there to browse the stalls herself. For lunch we walk down to the neumün-

ster  abbey.  Every  Sunday  morning,  the neumünster  Brasserie  hosts  an  apero jazz with live music. It clearly is a popular affair, as it is impossible to get a seat inside and we settle on a table outside. The food is provided in the form of an open buffet with meats, shellfish, salads, cheeses and more delectable options.  Back  in  the  city  centre,  and  with  a  few hours of free time on our hands, we can’t resist  returning  to  the  Chocolate-House and buy some cocoa-related gifts. after a quick  rest  back  at  the  hotel,  it  is  time  to head out again. This time for a backstage aperitif,  just  before  the  Philharmonic  Orchestra of Luxembourg is due to play. after  a  glass  of  crémant  we  move  on  to

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Discover Benelux & France |  Discover Luxembourg |  Travel Feature

Brasserie Guillaume for dinner. The generously portioned beef carpaccio is superb, and  the  main  course  of  fish  tastes  even better thanks to the orchestra playing in the background.  Part  of  the  Summer  in  the City music festival, it is one of many concerts to be held at four different open air stages in the centre of Luxembourg City.

Exploring the Redrock region Once checked out, we head south, away from Luxembourg City, to the Land of the Red Rocks. The region owes its name to the iron-rich soil and it used to have a thriving steel industry. Our first stop is the Centre  national  de  l’audiovisuel,  or  Cna,  in Dudelange.  The  institute  promotes  and funds all kinds of audiovisual art projects in Luxembourg  and  houses  the  nation’s largest archives of video, photo and audio material. It also manages two of Luxembourg’s most prized photography exhibitions, The Bitter Years (displayed  at  the  waassertuerm Gallery, next to the Cna) and The Family of Man (exhibited in the north of the country at Clervaux Castle). Both were curated by the  late  Edward  Steichen.  The  Luxembourg-born american was one of the most famous photographers of the last century (see page 16 for more information).

Our  final  stop  is  Belval’s  defunct  blast furnaces  which  can  be  visited  and climbed as part of a guided tour. In the early and mid-20th century, the area was at the heart of Luxembourg’s steel production. Two of the three remaining furnaces still remind us of that time.

Neumünster. Photo: Christian Kieffer / ONT

The  80  metre  high  structures  are  now fully incorporated in the new architecture that  has  formed  around  the  site.  now called 'Cité des Sciences', the furnaces are  part  of  an  urban  landscape  which boasts  the  University  of  Luxembourg’s new campus, opening next month. The  contrast  between  the  old  and  the new is mesmerising, and after seeing the blast furnace from up close and learning about steel production, it is time to head back to the airport. after a speedy check in, we are again on the Luxair flight heading back to London.

Summer in the City music festival with several stages in the centre of Luxembourg City, it is hard to miss this festival. with both national talent and international artists, there are numerous concerts and theatre performances every week. See for the full programme.

Philharmonie. Photo: Thomas Lenaerts

Industrial wasteland transformed after lunch at restaurant Le Pavillon, where we have the chance to indulge in one more crémant, we drive to Esch-Belval. The former industrial wasteland has been transformed  into  a  cultural  and  scientific  hub and is among Europe’s most ambitious urban  development  sites.  First  we  visit  the Rockhal, with a capacity of 6,500 people, it is a medium-sized music venue but has hosted some of the world’s biggest stars including  alicia  keys,  Snoop  Dogg,  Depeche Mode, Prince and katy Perry. Our guide and hall director Olivier tells us how  he  exploits  Luxembourg’s  unique qualities. “when artists are on tour in Europe, Luxembourg is often a half way point between Germany and France. This makes it easier to convince promoters to schedule  in  a  concert  here,  as  otherwise  they would lose a full day on the road.”

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Discover Benelux & France |  Discover Luxembourg |  The Steichen Collections


Luxembourg’s national treasure There were few things the 20th century’s most famous photographer didn’t capture, and Edward Steichen captured all exceptionally well. Celebrity portraits, landscapes, architecture, fashion and theatre photography were part of his oeuvre. Steichen even directed a war documentary called The Fighting Lady for which he won an Oscar in 1945. TEXT: MyRIaM GwynnED DIjCk  |  MaIn PHOTO: STEICHEn - THE PHOTOGRaPHER © MnHa, TOM LUCaS

Born  in  Luxembourg  in  1879,  Steichen moved to america when he was toddler. at a young age he showed interest in fine art and  at  16  he  bought  his  first  camera.  By 1900, Steichen was able to impress wellknown  photographer  alfred  Stieglitz  who took  him  under  his  wing  and  purchased and published some of his works. after the First world war, where Steichen served as a  military  photographer,  he  took  a  job  at Condé nast and became the in-house portraitist for Vogue and Vanity Fair. In those years he revolutionised fashion photography with  his  glamorous,  sharp  focused  and meticulously composed images. after the Second world war, Steichen became  the  director  of  photography  at  the

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new york Museum of Modern art (MoMa). while  here,  he  curated  both  his  magnum opus The Family of Man and the sober The Bitter Years. These are now on permanent display in Steichen’s country of birth, Luxembourg,  together  with  a  third  exhibition displaying works by the photographer himself.

The Family of Man In the 1950s Steichen put together his most ambitious project, The Family of Man, which is still considered the biggest photography exhibition to date. The legendary display of 503 pictures from 273 photographers, ranging from famous names to amateurs from 68 countries, presents the human condition in all its facets. In 37 themes it documents

aspects that connect and touch us all, such as work, dancing, birth, solidarity, faith and death. The reinstallation of the historical exhibition at Clervaux Castle in northern Luxembourg, is inspired by and follows the exact same layout as it did in 1955 when it first opened in the MoMa and travelled the world for ten years thereafter. From giant, three-by-fourmetre  prints  hanging  from  the  ceiling  to small  30  by  40  centimetre  pictures  presented as a collage, Steichen curated the display  as  a  whole,  drawing  you  in  and transporting you to the next image.  Curator anke Reitz said: “It was created in a  Cold  war  context.  Steichen  wanted  to

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Discover Benelux & France | Discover Luxembourg | The Steichen Collections

show that we are all part of one big human family. The themes are universal and timeless so despite their age, you instantly identify with the images. Using its communicative powers, Steichen ascended photography to a form of art, he was the first to show photojournalism in an art museum, so blurring the traditional boundaries of art and documentation.”

The Bitter Years Dudelange, in southern Luxembourg, holds another captivating Steichen collection. Overlooking the cultural institute Centre National de l’Audiovisuel (CNA) stands the Waassertuerm Gallery, a tall, former water tower. Inside its circular space hangs The Bitter Years, Steichen’s last MoMA exhibition. Following a similar design as The Family of Man, visitors are instantly immersed in the exhibition and taken to the next photo through their lines and positioning. The first half is displayed at the bottom of the water tower, the second half at the top where you are also greeted by a magnificent view over Luxembourg’s industrial Redrock region.

(NMHA) in Luxembourg in 1985. As a homage to his work, Steichen – The Photographer also marks the transition the artist made from pictorialism to straight photography. Displaying around 20 images at a time, divided into thematic cycles, the free exhibition has representations from Steichen’s entire career.

Visit the Steichen Collections in Luxembourg: Centre National de l’Audiovisuel (CNA)

The Family of Man at Clervaux Castle. PHOTO: CNA, Romain Girtgen.

The Family of Man at Clervaux Castle The Bitter Years at the Waassertuerm&Pomhouse in Dudelange

Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art (MNHA) Steichen - The Photographer in Luxembourg City The Bitter Years. PHOTO: CNA, Romain Girtgen, ONT.

Photos for the exhibition were taken during the Great Depression in the 1930s, documenting rural America within the frame of the government commission of the Farm Security Administration. The Bitter Years dates from 1962 with 200 images and, at the permanent gallery in the water tower, a section of the original exhibition is currently on display. Combining mainly portraits and landscapes, The Bitter Years gives a sense of the despair, hopelessness and human suffering that the Great Depression brought with it. The stunning location and striking photos, make this a fantastic exhibition not to be missed.

The Family of Man. PHOTO: CNA, Romain Girtgen.

Steichen – The Photographer While Steichen’s fame was cemented by the curation work he did at MoMA, he was first and foremost a highly talented photographer. At Steichen – The Photographer in Luxembourg City, you can get a closer look at what made his photos stand out. A collection of 178 photos was donated to the National Museum of History and Art

Jack Delano, Farm Security Administration at The Family of Man. PHOTO: Library of Congress.

The Bitter Years at the Waasserturm Gallery. PHOTO: CNA, Romain Girtgen, ONT.

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Dario Scapitta Design


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Sacha Wendt





Blei Ji

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Gomes Esser Design

Elements of Freedom

Kyra & Ko

FAShion And AcceSSorieS

Dress to impress In this fashion and accessories special we feature the Netherlands’ cream of the crop of independent designers ranging from clothing to shoes, jewellery, bags and even wallets. Apart from their stunning looks, there are four elements that distinguish Dutch design; innovation, comfort, sustainability and honest craftsmanship. TeXT: MyriAM GWynned dijck | PreSS PhoToS

innovation is achieved in several ways. Firstly it is expressed in the design itself, for example the unique wallets by Secrid that protect cards and make them easier to take out, but also the quirky two-dimensional bags by Sacha Wendt illustrate this perfectly. There is also original use of materials, including the 3d printed, nylon body jewels by dario Scapitta design or brands that connect with their customers in a novel way, like clothing brand MLy. Achieving an appealing design is often just half the battle, the items also have to be easy to use or comfortable to wear. A fantastic case of this are the summer sandals by Maluo that allow for hours of strolling down holiday boulevards. Also with kyra & ko, all their clothes are de-

signed with the comfort of the wearer in mind. The leather aprons by WiTLoFT are crafted with similar convictions, focussing on function as much as style. caring about the environment comes naturally to the designers. companies including leather bags business SPrdLX, women’s fashion label elements of Freedom and jewellery brand charlotte Wooning make an effort to create durable items that can be combined with many present and future trends. Also chabo prides itself on its dedication to the environment. Another way sustainability is expressed in a more humane way, is by campaigning for charitable causes, such as Gomes esser design that supports the help Mali campaign.

Adopting an honest production process and promoting good craftsmanship are essential too. As we see with the bag labels chabo and X works, a conscious decision was made to create their products in the netherlands to ensure good practices and supreme quality. even if they are not produced in their country of residence, dutch designers still try to keep things close to home and select only the best factories, like Blei ji did with their family run production facility in Spain. combining these four elements sets dutch fashion and accessory design apart internationally. if we haven’t been able to convince you yet, turn to the next pages and find out for yourself in this Dress to Impress special. Issue 20 | August 2015 | 19

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These high quality wallets, designed and made in the Netherlands, are focussed on easy storage and convenient access to cards you use on an everyday basis.

Practical, sturdy and fashionable In the 21st century, we make more use of cards than ever before. Secrid introduces a new generation of wallets that suits this change of habit. And it protects the personal data on your cards as well. TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PHOTOS: JAN LUIJK, PIERRE CROM

“Wallets were never redesigned to suit the modern needs. My partner René van Geer and I decided to redesign ‘the wallet’ from scratch,” explains Secrid founder Marianne van Sasse van IJsselt. Their designs are practical, sturdy and fashionable. This shows in the user experience, the no nonsense design and the growing number of happy customers around the world. Using the Secrid wallets is very easy: an aluminium sleeve holds a maximum of six cards and it can be easily opened by pulling a tiny lever on the bottom of the sleeve. The cards pop out (trapsgewijs) by a few millimetres and you can easily recognise the one you need. “We spent a lot of hours designing this system,” explains van Sasse van IJsselt: “It took

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months to optimise the amount of pressure needed when pushing the lever, for instance. And the lever should be light enough, yet stay intact during regular use.” The designs are beautiful: no nonsense, timeless and available in different styles. All the products are produced in the Netherlands. “We collaborate with social employment facilities, create our own machines to be able to keep up with the growing demand and yet keep the costs low enough to produce in the Netherlands.” The biggest part of leather from which the wallets are made is produced in a Dutch leather tannery, the rest is made in Italy. “We use only the best available products. The environmental demands for producing leather are very high in both

countries. This way we make sure we use high quality leather.” Besides being practical and fashionable, Secrid also protects your cards from being skimmed. “Some cards can be read from metres away, when the ‘right’ equipment is used. This can’t be done when the cards are inside a Secrid wallet, because the aluminium blocks radio waves. This makes a Secrid wallet not just a handy daily utensil, but a perfect travel buddy as well.” Secrid wallets can be purchased at many retailers around the world, as well as in the webshop.

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Take your Chabo everywhere TEXT: rOSANNE rOOBEEk | PHOTOS: PAuLA BOuMAN

Bags are your closest friends. They mirror your personality and accompany you wherever you go. “Chabo literally means ‘friend’ in a type of Romany language. And a ‘friend’ is someone you would like to take everywhere,” says Vera Dekens, founder of Chabo Bags. Vera has a drive to develop bags in which she could invest all her passion and creativity for fashion and practicality. The materials used clearly distinguish Chabo Bags from other products. After some wandering in Asia, Vera discovered the right materials to design her bags.

