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Conversations

Cedric Jacquemyn

Published by Branko Popovic | Conversations
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Menswear designer Cedric Jacquemyn is one of the new generation designers from Belgium. He is based in his birth town of Antwerp. He graduated cum laude from the renowned Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 2010. He developed his dark yet romantic men's wear aesthetic into a ready-to-wear brand in 2011.

Cedric's work is defined by a sensitive touch, sculpting natural fibers into slim, flowing garments imbued with historical, ethnic and mythical significance. The choice of natural fabrics, the use of minimal designs and the contrast in the use of both dark and light colors create an atmosphere of both awareness and illumination.
The story behind each collection is a continuation of ecologic and social stories, starting with the disappearing of the Icelandic glaciers, the cultivation of the Amazon rainforest and remains of lost tribes and their culture.
His collections are produced in Belgium from beginning to end, with some couture handmade pieces in his own Antwerp atelier.

Please introduce yourself.

I graduated from the Antwerp Academy in 2010. Before the academy I attended a preparation course in an arts school. I fell in love with painting there. In fact I still paint.

Where are you from originally?

I am from Antwerp and have stayed in Antwerp. Sometimes I am a bit jealous of all those people who make a big move in their life, being surrounded in the academy with people from all over the world was super inspiring.

You have presented your latest collection during Paris Fashion Week. How did it go?

It was full on craziness as we are still a small team with just myself and my partner, Yves.
Basically a lot of sleepless nights and as we tended to take the stress and work with us home, we decided half a year ago to move to a new atelier and a new apartment around the corner.

Pulling it all off is quite a lot of work, luckily we have our interns and two amazing guys, Daniel and Cyrille in Paris, who help us to prepare everything related to PFW.

What is the concept behind your latest collection?

The inspiration for this collection is a continuation of the previous where I illustrated my interest in preservation of the disappearance of ethnical tribes, nature and our consciousness. This feeling is  the starting point for the latest collection 'To The Depths Of The Last Reserve Part II'. I was inspired by the disappearance of nature parks, tribes and their legacy in the amazon forest, deforestation and oil. This is translated in the use of natural materials, like tree bark, alpaca knits that resemble this organic feeling, in contrast with hammered guidi leather, that with its shiny surface resembles oil.

How’s life as a designer in Antwerp?

It feels really great to be surrounded by young designers here, people trying to make their dreams comes true. It feels nice to be in a city that is so close to everything, London is a 45min flight away, Paris is accessible by train in two hours. It is a great place to call home, a safe haven “far” away from fashion week madness.

What are your favorite hotspots in Antwerp?

What I love in general about Antwerp is the old industrial character as soon as you head to the northern part of the city. In the weekends it’s nice to go to places like Vitrine, Patine, Hopper, just nice bars to have drinks with friends. I love to go to dance performances in “de Singel”.  The last one that I saw was one by Jan Fabre, a solo for Cédric Charron.

My most favorite shop is THE RECOLLECTION, a truly inspiring place, specially since the owner Vincent shares my love for ethnical artifacts. We always have a lot to talk about and also the shop on its own has beautiful furniture, everyday objects and plants you never see anywhere else.

What place/city do you find most inspiring?

I’m not such a big city person in general, thats probably also the reason why I stayed in Antwerp.
The most amazing places I’ve been to that I remember as a child was 10 going to South Africa.  Those nature parks left a lasting impression on me. Last not but least the camping-trips Yves and I did in Iceland will always inspire me.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Dark, moody and poetic. I’m very aware of our preference for black but for me this is a way of putting focus on material, structure and texture.

Why did you choose to design men's clothing?

Because I can relate to it more, it is a reflection of myself.

Anyone you admire and would like to work with in the future?

Michael Borremans, Sam Dillemans, Mark Manders, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Tapies.

Did you always want to be a fashion designer?

Not at all. Fashion is something I rolled into, it is something I grew to love more and more, something that I can’t live without anymore.

What kind of music can be found in your recent playlist?

Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds, Sigur Ros, Alva Noto, Thomas Köner, Shed, Function. A mix of modern classical music and industrials soundscapes.

Find out more about Cedric here
Words by Branko Popovic
Photography by Ricky Florack
Category Conversations
Tags The Way They Live, Ricky Florack, Branko Popovic