We Are From Antwerp
We Are From Antwerp, the photoshoot
In our very first photoshoot we are going to prove that the cliché about the people from Antwerp being full of themselves is actually… true. How else can you explain why so many locals wear T-shirts, sweaters and caps with Antwerp written on them?
One reason is because we have a lot of brands doing something fun and creative with Antwerp as a logo. Another explanation is that our city is automatically linked to fashion thanks to the prestigious Fashion Academy. That’s why the upcoming label Vêtements could even bring Rihanna to wear a T-shirt with “Antwerpen” on it. We locals might not have enough money for a designer tee, but we do flaunt our love for Antwerp!
We selected a couple of brands that emphasise that they are based in A-Town. There are lots more, but these are the ones that you wouldn’t immediately think of. The MAS Shop for instance sells over-the-top chauvinistic T-shirts with the slogan: “We are from Antwerp so we are automatically cooler than you”. Since the text is printed on the back, it actually has quite a tongue-in-cheek effect.
Shanti, in the Jezusstraat, definitely has the biggest collection of Antwerp clothing. When I was a teenager, this streetwear and textile print shop was known for its shisha tobacco and Bob Marley tees. Now, Shanti successfully collaborates with illustrators such as Fatso, who designed the amazing Diamond City sweater that we used in the photoshoot. The guys from Shanti also drew their own stylised Antwerp logo, which is quite subtle to wear.
Hiphop albums appear to be a big inspiration. While Shanti has T-shirts based on the Run DMC logo, Le Touriste Perdu’s sweaters are a variation on N.W.A.’s most famous album. The combination with an image of the cathedral gives them a unique touch and stirs up the Antwerp pride (no, not the gay parade).
Fashion designer Wouter Hoste is so full of his city, he named his entire brand ANTWRP. The sweater in the photoshoot is perfect to wear on a bike ride at dusk thanks to its reflective logo. I like how this brand combines a level of street cool with class, since that is exactly how I would describe the general Antwerp style.
The odd one out is B a g g e r, a label inspired by ‘90s gabber culture. Designer Sven Mes did had a hit last year with his Deurne and Amberberes sweaters, but that chapter is closed. His new brand Bagger gives people tons of extra attitude, which was perfect for our shoot. For more info about the first Bagger clothing line, read the excellent piece my colleague Laurent wrote.
We started planning the photoshoot a month in advance so everything was going to be smooth sailing on the day of action. Of course Murphy’s Law tampered with the one thing we couldn’t control: the weather. Since the rain made it impossible to photograph in open air, we had to relocate last minute. Luckily the people from the Vascobelo V-bar were so kind to have us use the top floor. Having their excellent coffee at hand was a bonus!
Our photographer and make-up artist are two promising creatives who are going to be huge behind the movie scenes. Marcello Guerinoni studies with our model-for-the-day Lennert at the International Academy for Film and Television, focusing on cinematography. He has an incredible eye for detail and colour. Felix Bevernage loves doing dramatic make-up and special effects. She worked magic making our sweet model Helen look like a total bad-ass.
We Are From Antwerp is a love story. Love for the city, and between two great friends. Check our Facebook page for the full editorial.
Text & production: Tine Van den Poel De Clippeleire
Models: Helen Van den Poel De Clippeleire & Lennert Borgmans
Photographer: Marcello Guerinoni
MUA: Felix Bevernage
With thanks to all the brands and the Vascobelo V-Bar.