Vera adds. Chabo Bags offers a huge variety, from wallets and clutches to big shoppers. Vera wants suppliers that are honest companies who deliver flawless handmade work and practice in an environmentally friendly way to produce the end product. This philosophy probably explains why Chabo Bags is growing rapidly, with bags available in over 300 stores already. But apart from her hopes of becoming an international household name in the bag industry, she wishes to expand her collection with accessories like shoes and flip-flops in the near future.

“I want to design sustainable products for a reasonable price that are not only practical and cool, but have a fashionable touch at the same time,” Vera said and adds: “You can have a perfect leather bag for the same price of an average pair of jeans!” The leather used for Chabo Bags is very light weighted and vegetable tanned. “Vegetable tanned products are unique, change continuously and develop a better patina over time. This often gives a robust effect to the bags,”

Chabo Bags designs practical and robust bags with a fashionable touch.

Durable simplicity TEXT: MyriAM GwyNNED DiJCk | PHOTOS: SPrDLX

Form follows function, which is certainly the case for Dutch design brand SPRDLX. Its collection of handcrafted leather bags are made to last a lifetime using only high quality materials. Thanks to their clean lines and timeless shapes, they are also designed to outlast all fashion trends. “I’ve always been attracted to the beauty of leather but besides this it’s also a durable material that will last a long time. Therefore, it is a way to make people conscious of the environment, going against the trend of the wasteful throw-away society,” SPRDLX founder and director Anita Stam explains.

Stam has recently expanded her collection with a laptop sleeve made from cork and is also busy with a sub-label for a younger market. “It will be a collaboration with my daughter, who has designed a fun cross-body bag. The collection will be launched this August.” “Having just turned 50 when I started, this shows it’s never too late to follow your dreams and set up your own business.”

Apart from bags, ranging from clutches to big shoppers, the label also has sleeves, key chains and interior accessories, all handmade in the Netherlands. Set up in 2007, Stam initially started with a range of custom made leather cushions and added bags to her collection three years ago.

The green ANNA shopper, the black DEB clutch and the cognac JAN bag.

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These stylish sandals are made from high quality leather. The suede sole makes them a pleasure to wear all day!

Elegant with a playful touch Finding sandals that are perfect to wear on busy days and can be combined with any outfit might sound like a mission impossible. The opposite is the case: Maluo’s stylish sandals with a playful touch are perfect for any occasion and are available worldwide. TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PHOTOS: MALUO

Strolling through an idyllic Mediterranean village, enjoying the weather, local food and the sight of the colourful houses, all the while you’re wearing elegant yet comfortable sandals. Does this sounds like a dream? Dutch shoe brand Maluo is known for their stylish sandals, which are made from high quality leather. The suede sole makes these summer shoes a pleasure to wear all day. “They are elegant and playful, which is our signature brand style,” explain founders Kim and Janet Beukeboom. “Therefore the shoes are suitable for a day at work, a party afterwards and of course while on holiday!” Kim and Janet get their inspiration from their home town as well as their travels.

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“We love the frivolous and laidback feeling you get in the rural villages and authentic cities in Southern Europe,” says Janet. This is clearly visible from their designs: they are simple and elegant and have soft colours, yet all items have a modern and playful twist, like a chic ribbon or a natural seashell. The entrepreneurial twin sisters hail from Eemnes, a village in the shadow of Amsterdam. That is also where Maluo’s roots are and where they currently hold office. “We grew up on a farm, which to this day harbours our parents’ shoe store,” says Kim. The young women decided to continue working there. “We both started a business degree, after which we launched

our first line of sandals. This is almost ten years ago and it caught on quickly.” Maluo sandals are now sold in over 500 stores worldwide, and the brand has expanded their collection with shoes and accessories. “In the coming season we’ll release our new labels,” Kim and Janet reveal. "Our Maluo Boutique label will be focused on city life and includes items made from more exclusive, luxury materials, while our Maluo Côte d’Amour label is inspired by life along the coast, and includes espadrilles and wedges. Of course, everything has our signature touch: the Mediterranean feeling captured in a high quality shoe.”

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Handmade leather aprons to roar about TEXT: BERThE vAN DEN huRK | PhoTos: WITLoFT

“The first time I put on a welding apron, I wanted to roar,” says Frank Abbenhuis, owner of WITLOFT. “I felt more manly, like I could do this project. But I immediately thought the apron could be improved and better looking. So I started to create them myself.” And so he did. Within the surprisingly short period of nine months, Abbenhuis managed to get his products in the picture: his aprons have appeared in a Dutch Vodafone commercial, the Dutch television show Grill Masters, and are sold at the Bijenkorf, a Dutch luxury department store in Amsterdam.

with a Dutch leather manufacturer. The Netherlands has some great leather manufactures and I want to be closely involved with the process.” The aprons get more beautiful with time and wear. As a result WITLOFT aprons are not only functional, but also true eye-catchers. The aprons can be custom made, by adding your company’s logo and a unique look. Abbenhuis: “The aprons are versatile and for anyone professionally or just at home. Whether you work as a barber or create a seven course meal at home.”

WITLOFT creates handmade aprons from high quality vegetable tanned saddle leather. Originating from a love for cooking, barbequing and furniture making, Abbenhuis wants to go back to the basics with his products. Abbenhuis uses leather from the Netherlands and the aprons are made by hand, which means each apron is unique. What’s more, Abbenhuis still creates the aprons himself, in his garden shed. “That is starting to change, but I still check every apron,” says Abbenhuis. “Handcrafted fits the current zeitgeist. I work


Eye-catching and glamorous jewellery does not by any means have to include diamonds and pearls. With just one glance at Dario Scapitta’s distinctive and contemporary body ornaments, it is clear that elegance can be achieved by combining innovative materials with bold designs. Scapitta creates his collections of necklaces and bracelets with high-tech 3D printing technology. By using materials such as printed metal, nylon plastics and gold plated steel in his designs, any wearer will stand out from the crowd – in the best possible way. “Nylon is light and comfortable, and the use of metal detailing gives my pieces a distinct touch of glamour. They are easy to combine with different outfits and are also very wearable,” Scapitta says. “3D technology is perfect for an independent designer like me, both to test

new items and put them into production and it allows for interesting shapes.” The designer, originally from Italy and now based in the Netherlands, has recently released two evolution series on previous collections called SNAKE_evo and SPARKLING_evo. They are updated collections with different colour schemes and new materials.

wood in his creations. “I want to experiment more with the combination of 3D printing and traditional materials so I can continue to create unique pieces.”

He says: “SNAKE_evo was inspired by modern sculptural architecture combined with indigenous African cultures, which has led to sleek lines and striking colours. The inspiration for SPARKLING_evo actually comes from the bubbles of Prosecco; simple but elegant.” Already thinking about his future collections, Scapitta is currently developing ways to incorporate materials such as leather, fabric or even



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On a mission In a bid to make a difference, Gomes Esser Design is currently supporting the campaign ‘Help Mali’. It supports Mali citizens in their reconstruction efforts after civil war and terrorist attacks tore through the country. “We got involved after my brother went to Mali. It’s important to look beyond your own world and try to help others in need,” Aleyda Gomes says. video editor Ivandro Monteiro initiated the project and produced a song and video clip together with singer Celestino Jocel. Proceeds from the song are donated to the campaign. Get in touch: Download the song:

Fashion forward Futuristic, powerful and luxurious – these words instantly spring to mind when seeing the clothes by Gomes Esser Design. The Dutch fashion label seamlessly blends current trends with elements from a thought-provoking future and turns it into stylish outfits designed to stand out. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: IvAN CADRE

Aleyda Gomes co-founded the brand with Denise Esser in 2011. Gomes says: “Our design philosophy is based on the inspiration we take from the present, realistic stories from everyday life, and we turn these into a future narrative.”

key question; ‘what happened?’ “Red highlights are a common factor, which refers to blood, crime and restriction, but also love and life. We incorporated beautiful lace detailing which gives the clothes a secretive, sexy look,” she says.

The new collection The Perfect Crime, is centred on mystery and seduction with the

Gomes Esser Design’s collections are characterised by high quality materials and hav-

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ing a perfect finish. The label includes clothes, bags, jewellery, belts and also shoes. Gomes: “For The Perfect Crime we’ve updated our Infinity Shoe and created a stunning high-heeled boot.” The Perfect Crime will be available on the website and selected retailers in the Netherlands this August.

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Dutch design, craftsmanship and sustainability TEXT: PAOLA WESTBEEK | PHOTOS: JARDA vERSLOOT

Especially in recent years, sustainability has become an increasingly important driving force behind many companies. One of them is Dutch designer label Blei Ji. Rooted in the principle that a truly valuable product can only be made with respect for the environment, the brand has a green heart yet maintains plenty of allure and sophistication. After completing her studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, Sanna Bleiji left for South America intent on finding a way to unite her passion for both nature and design. Her quest led her to Chile where she drew great inspiration from a fellow designer who created lamps using all-natural materials. The next step in her career was a logical one: “When I returned to the Netherlands, I began

exploring ways of combining sustainable entrepreneurialism with my designs.” Her collection of superior quality footwear, bags and hats is exclusively handcrafted by small, family run businesses in Spain and, more recently, Italy. Ecologically sound materials are primarily used, including vegetable tanned hides, exquisitely handwoven fair trade textiles and recycled denim. The result is a label that incorporates the preservation of tradition and natural resources with modern Dutch design.

and contemporary, Bleiji’s line is only enhanced by her earth-friendly philosophy: “I aim to merge luxurious quality, style and fashion with sustainability, and that is what makes my brand so unique.” To get a behind-the-scenes glimpse, see the designer’s Facebook page, Blei Ji Boots.

One of her bestselling items is the Nomadic Chic boot which can be worn two ways: pulled up for an elegant and timeless look or folded down to reveal a uniquely woven pattern. Characteristically chic


Sturdy yet feminine bags and accessories, handmade in the Netherlands with high quality Dutch materials. That is what fashion label X works stands for. All X works items are exclusive, modern and have a feel-good touch. Dutch design at its best.

Capelle in the south of the country. Hendriks: “The bags and accessories are assembled by six artisan crafts people. They cut the leather by hand, stitch the seams, create details with a cutting machine or use a staple gun to assemble the products.”

Leather is key in X works’ fashion items. Only the highest quality is good enough: “We use Dutch leather as much as we can,” explains owner Edwin Hendriks. “The quality of leather from the Netherlands is the best available. And all other used materials, like strong zippers and detailed accessories, are of course in line with this quality standard as well.”

What stands out about X works bags, is that there is no lining. “This creates the rugged look our bags are known and loved for,” explains Hendriks, “and as of this month, new products are available. We launched a premium collection of bigger bags for women, a men’s collection of bags and even shoes and home accessories.”

X works makes different products for everyday use. Besides bags, you can get X works shoes, wallets and jewellery. All of these products are designed and made in X works’ own small scale factory in the village of Sprang-

X works’ exclusive designs, handmade products and use of high quality materials result in timeless fashion items that will last a lifetime.

LEFT: The Roos M Raider bag, taupe. RIGHT: The Lieve L Raider bag, cognac.

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Designing with the customer in mind When fashion boutiques decide on what will make it to their racks the coming season, many choose for the ‘safe’ route, opting to primarily include items they believe will sell well. But what if the customer wants something more exclusive? One way designer label MLY has managed to stand out, is by offering their special pre-order option. TEXT: PAOLA WESTBEEK | PHOTOS: CATH HERMANS

Though boutiques strive to make informed choices when buying, parts of a collection which they anticipate will not be as popular might never reach the public. A shame, especially if you consider that some customers, who are willing to spend their money on a designer label, prefer to do so on items that are more unique. With this in mind, Dutch designer Emily Hermans decided on a new approach: “Although I market my collection the standard way, MLY’s pre-order system makes it possible for the consumer to also have a say about what makes it to the shops, and that is quite unusual. No other brand offers this service.” Hermans, who launched her first collection in 2004, primarily draws inspiration from the women she designs for. Her vision is to inspire and empower, yet at the same time

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learn from her customers. Every woman is different, and Hermans celebrates those differences by ensuring her pieces bring out the best in those who wear them. At her MLY Pilot Store in Eindhoven, she and her team offer personal shopping sessions and free styling advice on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Every item can be tailored to perfectly suit any figure or specific wish. The entire MLY collection is locally and durably produced from start to finish with Hermans’ exclusively designed, high-quality textiles and beautiful digital prints. “I’ve always found it fascinating to create my own materials,” she explains, something she fervently practised while studying at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Icelandic contrasts form the fundamental elements of MLY’s upcoming autumn/winter collection (vIK) which consists of dresses,

jackets, silk blouses and handwoven scarves. Included are knitted arctic landscapes, mineral-like motifs and contrasting vivid hues as well as soft pastels. Hermans: "The rugged Icelandic nature has some sort of primitive danger about it. Yet it also has a pure, comforting beauty that I have not seen anywhere else before.” The new collection will be available as of August 2015.

