Name: Valérie Berckmans
Profession: Fashion Designer
Lives in: Rue Van Artevelde 8
With my associate Meyrueis De Bruyn, we have a boutique-atelier, where we draw our own ready-to-wear women’s collection and some items for children. The style is graphic and minimalistic, yet feminine, brightened here and there with particular details ... We produce in Brussels and France, using a majority of organic cotton and recycled materials.
We also offer a selection of Belgian and French brands that complete our collection: Aymara, for their high quality sweaters and cardigans, Atelier Content, for their feminine and wearable shoes, Géraldine Bertrand, for her scarves and graphic hats and Bonne Maison, for their super stylish socks ...
Dansaert remains the creators' area, although Rue Antoine Dansaert itself is nowadays rather lined with international chains ... These days it is rather in the adjacent streets that one finds the majority of the independent shops that characterize the neighborhood. Each street has its own particular atmosphere and together they attract a varied audience. In 2006, I did not hesitate long about the location of my shop!
Variety and freedom.
Being responsable for the shop and for the collection, my partner and I are true orchestra-women, and it's exciting. We manage not only the design of the collections but also the development of prototypes, the choice of colors and materials, the start-up of production in Brussels and French workshops, the follow-up of this production, purchases from other collections , the styling of the shop, customer contact, but also communication, photo shootings, administration, etc ...
Every day and every season brings a lot of surprises and new products. Moreover, we are totally free to give the direction we want to the collection and to the shop or to launch new projects ... Recently, for example, we looked at the 'zero waste' concept and developed a series of products in parallel with the women's collection to make maximum use of the falls of production (children's models, badges, washable make-up rounds, etc ...). We are pleased with the outcome and will develop this dimension systematically in the future.
The exchanges with our clients are also a very pleasant part of our work: their direct feedback, their suggestions and ways of seeing things and the world are very valuable to us!
For a lunch at Jour de Fête,, for a brunch at Chicago, for an aperitif at the Laboureur or at the Lava Café, for a drink on the roof of the Beursschouwburg on a warm summer’s day...
We want to continue to work in the same way, without having to submit to the stress of the fashion calendar, in the same confidential, human, ethical and ecological way as today.
We are confident in the future because we sincerely believe that in this era of standardization of the commercial supply and frenetic development of consumption, especially in impersonal shopping malls in the outskirts, more and more people have the will to consume less but better, in local shops, independent, which offer products that have a real soul supplement, not another manipulation of an image by marketing experts ... This way, the Dansaert area, like other 'living' neighborhoods in the city center, has a lot to offer!
Here we are at my favorite topic for the past two years ;-)
I would like the Dansaert district to continue to attract artists, craftsmen, stylists,… That it remains a symbol of creative expansion and innovative initiatives.
I would also like the neighborhood of Dansaert to be 'pacified', to use the words of the City of Brussels, their false promise at the time of the installation of the pedestrian ...
I dream of an effective mobility plan, which would allow a balanced mix between the various means of transport, an optimal accessibility: that one can walk around, nose in the air, like in a village. Because the neighborhood has many aspects that remind me of a village ... but currently it is damaged by urban highway areas ...
This is a great challenge for many European cities today, and I dream that Brussels will be able to take it up again ... We continue to ask and put pressure on the authorities to take a serious look at the problem and make it possible to enhance the quality of life in our neighborhood which has an extraordinary potential that only needs to be realized.