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Interview

The designers

Grace, Gert and Jurgen are the faces behind the Scapa collections. They talk about their sources of inspiration, and their hopes and dreams for the future.

Grace

When did you start working for Scapa? I’ve worked here for almost my entire career. I started here one year after I graduated. Scapa was clearly the place where I belonged. I applied for the job and three weeks later I was sitting at a desk across from Jurgen. I first worked on the Originals line, and later I designed for Scapa Sports with Jurgen. Since last season I’ve been focusing on the children’s collections.

How's that going? I really love it. I have three children myself, so I can really use that in the collection. You have a lot of freedom because you get to work with crazy art and prints. The challenge right now is making the winter collection as exuberant as summer. It would be great if we could also appeal to teenagers.

How do you find inspiration each season? Believe me, inspiration can come from anywhere. A holiday, a book, something I see in the street… We’re going to California on vacation, as a family, and you’ll see tropical themes and surf culture in the collection.

Do you have a memorable Scapa moment? Our photoshoots are unforgettable. I’ve been to Mexico, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic… Those are amazing memories that will stay with me forever.

Hopes and dreams? Travel! I really want to go to Canada and Australia. And I’d love to live in the United States with my family for a year.

Gert

When did you start working at Scapa? I started as a designer with Scapa Originals, Scapa’s second line, in 2004. It’s a collection with natural, high-quality materials produced in Europe, which is very important to us. It’s also more casual than the first line. I still design for the collection, but it’s grown a lot over the years.

In what way did the collection evolve? Scapa is a heritage brand, so we try to stick with our roots. Of course, we follow the trends, but not blindly. Social media has become very important and we even have an online shop. We’re really up to date! (laughs)

What inspires you? I stay curious: I go to exhibitions, I try to travel, I listen to music… That keeps me going. Everything has its influence on fashion. Last year I travelled to Milan a lot, and the warm tones and velvets of Italian interiors showed up, without my realising it, in the last collection. I unconsciously absorbed those influences in my designs.

Do you have a fun Scapa story? No stories, but there is a very tight bond between colleagues. Even when we go on a business trip to a fabric show, there’s always a great vibe. For example, we’ll go have a drink together afterwards. It’s really a family.

Hopes and dreams? I hope that we can continue to expand our collections. Privately? The sky’s the limit, right? (laughs)

Fashion is influenced by everything.

Jurgen

When did you start working at Scapa? After studying at the academy, I worked for Walter van Beirendonck, who later joined Scapa Sports. I came here with the idea to start a sportswear collection. I thought: I’ll just ask, and we’ll find out what they say. (laughs) And so: I started with a blank slate, and that was incredibly exciting. I did that for eight and a half years, and then I redesigned the menswear collection. A few seasons later I created a synthesis between the menswear and sportswear collections, along with a colleague who has sadly died last year.

How do you approach a new season? I’m always looking for inspiration. I often start with images – I’m a photographer myself. And I collect uniforms—it’s actually a passion of mine. There’s so much craftsmanship in a uniform, I study the details and translate them to the collections in a fun way.

In what way did the collection evolve? Oh, every season is different. The collection used to be very sporty, then it became rather traditional, and now we have pieces that can work for both a 25-year-old and his 45- or 55-year-old father. I like to call it a dynamic collection: dressy but nonchalant, due to the mix of pieces and fabrics. Of course, the customer ultimately decides for himself. When I see someone in the street who’s made it their own, I think: "Wow". (laughs)

What will you always associate with Scapa? The fact that we’re such a good team. We’re very close, and that’s beautiful.

What do you dream about? Making people happy with the clothes I design: That’s my mission.

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