"Discover a brand-new Belgian High-End Lounge Fashion Label. Fall in love with the art of simplicity. Be part of our universe representing a sense of relaxed and timeless elegance."
Model Citizen App is the platform where we recognise fashion models, photographers, designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, creative directors, bloggers, stylists, and labels around the world. Every day, we feature an individual on Model Citizen Interviews. People get to know each of them - their hopes, challenges, aspirations and inspirations in life.
We hope you enjoy our interview with Pieter Van Wilder of the exciting brand-new Fashion Label, Van Wilder.
What inspired you to start your fashion label?
In first stage my passion for drawing and playing with fabrics, colours & different textures in order to create something ‘physical’. Something which reflects your inner-you and thoughts as a designer being. Also having the ability to let people enter into your ‘universe’, to create connections and let them shine bright by giving every single person the opportunity to show & translate their very own personality. This strengthen my believe in making the world a little bit more beautiful. To create that feel good moment we all are looking for and to let people embrace beauty in all aspects of life.
Who is behind your fashion label?
For the moment it’s just one single person. Me – myself & I : Pieter Van Wilder. A 33-year old lover of all aspects of lifestyle you can ever imagine. Fashion Designer – Creative Art Director – Image and Fashion Stylist - Make-up Artist. After being graduated at College in Brussels and the Academy in Dublin, I have worked as a freelancer & voluntary in Belgium and New York to get experienced within different aspects which were required to me to fine-tune my artistic talents. I have travelled also around the world to get in contact with different cultures to set out a base as human being before deciding to create my own world, where fashion – design & general lifestyle goes hand in hand. To be honest, it was a long journey to be the man I am today.
How many team members do you have right now on board?
It’s just me, my fantastic mom (who gives always her honest opinion – but she’s just a great support to me) and 2 casual staff members who takes care of the graphic design & artwork. Furthermore, I do take care of every single aspect by myself : sketching, sourcing, prototyping, marketing, model casting and so on. Luckily, I have also a trustful manufacturer in Europe who takes care of the production process and who answers all my requirements. I am convinced that sometimes it’s hard to deal with me to satisfy my expectations.
What is the process behind creating new fashion designs and how long does it take?
It all starts with a basic idea & some theme words. It can be triggered by anything : something I spot when walking in the city, by having a chat with a person, by a song or music video and so on. I start making the mood board and step by step the idea gets translated in some raw sketches. Once the basic lines are drawn it takes me a couple of sleepless nights before the capsule collection gets concrete and then the real adventure can start to translate it in something physical. Let’s say the whole concept from idea to finishing can easily take 8 to 10 months!
What is your vision for your fashion label?
In general the lounge fashion label VAN WILDER is based on the Japanese philosophy where ‘naturalness’ and ‘minimalism’ is the general guideline representing a sense of relaxed and timeless elegance. Taking this into account it’s my mission to translate every single silhouette into a wearable piece of art where detail, the perfect fit and the use of high-end appreciated fabrics meets each other. As a newbie in the fashion industry, I hope to find my way, and step-by-step, I will make sure to share my vision : “Simplicity is the key to Ultimate Beauty!” The lounge fashion label VAN WILDER targets modern and independent women and men who wants to take her/his outfits from daytime casual to evening chic wear.
What are your customers' most favourite collections?
The lounge fashion label VAN WILDER is brand-new and only launched mid-September 2016. So this capsule collection, having the name ‘Simplicity is the key to Ultimate Beauty’ is the first collection under private label. The feedback I receive so far is really surprising. Customers like the idea of the one size fitting and are blown-away by the fabrics; especially of the leather and the buckskin and appreciate the finishing touch (like f.e. the branded lining and labelling).
What is your personal favourite collection?
Honestly, I am quite proud on the realization of this first capsule collection. It took me a lot of time to come out with something which, in my opinion, translates almost everything I would like to tell with the fashion label : sensual, powerful, elegant, flattering, trendy, streamlined and most important of all timeless and wearable for almost every occasion. I will not try to start trends or keep to them. I simply want to create silhouettes which flatters a woman’s or man’s body and strengths their own personality, allowing them to personalize and customize their own look to be ‘unique’.
How did you discover a need for this type of product in the marketplace?
