Valentine Witmeur's knitwear is the reason why we're all waiting for autumn

05.08.2018 - Agne Steponaityte

Hot summer weather often pushes our sweaters way to the back of our closets. If we’re lucky, we don’t need to start looking for them until September starts knocking on our door. However, for people who know of and own a few items designed by Valentine Witmeur Lab, autumn is the time to get excited.

Valentine Witmeur is a young designer who, after working for a Belgian fashion group, started her own label of fashionable knitwear. Her main focus is producing quality products in easy-going styles. “I wanted the collection to be comfortable, chic and cool at the same time,” states Valentine.

The simple cut clothing with a unique style is produced by craftsmen in Portugal while the threads are selected in Italy. In addition to sweaters and dresses, the label also has a line of funky socks and will present a selection of scarves this autumn.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

To be honest, I have no specific inspiration. I’ve always been attracted by colours. This is what drives me the most - finding a new colour combo and a new geometric esthetic. I decided to focus my products solely on knitting. I simply had to combine those two inspiring elements to maintain the DNA and the universe of the brand.

Who’s the Belgian fashion icon in your opinion? Why?

I am a huge fan of Dries Van Noten. Apart from his work, Dries Van Noten is classy (just like his collections) and looks so humble as well. I also love the fact that his label is running for so many years. He had an impressive fashion education. Comparing that to the new upcoming designers, that are (sometimes) hired for their names and image rather than for what they truly can do, emphasizes the amazing work Dries Van Noten does even more.

In addition to that, I also loved Raf Simons at Dior who best respected and represented Dior’s DNA! These designers represent Belgian fashion and we should be proud!

Do you think of fashion as an art or an industry?

Both! We have to be realistic. Fashion is a huge industry that earns millions and that employs tons of people. Regarding luxury brands, there are big companies that buy and own these names, fighting to be better than their competitors and to make people buy more and more. You're asking me this right after Dries Van Noten has been bought by Puig. Dries was one of the last independent luxury good labels. This is the proof that fashion (however beautiful it is!) is a matter of business.

But of course, we cannot talk about fashion without mentioning art. Designers, stylists, and various other talents always strive to offer new ideas and concepts. Their art is what makes fashion desirable and wearable at the same time. Designers work hard to renew their collections season after season and to please consumers who are more and more demanding, impatient and fashion-conscious.

All alone at home, what do you wear?

Outside or at home, I always want to wear something comfortable. Flat shoes, an oversized sweater, a shirt and a coat. Something easy to be in. “Sans prise-de-tête” as we say in French. Something simple that can be both chic and sporty.

How big/small is your personal garderobe?

It’s quite big but I always wear the same clothes…

Where and what brands do you shop for yourself?

It really depends! I mostly shop online to find new brands that we don’t find here in Belgium.

What is the unforgivable fashion mistake (Belgian) people make?

That’s a good question! I don’t really know… Maybe, the biggest mistake a Belgian designer could make (and I am mostly talking about one of my biggest fears here) is getting stuck in their own market. Belgian market is amazing: supportive, accepting and multicultural. But we have to consider it a springboard to conquer other markets!

What fashion trend do you like to see coming back?

I am open to everything as long as I can work on it and make the best out of it. However, I do know what I don’t want to see disappear - oversized, sportswear, streetwear, and minimalism - and what I don’t want to see reappear/stay - close-fitting, mini skirt, logomania, etc.

Pictured: AW 18/19 collection, soon available at Valentine Witmeur Lab. Go there to find more info on the brand and catch the last wave of the summer sales.

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Fashion

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