forwardView The Photo Gallery
You may assume that Vlisco was a West African firm promoting to the Dutch, however in truth fairly the other is true. Vlisco have been making conventional batik material in Holland since 1846, when Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen based the corporate. Because real Indonesian batik was very labor-intensive and subsequently costly, he noticed a chance to automate the dyeing course of to make the materials extra reasonably priced.
Combining Dutch craftsmanship with West and Central African trend, style and elegance, the materials have been recognized colloquially as ‘Hollandais’ (from the French for ‘Dutch’) and have been bought by native distributors to rich Africans for greater than a century.
Each design begins with a hand drawing (like those pictured above) by one Vlisco’s workforce of designers who may be based mostly in Eindhoven, however who come from nations as numerous as Mexico, Cameroon, France, Britain and naturally the Netherlands.
The designers may discover their inspiration from Africa—whether or not it’s from landscapes, day-after-day objects, conventional kente material or tribal artwork—however more and more they’re additionally drawing from worldwide developments, Islamic geometrical patterns, trendy music and pop artwork.
Creative Director Roger Gerards stated: “A lot of our designs are named by our shoppers. As quickly as they’ve given names to them, they’ve adopted the product as their very own, as if they’ve baptized it. We are the daddy making the product, however our shoppers are those that identify them—there’s a large emotional connection there.”
“The designers are so autonomous and free that we will make these daring designs that basically differ from one another. They actually encourage me. Pattern designs are the supply for the entire model, and the way we talk,” Roger stated.
“We have an enormous archive as an organization and have collected archives from different corporations too. We have Indonesian materials courting again to 1850,” says Roger. “But we’re on the verge of turning into a brand new Vlisco, and we’re giving a glimpse of that in Dutch Design Week. We’ve developed luggage and scarves in Italy; a totally totally different assortment from the present West African materials.”
“We’re definitely going international, which suggests we might be promoting merchandise worldwide—merchandise different than simply materials, merchandise born of our distinctive design laboratory,” says Roger.
Our journey to Eindhoven was supported by Airbnb.com.