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30.06.2020

The person behind our "INCOGNITO" T-shirt

KATINKA VERMEYLEN
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The T-shirt featuring the winning design of our #BattleBoredom creative contest has arrived online and we couldn't be happier with the result. As we both share a passion for design and creativity, we had to get the full story behind the winning artwork.
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Pictures by Sumi Arcos Mina
(@simpelwegsumi)
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How did you get into photography/creative design?

Katinka — When I was 15 years old, I bought my first SLR camera with my savings. After graduating high school, I went to the introduction days of Sint-Lucas school of arts in Antwerp. From the very first moment I knew that this was the right thing for me to do. I was super excited to suddenly be surrounded by all kinds of creative people. In 2015 I got my master's degree in visual arts, specialized in graphic and advertising design. Soon the euphoria of getting the master's degree was turned into a reality check. I worked for a couple of businesses and gained experience in different creative teams, both as a photographer and a graphic designer. Although it was very insightful, it soon became… kind of boring. I didn't get the energy and adrenaline I was looking for, so, I decided to start working part time as a self-employed creative. Awesome! I started working for my own clients and decided for myself which direction my designs would take. After a few years working like this, I took the plunge and became fully self-employed. Best decision so far! As a creative person you need freedom to develop yourself. That's why I don't focus on just one discipline and profile myself both as a photographer and designer. It's exactly that package that gives me a lot of energy and inspiration.

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What was the idea behind your submitted artwork?

Katinka — My entry for the #Battleboredom contest is based on a photo I took in 2019 at the runway of the Antwerp Fashion Department. The link with Covid-19 is probably quite obvious. The model on the catwalk is focused on his behavior, the same way we have to be as of late. The model's 'mask' makes him unrecognizable, just like the people in the streets wearing masks today. I made the link with fashion because Covid-19 also has a big impact on the fashion industry. On one hand fashion brands were super-fast to present the most beautiful designed mouth masks, but on the other hand the Corona-break gave them time to realize things could also be done differently. Slow fashion is slowly gaining ground and gradually becoming the new norm.

In all my illustrations I gather insights from fashion. I love dressing up the people I draw because: EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! Since the clothes in my drawings come from my imagination, I'm free of restrictions of real fashion like price tags, material and production costs or processes. I can just imagine the best possible version in my drawings. I use my photographic eye to draw the model on the right spot, so I get the composition I am looking for. Sometimes people react to my drawings by saying that they would love to wear the clothes in the picture. Though I feel flattered, I have no experience in fashion design. However, I would love to design my own fabrics someday!



What do you like about Essentiel Antwerp?

Katinka — Your drive! Essentiel Antwerp started as an Antwerp-based brand, but in the meantime, it grew out to be a strong player in European fashion. The daring combinations of colors, prints and text make the pieces recognizable and unique. These are the 'Essentiels' of a well-built and powerful brand.

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Thank you to Katinka Vermeylen (@studio.kathan) for the original design and for her willingness to be an incognito model for a day.

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The T-shirt will be sold online only and all proceeds will be donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to help the World Health Organization fight the pandemic.
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