An anaemic economy means there’s less cash to go around, but despite that, collaborations between designers keep flourishing in fashion. Patrick van Heurck – director of Bellerose in Belgium – has teamed up with British designer Nigel Cabourn, famous for his outerwear pieces. Both men are fascinated with vintage clothing as well as clothes that have their roots in workwear and utilitarian styles. Here we discuss the twosome’s collaborative effort – a tailored duffle coat, due to be part of Bellerose’s new menswear line.
Have you known each other for a while?
Nigel: About 2 years. I discovered Bellerose a while ago and was always into the company’s stores, aesthetics and design philosophy.
Patrick: Initially, I approached Nigel, because I wanted to sell his garments in our shops. I think we hit it off straight away and share some values.
What would those values be?
P: I like the notion of authenticity in clothing. It seems to run in the family, as my son Derek – who is in charge of the menswear line – understands this as well. We’re often inspired by vintage items, which stand the test of time. I don’t like gimmicky clothes.
N: I have collected vintage clothing for over 30 years now and have more than 4,000 pieces in my archive. I can completely relate to what Patrick is saying.
Why did you decide to focus on the duffle coat?
N: Duffle coats are a favourite of mine and there’s always some sort of duffle coat in my collection each year. For Patrick, I think it was important to focus on Belgian fabric and have the item manufactured here.
P: I have to say I love them, too! Actually, the name derives from Duffel, a town in the province of Antwerp where the material originates. Duffle bags used to be made from this fabric.
What’s the advantage of getting involved in such a collaboration?
N: Unlike in previous projects, his is the first time I’ve worked with a retailer directly. They’re an interesting way to profile your brand and, in the US, I also have lines with Red Wing Shoes, Converse and Eddie Bauer.
P: We have worked with n.d.c. for next season, which I found really inspiring. It’s exciting getting someone else’s point of view and I like working in a team. We don’t do shoes at Bellerose and I don’t see why I should start producing them when a company like n.d.c. is willing to do something with us.
What is it about the other’s approach that inspires you the most?
N: I like the fact that Patrick works with his son. This is definitely something I can identify with.
P: Nigel has integrity and charisma. He’s a larger than life kind of guy.
The Bellerose Nigel Cabourn Tales duffle coat will be available from September at selected Bellerose stores.