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Little treasures TEXT: jAninE sTErEnborg | PHoTos: CArloTTE Wooning / soPHiA vAn dEn HoEk

Creating gorgeous jewels by hand, designer Charlotte Wooning focuses on details, high quality precious metals and a perfect fit. “A jewel is an intimate treasure. You wear it close to your body, on your skin even, so it is a very personal item,” explains Charlotte Wooning when speaking about her passion for designing rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. “A sophisticated jewel is something you’ll wear for noone else but yourself.” Wooning’s jewels are a mixture of minimalism and delicate shapes: “I absorb the atmosphere in European capitals, notice what people wear and take those influences to my studio.” That is where the designs that already took shape in her

mind come to life. “I never sketch. I start creating right away in my studio in Rotterdam and wear the jewels myself to see if they look good on the body.” If so, a jewellery line with its own theme emerges. Minimalism and delicacy are also reflected in the materials Wooning works with: “I use high quality and lasting materials, mainly gold and silver.”

style. The result is a modern, yet still emotionally valuable jewellery.” Twice a year, Wooning releases a new collection, which is sold in stores worldwide, on her webshop and her own store in Rotterdam, which is open on Friday afternoons.

Her fashion course at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam has brought Wooning a strong background in design. “Yet I’ve always been more focused on details, so designing jewellery was a logical step!” Wooning also designs custom jewels, like engagement and wedding rings and she redesigns inherited jewels: “I re-interpret these within my own

Photo: Charlotte Wooning

Embracing freedom through fashion TEXT: PAolA WEsTbEEk | PHoTos: sTEPHAn sTEEnWijk

Fashion is a personal form of expression in a constantly changing world, yet while some opt to closely follow the latest trends, others prefer the ease and beauty of timeless designs and superior quality. Dutch designer label Elements of Freedom creates pieces that withstand the test of time and leave room for every woman to make her own statement. Grounded in the notion that women are unique, the Amsterdam based label was founded in 2013 by Audrey Nuchelmans and Arjan Oortgiesen. As the aptly chosen name suggests, Elements of Freedom is committed to designing fashion that enables today’s women to look and feel beautiful without sacrificing her own identity. “Our clothing can be worn in many different ways,” says Nuchelmans, “from casual or – combined with a nice pair of pumps – as an outfit for work. The women who wear our pieces know how to adapt them to their own style.”

Made with precision and attention to detail in order to ensure a perfect fit, the label uses choice fabrics that breathe, move with the body and provide ultimate comfort. Sustainability is high on their priority list meaning all items are designed and sampled in Amsterdam and made in Europe. Nuchelmans: “We find it extremely important that our garments are produced under good working conditions.” The 2015 autumn/winter collection consists of versatile dresses, eye-catching prints, vivid hues, cosy knitwear, outerwear and separates that can either be dressed up or down. No matter what the season, however, every Elements of Freedom piece is as much appealing as it is easy to wear and will remain uniquely fashionable for years to come.

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Discover Benelux & France | Dress to Impress | Fashion & Accessories

A feminine touch At Kyra & Ko, they bring out the best in women. The fashion brand specialises in elegant clothing that highlights women’s strong points by accentuating all the right curves. The label combines the infallible strength of classic, tailored contours with unusual colours and detailing. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: KYRA & KO

The Dutch fashion label was founded by designers Kyra Marcopoulos and Lidwien van der Klei in 2003. Since then they have adopted a clear style and vision. “We cater for fashion-conscious, mature women who have a style and class of their own,” Lidwien says. “We create elegant and comfortable clothing that outlast a single season. Apart from our basics, our collections include jackets, dresses and skirts, many of them created out of beautiful knitted jacquards, woven checks and fancy solids, tricot printed dresses and tops, and matching knitwear in several yarns.” Kyra & Ko incorporates current fashion trends in their collections, but they translate

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them to fit the label. Their style comprises of feminine cuts and classic designs with a twist, such as contrasting colour combinations and eye-catching patterns, but also with a focus on comfort for the wearer. She says: “Our items are easy to combine, both with younger and more mature brands, so we can appeal to a broad market. Furthermore, from the start we decided to make all our clothes in Europe, so we can guarantee good production and working conditions.” Since it was launched, the label has grown steadily and is currently available all over the Netherlands and beyond. “We have around 200 retail outlets and we are still

growing. We always carefully select new resellers to get an even coverage. We are also available in Belgium, Ireland and Germany and continue to expand abroad,” Lidwien adds. The new Fall 2015 collection has Kyra & Ko’s signature combination of striking patterns in either bright, vibrant shades or discreet colour schemes. It includes several statement items in magenta, such as a woven trench coat in a beautiful check, an exciting coat in printed fun fur, a soft, knitted shift dress and printed jacket two-piece. The collection will be available in store and online at this month.

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Discover Benelux & France |  Dress to Impress |  Fashion & Accessories

Bags as practical wearable art Handbags, much like other fashion accessories, can pull an outfit together giving a look that extra, finishing touch. While some choose bags purely for aesthetic reasons, others prefer to combine beauty with practicality. When creating her unique line of handbags, Dutch designer Sacha Wendt brilliantly merged these components while adding her own decidedly artistic touch. TEXT: PAolA WEsTbEEk  |  PHoTos: DAnjA DAnE

The  idea  for  the  collection  came  about when Wendt, who is also a costume designer, created a two-dimensional school satchel for one of the characters in a theatre production. The reactions from those around her were so positive that she was immediately prompted to market what is undoubtedly more than just another bag. Today, working from her own studio in Hilversum,  she  produces  a  line  of  quirky, wool felt bags that come in brightly vivid shades and will fool anyone into thinking they have emerged straight from a comic strip. besides  the  satchel  which  started  it  all, Wendt’s collection includes models such as  the  feminine  and  classically  shaped sara and the recently introduced 2D travel bag. Designed to give the illusion of carrying multiple bags, Wendt’s newest creation  attests  to  her  eye-catching  signa-

ture style. “Many of my customers tell me they  regularly  get  stopped  and  asked about their bags,” she says. but these aren’t just wearable works of art. Each bag is roomy and sturdy enough to handle  everyday  use  and  can  be  combined  with  pretty  much  any  outfit.  Although you would probably be inclined to think otherwise, felt, her material of choice, is naturally water-repellent. “You can wear the bags in all weather conditions,” says Wendt,  “during  the  dyeing  process,  the felt is specially treated to make the bags dirt-resistant as well.”

both materials. Worth mentioning are the 'Wool-Wrap' bag which optically appear to be made out of rolled up yoga mats, and the tablet and laptop sleeves that make up part of her collection; one of the sleeves is reminiscent of a turtleneck and an ode to the late steve jobs.  sacha Wendt handbags are fun statement pieces  that  cleverly  blend  Dutch  design with practicality and a hearty dose of humour.

Available through her website and at select galleries and boutiques, the designer also works on commission or can alter existing items to customer’s wishes. bags that are made  in  felt,  for  example,  can  be  executed  in  leather  or  in  a  combination  of

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Discover Benelux & France | Cover Feature | TiĂŤsto

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Discover Benelux & France | Cover Feature | Tiësto







The king of electronic dance Dutch DJ and producer Tiësto is a true international phenomenon. With a career spanning 20 years, he is a veteran in the electronic dance music scene but is still relevant today as ever before. Somewhere in his busy schedule, in between playing for stadium audiences and producing the next club hit, he found a slot to speak to us. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: FRANCESCO CARROzzINI

The DJ certainly has a Cv to be proud of, he has won numerous awards, including a Grammy, works with superstar DJs and artists to produce one club hit after the other, was voted number one DJ in the world several times and even has a wax statue at the Amsterdam Madame Tussauds. Tiësto, a name derived from his real name Tijs verwest, showed an interest in music when he was a teenager. He played some of his early sets in a club called Sprock in his hometown of Breda, in the south of the Netherlands. During these years he mostly played hardcore/gabber, New Beat and acid house music, but slowly started to develop his own sound as well. He was soon discovered by label manager Arny Bink and in 1997 the duo started their own label Black Hole Recordings. After releasing successful compilation albums including the Magik series and the Ibiza-inspired In Search of Sunrise remixes, Tiësto decided to produce his own songs. This lead to the release of his trance debut album In My Memory in 2001 which contained several major club hits. From there his career took flight. A year later he was voted the number one DJ in the world by the leading DJ Magazine, and held on to that spot for three consecutive years. Looking back over on those early years, Tiësto doesn’t seem to long too much for

the bygone days as he reflects on what has changed since then. “So many changes and most of them have to do with making things easier and more efficient. Producing music is now capable outside the studio, DJs can now travel without having to worry about losing records. Fans no longer have to go to the store to buy music and can get what they want with the click of a mouse. That being said, sure there are things I do miss about the past but it’s important to realise that dance music has grown so much and these technologies are key to its growth.”

now playing stadiums and arenas (I played at the Staples Center and Home Depot Center in Los Angeles) and festivals popped up everywhere.” Certainly Tiësto’s own career took off when, shortly after releasing his second studio album Just Be, he was asked to perform at the 2004 Athens Olympic Opening Ceremony. He was the first DJ to play live on stage at the Olympic Games to an audience of billions. The album’s singles were also storming the charts, which included Traffic, Adagio for Strings and Love Comes Again.

A pioneering DJ Gaining ever more momentum, Tiësto became the first DJ to hold a solo concert in a stadium, playing for a crowd of 25,000 people in Arnhem, the Netherlands, in 2003. This performance paved the way for DJs to become today’s musical superstars and helped to bring electronic dance music into the mainstream. Tiësto is very level headed when asked about his pioneering role. “Sure, I definitely think I played a role but it’s not just one thing. A lot of dance artists started to produce for big pop acts and once those songs smashed radio, that had a lot to do with dance music breaking through. Then it was sort of the perfect storm – the music really spoke to the younger generation and it was something they could have for themselves. It took off to where DJs were

Style evolution He kept his momentum going with the release of Elements of Life in 2007. The trance album with influences from rock, pop and experimental music was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008. Tiësto’s style continued to evolve when he produced Kaleidoscope in 2009, which featured artists such as Calvin Harris and Nelly Furtado. Breaking away from his earlier trance work, this fourth studio album explored other electronic genres and was released by his newly created record label Musical Freedom. Tiësto thinks that his ability to adapt and progress musically has helped him to stay relevant during his career spanning two decades. “I think I’ve been one to embrace the need to evolve and not get stuck

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Discover Benelux & France | Cover Feature | Tiësto

using the same formula over and over again. I like a lot of different dance music and I will play whatever I like in my sets.” Continuing his evolution, last year he released his most pop-oriented album, A Town Called Paradise, featuring the hits Red Lights and Wasted. The real highlight of the year was when Tiësto won a Grammy Award for his remix of John Legend’s All of Me. We wondered if there was anything left on his professional bucket list. “If you asked me this question a year ago I would have answered 'win a Grammy', so it’s pretty amazing for that to come true. I also heard some of the songs from A Town Called Paradise on mainstream radio which is amazing. I’ve been blessed so I can’t think of any-

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thing else at the moment that would be on my bucket list,” he says. Whether or not he will continue his more mainstream sound or move to another style entirely in the future, he isn’t sure about yet. “It’s just so hard to say because, especially these days, music is moving so fast. It’s always going to be dance music to the core, but I have no idea what my next album will sound like. It’s all about what I’m into at the moment.”

Fostering talent Tiësto is not the only talented DJ that the Netherlands has produced. Names such as Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Fedde le Grand and Ferry Corsten have been

amongst the world’s top for many years. Tiësto explains why he thinks his home country is such a fruitful breeding ground for DJs. “Dance music is part of our culture. The government is positive about the music and we all grow up on dance music from a young age. With this influence it makes sense there would be a lot of top Dutch producers.” But Tiësto himself also has a role to play in fostering talent, as he has helped to promote both Dutch talent such as Hardwell and more recently Martin Garrix to an international audience through collaborations, as well as DJs from other countries including the Swedish Avicii. We asked what he thinks sets them apart. “There are

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Discover Benelux & France | Cover Feature | Tiësto

certain intangibles these guys all have. They are awesome DJs and producers but they really connect with the crowds in a way that few others are able to. It’s natural and that’s what makes them great.”

in Las vegas and Pacha in Ibiza, coming back to his home country is still something he cherishes. “It’s very important,” he says about returning to the Netherlands. “I will play two big shows there in October at Amsterdam Arena. Can’t wait.”

No day is the same With his impressive career, life is still hectic for the 46-year-old as he walks us through what a normal day looks like for him. “Ah, there is no average day,” he replies. “Sometimes I’m boarding a plane, other times I’m waking up in a hotel but usually it’s something fast and on the go that I’m doing; especially in the summer when there are a lot of festivals.”

Talking about how he prepares for a big show, he adds: “The one thing that is fairly routine is the pre-show ritual. I will always go for a bite to eat before the show and arrive to the venue a bit before my set so I can relax with a drink. I try to unwind and relax. It’s so important because once I hit the stage the adrenaline rush is unbelievable.”

While flying all over the world and playing residency sets in clubs such as Hakkasan

His busy, jet setting lifestyle does take a toll on his private life as it’s sometimes difficult

to balance that with his work. “It’s hard because there are many facets to my career – my shows, my songs, my label and partnerships I’m involved in. But it’s always important to take time off. I always allow myself time each month to rest.” But despite that, and the fact he is now in his mid-forties, there are no signs that Tiësto is planning to slow down. “Nah, I'm so used to this lifestyle and I love it!” Finally we ask what song he will be listening to this summer. Never shy of a bit of self-promotion he responds: “I just revealed a brand new collaboration with the Chainsmokers called Split (Only U) at Ultra Europe and that one is catching fire. It’s out in August on my Musical Freedom label.”

