Sjaak Hullekes x Vincent Ko – An Interview

I’m honored to be able to interview Sjaak Hullekes. This Netherland born designer will be huge in 2011. Especially with his spring/summer 2011 collection that is about to come out in a couple of months. Things are starting to come around for this talented designer. He’s about to open up his first store in March 2011. His store will be based in Arnhem, The Netherlands. That’s the town he was born in and it only makes sense that his first store is in his hometown. If you need more information, go to his blog. Furthermore, he’s now on Facebook and Twitter.

The complete address for his store is

Kerkstraat 34
The Netherlands

Here’s the full interview, enjoy!

01. Hi, Sjaak! How are you?

I’m fine, looking forward to next year. This will be a year with many new things going on! The first Sjaak Hullekes shop is going to be open in March in Arnhem (NL). We are going to move with our studio to a new monumental space. We are introducing a small women’s collection and a new Sjaak Hullekes menswear line. And last but not least our internet shop…. so you can imagine that it will be a hectic but beautiful year with the best goals ahead of us!

02. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born on the eighth of october 1981 in zierikzee, a small village in the Netherlands. My childhood was warm, isolated and peaceful. When I am designing I always put myself back in this isolated feeling, which gives me warm and nostalgic inspiration for new collections.

I studied fashion design at the academy of Arts, Arnhem. After my graduation in 2005 I started, together with my partner Sebastiaan Kramer, our company called Arnheim Fashion.

We have worked a lot for other brands next to having our own brand Sjaak Hullekes.

03. What made you want to be a designer?

The closed big city from my hometown was Antwerp. When we went there to buy clothes for our family or if my parents just wanted to go out for a day we always went to Antwerp.

This city was magic for me, the people, the buildings and the shops, everything and everyone was beautiful in my eyes….

In these days the Belgian designers began to open there own shops. This was for me the point when I thought, this is what I want to do. I was always busy with making everything around me “beautiful”; the garden, my room, our house and styling my hole family….

With garments you create the most direct way of making someone “beautiful”

04. What do you think about the fashion industry nowadays?

I have to be honest to you, sometimes it feels that the industry asks so much, of the hole circle of people / companies that are involved in this, that it is losing their vision and passion for the garment. Since a while I have the feeling the global need in fashion is changing a lot. The need is going back to the origins of fashion, the need for tailoring, craftsmanship and high-quality material. The time in which fashion was something not wearable, or just about the looks will be past again.

It’s the same with everything else. People do care more about the inside, traditions, heritage and knowledge again. The same is and will be with fashion.

05. If you weren’t designing what do you think you would be doing?

When I was a child I dreamed of having my own antique shop. My parents are addicted to flea-markets and so am I. I collect paintings and studies from male nudes and porcelain Art-deco figures, and much more!

So, I think I would have become an antiquary or home-decorator…

06. How would you describe your style?

Dandyism, craftsmanship and tailoring are key words for our brand. It is comfortable with a touch of nostalgia. Next to that I have got a passion for warm (in their touch and look) materials and colors, something which of-course influence my designs.

07. What do you carry in your bag?

Nice question, as I think it is one of the things to get to know someone on another level…

Well; of-course I’ve got my wallet, I-phone, passport and key’s in there.

Besides that I have a lot of paperclips in my bag, always and everywhere. This is because I collect all paperclips I find on the streets, but never take them out of my bag again.

It is one of my fascinations. It is amazing how many you can find on the streets, and I think there are so many beautiful ones. I love the ones that are bended by someone, or are rusty. Always when I find one I make a wish, it actually is the only superstition I have, it gives me hope and goals in my life.

08. When you’re not designing what do you like to do?

Working in the garden works for me to relax and it gives satisfaction to see that when you treat the plants good they will grow and give flowers. Or I go to the flew-markets, which I can not ignore ha ha. Also I like cooking for my friends, share my love and taste with people who are dear to me.

09. Who is your favorite designer and why?

Yves Saint Laurent and Dries van Noten. These names made there own imperium which is solid and pure. I have a lot of respect for both of them.

10. What are you listening to at the moment?

A lot of Nina Simone, Bonnie Prince Billy and the Tindersticks, pure and from the heart.

11. What is your guilty pleasure?

My paperclip collection perhaps?

Thank you Sjaak for doing this interview.

This is an exclusive interview for Vincent Ko. If you want to post the interview, please link it back to my blog.