We first noticed Pierre-Antoine Vettorello about three years ago with his graduate collection at the Antwerp Academy. This summer we rediscovered his talent at Fashionclash, a young designers platform. His capacity to design outstanding shapes in combination with unique textile design makes Pierre-Antoine distinctive in the giant designer pool.
Pierre Antoine was already spotted and awarded by ‘the right people’ in the fashion industry: Antwerp Academy teacher and designer Anne Kuris, fashion journalist Veerle Windels, fashion icon and blogger avant-la-lettre Diane Pernet, backstage photographer Sonny van de Velde and Arise Magazine… We met up with the humble globetrotter in a big co-working space in Brussels, next to the gentrificating neighbourhood at the south end of the Rue Dansaert. Here he works in an office space for young talent, sharing the room with a jewel designer.
ILB - How did you end up in Brussels after living in Bordeaux, Paris and Antwerp?
After graduating at the Royal Academy of Antwerp my goal was – like many others – to go work in Paris. After sending out my resume, I got accepted by Balenciaga. But in the meantime I met my boyfriend, who already lived in Brussels. Knowing that I was not happy in Paris, it felt natural to come back here and design my own collection. I wanted to be more distant form the hysterical fashion crowd in Paris.
ILB – So actually you came back for the sake of love, that is beautiful! How did you experience starting your own project?
After a successful project with a friend during Lagos fashion week, I looked for funding and a working space to start my own brand. I really took my time to build a strong brand and company, which is something you don’t learn in Antwerp. The big difference is that in Antwerp we had to create attractive showpieces, but after graduation you kind of need the vista to sell too.
ILB – How did you experience your runway show at Fashionclash?
It was a very intimate collection and great opportunity for me to showcase my work. I used to design collections at school that where shown at the end of the year. But now, I know that when I do not show my collections properly on the catwalk, it is like nothing ever happened.
ILB – Who is your favourite Belgian Designer?
Definitely Dries Van Noten, for his optimal choice of fabrics and the research behind it. I also used to be a fan of Martin Margiela, but now I believe they are selling the spirit of the company.
ILB – You also have an eye for designing fabrics, what can you tell us about that skill?
I am still impressed by Dries Van Noten, so this is actually what I am working on by myself. For the Spring Summer collection Kuba textile, an African style that is really geometrical and optical, inspired me. Before studying in Antwerp I studied Textile Design in Paris and there I learnt to make fabrics interesting. This skill is actually making my job more difficult and time consuming (laughs). Sometimes I would love to choose a simple fabric and work only on the design, but I always feel the need to add some embroideries.
ILB – Where do you see yourself in a few years?
I would like to stay in Brussels. But it is my ultimate goal to host my own collection at Paris Fashion Week. This year I will be in Paris with FFI and I recently got in touch with Romain Brau to be involved in a project at RA Paris.
ILB – That leaves us with the last question: ‘Why do you love Belgium?
I love Belgium because it is a country where you can really feel free, you can speak whatever language you want. You do not have this kind of uniformity. Everyone is different and that is what makes Belgium so special and unique. It is a really welcoming country in my opinion, creating a lot of opportunities.
ILB – Thank you Pierre-Antoine!
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