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Discover Benelux & France | Home Decoration & Design | nTrLk

Living green furniture: combining function with style Where indoor plants were once seen as a simple addition to the interior, nowadays they are an indispensable component of it. Plants are not only functional, but also have a high aesthetic value. TEXT: BErThE van dEn hurk | PhOTOS: nTrLk

“Indoor plants are so much more than just a supplement of the interior,” says Cora noordam, owner of nTrLk. “Plants have a purgative effect, removing particles from the air and providing clean oxygen. They are especially suitable for places where many people gather, like businesses, fairs and schools. More and more people start to see the added value of indoor plants.”

nesses, and also advises the passionate grower, exporter or retailer.

With her company, noordam combines function with fashionable interior design. nTrLk is a young and dynamic company with a passion for natural, fresh, green and flowering plants characterised by its trademark; a hint of each style. noordam invents exclusive ‘green’ concepts and provides bold, chic and tasteful plant styling services for concepts stores, shop windows, fairs and busi-

While many people have little time spare for maintenance thanks to their busy lives, we do want to have plants and nature close by. This is especially the case in public places where people gather. however, when designing ‘green’ indoor spaces, there must be a certain ‘vandal proof-ness’. This limits the choice in plants. noordam: “We quickly label the common indoor plants at public spaces as old-fashioned and outdated but

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according to noordam the right plants are the finishing touch of any interior. “Plants are a part of the interior and as indispensable as any other piece of furniture. Therefore we like to say that plants are the living green furniture.”

these plants are actually the most useful. It’s all about presentation, in my designs I create a new added value for these plants, a new mood.” raised as a gardener’s daughter, noordam has a broad industry knowledge and has created a stable network around her in the recent years. nTrLk translates indoor green to stylish interiors, to show people all that is possible with plants. noordam: “There are fantastic plant nurseries, with the very best and most beautiful plants but they cannot always translate these into the current design trends, since they are engaged in culturing the plants. Making that translation is the task I have taken upon me.”

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Discover Benelux & France | Home Decoration & Design | Malagoon

Bring the holiday feeling to your bedroom We are online and connected most of our lives. But sometimes all you want is a moment of peace and pleasure. Malagoon aims to bring the positive impulses that you normally experience on holidays to your own house. TEXT: ROSANNE ROOBEEK | PHOTOS: DAvID COHEN DE LARA & ANOUK DE KLEERMAEKER

“By designing island-stylish bed sheets and accessories, we try to create a place with a relaxed and positive island feeling,” says Anneke Bierma, founder and textile designer of Malagoon. Bierma found inspiration in the relaxed way of living on tropical islands. "After many years of experience working in top fashion and sportswear design, I began to notice the complete lack of variety in the world of bed linen: it was mainly just standard flowers, checks and plaids. This can be done better, I thought, and I began to sketch,” she says. In 2012 Malagoon introduced a collection of bed linen and accessories with a wide selection of fabrics, vibrant colours and expressive designs. The aim is to

breathe an inviting and sunny atmosphere in your own house. The collection consists of laid-back cushions, duvet covers, quilts, poufs and other accessories that are easy to mix and match in and around the home. The designs are influenced by ‘the best of life’, like tropical cultures, handmade materials and products, different crafts like printing, weaving, stitching, and all the powerful colours of nature. Malagoon targets those who like to unwind after a long working day in a relaxing atmosphere and who look for time, space and a clear mind. “It is important to eliminate all stress at home and to retreat from the stimulation of our busy lives in the cosy solitude of our house,” Bierma says.

The positioning of patterns makes Malagoon’s products unique. Patterns are often too small for a large surface like bed linen. “To create a robust image, we have designed separate prints for every pillow and quilt,” she explains, "and we produce our designs in small quantities, to create unique and exclusive products.” Malagoon has already become an international interior design brand, with products available in luxury department stores and concept stores in the Netherlands and Europe. Bierma hopes that Malagoon and its lifestyle will spread around the whole world so everyone can enjoy it.

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Discover Benelux & France | Home Decoration & Design | Leolux

Crafting the ultimate comfort The ultimate sofa is about the perfect combination of comfort and appearance. More often than not, your ideal seat may only come in three different colours, or might not sit quite right. Thanks to Dutch furniture company Leolux, there is no need to compromise any longer, as they can craft you the perfect seat or sofa. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: LEOLUX

Leolux specialises in seats, (corner) sofas, armchairs and tables, all made by order according to your specific wishes and created by combining high tech manufacturing and pure craftsmanship. With a choice of dozens of elegant, contemporary and distinctive designs, you can then pick the colour, material and sitting comfort to suit your style.

The perfect match Starting with a base design, customers can chose from hundreds of colours of textile or leather, optional piping in different shades, a variety of stitching and a selection of feet that are available in materials such as wood and aluminium in any colour thinkable. Leolux director, Sebastiaan Sanders says: “We once calculated how many options are possible, and we came up with 1.2 billion com-

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binations. This means that while the base design might be the same, practically no two sofas will ever be identical.” Apart from aesthetics, there are also plenty of options to create a seat that has the perfect level of comfort. “Giving our customers the ultimate seat is very important to us. At Leolux we can adjust the height and depth of the sitting area, the firmness of the pillows and include various mechanical functions as required,” he adds.

want. It starts with solid personal advice by our own experts in the Leolux Design Centres. For example, to make the perfect combination we can adjust the colour of the decorative stitching. In special cases we will even look for custom made solutions.” In order to select the right options, the Leolux Design Centres all have the different materials available in large squares that can be draped over furniture. “To know whether a colour or material suits you, you have to see it, and feel it. So that’s what we offer people.”

Going the extra mile Thanks to these options, the furniture will be perfectly suited to a customer’s style wishes and sitting comfort. Sanders explains: “Since every piece of furniture is handmade, each item is unique, and we go the extra mile to give customers exactly what they

Made in the Netherlands Leolux also prides itself on their production process. All their furniture is manufactured on demand by specialist craftspeople in their factory in venlo. “While wages in the Netherlands might be higher than else-

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Discover Benelux & France | Home Decoration & Design | Leolux

where, we don’t have to deal with international transport costs. On top of that, we can guarantee optimal quality and offer greater flexibility and efficiency,” he comments. “We start every item from scratch, so when it’s ready, eight weeks later, we can deliver it instantly, there won’t be additional waiting time once your item is finished.”

Visualise your new sofa To make people’s search for the ideal couch even easier, Leolux is currently developing an application that can visualise its products even before they are built. Leolux is planning to launch the feature by the end of the year. “Through configurations, people will be able to create their perfect sofa online, from the comfort of their own home. This will give a better overview of how many options there are.” Sanders concludes: “Eventually we want to make it possible for people to upload a photo of their living room, to see what the armchair would look like in their home, and share the image on social media.”

The Caruzzo armchair perfectly encapsulates what Leolux stands for. The relaxing seat has a striking design with a beautiful, hand-stitched seam on the back and is exceptionally comfortable (in yellow above).

Leolux was founded in 1934 and initially created lounge furniture. Later, the family business moved on to produce more modern items, inspired by the Danish designs of the 1950s. Still trading from the same location in venlo, Leolux celebrated its 80th anniversary last year.

Furniture manufacturing in action Leolux is proud of its craftsmen and is not afraid to show it. At the visitor centre in venlo, it is possible to take a look at the production process and see how a couch is made. “You can in theory see your own seat being constructed here, it is a real working factory,” says Sebastiaan Sanders. “The visitor centre via Creandi (the road of creation) is located on the top floor, giving you a wonderful view over the Maas River as you can watch our team of 250 professionals create stunning furniture from the ground up.”

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Discover Benelux & France | Home Decoration & Design | Royal Blue Collection

The apple of your eye Centuries’ old tradition and modern interior design come together in the stunning ceramic apples in the Royal Blue Collection. The objects, ranging from five centimetres to giant, one metre wide (limited edition) apples, are decorated with a contemporary interpretation of the famous Delft Blue design. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: MONIQUE vAN LAAKE FOR INSIDEOUT LUXURY

The apple signifies love, youth and fertility and has an attractive, curved shape. Sabine Struycken, founder of interior design label InsideOut Luxury, developed the apples. She says: “The idea was to create an object that would translate Delft Blue into something contemporary. The apple was the perfect fit and it is a combination I find beautiful myself.”

laborated with painter Caroline Hartman who works for Royal Delft. Each apple is hand painted by Hartman and carries a certification of authenticity. “Royal Delft is a brand that is keen to reinvent itself, so my idea really resonated with them. Caroline converted my concept into beautiful drawings, exactly as I had imagined,” she adds.

The white apples are decorated with the characteristic, cobalt blue images, such as the peacock and the poppy flower, as an ode to the craft that started in the Netherlands in the 16th century. To bring it in line with modern taste, the apples have a discreet, asymmetrical design. “It is still very recognisable as Delft Blue and the apples are created according to the traditional process.” For the Royal Blue Collection, Struycken col-

The seed for the collection was planted several years ago, when Struycken began importing coloured glass fruit by the German design label Bull & Stein for InsideOut Luxury. “Initially the Delft Blue apple was something I wanted for myself, then I realised there is nothing quite like it on the market.”

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editions and can also be made on demand. “It is even possible to customise them. For example we can include a family coat of arms,” Struycken says. InsideOut Luxury is a label that specialises in exclusive, handmade interior objects that tell a story. For years, Struycken gave professional advice about interior styling and her love for distinctive, quality objects lead her to found InsideOut Luxury in 2010. “I started the business from my own stand point; what are the types of items I would like to own, what kind of service would I like to get?” she concludes. “That’s still how I operate today.”

The luxury apples are available in a series of four different sizes and limited, numbered

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Discover Benelux & France | Home Decoration & Design | Goeds

Goeds goods Goeds offers brands that are hardly known in the Netherlands, products from new designers or larger, already established companies. The things they all have in common are exclusiveness and sustainability, they are also durable, fair and not tendentious. TEXT: BERTHE vAN DEN HURK | PHOTOS: GOEDS

Caroline Boone, owner of Goeds, has a remarkable set up. With a 350 square metre store in zaandam and a fully equipped webshop, she provides a broad platform for brands, individual designers, furniture makers and new talents. There is also space for lectures and presentations and a guest collection of vintage designs. Boone: “Sustainability is a priority. We have a special love for sustainable and exceptional products. People want to know all about the product they buy, where products come from, how it is made. We can offer our customers that story.” One of the brands Goeds has is the Danish Mater Design. Mater subsidises small microcredit handicraft businesses in India.

This way they know for sure that it is sustainable and durable, and created out of local products. Another great example is the Dutch Droog Design. Boone: “They linked a large pile of bought-up products to a specific designer, who transformed the products into a new design. A wonderful rezoning.” Goeds has some of the most astonishing brands in Europe: zeitraum, Artisan, Pulpo Design, Mater, Gubi Design and La Cividina. Goeds knows their products and how they are made. There is a close cooperation with several interior architects and stylists, but Goeds also works with the individual designers, this way they can provide their customers with customised products. Boone: “We’re always looking

for new designers, ideas and labels. But we are more than a store and a webshop. In cooperation with art academies, we want to become a design hub in the near future. We want to offer young designers the opportunity to design and create new things, and having an audience.” Goeds is located in zaandam in an old Bruynzeel factory, which is a listed building, where once floors and doors were made (and later pencils and kitchens). The property was built in the early Amsterdam School style, like the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam, and is to many other creative businesses a great home, which makes it a creative breeding ground.

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Discover Benelux & France | Home Decoration & Design | Jess Design

Stunning pieces to sit on TEXT: CATHY vAN KLAvEREN | PHOTOS: JESS DESIGN

Another one of those fine Dutch companies: Jess Design, a business that specialises only in seating. Dining chairs, bar stools, armchairs and sofas, that is what Jess Design stands for. Why? Simple: “We made the craft our own, so we’re good at it,” says owner Maarten van de Goor. Jess Design has been around for a few years, but it’s since six years that van de Goor took over the business. “It’s a time of change. Everyone buys via the internet so it’s hard for companies to make it in the business.” But Jess Design made it work so far. Unlike other

companies, who make their furniture with materials like wood, Jess Design makes the seating with high quality leather and steel. In fact, Jess Design formulated its own steel a couple of years ago, Old Glory. This year it will introduce it: bright steel that’s galvanically coppered and then made to appear old. The result is outstanding and matches perfectly with the all-natural colours of the leather.

course everything is handmade, all in accordance with the client,” says van de Goor. Jess Design works with contract dealers, focussing on hotels and restaurants, as well as retail dealers and their products have a warranty of five years. Jess Design can be visited at many exhibitions (such as Paris, Stockholm and Amsterdam) and it also has dealers and contacts all over the world.

The company is based in Oss, the Netherlands, where all the materials are stacked up. “So in a case of an order, we can deliver very fast. Of

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The cheesefest that’s not at all cheesy If you enjoy insights into culinary traditions and regional heritage it’s well worth taking a look at Gouda’s long-established weekly cheese market. TEXT & PHOTOS: STUART FORSTER

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Discover Benelux & France | Summer Sights & Attractions | Gouda Cheese Market

Every Thursday during the summer months (subject to weather), locals don traditional costumes to convey how the Gouda cheese market was in bygone times. You’ll see a dozen or so people dressed as farmers, maids in lace bonnets and red aprons as well as cheese shop owners wearing white jackets and flat caps.

cause farmers from outlying villages have been trading at its market since at least the 17th century. Some estimates suggest that more than half of all the cheese consumed around the world is Gouda in style. Aficionados in South Holland like to argue that the original is best and say it’s down to the lush, mineral-rich grass of fields near Gouda.

