People are fan of what the Belgians are doing,
and it seems to be going beyond the persona of Pieter Porters. Did we receive some kind of quality label?
– In other countries, certainly. Off course, in the fashion world we’re very well renowned,
although we’re not really realizing that here in Belgium. If you’re talking about persons such as
Kris van Assche or Raf Simons, the main designers at Dior they need to sign autographs when they’re going in Paris, for example, whereas in Antwerp nobody would know who they are. For the interior design world the same thing is happening:
People come to Belgium when thinking about interior design. Same thing for the Belgian brands:
I was promoting Belgian brands over there (in Moscow) For instance, ORAC, a Belgian brand:
When I go to the United Arab Emirates, everybody knows ORAC. Here in Belgium, people ask me what they do.
ORAC makes mouldings for walls, ceilings and so on. Arte, for instance, makes wallpaper…
– The sheiks really do love their wallpaper and frames. Exactly, Arte is a company known all over the world…
– Could you draw a line in what’s typically Belgian? The design you make is totally different of the design of others.
– Let’s have a look at what designers such as Axel Vervoordt are making. It’s quite the opposite.
– Exactly, when we compare it to one of your designs… you can see similarities, but also lots of differences. Is it possible to define what’s typically Belgian?
– In other countries, people talk a lot about the “Flemish style”, because of the fact that some brands are really doing well:
some brands, decorators and designers are doing very good. But can you see it?
– Yes, well actually, the atmospheres of Vervoordt, Gert Voorjans, and many more are very pure.
And at a certain moment, people start talking about this “Flemish style”. I for one am a little different,
because I’m doing exactly the opposite with my collection. For me, it’s “more, more”
and I even dare to exaggerate every once in a while. But what does that “Flemish style” stand for?
The Flemish style is pure and pays attention to the details In other countries people come and check it out when
we bring in an interior or even a kitchen because people are not used to the number of mouldings we use,
to the level of detail we dare to put in. Every time more people come to Belgium to do Interior shopping.
When you look at Maison & Objet in Paris, the biggest interior design fair in the world:
everybody is there: architects, decorators, purchasers,… And when you look at those who are doing good over there,
you’re looking at the Belgians. It has been a long time that Scandinavia and even more Denmark
was considered as the standard. Could we just steal that crown? Could we reach that far?
– I think so. I think we are much hipper than Belgians would think,
but the problem is often that we are too modest. That a typical Belgian phenomenon in all kinds of contexts;
You notice it everyday: in fashion, in everything. We are very humble people.
If we would only collaborate for once and set up a decent trade fair here in Brussels
and maybe even get some support from the government, we could be top class.
– First it has to happen in other countries before it turns hip in Belgium? Yes, that’s the typically Belgian thing:
when you’re doing good in other countries you will get recognition in Belgium.
Otherwise it’s difficult. Thank you very much, Pieter Porters.
– You’re welcome.