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Shirt WIFTYFIFTY | Jeans WRAPPER
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Shirt WIFTYFIFTY | Jeans WRAPPER
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09.07.2020

WHAT ESSENTIEL ANTWERP WEARS

AUDREY VAN DER VELDEN
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Meet Audrey Van Der Velden, our Freelance Accessories Designer, who invited us to her stunning apartment in Antwerp and gave us a glimpse at her accessories journey at Essentiel Antwerp.
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Audrey, please tell us, how did you land your career at Essentiel Antwerp?

Audrey — It all started 15 years ago. I stumbled upon a job in production via a headhunter. Inge (co-founder and creative director, Ed.) was pregnant so I had to follow up on everything. The brand was very small back then. After a holiday break, and a long beach walk, I realized that I really wanted to design purses. I had experience in fashion, which gave me the courage to propose my new idea to Esfan and Inge (co-founders, Ed.). Look how well that turned out!



How did your job evolve? What is your job today?

Audrey — I'm a freelance accessories designer now. The Essentiel Antwerp bags, jewelry, belts and some sneakers are all designed by me. It starts with a briefing from Inge and Tom (Art director, Ed.). They tell me about their plans with the main collection and what the colors will be. That's when I start my preparations and research. I come up with a plan for the accessories I want to realize and then it's up to Inge and Tom to make a selection. Afterwards I can get started with the technical drawings and development.

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Jumpsuit WATSUIT | Earrings WOOSH

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What's the favourite part about the job?

Audrey — The freedom and trust that are given to me here, which I find very typical for Inge and Essentiel Antwerp in general. I also really enjoy the variety that my job entails and the energy around here. To me, Essentiel Antwerp represents a very nice atmosphere combined with lovely people pursuing the same goal and who are all happy with their job. That must be my favorite part.


For your job, you're always looking for inspiration. Where do you get inspired for your personal style?

Audrey — It's true that I'm monitoring new trends in fashion anyway, yet I like vintage clothes the best. The shapes or qualities aren't always up to date, but the finishes are so beautiful. I like to combine something new with something vintage, preferably something that doesn't match. When it comes to clashing combinations, it's the more the merrier.

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That fits in here! (laughs)
Do you choose your outfits the evening before or the same morning?

Audrey — I choose my outfits in the morning, purely based on how I feel and the weather. I also take comfort into account. A whole day in high heels like Inge, that's impossible for me. I just put on sneakers which makes me more energetic and do everything faster.



Who inspires you style-wise?

Audrey — I get inspired by people who stand out in their very own way. I think about Nina Simone, Iris Apfel or Dolly Parton. Inge also! Women who have and embrace their uniqueness are the strongest to me. I don't like boredom and grey mice.



What's your style secret?

Audrey — No secret, no rules.



What advice would you give to people who want to work in fashion?

Audrey — I would advise them to follow their heart and gut feeling. Give it your all and don't follow the crowd. Be stubborn and have your own opinion.

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