Men recreate intense price negotiations between cheese producing farmers and buyers. It’s a dramatic and historically accurate scene. Staying true to the process used to agree prices prior to computerisation, the men stand facing each other, next to approximately 700 of the cheeses being traded. As the price fluctuates they slap hands. Changes of even a duit, the smallest unit of Dutch currency in former times, could make a marked difference to farmers’ quality of life. When the men reach a mutually agreeable price they shake hands to seal their deal.

Gouda through the ages

avoid a cacophonic clash with the bells of Sint-Janskerk. At 123 metres in length it’s the longest church in the Netherlands. Once you’re finished at the market, or for respite from the summer sunshine, it’s worth stepping inside to view the church’s 72 stained glass windows, some of which date from the 16th century.

Weighing cheese

The city’s name is synonymous with one of the world’s most popular cheeses be-

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The cobbled marketplace is dominated by a Gothic town hall constructed in the mid-15th century after fire razed much of Gouda in 1438. It was built of stone, away from other buildings, to minimise fire risk. The town hall provides an impressive backdrop to photos of the cheese market and its balcony gives fine views of wheels of yellow cheese laid out in lines below. As you browse stalls, your eyes may be drawn to the carillon on the town hall’s east face. It depicts Floris v, who granted Gouda’s town charter in 1272. Mechanical figures circle the carillon two minutes after each half hour. The timing helps

As Gouda grew, so too did the municipality’s privileges, including the right to weigh merchandise, such as cheeses, and levy taxes. Only a handful of cities were permitted to do this, so it helped consolidate Gouda’s image as a thriving market city. The council wanted a building that would serve the practical purpose of housing scales and simultaneously impress onlookers. Consequently the architect Pieter Post was commissioned to design the Goudse Waag, Gouda’s Weigh House, which opened in 1668. The upper floors house a compact Cheese and Crafts Museum, providing an overview of the building’s long history

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Discover Benelux & France | Summer Sights & Attractions | Gouda Cheese Market

and the process of making Gouda cheese via a video and artefacts collected from nearby farms. You can also see the original sculpture that once adorned the façade, ravaged by three centuries of weather and darkened by air pollution from industrial Europe’s chimneys. The scene depicts officials entering the weight of cheese changing hands into a ledger, so taxes could be collected. On market days you can observe the huge, counter-balanced wooden scales in operation. Wheels of cheese, each weighing up to 12.5 kilos, are stacked on the palletlike balances before being loaded onto horse-drawn carts by lads who throw and catch the wares. You can pop on the scales to be weighed, a figure that’s provided in pounds (the equivalent of 500 grams, rather that the lighter Imperial measurement). Perhaps, in the name of vanity, this is best undertaken before devouring tasters of the cheese at stalls around the market. The cheese is sold by gradations of maturity. The cate-

gories range from soft, mild Jong (young) cheeses to firm, markedly riper and significantly darker Oud (mature) cheeses.

Straight from the farm Alternatively, to buy cheese you could head directly to a local farm. Kaasboerderij Schep at Bergambacht offers guided tours during which you’ll see the cows, their rotating milking station and have a chance to step inside the modern factory. Farmhouse cheeses weighing up to 60 kilos are produced using traditional methods and ingredients, including unpasteurised milk. Those produced at Kaasboerderij Schep were named the tastiest in the Netherlands in 2010. Gouda’s colourful market and historic weigh house help provide insights into how the city became one of the world’s foremost names in the cheese industry. visiting provides food for thought and opportunities to stock up on provisions.

Visit Gouda Subject to the weather being fine, the market takes place each Thursday, until the end of August (the last being 27 August). Stalls are manned from 10am to 1pm. On non-market day you can still taste samples and purchase cheese from the shop in the Weigh House (Markt 35), the Gouds Kaashuis (Hoogstraat 1) and ‘t Kaaswinkeltje (Lange Tiendeweg 30), which stocks only farmhouse style cheeses. Koetshuysch Kaas (Korte Groenendaal 8) has regional as well as international cheeses. The free xplre Gouda app provides more information and suggests routes around the city. If you haven’t downloaded it before visiting Gouda then use the free Wi-Fi at the market place. Alternatively, you can book a 90-minute guided tour of the city (€3.50 per person in advance or €4 on the day) led by a member of Gouda’s Guild of Guides.

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Discover Benelux & France | Summer Sights & Attractions | Efteling

An absolute must-see attraction, no visit to the Netherlands is complete without going to the magical Efteling. Thrill seekers can try the new Baron 1989 dive coaster.

Enter a world of wonders At Efteling theme park in the Netherlands, stories come to life in a magical land surrounded by lush nature. From the very youngest to teenagers and adults, everyone can play the lead in their own fairytale while enjoying the fun and adventurous rides. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: EFTELING

“Fairytales and legends form the basis for the park, every ride has a strong storyline, immersing visitors in unexpected and exciting worlds,” says Fons Jurgens, the park’s board chairman. “From discovery rides such as Dreamflight and Carnival Festival for young kids, to thrilling roller coasters such as the Python and the brand new Baron 1898 for adolescents, there is something for everyone.” Efteling combines familiar characters by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault with new lesser known tales such as the Indian Water-lilies by Queen Fabiola of Belgium. “Take Baron 1898, it follows the saga of

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Gustave Hooghmoed, a greedy mine baron who is trying to delve gold in an area where the White Women dwell, mythical protectors of the fertile land as mentioned in European mythology,” he says. “This dive coaster takes you through the haunted mine in freefall at 90 kilometres per hour.”

At 200 hectares it is the Netherlands’ largest amusement park, giving visitors plenty to explore: six thrilling roller coasters, a haunted castle, tranquil boat rides, exotic wild water rafting, classic carrousels and thematic indoor dark rides. It also boasts a panoramic observation tower that showcases the park’s spectacular landscaping.

The park was founded in 1952 as the Fairytale Forest, which displayed ten tales in a beautiful wooded area. Sixty years later, the life-like, moving characters created by artist Anton Pieck are still admired by visitors. The forest now counts 28 stories, including The Little Match Girl, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and The Emperor’s New Clothes.

“Nature is really important, we actively stimulate it and keep our construction in balance with the green areas so it does not feel crowded,” Jurgens says. “We now welcome four million visitors a year and we have a clear vision to grow to five million a year by 2020.”

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Discover Benelux & France | Summer Sights & Attractions | Land van Jan Klaassen & Jan Klaassen Dromenland

For kids up to the age of 101 There is a theme park dedicated to children, without any queuing that is still relaxing for the parents or supervisors. To make things even more perfect, this theme park allows children to learn about theatre in a fun and unfettered way. TEXT: BERTHE vAN DEN HURK | PHOTOS: LAND vAN JAN KLAASSEN & JAN KLAASSEN DROMENLAND

The Dutch know them as Jan Klaassen and Katrijn, the English as Punch and Judy, the Germans as Kasperl, and the French as Polichinelle. Even though the stories and characters are different in each country, there are similarities: the main character is funny and has a kind soul, but is definitely not a rocket scientist, and all his adventures have happy endings.

ter playground, which looks like a street in Amsterdam. Rain or sunshine, there is always room for children to play. The puppet theatre is the largest of its kind in the Netherlands. There are performances three times a day, played by professional puppeteers. Each play is different, interactive and fun for kids all the way up to the age of 101.

‘Het land van Jan Klaassen’ (the country of Punch and Judy), is a Dutch theme park which was founded in 1978 by Marius Prein, who was a professional puppeteer for over 60 years. Nowadays it is run by his son Geert Prein, and the theatre has grown into a full amusement park.

There is also a wonderful puppet theatre museum, which is accessible through a hidden staircase. The museum shows different kinds of puppet styles, all made by Marius Prein himself. Marius has created hundreds, maybe thousands of dolls during his career, and some of his oldest, best and most extraordinary puppets are exhibited.

The park has 30,000 square metres of outdoor playground and 2,000 square metres of indoor playground. For refreshment on the very hot summer days there is a wa-

the park’s campsite called ‘Dromenland’ (Dreamland). There are some unusual accommodations available, including a fire truck, an American school bus and even a helicopter. visitors can also bring their own caravan or tent. The campground is located at the east of the beautiful province of Gelderland, and the accommodation is always combined with access to the nearby park. Also the great and charming restaurant on site has something for everyone, and can accommodate special dietary needs and wishes. Het Land van Jan Klaassen is a perfect, unique and carefree stay for the whole family.

To complete and extend the experience, there is the possibility to spend the night at

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Discover Benelux & France | Summer Sights & Attractions | Drenthe

Drenthe is a place for grownups to enjoy the nature and history while for kids, Drenthe is a huge playground.

Cycling through Dutch heritage in Drenthe Drenthe is like a secret chamber full of treasures: authentic, pristine and hospitable. The province harbours the most varied landscapes and valuable historical places of the Netherlands. It’s perfect for an unforgettable bicycle tour, during which its rich cultural heritage is right beneath your feet! TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PHOTOS: MARKETING DRENTHE

Thousands of bicycle paths lead you through the beautiful landscapes and idyllic villages and take you back in time. Drenthe is a heaven for both those who want to unwind during a relaxing bicycle ride or get the adrenaline going at an ATB track. Yvonne Cornax of Marketing Drenthe, adds: “Besides the many routes, Drenthe is host to various bicycle events, such as the ‘Drentse Fiets4Daagse’ in July, four days of cycling through everything the province has to offer. There’s no event like it in Europe!” Drenthe is one of the three northern provinces of the Netherlands and is mostly covered by a large national park with different, smoothly blending landscapes. This

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nature-rich area can be explored and enjoyed to the utmost by bike. You will find that Drenthe has many small but high quality sights and activities to offer. “Cultural heritage can be found in the streets. Local events are always happening and the tiny villages harbour valuable history. For kids, Drenthe is a big playground, because of the many sandy playgrounds, natural swimming ponds and family-friendly fun parks.” This unique landscape and cultural heritage, resulted in the first Dutch geo-park: the Hondsrug. For tens of thousands of years, Neanderthals and humans lived on this sand ridge. So keep your eyes peeled, as you may find the flint stones they used.

The famous dolmen, a legacy of the Neolithic funnelbeaker culture, are publicly accessible. In the fields you can still see traces of the carriages from mediaeval times. The Hondsrug is also where Drenthe’s only castle is located, which is now a hotel, in the welcoming city of Coevorden. Drenthe even has a famous admirer: Dutch painter vincent van Gogh praised the beautiful landscape when he spent some time in the south east of the province in the late 19th century. In the veenpark and van Gogh Huis you can relive the times of the famous painter. As van Gogh wrote in one of his letters: “I believe the land would endear and convince you.”

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Discover Benelux & France | Summer Sights & Attraction | Muiderslot / Walibi Holland

Seven centuries of history come alive TEXT: BERTHE vAN DEN HURK | PHOTOS: MUIDERSLOT

When children draw a castle, chances are they draw the Muiderslot. It is square, has five towers, a drawbridge and there is a moat around it. The castle is over 700 years old and the entrance is nothing short of spectacular. It was built around 1285 by count Floris v, who was eventually murdered by his own nobles. Nowadays the Muiderslot serves as a museum, exhibiting the most important parts of those seven centuries of history. Its most famous resident was historian P.C. Hooft. Today, he is best known for having an upmarket shopping street in Amsterdam named after him, but he really was a man of importance. For 38 years he was the bailiff of Muiden during the Dutch Golden Age. Famous for his poems, sonnets and plays he became one of the founders of literary culture in the Netherlands. Some call him the Dutch Shakespeare.

Muiden is an old, fortified town and everything is surrounded with water. The Muiderslot castle, just ten kilometres from Amsterdam, is easily accessible; there is a ferry service and via Yellow Bike there are cycling routes available (please visit the Yellow Bike website). A guide shows the 17th century rooms and a free app guides you through other parts of the castle. The Muiderslot is a part of Amsterdam history and offers a unique day out for all ages. And of course there is a nice tavern for a drink and a bite to eat.

In the castle grounds there are the 17th century gardens with vegetables of yesteryear and medicinal, paint and ornamental herbs. Muiderslot was also the most northern outpost of Dutch water defence lines. The 'Waterschild’, a largely sunken pavilion, reminds one of this captivating history.

Nerves, excitement and adrenaline TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PHOTOS: WALIBI HOLLAND

Need a boost of adrenaline? In Walibi Holland you can enjoy the largest collection of rollercoasters in the Benelux. Whether you love the thrill of height, speed or steepness, at Walibi you can defy the g-forces. In a beautiful green area near Amsterdam, you will definitely hear screams emerge from the carts of Goliath, the eye-catcher of Walibi. “It’s the highest and fastest rollercoaster of the Benelux,” explains sales and marketing manager Marc Antolioli. “You’ll rise to a height of over 46 metres and then take a nosedive of 70 degrees, at a speed of 106 kilometres an hour.” All other rollercoasters are about excitement as well. The Xpress: Platform 13 for instance, reaches a speed of 90 kilometres an hour in as short as three seconds. He adds: “And Speed of Sound loops six times, both backwards and forwards, while you’ll be enjoying some pumping music!”