I love the fashion industry in general and appreciate every designers point of view. Artists and fashion labels should allow themselves to stand out of the crowd and to follow their own vision with respecting others in the market. Personally I wanted to create something sensual, smooth & comfortable with a timeless character allowing stylish women and men to shine bright in simplicity. The one size character of the outfits is quite innovative and tricky business. However, I have a clear target audience in mind and, as a fashion stylist being as well, I know that these kind of outfits will only find his way to a selected type of fashion lover.
What has been the most challenging aspect of getting your brand off the ground and how did you overcome that?
Being known has been and still is the most difficult and challenging obstacle. It’s a tuff process, probably for every company, which takes a lot of your energy level. You always need to think one step further to get recognized and try to get in touch with the right people allowing you to create a network you can rely on. I am convinced people would love what you do, and appreciate the hard labour every designer invest in the creation of his/her idea, should they only know you existed.
What are two aspects of business in which you believe a new brand should invest resources?
First of all, quality high photography & visuals which is clear to your audience telling the story you would like to communicate as a designer and/or label. In my opinion this is a crucial aspect to get appreciated and recognized within the industry. You can invest a lot in your brand, but when you show up with a picture taken out of nothing, nobody will believe you are a professional paying attention to detail. It’s a necessity part within the communication process. Secondly, be able to be reachable and talkative to your audience. Especially as a small label and/or upcoming designer, you can make the difference to let people enter into your ‘universe’.
What are the services that consumers can take advantage of from your company?
With the lounge fashion label VAN WILDER I will be more then only a fashion brand launching on a regular time a new collection. Creating connections, informing people and trying to stimulate the feel-good feeling is crucial. For example, when purchasing a dress out of the capsule collection, women gets automatically a gift card to join a beauty make-up at our atelier in Belgium or a professional make-up studio. Customers can also win a professional photoshoot including make-up & hair and styling. They only need to share a photo wearing a VAN WILDER outfit on Facebook and/or Instagram linked to our account. It’s an incredible incentive and for a lot of them a once in a lifetime experience. Keep an eye on VAN WILDER because we do have some other nice things coming up (also internationally)… all with the same mission : to get in touch with you and to give you a moment of relaxation to blow away of all the daily routine & stress. Beside these services which I see as ‘standard’, I would like to grab the opportunity to show my love for charity as well with the fashion label. When purchasing a VAN WILDER item a certain percentage goes to a Belgium art project against cancer, named WARRIORS PROJECT (www.warriors-project.com). Having the opportunity to inform your customers to purchase with a mission is an added value to step out of the crowd and to create a feeling of satisfaction. This reflects also one of the reasons why I have launched the fashion label VAN WILDER.
Any pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs who want to open similar labels like yours?
Wish it. Dream it. Do it.
How do our readers buy your products? Do you ship internationally?
I have an online store at www.vanwilder.eu and do ship internationally. To all readers, you can join free shipping when using the promo code MODELSCITIZENAPP at check-out process. Furthermore I have several ‘showpoints’ where you can spot & buy the outfits (for the moment only in Belgium). But I am always looking for some international collaborations. So feel free to get in touch with me.
Do you collaborate with fashion bloggers? How do you collaborate with them?
I prefer to get involved with personalities matching the values of the lounge fashion label VAN WILDER in general. I have had some collaborations with f.e. Dami Im (Australian Singer), Marlène De Wouters (Belgian TV host – journalist – author & ex-Miss Belgium) and Axelle Dauwens (Belgium Athlete). Personally, I see in these woman the perfect ambassador of the brand and are glad to see them wearing one of our dresses during an event or for an interview in a luxury lifestyle magazine. Do you recognize yourself in the values of the brand or do you know somebody, please feel free to get in touch by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org! I love to hear from you and am always open to check the collaboration possibilities.
Facebook : VAN WILDER - Fashion Designer & Stylist (https://www.facebook.com/vanwilder.eu/)
Instagram : @vanwilder.eu
Website : www.vanwilder.eu
Email : email@example.com
Photo Credits : @vanwilder.eu
Photographer : Pieter De corte
Models : Joyce Verheyen - Godelive Kasongho - Kim Poelmans - Gabriel Rodriguez - Karog Altijd Makeup Artist : Nathalie Baert - Tine De Greve (Make-Up Designory Belgium)
Stylist : Pieter Van Wilder
Hair Stylist : Inne Cuyvers
Fashion Designer : Pieter Van Wilder
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