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Q&A with Derek van Heurck - Bellerose

We are very, very proud to be the first UK store to collaborate with Bellerose on a shop within a shop. Bellerose has long been one of our very favourite brands and this Project has been such a treat to work on. We sat down (virtually, I'm afraid, though we would have loved to make the trip to Belgium) with the Creative Director, and very busy man, Derek van Heurck to chat about all things fashion.

 

Shop The Bellerose Project Space ►

A portrait of Bellerose Creative Director Derek van Heurck

Bellerose Creative Director Derek van Heurck

We're extremely excited about this project. How have you approached it in terms of design and product?

 

We’re extremely excited too! This is our very first collaboration of this type in the UK, so thank you so much for having us. We tried to put together a selection of items that fully represents the brand and that also works with the vibe that you guys have at The Hambledon.

Line Drawing of the Bellerose Les-Clayes-sous-Bois Storefront

Les-Clayes-sous-Bois

Line Drawing of the Bellerose San Sebastian Storefront

San Sebastian

Line Drawing of the Bellerose Amsterdam Storefront

Amsterdam

Line Drawing of the Bellerose Brussels Storefront

Brussels

Line Drawing of the Bellerose Antwerp Storefront

Antwerp

 

Your stores are beautiful, and all different. What will The Hambledon space look like?

 

Thanks! It’s true that all our stores are different, we don’t like a standardized approach and prefer to let each store have its own character. Sometimes we’ll strip down a certain space to make it our own afterwards, but often we leave a lot of the original interior intact. What’s beautiful already doesn’t need to be changed, we just add some of that Bellerose flavor, like design furniture, vintage lamps and tables and so on. In this case, we thought The Hambledon’s store space looked great already and matched well with our style. So, we decided to just merchandise our pop-up area the Bellerose way and put a lot of colour in the selection.

 

The Hambledon X Bellerose Project Space

 

Is there such a thing as a Belgian aesthetic?

 

Yes, but it’s a mix and match of a ton of different styles. Because we’re a small country, we’re very open to whatever happens around the world and take influences from all over. As you probably know, Brussels is only a few hours from Paris, Amsterdam, London or Cologne. That proximity already says a lot. Whether it is architecture or decoration, we love juxtaposing different styles and elements. We can easily imagine living in a Parisian style apartment with Scandinavian decoration and furniture, for example.

 

American Graffiti inspiration
Scandinavian wooden home interiors
American Graffiti inspiration
Cyclist's garage in Tokyo

Our clothes are inspired by a wide range of things too. Tokyo is as much of an influence as New York, while the different European styles, from French refinement to Scandinavian minimalism, all rub off on us too. Take all of that and you’ll end up with a Belgian collection.

 

Will there be any products exclusively available at The Hambledon?

 

Yes, we produced an exclusive series of upcycled bags for you as a gift with purchase. We have been trying to find ways to waste less and recently started using leftover fabrics to create super nice bags in different shapes. The ones that you guys have are only available at The Hambledon.

A selection of exclusive upcycled Bellerose bags

A selection of exclusive upcycled Bellerose bags

Brussels Beer Project

Dandoy Biscuits

Tell us about the beer and the biscuits for the party. Typically Belgian?

 

Yes, you could say that. The biscuits were made by Dandoy (https://maisondandoy.com/biscuits), friends of ours from Brussels that make some of the best biscuits known to man. We’ve collaborated with them in the past for a Christmas biscuits box and love what they do. The beer was also Belgian (of course), made by a young Belgian company called the Brussels Beer Project ( https://www.beerproject.be/en/project/) that wants to give a modern swing to our rich beer tradition.

 

How do you manage to design collections for Mens, Womens and Kids which are both different from each other and clearly Bellerose?

 

The point of departure is always the same: that mix of different cultures and styles we discussed earlier, topped off with some Belgitude. For every collection, we all work with natural, noble fabrics for the most part, we discuss a common palette of colours and share (some) fabrics, checks or even prints. After that, the different style teams and designers go to work and create their own collections, using their creativity to put their own spin on everything.

 

We like to think this is one of our strengths and find it important that those 3 collections all share a common theme or thread. We’re a family business and a family brand, everyone can get dressed in Bellerose.

 

Bellerose designer sketching
Bellerose Headquarters exterior
Bellerose Office Life
Bellerose production factory
Bellerose creative office
We’re a family business and a family brand, everyone can get dressed in Bellerose.
Bellerose clothing display on a tree trunk
Bellerose moodboard

 

How do you create a good ambience in your shops? What music do you play? How do you choose your staff?

 

When we design our stores, we love working with contrasts. So, you’ll find concrete as well as lacquered mahogany, broadloom carpet and rough wood, new and old objects, all creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Musically, it’s a similar mix: jazz, soul, indie rock, hip-hop, classics and contemporary stuff – as long as it’s cool.

 

Regarding our staff, there’s a real Bellerose community and we try to work with that. We select people that understand the brand and what we’re about, people that can transmit our DNA to our customers. Core values like friendliness, authenticity, passion, an open mind and humility are crucial.

 

Bellerose Store Interior
Bellerose Store Window Display
Bellerose Store Interior

 

How many collections does Bellerose design in a year?

 

4 for women (plus our Rose capsule collection), 2 for men, 2 for kids.

Next to that – just like you – we curate a selection of quality items by other brands that all add something extra: sneakers, accessories, denim, stationery, interior objects and much more.

 

What was the design inspiration for SS20?

 

The theme of the collection is “Urban Tribes” and its inspiration comes from the bold and self-assured street styles that one can find in the biggest African cities. An amazing mix of vintage 70s and 80s clothing, sportswear, designer gear and so on, all in unexpected combinations and vibrant colours.  

 

Bellerose SS20 Kidswear

Bellerose SS20 Kidswear

 

I think this is the first time you have collaborated on a project in the UK? Why The Hambledon?

 

Because we love you. The lifestyle that the store radiates, the selection you have, the team behind it all. We’re fans of all of it.

 

The Bellerose Logo

 

 

Blimey. That's quite an accolade. Have a look at all the unique womenswear and menswear from the lovely folks at Bellerose here.

Shop The Bellerose Project Space ►