Walibi has a total of five adrenaline-releasing rollercoasters, and of course everything you need for a day of fun. You can try different foods, go shopping and even enjoy the night in Walibi village, to save yourself some travel time. And it allows you to explore the area. Antolioli: “The beautiful fishing town Elburg is only a few kilometres away and Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet is half an hour’s drive away.” In addition to loads of fun, Walibi also offers business arrangements: a perfect way to get to know your colleagues or thank your employees in an original setting.

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Discover Benelux & France | Introduction | SAIL Amsterdam


Conquering the Dutch waters The Netherlands is a country defined by a unique maritime heritage that once took a small nation to unknown waters in a quest to discover new trading opportunities. Today, their maritime legacy is still alive and kicking thanks to SAIL Amsterdam’s impressive tall ship event. TEXT: CAROLINE EDWARDS | PHOTOS: SAIL AMSTERDAM

Once every five years SAIL Amsterdam showcases the Netherlands’ rich nautical history, inspiring more people to take up sailing in the process. Since it first took place in 1975, SAIL Amsterdam has grown into the largest free nautical event in the world, putting Dutch seafaring back on the agenda.

equipment, water, wind and sails. Sailing is much more than just trade and business, it’s a sport and a passion. More and more people get into this thrilling activity, buying small boats or trendy yachts, or go on a sailing cruise around the world. If you visit SAIL Amsterdam it’s not difficult to see why. Life at the sea is simply extraordinary.

SAIL Amsterdam The event takes place throughout the Dutch capital on Wednesday 19 to Sunday 23 August.

This year’s event will be the most impressive so far, encompassing more than 5,000 ships, including 120 tall ships along with both smaller boats and modern yachts from all over the globe. Not only can spectators witness the striking sight of a canal filled with historic sails, they can also enjoy an array of dazzling festivities on the shores. As something new this year, the 2015 edition of SAIL Amsterdam has divided the entire city into five different thematic oceans, spreading out even further than previous editions. The heart of the event takes place in the Orange Ocean (around the IJhaven quay), for cultural experiences head to the city centre, or Red Ocean, business takes place in the Blue Ocean (between the centre and the IJhaven), innovation is at home at the Green Ocean (northern banks of the River IJ) and for relaxation, you can retreat to the White Ocean (in northern Amsterdam). Inspiring the next generation of sailors is one of SAIL Amsterdam's missions. In a modern world ruled by digital technologies, it’s sometimes important to explore the joy of the good old days of analog

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The elite of luxury cruising A true force in the world of luxury yacht design, Princess Yachts has been perfecting its models for 50 years. Celebrating the golden anniversary this year, the company continues to excel in all areas of yacht design, from on board comfort and engineering performance. TEXT: MyriaM GwynnEd dijck | PHOTOS: PrincESS yacHTS

nothing short of absolute perfection is what Princess strives for, from the overall look through to the smallest of details. its models, from agile 12-metre vessels to its new 40-metre superyacht, also offer limitless options for customisation.

second steering wheel right above the helm. This allows you to control the yacht while enjoying the outdoors,” he continues. The S class combines the use of a smaller flybridge deck and sporty performance due to the deep V hull.

“we build the yachts in series but customers can make the ship their own by creating a fully personalised interior and choosing materials, hull colour and engine type to suit their style,” says Maarten Schalkwijk, director of Princess yachts Benelux.

with decades of experience, top quality marine engineering is guaranteed. known for their handling, Princess yachts offer accurate and responsive control at both high and low speeds. Schalkwijk adds: “These qualities are particularly evident in the V class, our sports coupé range.”

The fleet

at Princess’ advanced marine manufacturing facilities, engineers and designers take everything into account to deliver a yacht of quality and strength. “we combine cutting-edge design with tradition,” he says. “For example all our interiors are not just completely fleshed out using 3d software, we also built them entirely in

Princess yachts has three iconic ranges, the fast V class ships, the luxury Flybridge models and the hybrid S class. “The Flybridge is like the limousine of the yacht world, offering complete luxury and comfort. The name refers to the additional top deck where we’ve included a

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wood to make sure we deliver a flawless design. Only then the interior will be used for the yacht itself.”

A personal touch Princess has gradually revolutionised the yachting industry through its engineering and design but still values contact with its customers above all. “a personal approach to new and existing customers is paramount for us. we establish a close relationship with them that lasts the full duration of the building process and continues long after the yacht is delivered,” he says. By keeping in close contact with Princess owners, the company gets a constant insight into the performance of their ships. Schalkwijk explains: “Over the years we have collected a lot of feedback from customers and this is used by the yard to constantly improve our models. This helps

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Discover Benelux & France | Yacht Design & Engineering | Princess Yachts

A measure of success, the first Princess (Project 31) left and the biggest Princess (40 metres) right.

us to deliver luxury yachts with impeccable build quality, an intuitive layout and optimal power and maneuverability.”

A golden year Celebrating their golden jubilee, Princess will launch the new 35-metre model at the Cannes Boat Show in September. This vessel is positioned just under the 40-metre flagship model of the Princess range. “For this ship, as with all models, we have opted for the resin infusing techniques, which produces stronger and lighter boats. Thanks to this we can create even more interior space.” The 50th anniversary will be celebrated at Cannes Boat Show with a late night event as the highlight. Proud of their roots, the company is also working on the renovation of a boat called Project 31. As one of Princess’ first models, it will be given a complete overhaul to

restore it to its former glory. Schalkwijk: “This will showcase how far we’ve come; looking at our 50 year heritage and the leaps we’ve made in that time.” This first model boat will also be on display at Cannes.

Design perfection To help create an immaculate finish, Princess’ long-term partnership with the Moët Hennessy Louis vuitton group gives it access to quality decorations and furnishings by luxury brands such as Fendi. He explains: “A custom interior by Fendi, for example, adds another layer of exclusivity thanks to their high quality materials and recognisable designs.” Making use of all interior space, Princess Yachts are characterised by their spaciousness. “They look much larger on the inside than you would expect, reminding you more of a hotel suite than a boat in-

terior,” he says. “We want to unburden our customers and make them feel at home instantly on board.”

For the long haul Princess was set up in 1965 by David King and a few friends in Plymouth, England. Now, five decades later, the company employs nearly 2,200 members of staff with King still active in the company. With 150 dealers globally, Princess yachts have been sailing all over the world, particularly in Asia, America and Europe. With a focus on clean flowing lines and fine proportions, the look of a Princess yacht is both elegant and timeless. “We strive for durability and quality design, so we make sure the yachts look good even decades from now. A Princess is built to last,” Schalkwijk concludes

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Discover Benelux & France | Yacht Design & Engineering | Yacht Controller

Docking your yacht in a small harbour with effortless precision, without any stress or anxiety, is often the last piece of the puzzle to enjoy a completely relaxing cruise.

Docking made easy Docking your yacht in a small harbour can’t get any easier: with a few simple button touches, Yacht Controller allows you to navigate effortlessly through even the most difficult corners. TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PHOTOS: YACHT CONTROLLER

Sailing with a yacht should be a relaxing activity. Yet parking your yacht in a busy marina can cause stress and frustration, explains Yacht Controller distributor Tim Tiekstra. “From behind the rudder you usually have bad visibility. To navigate correctly, you often need to walk on deck and back inside again. This causes feeling of panic and not being in control. And of course it takes up a lot of time as well.” Yacht Controller allows you to navigate easily while you’re on deck, or even on shore. “It is a remote control, which gives you the freedom to maneuver your yacht to the exact spot you wish, by controlling the engines and thrusters.” The system prevents sailors from acci-

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dentally accelerating at the wrong moment. Tiekstra: “This happens more often than you’d think, and it’s almost impossible not to cause any damage when that occurs.” A Yacht Controller is not just very convenient, it is also a safety measure. To make the Yacht Controller even safer, it is equipped with a dual-band frequency communication system. “This is a unique way to communicate with your engines and thrusters. We guarantee a zero percent interference rate in the frequency.” The buttons on the Yacht Controller are similar to the regular operating system. “So you’ll know intuitively which button is for the bow and stern thrusters,” explains Tiekstra. But that’s not all: the re-

mote control is waterproof and it floats – these are must-have features for any nautical piece of equipment. Besides the convenient remote control, a wireless Yacht Controller joystick is available which is placed at the helm. “It automatically tells the system which direction to head to, and the system will activate any required combination of engines and thrusters,” he says. Yacht Controller is a world leader in remote yacht control. Its headquarters are in Italy and it was one of the first companies to develop wireless yacht maneuvering.

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Discover Benelux & France | Business | iwi Luxembourg

Luc RasschaeRt

The responsible wealth insurance manager When it comes to international wealth insurance, Luc Rasschaert knows the industry inside out. Currently the chief executive officer at IWI International Wealth Insurance, Rasschaert has over two decades of experience in the financial sector, particularly in banking, wealth management and insurance. teXt: MyRiaM Gwynned dijck | PhOtOs: iwi inteRnatiOnaL weaLth insuRance

set up in 1992, iwi is a Luxembourgbased company that specialises in solid wealth insurance solutions for an international market of high net worth individuals. iwi is particularly focused on Luxembourg, switzerland, France, Belgium, italy and the united kingdom. Rasschaert, who was appointed as ceO of iwi in October last year, explains what sets the company apart. “there are four things, firstly, we have a clear focus on our six key markets. secondly, our organisation is arranged by these markets which makes our team very reactive and it enhances accountability. thirdly, we focus mainly on sustainable, tailor-made and flexible wealth insurance solutions intended specifically for (ultra) high net worth international clients keen to protect, manage and transmit their wealth under the best legal and fiscal con-

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ditions. and lastly, we are the smaller player among the larger ones so we can challenge them by being more agile.” thanks to the success of its core europebased activities, iwi has looked further a field and opened two segments earlier this year, offering their services to residents of israel and Brazil and also accepting private equity contracts. Following a clear vision, Rasschaert is keen to continue to improve the company. he comments: “we are currently working hard to improve our internal efficiency, in particular by adopting improved processes in combination with efficient it solutions for a smoother operation. Furthermore, we want to grow externally and are constantly looking at new opportunities around the world that suit our profile. and finally we will continue our personal focus on the

customer. at iwi we make sure this is something tangible.” a close relationship with customers is certainly something Rasschaert holds in high regard, as he meets many clients on a regular basis. “i didn’t expect these to be such rich encounters. while these meetings can be demanding, our clients invariably have lively personalities and a lot of experience behind them,” he says. apart from good customer relationships, giving confidence in their services is also key for iwi. “it is our commitment to design the best solutions within the framework of a wealth planning structure, considering personal requirements and technical constraints.”

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Discover Benelux & France | Business | ACA

Luxembourg’s insurance industry safeguard The Luxembourg Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies, or ACA in short, plays a vital role in analysing the insurance industry in the Grand Duchy and abroad to guard the interest of its members. Marc Hengen, ACA’s managing director, spoke to us about their activities and future plans in a constantly changing regulation landscape. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: ACA

In short, could you explain why ACA was set up in 1956 and how it has evolved since then? At that time some 30 insurance companies were serving the Luxembourg domestic market. Except for three of them they were all subsidiaries of international insurance groups. The need was felt to create the association to protect the interests of these companies and to act as an interlocutor to the authorities. Could you briefly describe the core activities of ACA? Since then the insurance and reinsurance in Luxembourg has evolved a lot. Especially with the creation of the Single European Market for insurance in the 1990s, more activity was developed: many new undertakings established in Luxembourg

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to serve the European Market under the new Freedom of Services provisions. Today Luxembourg specialises in the Freedom of Services business writing 90 per cent of the premiums with clients residing outside Luxembourg. Why is it important to have an association for insurance companies? ACA’s activities consist mainly in following and analysing legal and regulatory evolution both in Luxembourg, other EU countries and on the European level. ACA defends the professional interests of the Luxembourg insurance and reinsurance undertakings. ACA is also active in the professional training of employees and insurance agents. ACA is actively promoting the Luxembourg insurance sector both in Luxembourg and internationally

by participating actively in most financial missions organised by Luxembourg for Finance (the promotion agency of the Luxembourg Financial sector). Where do you see opportunities for the insurance industry in the future? The insurance and reinsurance business has a challenging future before it. It has to cope with natural catastrophes, a regulatory tsunami, poor economic growth and low interest rates, all putting pressure on profitability of these activities. On the other side the need for insurance protection will not go down: the need for protection will increase also regarding natural catastrophes. Specialised in long-term activities, the insurance sector will strengthen its role in the personal protection market and in providing retirement provisions.

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Integrated across Europe. Headquartered in Luxembourg.

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Discover Benelux & France | Business | Lawyer Services

U N D E R S TA N D I N G L U X E M B O U R G ’ S L A B O U R L A W

The responsibilities and risks of business executives This special feature will briefly describe labour law in Luxembourg can help business executives understand the contours of their responsibilities and the risks inherent to their function. TEXT: HARUN OSMANOvIC | PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN KIEFFER (ONT) / ETUDE BELLWALD

Before becoming one of the world’s most prominent financial centres, the Grand Duchy was a rather isolated, mostly agricultural country. Last century’s industrialisation, in particular of the steel industry and financial sector, have played a major role in shaping the country and the social frameworks that are at play in contemporary Luxembourgish labour law. Having to constantly adapt to an economic and social environment prone to change, the Grand Duchy’s employment law tries to offer a quality legal framework that is flexible, modern and always

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able to respond to the specificities and needs of the market.

