The Brussels Bike Hundred

100 portraits, stories and bicycles

We’re teaming up with Bike for Brussels to put together a 100-strong selection of local heroes shaping the city each in their own way. From designers and DJs to performers and publishers, these are the creatives riding Brussels forward.

Kaat De Vis

Kaat De Vis, 1990

Business developer at Façon Jacmin

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

Some would say I made some odd career choices so far. I’m that girl with a background in law who always knew she wanted to do something creative. After working as a legal policy advisor for the Brussels Region, I got the opportunity to start working as a business developer for a fashion start-up, Façon Jacmin. The brand offers an authentic collection of garments made entirely out of Japanese denim, in indigo and white shades. We strongly believe in slow fashion, which is why our timeless pieces are available throughout the entire year and we only launch three pieces a month in limited edition. The brand has a unique sales strategy as we only sell directly to customers via pop-ups and private sales events. I’m currently in charge of organising events, communication and expanding the brand internationally.

How has Brussels shaped you as an individual as well as your professional activities?

I’ve been living in this vibrant city for about five years and I keep discovering it every weekend. Living in Brussels made me see the world differently: how one street can be completely different from the one just next to it, how difficult it is to make a change in the city with all the different levels of power, how creative freedom is endless, and much more.

List three things you like the most about Brussels.

  • Its free spirited people eager to discover what the world has to offer.
  • Its potential: I know some would say the following saying only applies to New York, but Brussels never sleeps either. Everyday you can enjoy music and theatre, bike rides past the legacy of Victor Horta, exhibitions at Musée d’Ixelles/Museum van Elsene and Wiels, afterworks at Brasserie Verschueren or Dillens, and dinner at Cocina or Cipiace. Besides, there are endless possibilities for urban planners, architects and creatives to shape and transform the city.
  • The canal zone: this fine line on the map connects different neighbourhoods and a lot of my favourite hotspots.

I like to feel strong when many of us are waiting at a traffic light.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • Efficiency: you can’t get any faster from point A to B in Brussels.
  • There is still a lot to be done to make Brussels more bike-friendly, but you can’t ignore the great new bike lanes such as Boulevard Poincarélaan or Allée Verte/Groendreef.
  • You’re never alone when you’re biking, especially not in Brussels. There’s a strong mutual understanding between early adopters. I like to feel strong when many of us are waiting at a traffic light.

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.

  • Climbing all the way up to the highest point of Scheutbos in Molenbeek. On the one side you see downtown Molenbeek buzzing; on the other side it’s all green and cows.
  • To escape my intense neighbourhood in Cureghem, I love to cycle underneath the huge pillars of the ring highway all the way to the community garden in Neerpede where you can pick beautiful flowers and delicious berries.
  • The joy of discovering unknown lands when you weren’t looking for them.
faconjacmin.com