The Leuven Hundreds

Portraits of a city's people, today

We’ve joined forces with Leuven to highlight 100 local people, places and projects that contribute towards making the city what it is today. From artists and architects to producers and professors, these are the driving forces powering Leuven forward one ingenious initiative at a time.

Stefanie Vereecken

Stefanie Vereecken

Owner, Harvest Club (1979)

Can you describe what you do?

Harvest Club is a fair-fashion concept store in the heart of Leuven: we collect labels, both big and small, which stand for honest, sustainable and eco-friendly production. Some of them are real pioneers whilst others are very small labels, and in each case we try to bring a mix, and share the story behind them. Our aim is to create a real atmosphere, and not just be another shop around the corner. We complete our shop with beauty products and foliage, and also decorative elements from all over the world. We just want to show that an urban, green lifestyle can be both colourful and cool.

How do you perceive Leuven?

Leuven is small, but has everything you need. There’s a vibrant mix of students, academics, entrepreneurs and ambitious youths – all making for a vivid city. We have a beautiful museum, a great art and music school, fantastic music-oriented festivals, divine food, and very green surroundings. You can easily lose yourself in the surrounding forests, or take your bike for a ride in the countryside just five minutes out of Leuven. Its inhabitants are becoming more and more conscious and aware – there’s definitely a prominent green vibe going on, and this will surely only get stronger. Having worked for the University for fifteen years before embarking on my Harvest Club adventure, you could say that Leuven’s had a huge impact on who I am today.

What would you say is Leuven’s main appeal as a city? What gives it its edge?

I guess its mix of students and locals, the old and the new. Also, in the last decade, Leuven’s been expanding at an astonishing rate with new buildings rising all over the City, resulting in an interesting mix of architecture.

Our streets are still a bit too “tame” in my eyes – it could afford to become a bit wilder, overgrown and abundant.

On a personal level, what would you like to see more of in the city? What could it do better?

More green, public spaces, most definitely. Our streets are still a bit too “tame” in my eyes – it could afford to become a bit wilder, overgrown and abundant.