Belgian designer Christophe Coppens shuts down business
last week i received a very impassioned yet disheartening announcement that christophe was shutting his business down. the milliner extraordinaire is known for his quirky hats designed for everybody under the sun,music and fashion alike,such as roisin murphy and yohji yamamoto,lamented the struggle with this climate not just economically but the standards and ideals the industry has succumbed to. sadly,this isn't even the beginning....we've already seen a few belgians fall by the wayside over the years due to financial struggle.....jurgi persoons,veronique branquinho.....even bruno pieters was forced to shut down his signature label as a result but has returned with a new initiative.
here's an article that contains some of his remarks....i'll try to find a full post in english if i can.
The acclaimed Brussels fashion designer Christophe Coppens announced last week that he was quitting because of the financial crisis. ‘Because the price is too high and the goal longer justifies the means,’ he wrote in a blog.
Born in 1969, Coppens trained as a theatre director and actor. His first costumes were designed for the stage and in 1990 he launched his own collection. Known for his flamboyant hats, Coppens desiged for Yohji Yamamoto and Guy Laroche, as well as working for members of the Belgian royal family.
Coppens was an immensely versatile designer, working on exhibitions and performances in Brussels, New York and Tokyo. He ran two shops in Brussels (for men and women) as well as a third outlet in Tokyo, and produced two men’s and women’s collections a year.
But it finally became too much for the designer. ‘It has always been difficult, and difficult is OK,’ he said in his blog. ‘But the past years have been unbearable, and inhuman.’
Ambitious plans abandoned
Coppens recently announced an ambitious plan to open a new workshop in a former department store in the Marolles. He was also planning to open his first shop in Paris. But debts finally forced him to stop.
In his blog posting, Coppens blamed the financial crisis for his decision: ‘banks no longer play their part as banks and factories can’t afford to take any risks’. He also argued that ‘wages are no longer payable in Belgium’ and ‘producing quality products in limited quantity is almost impossible’. It is difficult to take risks in these circumstances, Coppens said. ‘It is about restraint, cut, omission, reducing, being careful.’
Coppens is not the only talented Belgian designer hit by the financial crisis. The flamboyant Antwerp designer Walter Van Beirendonck was forced last February to shut his Antwerp concept store Walter and file for bankruptcy following mounting losses
Maybe, just maybe, his business shut down because he made ugly hats that nobody bought in the first place.
No, no, I'm just kidding. Does anybody have any images to share of his work? I love reading about the milliners moreso than any other craftsperson in the Designer Accessories category, but I can't say I've ever heard of him. I'd especially love to see what he whipped up for Yohji.