Tom De Poortere

People Tom De Poortere

23 June 2017

Meet Art Director Tom De Poortere – the man of many ideas, the yin to Inge Onsea’s yang. Recently he renovated his apartment and of course we were invited to have a peek. We must say, we were so amazed that we didn’t want to leave…

Your personal style

In my opinion I don’t have a particular style, and I guess that is my style. I’m so interested in a lot of things and I don’t want to limit myself, so I really mix everything together. Streetwear with designers clothing, with classic or preppy… everything goes! 

Your investment piece

Every season I invest in something I really want. I don’t really care about “timeless” or “staple” so it could be anything… I bought this huge oversized neoprene lined coat from Raf Simons that surely is a keeper. Also in the ESSENTIEL men’s collection I try to apply this method, so I invested in the double face cashmere coat that I literally use all the time!

Essentiel Antwerp

Your interior

I recently renovated the apartment with my husband. It has a bit of a vintage Californian vibe because of the white brick walls, and we love our exposed concrete ceilings. We really took out everything of the existing apartment and we started again from scratch! We took out all the walls, so our apartment feels a lot bigger now. We added some surprising touches like a pink dressing that contrasts well with the dark blue Japanese tiles from the bathroom. And I am so happy with our big new kitchen with an open “window” where friends can hang while I’m cooking. Now, it is still a bit minimalist (we just moved a couple months ago) so we need to “dress it up” a bit more with plants and carpets and stuff, but it is nice to have such a bright open space!

Your furniture

Something we really needed when we moved back in was a couch, since we never owned a decent one before the renovations. So, we have this nice blue velvet super comfy couch! Another eyecatcher is the cabinet that my husband designed and that we made together! It is inspired by “marquetery” and it is done by laser cutting and then assembled with plexiglass and plywood pieces like a puzzle. The result is a baroque futuristic piece that is truly unique. For the rest, it is still sparse, but as I want to invest in good pieces I prefer to keep it sober and take my time to add a great piece when I find one.

The inspiration behind your home

As we worked together with the architect Nicolas Petillon for this renovation, the inspiration was like a 50’s Californian style, but in the end, we were mainly inspired by our needs and expectations of the existing space. We really expressed our needs, and Nicolas translated that very much exactly the way we wanted it to be.

Essentiel Antwerp

What makes your home, your home?

My husband David!

What do you most like about your job?

The variety and the pace of my job. The fact that every day is never the same and that so many things happen at the same time. Working on three collections at once makes you stay focused and alert and I like that. There is never a dull moment!

What has been the most unforgettable memory at Essentiel?

All the parties that we throw with ESSENTIEL are unforgettable. And the fact that I don’t consider what I do every day as “work” says enough.

Essentiel Antwerp

Things you are into lately?

For the moment, I am into old school American punk, that is linked to the skater scene of the nineties. I am also into re-runs of EXTREME MAKE OVER HOME EDITION and I am very much looking forward to the new season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

Favorite app you are into lately?

I check DE REDACTIE often to keep up with the latest news. With all the recent events all around the world, I find it very important to stay informed. I also like the new “stories” on INSTAGRAM.

Last picture you took with your phone?

Some detail shots of nice buttons for the new collection. (hahahaha)

Essentiel Antwerp

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Kim Gordon is a huge inspiration, both her work with Sonic Youth, as her solo projects and her art. I like KINGDOM because of his new and experimental take on R&B and the amazing music he puts out on his label FADE TO MIND. And recently I discovered OATHBREAKER, a metal band from Gent who makes this ear shattering emotionally heavy music that gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it... And also the singer Caro Tanghe who has become a friend.

Favorite city to go for shopping?

Milan, great shops with a true respect for everything beautiful, and the best food around every corner! Same goes for Hong Kong! Different kind of food though…

Favorite restaurants around the world?

In Antwerp, it is CAMINO. It offers great Asian inspired dishes with a nice twist. Go for the miso glazed beets or the Korean rice bowl with pork belly!
In Shanghai I love to go to DIN TAI FUNG, for the amazing XIAO LONG BAO. Dumplings with a hot bouillon inside that you eat with ginger and vinegar! DELICIOUS.
In Milan, it is GIACOMO: Really nice authentic Italian food in a gorgeous setting. 

Favorite place for lunch?

One of my favorite places is CAROTTERIE 2000. This is a vegan lunch place run by one of my best friends Peggy Acke. She makes the most delicious vegan salads full of flavor and she sells this vegan sausage roll that I love! The other place is almost next door : Ko’uzi is a small sushi place with a surprising menu. The creative sushi’s are my favorites!

Favorite place?

My apartment! I relax completely when I am at home, and with my busy life outside, I love coming home.

Essentiel Antwerp

Muntstraat 4, 2000 Antwerpen

Carotterie 2000
Sint-Jorispoort 12, 2000 Antwerpen

Da Giacomo
Via Pasquale Sottocorno, 6, 20129 Milano, Italy

Din Tai Fung (Xintiandi)
South Block Plaza,
2/F, Lane 123 Xingye Lu, Shanghai

Leopoldplaats 12, 2000 Antwerpen