Tuesday 3rd July marked the start of the MBFW Spring / Summer 2019 with the Botter Fashion show. Botter is the newest Dutch fashion label by designers and partners Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, both Antwerp Fashion School ex-students. They got the chance to be a part of Mercedes-Benz and the Group’s own young talent International Designer Exchange Program. After the show, we had the chance to meet them in the Mercedes Benz Lounge.
Œ: Hello guys, thanks for meeting me. I really loved your show.
Lisi: Oh thank you so much, we’re so happy that everything went well.
Œ: It was your first show in Berlin, right? Were you nervous?
Lisi: We weren’t so nervous, but that was partly due to the Berlin based team being so organised! Everybody arranged everything so well for us, and we were very excited because it’s a new city, new audience.
Rushemy: Yeah, we love the energy of Berlin.
Œ: What was your inspiration for this collection?
Rushemy: Maybe you can talk about it.
Lisi: The inspiration for this collection comes from our Caribbean roots, which we’re very connected to. I’m from the Dominican Republic, and we’ve travelled back there many times over the years, just taking inspiration from people. We looked at all the elegant men, but also at people who live in slums, and have to create functional things from nothing. We got so much inspiration from the people we saw there. For example, a taxi driver we know was projecting his arm outside the car and had cut pieces from his trousers to use as sun protection. So, in this collection we tried to create a tribute for these people. It came to be quite moving for us, because they struggle so hard every day to provide money for their families.
Œ: Have you ever done a journey to your hometown, or are these childhood memories?
Lisi: Yeah, we have family there. Caribbean families are always really big, and we’ve been back there several times since we were little. Not every year because it’s quite expensive [laughs], but you know, we try.
Œ: Do you think that menswear has been gaining momentum – becoming more distinguished – over the past few years?
Rushemy: Yeah! I think there are lots of labels doing cool menswear lately. If you look at brands such as Off White and Louis Vuitton, they are literally pushing it out. It’s really good to see because that stuff is so nice.
Œ: Looking at the future, do you have any plans for collaborations at all?
Lisi: Actually, we have a few collaborations lined up, such as designing a little capsule collection for Petit Bateau. We’re also projecting an exhibition during Premièr Vision, which is a really important fabric show in Paris and New York.
Rushemy: We also have a collaboration with Chanel, and that freelance job we have just to pay rent. We’re very busy, lately [laughs].
Œ: I’ve noticed that there’s often a connection in your collections, like the similarity between the balloons you used and the colours of the outfits. How did this come about?
Lisi: We’re always working to combine our different inspirations. We put together many topics and concepts. For example, the dolphin images we used came from the idea to look at sailing imagery. All of that is a big part of our creative process.
Œ: In your collections there’s always a political aspect; in particular I’m thinking about your latest collection, Fight or Fish. What was your political message for this runway?
Lisi: For this one, we were very inspired by Caribbean life. Going around Curaçao , on almost every street corner you will find poor people spending the last of their money in the lottery house, hoping they might win. It’s kind of corrupt, because the people that run these houses play with the hopes of the less fortunate. We wanted to denounce this kind of system. I have to say that we don’t usually start out with a specific political message, but it often develops itself throughout the collection.
Œ: Oh! I think we are done! Thank you so much for your time, and I wish you the best of luck for your future collections.
Lisi : Thank you!
Rushemy: It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Nice sweatshirt!
You can see more of BOTTER SS19 clicking here