I Love Belgium, Belgian, blog, shoes, leather, Fashion, la cambre, Brussels, Emanuelle lebas

In the Studio with Emmanuelle Lebas

The ILB team visited designer Emmanuelle Lebas’ studio in Brussels for a chat about the designers’ past, future and current shoe line!  

Tell us a little but about yourself and your background 
I’m from the south of Belgium, and my interest in creativity and creation begun with my father. He worked as a woodworker and I spent countless days in his atelier. I was fascinated by everything but in particular the machines and the materials. I also learnt sewing at an early age and found an interest in that as well. But I understood that I had to move to a big city to pursue my goals, so I landed in Brussels. After my studies at La Cambre I interned at both ETS Callatay and Robert Clergerie to learn more about shoes

What did the years at La Cambre give you? What was the most important lessons? 
First of all, the biggest and most important lesson was to find myself and find my way in fashion. It takes time, to find your personality in your work. The best way to handle it is by creating loads of stuff in the beginning and then carefully analyze it. You have to be able to see the common points in your work. 

Today you’re living many other girls’ dream: to be a fashion designer. Is it as glamorous as it sounds? 
Haha no it’s not!  There are two types of fashion designers for me. The first one is the office-designer: sitting in a nice office and sipping tea and draw some sketches, touching some leather and making calls. Then there is the second option, my type, where you work long hours and have stains everywhere on your clothes because of dirty hands. So no, it’s not as glamorous as you think!  

Why shoes? And where do you find inspiration for your design, materials etc.? 
Shoes is the item of fashion that I've always been most interested in, my internships helped to develop my knowledge about materials, machines, production and the whole process. Inspiration can come from anything really. From a picture in my head, something I see or observe. Leather is the material I have fallen in love with. Today we use mostly lamb and calf leather.  

So, how does the future look for Emmanuelle Lebas? What’s your ambition? 
Firstly, it’s a financial goal. I want to keep doing what I’m doing. We’re taking care of the whole production process here in the studio and I want it to keep it that way. We are currently both selling in our webshop but also through retailers. But most important is that I can continue to have dirty hands and work in my own atelier with my own brand. For the moment we’re working on the launch of the AW15 collection in January 2015.  

An I Love Belgium standard: Why do you love Belgium? 
Because it’s my country. It’s very tiny but it has a lot to offer. The south of Belgium is so different from here (Brussels) and so is the sea, the other side of Belgium. The people are easy to interact with and talk to, it’s a great place to live in. 

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