Inge Onsea and Esfan Eghtessadi, the husband and wife team behind Belgian brand Essentiel Antwerp, give us a glimpse of their urban cool collection.
Why did you become designers?
I think it came very naturally, as Esfan was born into a fashion family. I was working as a model but wanted to be on the other side of the industry. We began as an inexperienced couple and luckily it became really big, really soon. What is your design aesthetic? Quirky, colourful, and “doesn’t take life too seriously”. This is what we want to promote, as it makes us different from other brands.
How has the brand grown?
We started at the end of the 1990s with a T-shirt collection that was basic, but excellent quality and in a fun selection of colours. The fit was good, the colours were right and people were looking for that. From 1999 on, the brand became more and more elaborate, evolving into a full collection.
Are two heads better than one? Describe working with your husband.
Definitely. Both of us have different strengths. Esfan focuses on the development of the brand, and I concentrate on the product and the creative side of the business.
What can we expect from the AW18 collection?
In the afterglow of an Indian summer, Essentiel Antwerp has focused on maximum comfort. The edgy cuts in natural fibres are luxurious to look at and just as luxurious to wear. Oversized cosy fits are combined with tailored separates, and our prints are a little toned down for this season.
Essentiel Antwerp AW18
What inspires you?
I consciously mix work and pleasure. I am inspired by everything around me: my family, my friends, decoration, my travels, TV shows (to name just some). They inspire me on a daily basis. For example, I travel to India every year, and it never ceases to excite me. Some good friends of mine are interior decorators and published a book recently. It has a beautiful golden cover with a pair of eyes on it. I can see this translated onto a dress… On a completely different note, I recently watched the show Hip-Hop Evolution on Netflix with my kids. It’s a fascinating documentary that traces the beginning of hip-hop in the Bronx in the 1970s. This will inspire T-shirts for our upcoming SS19 collection.
Essentiel Antwerp is available at Arnotts. This piece originally appeared in the September issue of IMAGE Magazine.