Some of the reasons behind Luxembourg’s success are:

tional and Luxembourg-based clients on a wide range of legal practice areas – from corporate law to private equity, investment funds, litigations or domiciliation services.

- A great social and political stability. - A legal framework that is modern and innovative, allowing enough flexibility to respond to the evolutions of the market. - Its high level of know-how and professionalism as well as a multilingual and multicultural tradition.

“Every executive with employees in the Grand Duchy ought to understand the legal context of the country,” explains Cédric Bellwald founding partner of the firm, “this is why the multidisciplinary, multilingual services we offer are suited to the most current legal, social and economic environment.”

It is in this context that the Etude Bellwald, an independent law firm, advises interna-

The constant globalisation of activities and services implies an inevitable need to

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Discover Benelux & France | Business | Lawyer Services

adapt, because these opportunities come with heightened responsibilities for companies and their executives too.

Business executive’s responsibilities and duties “Because of their position as a representative of the company, the executive is often on the front line in case of litigations against a third party,” says Bellwald. Whether it be a counterparty, an investor, a creditor or else, the third party that feels wronged by the activity of the company can hold it just as much accountable as the actual executive. The business executive has an obligation to undertake the actions required for the company to fulfil its statutory social objective. He or she must have an active role in insuring that the company respects all the legal, regulatory and statutory dispositions. “As such,” explains Bellwald, “business executives have an obligation to use prudence, diligence, information to the shareholders or associates and of confidentiality.”

Liabilities categories incurred by the business executive Firstly, there are common law related responsibilities. - In case of a wrong felt, the business executive can be held responsible for his actions by several parties. First and foremost, people who beneficiate of the action mandate can hold the executives responsible for errors committed in their line of duty. Thus, they can be held liable for results of poor management and passive behaviour that are detrimental to the company.

common law action can be engaged by anybody who feels prejudiced by the executives for serious misconduct directly attributed to them. It is, however, in cases of bankruptcy that the executive’s responsibility is most often questioned, and even if it is rarely the case, pecuniary consequences can occur.

Photo: Christian Kieffer

Secondly, there are criminal law related responsibilities. - In this instance, the objective is to sanction the offender by putting him or her in jail or through fines, ultimately not looking for reparation. Since the law of 3 March 2010, establishing criminal responsibility of corporate bodies, both executives and companies can face criminal charges. - When an offense is committed by a legal person, the criminal responsibility weighs as much on the said legal person as it does on the actual person through whom the legal entity has acted. The executives must therefore be cautious to respect the legal, regulatory and statutory provisions. Because the risks can be high and the subtleties of the law very complex, the law firm Etude Bellwald helps its clients before a litigation by preparing the right framework to avoid, but also, if inevitable, by representing them.

- The executives can also see their responsibility taken in consideration in solidarity, towards the company and any other third party, for any damage that results of an offense. For instance we can mention the cases where a company has a poor accounting practice, fails to publish information required by law, not convening the annual general meeting of shareholders and so forth. - On the basis of the articles 1382 and onwards of the Luxembourg ‘Code Civil’, a

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Discover Benelux & France | Business | Columns


Are lawyers terrible writers? Depends on how you measure. We all know that lawyers write long, convoluted, jargon-packed documents just to confuse the rest of us, right? Well, not quite. We nonlawyers may find legal documents confusing all right, but that’s generally just an unintended consequence. For most lawyers, job #1 is protecting the interests of the client. The documents they write are essentially just tools for accomplishing that goal. Whether any non-experts understand the document is not so important. But what if lawyers did write in plainer language? Would it help their business? Might it even make life easier for them in certain ways? Tialda Sikkema believes the answer is yes. A faculty member at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, she trains budding law students how to design, structure and write legal documents. The Netherlands has long been a leader in plain language, in part because it sees accessibility of the law as a civil right. Thus it is one of the few places where you will find someone like Sikkema: a non-lawyer with the job of helping law students think like lawyers but write like regular humans.

It’s an approach that is both idealistic and practical. While it is hard for anyone who learned traditional legal drafting to re-learn how to draft in plain language, new students can learn Sikkema’s way just as easily as the traditional way. Two features stand out in Sikkema’s approach. One is that students’ drafts are reviewed in class, meaning that identifying issues and possible solutions becomes a group exercise. The second feature is that the training doesn’t end with feedback. Students polish their drafts until they’re readable. As Sikkema notes, the process of writing always involves rewriting. And how do her students like the idea of being taught plain language? “That’s hard to say, since we don’t tell them that’s what they learning,” says Sikkema, with a sly smile. “We just present it as good legal drafting practices. But the more time they spend dealing with old-style

legalese, the more they come to appreciate the advantages of the new approach.”

Josiah Fisk

Josiah Fisk is the head of More Carrot LLC, a clear communications company with offices in Boston and Luxembourg.

A foolproof guide to doing business with the French TEXT: STEvE FLINDERS

Now that there is a nice Gallic flavour to this magazine, I offer my instant easy-to-use guide to doing business with the French. Language. Don’t take what people say too literally. Despite French pride in Cartesian precision, you should prepare yourself to wait for a while when you hear ‘Un instant’. Plus, ‘J’arrive’ in an office or restaurant usually means ‘I’ll be back ... sometime’. Business appointments. For a 9am appointment in Norway, I must be sitting down in front of the person I’m meeting in his or her office at 8.59am. In France, it’s enough to be at reception by then. How long you then wait is an indication of the importance of the person you’re seeing, or at least of their own measure of importance: ten minutes is standard, 20 for a higher-up. Meetings. Seniority is indicated by the order in which people arrive, the lowliest first and the most senior last (again, around 20 minutes after the

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scheduled start time). I have never understood how they manage this – it must be genetic. You may know when the meeting is supposed to start but not necessarily when it will finish. Shaking hands. British business people shake your hand when you meet for the first time and then will avoid physical contact until it’s time to say goodbye. Your French colleagues will want to shake your hand every morning, something I rather like. I once worked in a Paris company where the PDG (CEO) arrived around 9.15 every morning but kept his diary free until 11. He walked round the whole office shaking hands with 60 or so people, thus giving everyone a chance to raise any issues they liked with the boss on a daily basis, a great example of MBWA – Management By Walking Around. Opinions. You must have lots. Conversation and discussion are games of combat. If you don’t joust with opinions couched in the language of to-

tal certainty, they will be disappointed and may think you are a wimp. Rude? We love and are exasperated by the French in more or less equal measure. Maybe you will allow me a little licence if I tell you I’m married to one.

Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, now based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:;

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Discover Benelux & France | Business | Calendar


Green Growth and Travelism

Green Growth and Travelism

The Business Research Conference in Paris Paris, France, 13 – 14 August The Annual Paris Business Research Conference, organised by the Australian World Business Institute, will take place at the Crowne Plaza Republique Hotel in Paris. The conference will cover broad areas of accounting, banking, finance, economics, investment, management, marketing, and business ethics. This is a true adventure for any professional involved in business research between France and Australia. Future Networks and Communications Belfort, France, 17 – 20 August This year, University of Technology BelfortMontbléiard is ready with the International Conference on Future Networks and Communications. Covering subjects such as 4G wireless networks and systems, ad hoc and sensor networks and adaptation techniques for next generation networks and services, participants are bound to leave the conference with insight into the inventions of the future.

Laracon EU Summit

Green Growth and Travelism Hasselt, Belgium, 24 – 28 August The Green Growth and Travelism summer school, organised by the University of Hasselt, will take a close look at sustainable mobility and biodiversity from a highly green perspective. It is aimed at people involved in the travel and tourism industry. Enjoy mind-blowing talks, workshops as well as exciting field trips to nature parks, along with a visit to the EU Parliament.

This summer the University of Bordeaux offers an exciting conference, covering areas such as product sustainability information in public and private decision making, communication efforts, and the role of chemicals and materials in enhancing sustainability of product systems. The event is aimed at international decision-makers from science, industry, NGOs and public bodies.

The yearly EU Laracon Summit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 25 – 26 August The Laracon EU 2015 will unfold at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. The conference will be bursting with interesting speakers and workshops where you can learn more about the state of the industry, whilst networking with like-minded and diversely experienced developers. Ask questions, learn new skills and get enlightened. The International Conference on Life Cycle Management Bordeaux, France, 30 August – 2 September

Green Growth and Travelism

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Discover the best of Sommières as a ‘responsible tourist’ Successful summer holidays tend to feature sunshine - something that Sommières, in southern France, offers in abundance. The town’s encouragement of responsible tourism aims to ensure visitors also experience regional flavours and meet local people, with the aim of making vacations truly memorable. TEXT & PHOTOS: STUART FORSTER

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Discover Benelux & France | Authentically France | Responsible Tourism in Sommières

Just as social media popularises the concept of engaging and interacting with virtual networks, responsible tourism fosters exchanges with local communities. In principle, this means it’s possible for people to take home deeper, more meaningful impressions of the places in which they stay. It also helps boost a regional economy by encouraging outsiders to ‘think local’ and spend money at independent businesses. In the case of Sommières this could be at the stalls of the popular Saturday morning market, which draws 20,000 visitors every week of the holiday season, or in shops on the narrow streets of the old town.

Passionate about the region One such initiative active in and around Sommières is Passion Terroir, a network of people drawn from Languedoc’s hospitality industry. The group was founded in 2010 to fast-track connections between tourists and locals while introducing the best of the region’s produce. In addition to guesthouse owners and hoteliers, Passion Terroir has food and wine producers, som-

meliers and restaurateurs. Members are able to provide visitors with informed suggestions on where to go and what to do, meaning authentic insights into the region’s heritage and positive dining experiences, thanks to the recommendation of tried and tested places that are held in high regard locally.

such as Hervé Sauvaire, who operates a 28-hectare vineyard that has been owned by his family since 1660. The vaulted stone cellar of the Mas de Reilhe farmhouse is typical of the venues used for Passion Terroir’s meetings. After visiting an estate and hearing how the wine is produced people often feel inclined to make purchases.

Additionally, throughout the summer, weekly meetings are held at vineyards and guesthouses within a 20 kilometre radius of Sommières. These enable winemakers to showcase their produce while attendees bring regionally produced food to share at a buffet. It means people get an opportunity to socialise while pairing wines with the flavours of foodstuffs such as picholine olives, grown in villevieille, and Pélardon goat’s cheese, produced up in the nearby Cévennes Mountains using the milk of animals feeding on wild plants from the garrigue scrubland.

Staying local

The meetings provide visitors opportunities to come face-to-face with winemakers

In a region with numerous wine estates and a high annual output, winemakers have had to become innovative in order to stand out and boost custom. The Domaine de Massereau opened a campsite in 2006, to create a market for the estate’s wine, which is sold in the site’s shop and at its gourmet restaurant, La Source. The property recently became France’s first five-star campsite and the facilities include two swimming pools, a sauna and massage area plus courts for playing a variety of sports. The Roc de Massereau Adventure Park, featuring a high-ropes course and zip-lines, is also on the estate, by a loop in the River vidourle. The result encourages

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Discover Benelux & France | Authentically France | Responsible Tourism in Sommières

families to stay local, despite the nearest Mediterranean beaches being 30 minutes away by road. Increasingly, the Gard is proving a popular destination with walkers, cyclists and riders keen to mount one of the region’s white Camargue horses. Marked trails make navigation through the countryside easy. One of the newest routes is the 21 kilometre voie verte, meaning the ‘green way’, which cuts through the Domaine de Massereau, along what was once the Sommières-Nîmes railway line. The route passes by the town’s former station, which was renovated last

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year and now hosts the 23-room Hotel Estelou, whose lobby displays monochrome photos of the building in operation during the early 20th century. The voie verte’s three metre wide tarmac surface is open to use by all forms of non-mechanised transport. Additionally, circular cycling routes, such as Les Olivettes (21 kilometres) and Le vidourle (34 kilometres), provide rural impressions but bring riders back into Sommières.

Sommières top spots It’s worth exploring the picturesque small town, which grew up alongside the River

vidourle during the Middle Ages and today houses 4,500 residents. One of the most photographed locations is Sommières’ arched bridge, built in the 1st century by Roman engineers. Le Printemps des Pierres de Sommières is an association dedicated to maintaining the municipality’s buildings and heritage. This encompasses everything from erecting Olde Worlde style shop signage to major restoration projects. This June Sommières’ hilltop castle opened its renovated royal chapel to the public. An interactive interpretation centre now provides an overview of the town’s history, including insights into how King Louis IX made the castle his in 1248. The 25-metre high tower provides fine views over the terracotta tiles of rooftops in the town centre and surrounding hinterland. Thanks to local initiatives, visitors have reasons to stay and explore the streets and countryside below.

