0
Spacer
Spacer
11.09.2021

THE PEOPLE BEHIND ESSENTIEL ANTWERP

MARTHA DOBBERSON
Spacer
For our latest The People Behind Essentiel Antwerp, we’re taking you to our Styling department and are having a chat with Martha Dobberson, our British Assistant Designer. We talk about the start of her adventure at Essentiel Antwerp, the process of designing and how it’s like to work close together with our Co-founder and Creative Director Inge Onsea.
Spacer
Spacer

How did you start your career at Essentiel Antwerp?

Martha — My career here first began in 2018 when I applied for an internship at Essentiel Antwerp. I was on a placement year during university and had already interned in London for six months. But working and living in Europe was always one of my goals! Essentiel Antwerp spoke to me through the colourful, feminine floral prints and bold silhouettes, characteristics of my own design philosophy, so I knew it was a place I would fit into. The internship was only meant to be 4 months, but I loved the city of Antwerp and working with everyone here so much that I extended the placement until the end of summer. It was really a summer of love! In the autumn I went back to the U.K. to finish my fashion design degree in London, and just as I graduated a job vacancy opened up in the styling department. The timing was just right! I came to discuss it with Inge (Co-founder and Creative Director Ed.) and Tom (Art Director Ed.) and accepted it straight away.

Spacer
Spacer
Spacer
"So much creativity and knowledge go into every design! We begin with inspirations, mood boards, bursts of colour, print and fabric swatches. Then the designs begin, focusing on silhouette, shape and the exciting details that make Essentiel Antwerp so special."
Spacer

We’re loving what you’re wearing now. But what goes into making a design? What’s behind these designs?

Martha — So much creativity and knowledge go into every design! We begin with inspirations, mood boards, bursts of colour, print and fabric swatches. It is really exciting to see Tom and Inge’s ideas building up and taking form. Then the designs begin, focusing on silhouette, shape and the exciting details that make Essentiel Antwerp so special. My job is to funnel and finalise this information and make it clear for the suppliers I work with. I spend my days transforming the sketches and ideas into technical drawings, making detailed specifications and fitting samples until they’re just right. I make sure the suppliers have all the information needed to bring the designs to life and create a beautiful collection.



What are you working on at the moment?

Martha — My job role can be divided into two main aspects, Assistant Designer and Production Assistant, so my day-to-day job is always changing. I’m currently working on at least four collections, all at different stages! This can be challenging at times, but means every day is different and never boring. I follow the designs from initial sketches all the way through until production and into the stores. I really love that about my job as I can see the development the styles have made and the charming final collection they have grown into. But for me, the most exciting part is always the newest collection just starting to take form. For now, this is the Fall 2022 collection – my favourite season to work on.

Spacer
i i i i i i i i i i i i
i i i i i i i i i i i i
Spacer
Spacer
"Inge is great fun to work with! I love to have a boss so passionate and driven in the office, as it really sets the tone for the rest of the team."
Spacer
Spacer
Spacer

What’s it like working with Inge Onsea?

Martha — Inge is great fun to work with! To work with Inge is to work with Essentiel Antwerp as a whole – it’s exciting, creative, at times chaotic but always thrilling and motivating! I love to have a boss so passionate and driven in the office, as it really sets the tone for the rest of the team.



We also have a London store, which happens to be your hometown. What does Essentiel Antwerp offer to the British market?

Martha — Essentiel Antwerp offers a bright injection of colour to the British market. A standout brand whose fashion is unapologetic, bold and energizing, giving life to the concrete jungle! The Sloane Street store is really cool, and the neighbourhood is artistic and perfect for Essentiel Antwerp.

Spacer
i i i i i i i i i i i i
i i i i i i i i i i i i
Spacer
Spacer
"The Essentiel Antwerp style is refreshing, intriguing, effortless and unexpected! I love that you can wear the brand casually but also styled up glamorously. There’s always something for someone in one of our collections."
Spacer
Spacer

How would you describe the Essentiel Antwerp style?

Martha — The Essentiel Antwerp style is refreshing, intriguing, effortless and unexpected! I love that you can wear the brand casually but also styled up glamorously. There’s always something for someone in one of our collections.



How would you describe your own personal style? Where do you see the match with Essentiel Antwerp?

Martha — My style is quite relaxed and laidback. Even if I wear one of our Essentiel Antwerp blazers, I’ll normally pair it with jeans and a pair of trainers to make it more ‘me’. I also love a bright, colourful knit paired with our tailored trousers, or in summer you can never go wrong with a floral dress. Of course, no outfit is complete without the accessories – I love jewellery and tend to mix my Essentiel Antwerp fun-loving earrings with my own vintage gold hoops to create a look of different layers.



You work in a very creative environment; how do you express your creativity in your free time?

Martha — Expressing creativity has never been a problem for me. I feel most at ease when I’m using my hands to create. Whether that’s sketching, painting, photography or knitting (a hobby I picked up during lockdown!), I always love to experiment and make. The creativity even extends to the kitchen where I love to cook and mix up interesting ingredients!

Spacer
Spacer
Spacer
Spacer