MEET THE DESIGNER
STEPHAN SCHNEIDER

Stephan Schneider
WHO IS THE STEPHAN SCHNEIDER CLIENT? 
MY CUSTOMER DOESN'T THINK OF FASHION IN TERMS OF A LUXURIOUS STATUS SYMBOL SHE APPRECIATES GARMENTS WITH AN EMOTION, STORY AND AN ATMOSPHERE. SHE BUYS PIECES FROM MY COLLECTION AS SHE FALLS IN LOVE WITH THE TOUCH OF THE FABRIC, THE SOPHISTICATED YET PRACTICAL SHAPE AND FEMININE BUT NOT LADYLIKE SILHOUETTE. NOT BECAUSE OF THE LABEL.  

I FEEL MY CLIENT SEARCHES FOR GARMENTS CREATED WITH THE TRUE ESSENCE OF CLOTHING IN MIND AND IS NOT ATTRACTED TO BRANDS OR MARKETING.

WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU WHEN DESIGNING FOR A WOMAN?
WOMENSWEAR IS OFTEN REDUCED TO REPRESENT POWER AND SEX. IT IS IMPORTANT TO ME TO BRING BASIC HUMAN ASPECTS LIKE HUMOR, CURIOSITY AND VANITY INTO THE GARMENTS. DURING THE PROCESS OF TAILORING I TAKE CARE TO LEAVE ENOUGH SPACE FOR THE NATURAL CHARMING PERSONALITY OF THE WOMAN. THE SILHOUETTE SHOULD NEVER BECOME A COVER.

WHERE DO YOU GATHER INSPIRATION?
I NEVER DRAW MY INSPIRATION FROM HISTORY BOOKS OR FUTURE FORECASTS. I GET INSPIRED BY THE EVERYDAY REALITY AROUND ME.

WHAT IS YOUR DAILY UNIFORM?
I AM PRIVILEGED TO BE ABLE TO WEAR ONLY MY OWN CLOTHES. IT IS A GOOD TEST FOR ME TO SEE WHICH GARMENTS I PICK FROM THE COLLECTION. IT IS MY PRIVATE MOMENT OF RESEARCH!

WHAT IS YOUR MORNING RITUAL? 
DURING THE WEEK, I HAVE A QUICK 20 MINUTE ROUTINE:
WAKE UP UNDER THE SHOWER AND HAVE TWO CUPS OF HOT WATER WITH LEMON. LUCKILY, I CAN CYCLE TO MY ATELIER AND START THE DAY WITH FRESH AIR. DURING THE WEEKEND I ENJOY A LONG EXTENSIVE BREAKFAST FOLLOWED BY A SHORT POWERNAP!

DESCRIBE THE AESTHETIC OF YOUR HOME.
FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS I LIVED IN AN AUTHENTIC ANTWERP BELLE EPOQUE APARTMENT WITH STUCCO CEILING AND HERRINGBONE PARQUET. THE FURNITURE WAS MID CENTURY VINTAGE TREASURES. LAST YEAR, I MOVED TO A MODERN ROOFTOP PENTHOUSE WITH SURROUNDING TERRAS. I WAS IN NEED OF LIGHT AS THE NARROW HISTORIC STREETS OF ANTWERP HARDLY LET ANY SUNSHINE IN. ACTUALLY, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD EVER ENJOY CLEAN AND UNASSUMING ARCHITECTURE. THESE DAYS I ENJOY THE FEELING OF FREEDOM OF LIVING IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF A HOTEL. 

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE?
INDEPENDENCE IS KEY. I WORK FULLY INDEPENDENT FROM INVESTORS, BANKS OR ANY CONTRACTUAL LIABILITIES. THEREFORE I CAN CONCENTRATE ON MY WORK AS A DESIGNER. TO ME WORK AND PRIVATE LIFE ARE NOT ENEMIES BUT COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER.

WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL VACATION SPOT?
I INHERITED MY GRANDMA'S HOUSE IN A REMOTE PLACE IN THE GERMAN COUNTRY SIDE CALLED 'EIFEL.' WITH THE FRESH AIR AND VOLCANIC WATER MY BODY RELAXES THE MOMENT I ARRIVE.

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR FALL COLLECTION?
EVERY COLLECTION I GET DRIVEN BY A SPECIFIC ATMOSPHERE. THIS FALL WINTER COLLECTION IS INSPIRED BY PUBLIC CLOCKS FOUND AT STATIONS OR SUBURBAN PEDESTRIAN MALLS. THIS SEASON I BLENDED A NAIVE FEELING OF CURIOSITY WITH ONE OF INTIMACY. THE DOUBLE ENTENDRE OF THE TITEL 'INTIME' BEING INTIMATE AND PUNCTUAL SETS THE MOOD FOR THIS SEASON.

AT MARKET WE DISCUSSED A CLOSE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE WAY YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE AND THE WAY YOUR GARMENTS ARE MADE. CAN YOU SPEAK MORE ON THE PROCESS THAT GOES INTO MAKING YOUR GARMENTS?
IT IS IMPORTANT TO ME THAT ALL GARMENTS ARE MANUFACTURED IN BELGIUM. NOT BECAUSE OF A BETTER FINISHING BUT TO BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN A VERY PERSONAL AND UNCOMPROMISING DESIGN LANGUAGE. I WANT MY GARMENTS TO LOOK AS SIMPLE AND EFFORTLESS AS POSSIBLE BUT AT THE SAME TIME UNIQE AND SOPHISTICATED. THEREFORE, I NEED TO WORK AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE WITH MY MAKERS SO THAT THE EMOTION OF THE GARMENT DOES NOT GET LOST IN THE PROCESS OF MAKING. BY MANUFACTURING IN BELGIUM I CAN VISIT MY MAKERS ON A WEEKLY BASIS, DURING THE COLLECTION PERIOD, OFTEN EVERYDAY. LOYALTY IS A KEY WORD IN MY WORK. I WORK TOGETHER WITH SOME OF MY MAKERS SINCE THE VERY FIRST COLLECTION. I WANT TO INVEST ON A LONG-TERM BASIS, MY DESIGN KNOWLEDGE WITH THEIR TECHNICAL SKILLS. IT IS TEMPTING TO CHOOSE EVERY SEASON A DIFFERENT SUPPLIER AND START WITH A WHITE SHEET OF PAPER. I RATHER BUILD UP A RELATIONSHIP GETTING TO KNOW THEIR STRENGTH AND PUSHING THE TECHNICAL POSSIBILITIES FURTHER EVERY SEASON. 

All images courtesy of Stephan Schneider
Photographer Joachim Mueller-Ruchholtz

Models: Caroline, Lisa, Patricia at IMM Bruxelles

 

About Stephan Schneider

In 1994, Stephan Schneider graduated at the top of his class from the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Antwerp. His presentation at Paris Fashion week was immediately successful and so began his namesake label. Every year since then he has presented both his men's and women's collections during Paris Fashion Weeks and has been sold at over 70 retailers world-wide. In 1996 his first flagship store opened in Antwerp. The intent behind his collection is to maintain a highly personal touch with his designs and garments. Keeping a close eye on the quality of his production facilities in his local Belgian factories. Elements that define his collection are structured yet soft, austere yet gentle with traces of authenticity and idealism. 

 




SHOP STEPHAN SCHNEIDER 

      

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 02 2017