Es prangte als Statement auf T-Shirts, Instagram-Bildern und in den Köpfen zahlreicher Frauen: ‘The Future is Female’. Und was vielen offensichtlich seit Monaten in den Gedanken umherschwirrt und in Worte gefasst auf der Zuge liegt, hat die niederländische Modedesignerin Sofie Nieuwborg als Kollektion interpretiert. Mit Farben als Ausdrucksmittel und Kunst als Ausgangspunkt erinnern ihre Entwürfe in der Zusammensetzung dabei an vielschichtige Collagen, die sich mit plakativen Schriftzügen und asymmetrischen Schnitten in die eigenen Gedankengänge heften und der Komplexität des Themas annehmen.

Ausgebildet an der Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerpen designte Nieuwborg ihre Kollektion noch während ihres Studiums, nutzte ihre eigenen Illustrationen als Grundlage und den belgischen Innovationsgeist, der die Wände der Modeschule wohl immer noch behaftet, als antreibende Kraft. Wir haben mit der Nachwuchsdesignerin die Kollektion und ihre Arbeit in ihre Bestandteile zerlegt – Schnipsel für Schnipsel.


What first triggered you about the topic “The Future is Female”?

I usually don’t decide on topics, they just happen. When I read the sentence “The Future is Female” it spoke to me because I was already thinking about the topic months before I started doing the collection. Those two strong archetypes (“Future” and “Female”) combined in one sentence have so much meaning and thereby sparked so many interesting conversations for me. This sentence really was at the core of the collection.

How did your research prior to the collection look like?

I drew a lot. At the very start it was unintentionally, just colours and vibes I felt at that particular moment. Then I researched and read loads about different topics. I am very organized and meticulous in my work and at some magical point I start to see connections and everything comes together in a way that makes it seem like it belongs together.

How did you then try to transform that subject into clothes?

I made Photoshop collages of clothing and then translated these collages into garments with the collage feeling still visible. I also referenced a lot of the artists that fed the process.


Which artists were you interested in?

Artists that shaped me will always be Barbara Hepworth, Ana Mendieta and Franz Erhard Walther. They are always with me and their work influenced me deeply. I like to connect these artists I love and admire to my personal experiences in life.

Why did you decide on fashion as a creative outlet oppose to other artistic fields?

It was never fashion in particular that interested me but the vibe of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where I currently study, that really attracted me, made me love fashion, and showed me its extensive language. Fashion is a form of art that does not belong (only) in a museum. It combines a practical need for “being clothed” with the existential need of humans to express themselves and find themselves. These two factors make it very appealing to me: its usefulness and its trivialness.

How does studying in Antwerp, a place where so many influential designers have learned their craft, feel to you?

Antwerp is my home, I grew up here, and that will always be the most important meaning the city will have for me. But I do believe the large amount of preceding successful designers sparks kind off a “sky is the limit”-attitude.


Do you feel obliged to initiate the change you would want to see as a young designer?

Well, if you feel a need to address a certain topic I don’t think you should ever wonder whether or not to do it. Do it. With me it all comes from a very natural place, not an urge to make statements. I am aware that I am not the only one thinking about this, but that happens. As long as a message is used with good intentions I’m cool with it.

If you could change anything in the fashion industry what would that be?

Too much. Just too much.

What are your plans for your own future?

To have maximum faith in life and listen to the universe.




Illustrationen von Sofie Nieuwborg

Von Trisha Balster




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