Meet this Belgian knitwear designer, as she talks about her work and shares her most special place, in images and words.
At age ten, Stéphanie Anspach knew that couture would be her life. She wanted her own brand—and sure enough, she launched it age 22. Nothing fazes this daughter of a painter and an art history teacher. She learned dressmaking from her grandmother, a teacher at La Cambre. She opted for knitwear, a more intimate material than fabric, and sold her first collection of sweaters, all white, in 2014, selling them door-to-door to fashion stores in Brussels. Her designs will be available in Paris this winter at Victoire and L&M Market. A knitter herself, she knows what demands she can reasonably make of her Antwerp studio and factory – which also work for Dries Van Noten. Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Henri Rousseau, Rothko and her own artist friends are all inspirations. She only listens to American rap, for the strength and confidence it gives her. She selects Loro Piana wools and colors, hand-sketches the models and patterns and draws up the technical specs. Only 20 percent of her time is devoted to designing. Then she has to wait, patiently, for the prototype. She loves the garden at the Van Buuren Museum. She says that if she had to stop it all one day, she’d grow vegetables in the country using new farming techniques and without social media. For the time being, she starts every day with a contemplative swim, and boxes every week to decompress.
“The place where I feel most at home is in the arms of people I love, be it my mother, my boyfriend or just a friend, depending on the moment. It feels like a safe bubble, a haven of peace that’s comforting and protective. I’ve loved being held since I was very small, although I was unaware back then of an adult’s “everyday life,” of life on the “outside.” A cuddle feels untainted, uncluttered, pure and light.”
© Tine Claerhout - Valentin B. Giacobetti - Vincent Chenut - Lee Wei Swee