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Discover Benelux & France | Music Feature | Leaving Eden

Leaving Eden We’re sitting in a private members club in the heart of London’s fashionable Soho, where Frenchman Sven Hansen-Løve has come to promote his new film, Eden. For both Sven and his film director sister, Mia, the project represents a palpable ‘moving on’. After the films All is Forgiven, The Father of my Children and Goodbye First Love, Mia has finally closed the door on the lose trilogy she has crafted, to start afresh. Sven has returned to his first love, writing. TEXT: PAULA HAMMOND | PHOTOS: EDEN

Eden is the result, and tells the fictionalised account of Sven’s early life as one half of the French Garage DJ duo, Cheers. Garage music is an offshoot of American House, blended with disco, electro pop and gospel, producing something incredibly rhythmic and upbeat. The first Garage parties in the 1990s were wild, off-the-grid events promoted by word-of-mouth. “They were so new,” Sven begins. “Parties where you could feel really free, where everybody was smiling and happy … there were all these positive vibrations

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– and of course the drugs – which made it fascinating for a young man. It was a small revolution.” It wasn’t long before French Garage – or ‘French Touch’ as it was dubbed – took on its own recognisable sound. “Young French people discovered these parties and this music and they wanted to do their own thing with it. Something very catchy, and hooky, that you could dance to anywhere in the world,” Sven says. Cassius, Daft Punk and Dimitri from Paris all emerged from this burgeoning scene.

Suddenly French music was a phenomenon. “Before, no one outside of France cared much about French music. But with French Touch, France and Paris became the centre of a major scene. That was really big. It showed the world that French musicians are talented. This is still true, but for a while in the '90s they were the best in the world.” Sven and his friend Greg Gauthier soon found their place in the revolution. They began as guest DJs at the Erotica, a rundown strip club in Pigalle, followed by sessions at the What's Up Bar at Bastille. Before long, the duo were hosting their

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Discover Benelux & France | Music Feature | Leaving Eden

Sven Hansen-Løve. Photo: Andrew Kovalev.

own parties at La Coupole. “You can see La Coupole in the film,” he says, “and these parties were a high point for me. They were less glamorous than Le Queen, where Respect is Burning were having parties, but they were pretty intense because the crowds we had were really involved with us.” It was a scene that was refreshingly free from artifice. While hugely popular, the clubs were not difficult to get in, although there’s a running joke in the film about Daft Punk continually being refused admission. “This is a story that they told us,” Sven laughs, “and it happened again and again. The funny part is that the doorman you see at the end of the film is a real doorman who actually turned them away.” The band are friends from that formative era and were hugely supportive of the film. In fact, they agreed to take the low-

est royalty they could to lend their songs to the film, inspiring other musicians to follow suit. Without that, the soundtrack alone would have cost an estimated million euros. Deciding to live life purely for pleasure may sound like every teenager’s dream but Eden doesn’t pull its punches. Despite the high-energy soundtrack, there’s a melancholic theme running through the narrative of the film. Like the best music, there’s no light without dark and Sven’s fictional alter-ego, Paul, learns that you can't party for 15 years without some fallout. Sven: “The film reflects my own experiences. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was young but I fell in love with the music and I couldn’t see anything else. I put my writing and my life on hold. But after some

years I realised that I couldn’t move forward. I couldn’t go to the next level as a musician or a DJ because it wasn’t really my vocation. And for a while I was lost. It took me time to understand and move back to the writing. The hardest part was to say ‘wake up now, the party is over’. There was a long, long after party and I had a very bad hangover, as you can see in the film.” For Sven (and Paul), the spell woven by the music may have been broken, but Eden recaptures that little slice of ‘90s paradise.

Eden, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, is out now in cinemas in the United Kingdom.

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Discover Benelux & France | Lifestyle Column | States of Art


Outdoor art in Amsterdam TEXT MATT ANTONIAK | PHOTOS: ARTzUID

The fourth instalment of ArtZuid has arrived, and with quite a line-up. This year the open-air sculpture biennial features the likes of Ai Weiwei, Georg Baselitz, Michael Craig-Martin and Frank Stella to name but a few. In charge this year is curatorial legend Rudi Fuchs, who has chosen to present the works in 18 separate public ‘stages’ along the 2.5 kilometre route. Whereas galleries can be stuffy, stifling affairs, there is no risk of that being the case with ArtZuid. Outside in the greenery of Amsterdam, the sculptures stand majestically in the parks of zuid. People can feel free to walk around at their own leisure, as the exhibition is a real family-friendly show. The sculptures themselves are imposing and immediately impressive, and can be enjoyed by everyone. If you wanted a little more information about them, ArtZuid are also offering guided tours in English for 20 euros.

It really is a very impressive exhibition, with work from big-name artists that have been shown all across the globe. There are giant fungi on show, inflated silver stars and some Mickey Mouse inspired giants. But my personal favourite has to be Jaume Plensa’s giant optical illusion sculpture, Duna. It is an utterly mind-boggling feat of creation that stands like a digitally rendered sketch in the middle of the

park, all elongated and distorted. Truly one that has to be seen to be believed.

Left: Inflated Star and Wooden Star by Frank Stella. Right: Fork by Michael Craig-Martin.

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Discover Benelux & France | Lifestyle Column | Liz Wenger

Top five Luxembourgish animal expressions Apart from a fun way to learn additional vocabulary, animal expressions also allow you to learn a little bit about the culture of Luxembourg. There are hundreds of animal expressions in Luxembourgish, some clearly vestiges of old farming wisdom, others are colourful caricatures of animals to describe aspects of human nature. Here's my top five. TEXT: LIz WENGER

5. Dat war fir d'Kaz. That was for nothing (literally: that was for the cat). I wonder if this saying comes from the disagreeable nature of some cats: you feed them, but you don't get anything in return, so it was ‘for nothing’. In any case, you can use this expression next time your workout is immediately followed by eating a giant cake. 4. Wann d'Mais sat sinn, ass d'Miel batter. When the mice are full, the flour is bitter. When you're starving, everything tastes amazing, but when you're full, you fail to appreciate even the best of steaks.

3. Bal, ass nach keng Maus an der Fal. Almost doesn't mean the mouse is in the trap. Even though you might have almost caught that mouse, you still didn't get it. This expression can be said when you miss something by a hair's breadth or every time you almost (bal) achieve something, for example, that flight last month you almost caught. 2. E gudden Iesel stéisst sech nëmmen eemol. A good donkey bumps himself only once. When was the last time you made a mistake, not only once but twice, and you

said to yourself: "I can't believe I did that again?" That's exactly when this donkey expression comes in handy. Bumping into the edge of the bed, trusting someone you know you shouldn't, touching that hot plate that just came out of the oven, we're all bad donkeys at times. 1. Wann den Hond net geschass hätt, dann hätt en den Hues kritt. If the dog hadn't pooed, he would have gotten the hare. Another classic tale of missed opportunities. Afterwards you always know what you should or should not have done to reach your goals, but this time, you missed out. Better luck next time! Liz Wenger published the first English book to teach yourself Luxembourgish, available on

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Private Banking.

Sometimes 3 letters make all the difference Because you shouldn’t have to compromise to achieve excellence, ING Luxembourg offers you a full experience in Private Banking. Our experts in asset management, lending solutions, wealth analysis and planning keep up-to-date to offer you the most relevant advice regarding your overall situation.

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Out & About Being the busiest holiday month of the year, August is both warm and bustling with events. All around the Benelux and France, people are gearing up for the best celebrations of the year, from vintage car races to magnificent fireworks. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun, would you? TEXT: CAROLINE EDWARDS | PHOTO ABOvE: FIREWORKS FESTIvAL, DJAJA SETIADI, PHOTO BELOW: BRUSSELS SUMMER FESTIvAL, ERIC DANHIER

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Discover Benelux & France | Culture | Out & About

Brussels Summer Festival. Photo: Eric Danhier.

The Westland Floating Parade Westland, the Netherlands, 31 July – 2 August Do you like flowers? Well, at the Westland Floating Parade you get to see plenty of them. During the first weekend of August, 60 boats are decorated with flowers and vegetables according to a theme that changes every year, this year it is ‘seize the day’. At the end, it all comes together in a colourful floating parade that sails through Westland for three days. An historic celebration of tunes Bruges, Belgium, 31 July – 9 August visit one of world's most famous ancient music festivals, focusing on the historical informed practice of early music. MAfestival is currently a leading player when it comes to renewing and extending the concept. This year, it explores musical expressions of vanitas in both meanings of the word: vanity and transience. Get a taste of Belgium beer Leuven, Belgium, 2 August Hapje Tapje is one of this year’s most exciting culinary events in Belgium. Familiarise

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yourself with flavoursome Belgian beers and wander around the cosy food market with something for every taste. Discover the magic of gourmet cuisine whilst drinking rich Belgian beers, surrounded by historical buildings and, hopefully, a good dose of sunshine. The International Festival of Puppet Art Mirepoix, Ariége, France, 6 – 9 August MiMa, the International Festival of Puppet Art, is held every summer in the medieval town of Mirepoix in Ariège. Guided by a central theme, the festival opens its doors to young creators and artists alike, inventing thrilling art with many faces. The line-up showcases a variety of techniques, with object theatre, glove puppets, string puppets and marionnettes portées. So if you want to master the puppets once and for all, join MiMa in France. A sky lit up by fireworks Scheveningen, The Hague, the Netherlands, 14 – 15 and 21 – 22 August Every year the International Fireworks Festival in Scheveningen draws tens of thousands of visitors. In the course of the festival

several countries put on their best fireworks display in a glorious competition that transforms the area to a celebratory platform. If you happen to be in or near Scheveningen in August, you should definitely stop by. It’s like a warm version of New Years Eve! Brussels Summer Festival Brussels, Belgium, 14 – 23 August Each August the streets of Brussels are filled with musical tunes and world-class performers, ranging from soft pop to rock to loud electronic beats. With artists coming from all over the world, the audience will be in no short supply of concerts to attend. Enjoy the height of the summer with a memorable city festival. SAIL Amsterdam Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 19 – 23 August This is the biggest nautical event in the world. SAIL Amsterdam guarantees an impressive and incomparable fleet of tall ships, sailing heritage craft, modern ships, naval ships and replicas. The event is organised once every five years and attracts in excess of 1.5 million visitors, allowing

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Discover Benelux & France | Culture | Out & About

visitors to relish in maritime beauties (see page 48 for more).

La Chaise-Dieu Music Festival.

A city festival with fun on its mind Antwerp, Belgium, 20 – 23 August This is an urban festival for people who enjoy the good life. The Bollekesfeest celebrates all the products Antwerp is proud of, as well as its heritage and culture. Taste good beer, purchase traditional Belgium products, listen to music, and above all, have a good time. At Bollekesfeest you can mingle with locals and immerse yourself in Belgian culture. La Chaise-Dieu Music Festival La Chaise-Dieu, Haute-Loire, France, 21 – 30 August Set in mesmerising surroundings in the heritage site of La Chaise-Dieu near a charming French village, La Chaise-Dieu is a festival booming with historical vibes. Here, visitors get to enjoy baroque style concerts, classical as well as sacred music – but it’s much more than just a musical event. It’s also the perfect tourist attraction that takes visitors to gripping locations where music and history intertwine.

La Chaise-Dieu Music Festival.

Luxembourg Grand Tour Luxembourg, 28 August Are you ready for the Luxembourg Grand Tour? Pack your bags, start your engines and head to Luxembourg. More than 30 classic cars will take part in the 90 kilometre long tour that will please anyone interested in vintage vehicles. Explore the beautiful scenery of Luxembourg whilst indulging in some proper cars with people who share your passion.

Photo: Djaja Setiadi.

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Discover Benelux & France | Lifestyle Column | Diego Philips


I was not even born when New Beat started to take over Belgium. The only remaining memories are the platform shoes of my sister. But what we call now ‘the sound of Belgium’ is definitely a type of music that emerged in the country and that had an impact on electronic music worldwide, with bands like The Neon Judgement and Lords of Acid.

by Technotronic (yes, the worldwide hit is from Belgium!) solidified the influence of the sound of Belgium and spread New Beat across the world. Preceding Hardcore Techno, New Beat had a major influence on the rave culture in Belgium and bordering countries such as the Nether-

lands. In 2012, director Jozef Devillé immortalised the Belgian New Beat scene in his documentary The Sound of Belgium. The film gives a sense of the impact New Beat had, not only on Electronic Dance Music (EDM), but also on the wider society at that time. It is packed with interviews of producers and artists from a broad spectrum of interests.

Starting from Chicago in the early eighties, when House Music came to Europe, the emerging Belgian club audience instantly fell in love as DJs were playing it to please the new audience. New Beat is very close to what is known as Rave Music today, straight but with heavy rhythms and a load of bass. Belgian producers started creating music with ingredients from House, Electronic Body Music and New Wave; post-industrial music styles that mixed electronic forms of punk. DJs experimented with samples and vinyl, playing the records at reduced speeds. The success at that time was huge and the underground clubbing scene expanded rapidly in Belgium. As New Beat music became a style in its own right, people from all over the world came to the country. The release of Pump Up The Jam

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wishes you a pleasant flight Delen Private Bank is a family-run wealth management firm. As a family business, we take a conservative, long-term approach to managing clients’ assets so as to preserve their wealth and generate sound growth. Our methods are based on the Delen core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, reliability, and a long-term vision, coupled with a business culture that emphasizes harmony and cooperation. We seek clear, simple solutions that stand the test of time. Learn more on our website,, or contact one of our branches to schedule a meeting with one of our advisors. Centre Descartes - Route d’Arlon 287 L-1150 Luxembourg - +352 44.50.60

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