Belgian multi-brand store ZEB hosted an exclusive fashion exposition at The Mills in Antwerp to celebrate the release of three new collections that will become available very soon. Hip hop artist Tourist LeMC designed recycled streetwear clothes (a premier for ZEB) and actress/model Astrid Coppens created her 21st collection for the brand. On top of that five Young Designers were given the opportunity to express their talent in their very own limited edition collection. If you want to get your hands on one of these unique pieces, make sure to be ready when these collections drop on October 12th!
Text & pictures Mirte Spaey
As we walk on the pebble road towards the entrance of Antwerp’s brand new event location The Mills, we are enthusiastically greeted by event hosts. In the garden outside, people are chatting away between the beautiful catalpa’s while they await the start of James Cooke’s speech. Inside, a line begins to form behind the beautiful Martini cocktail bar.
Astrid Black Label
“Everybody sees it”, James Cooke says when Astrid Coppens enters the stage. “You look beautifully pregnant.” Astrid Coppens proudly looks down at her round belly: “Thank you, it is very hard to miss!” As Astrid has already been working with ZEB for about ten years, she now presents her 21th collection for the brand. “Even though I’ve worked with ZEB for so long, it is still so exciting every time I present a new collection. I keep on wondering whether people will love it or not, but in the end my clothes always seem to be received quite well. I think that’s because people know I only design pieces I wear myself and that are of good quality.”
“The clothes are inspired by my song lyrics, which are on their turn inspired by daily life: the people I meet and the things I do.”Tourist LeMC
ZEB’s recycled boy
When Tourist LeMC joins James Cooke on stage, the latter starts telling an anecdote. “About six months ago, you called me saying you were working on something and thought it might be something for ZEB. Since I’m an ambassador for the brand, you asked me to put in a good word for you.” Tourist laughs and responds: “That same night I was already talking to people of ZEB, so you did very well.” Now, Tourist launches his very first fashion collection for the stores. “The clothes are inspired by my song lyrics, which are on their turn inspired by daily life: the people I meet and the things I do.” Quotes such as ‘Tot hier toe alles goe’ (so far so good) and ‘en route’ (on my way) give the pieces a unique and recognizable look. “I designed shirts, sweaters and sweatsuits and went for a casual sporty style.” His wife Marta Mataczynska helped Tourist with the female pieces of the collection. “Tourist is ZEB’s recycled boy”, James says, because he is the first one to ever drop a ZEB collection that is completely recycled. “I think that’s really cool”, Tourist says. We agree!
After his chat with James, Tourist and his wife Marta sing his song ‘Adem’ (breathe) together. Their voices sound so magical together that the entire crowd becomes quiet during the entirety of the song.
This year, ZEB also decided to give upcoming talent a chance to prove their worth by designing a collection for the store. A professional jury selected five people which were named Young Designers of the year. ZEB’s CCO Isabelle Samson says she initially found that commitment quite daunting. “But now I am so happy we stepped out of our comfort zones, because that is where the magic happens!” The lucky ones this year are Marguerite Tenot, Lucie Baseke Kaisala, Arno Camps, Aysegül Öz and Zexian Liu. On the second floor of The Mills, the artists were each given their own display room for their collection. The styles in each room are very different: some collections contain light and flowery pieces, others dark and streetstyle outfits. You can tell the designers were given complete freedom with their designs, as they are all so different. By the time we leave the display rooms, we feel inspired by all the unique styles. These Young Designers collections are numbered limited editions, as every piece was only created in a limited number of 100 pieces. So if you want to get your hands on one of these unique pieces, make sure to be ready when these collections drop on October 12th!
Visit www.ZEB.be or a ZEB store near you to take a look at the new collections yourself!