Behind the scenes at Essentiel
Yesterday I went to the main building of Essentiel Antwerp for a visit behind the scenes organised by the magazine Feeling. Essentiel is a Belgium fashion brand with stores all over the world. I felt SO blessed that I was able to do this visit. I've always loved the brand because of their beautiful take on fashion. I think that Inge (who founded the brand) has such a cool taste and vision. I'm currently writing this blogpost, still totally overwhelmed from excitement. Inge has motivated me SO much to always work hard for your passion. Passion is what strives us. Find your passion and work hard for it. You'll get rewarded in the end!
I took my beautiful fashionista friend Shannen with me. You already know her from our awesome collabs.
The tour started with a "small" piece of cake and drinks. I had the chocolate cake, not so much vegan but yeah, I don't really mind because it was delish!
After a warm welcome, Inge told us a bit of the history of the brand and how she started it all. She used to be a model and started with a small line of T-shirts. Esfan Eghtessadi was a son of a fashion designer and wanted to work with her for making the shirts. The success became bigger so they were able to expand. Then Inge started to design clothes for women and men. The men-clothing line is way smaller than the women's line but that's what the brand is all about.
This all happened in the year '99. The next year, when they became bigger and bigger, they were able to open a first store. Inge went for Antwerp, the city of fashion, DUH! She told us that she wants to work and stay working in Antwerp because of the vibe that's going on here (disclaimer, I am from Antwerp haha). So after opening the first real store in 2000, with an all women's line, they wanted to have a mens line as well. In 2004 they founded the mens line.
If you want to know more about all of the history of the brand, make sure to check out their website! Also, if you're interested in the vision and inspo of the brand, they have an awesome blogpage on the website as well.
Here's a view on their Antwerp showroom and a small sneek peak of their line. What you'll find most in the collections: a lot of vibrant colors, some lovely prints and pastel colors. All their clothes are super wearable but still very fashionable.
The prices are not that expensive in my opinion for such great quality. Inge also mentioned that she always looks for the best quality of fabrics. She doesn't want to sell low quality clothes.
Below my 2 favorite pieces of the collection. A BEAUTIFUL mint green purse (because, that color though). And the perfect trendy blazer. I've always wanted to have one of these blazers. I see a billion girls on the streets wearing them but I can't find my own one. Plus, I don't want to have that exact same print that everyone already has, Essentiel has the exact one that I'm looking for, with a slightly different print. Winner!
Then we went on to the tour through the building in Antwerp. All of the ICT, fabric choosing, social media, merchandising, marketing etc. happens here so it was super awesome to do this visit. To walk through the process of creating clothes. Inge finds her inspiration in vintage clothes that she finds all over the world. Then she lets her team recreate these prints. With her co-designer they also choose to change the colors in the patterns. So they find inspo in old clothes and then they make the patterns their own.
Another way how their creative process works: she lets an artist at her workplace create a beautiful print, handpainted. Her team then has to find a way to let this pattern repeat itself so that they can use if for like an entire t-shirt instead of just one detail.
This is by the way the view from the workplace. I mean, inspirational view right? In the front you can find these vintage pieces where they've found their inspo.
No big deal, this is just me with a true fashion INSPIRATION of mine! I went for a total black look, because this is me... and she totally owned my look with all her colors. I love having sober clothers because I'm a bit afraid of color. I think I just need to have her confidence!
BTW, that thingy on my hand, also totally me. That morning, I fell with my bike and my hand hurted a bit, it was kinda blood everywhere and my wrist that I couldn't move. Awkward, clumsy Steph.
After this inspiring after-work session, we went home with a great Essentiel/Feeling goodiebag. Inside the bag was the collab T-shirt from Esssentiel and Feeling, A cute makeup bag from Essentiel and ofcourse the Feeling magazines.
Thank you Feeling and Essentiel for this opportunity. I felt so blessed. Sometimes, I just LOVE my life!