Meet Black Balloon, an emerging label from Ghent (Belgium). They have been very active and successful in last few years. They gained international media attention, stylists love their styles and musicians like Soulwax and Jessie Ware like to ware it.
I have met them for the first time at DSGNRMRKT events in Hasselt where they draw attention to me with their enthusiasm and diverse clothing and accessories. Now they are heading to Berlin to Fier Showroom A/W 2013/14 that will take place during Berlin Fashion Week. They will present their latest collection inspired by their roots, memories of family and summer holiday photos.
Q&A with the girls from Black Balloon
Where do you come from, what’s your background?
We are Black Balloon, two girls, Cléo Baele and Sarah Bos Together we form the creative brain behind this young label from Ghent (Belgium), where we create our own world, the world of Black Balloon. Cléo has also a fashion photography background and Sarah has a technical fashion background.
Are there any Influences from your country?
Our biggest inspiration is music! In Belgium we have so much pioneers in the music scene, for example 2 many dj’s (mixing all styles together), Arno (mixing punk with blues) and many more. Music is a red thread through our collection and through our own lives.
Who's behind your label? How did you start? Why?
Two girls, Cléo Baele and Sarah Bos. We are best friends for years now and when we were together in final year at the academy, we decided to work together on our graduation collection. It worked so well (winning some fashion prices) and there was true chemistry in our designs, that we decided to start our own label together. We immediately gained media attention because we designed shoes and bags for Soulwax (aka 2many dj’s) and we went all the way with the successful flow.
What's your product about? And who is it for?
Black Balloon is a trendy label of clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women, inspired by a mix of music and emotions. A total concept from top to toe! Our collection is not for one age target, but more for people who likes the rock’n roll way of life, creative souls looking for something unique!
What’s your style? Materials? What sets you apart? What cuts?
The men and woman-collections combine female and tough elements, simply yet edgy, with an eye for detail and refinement, “nouveau chic” as we like to call it. We like to mix materials, making our own unique prints (and printed ecological!). We love basic cuts with an extra twist and an edge. Also we like to work with leather (vegetal leather). Always taking account that there are various bodyshapes among our customers. Black Balloon fit’s everybody for every occasion!
Inspirations behind your last collection?
The Black collection, our premium line is colourful, a total concept, with custom-made prints as a base of this collection. We have found inspiration in our roots, our memories of family get together and summer holiday photos. It seems that passion for music and the joy for life are in these two girls genes! The result is a special collection featuring bold designs and cuts, "nouveau chic", as they like to call it, a continuity in Black Balloon's collections. The Black Collection, a premium Black Balloon with an extra va-va-voom!
Graduation collection and this is our 3rd collection. We bring out one collection a year. In the winter some styles we keep and some we change. We also add some winter clothing like sweaters, coats, knitwear, etc.
What kind of support have you had from the contests, the state, the university?
We won some Belgian Fashion prices: The Fred and Ginger price and a money price for most promising collection. We’ve been supported by journalists, stylists and various music artists: Soulwax, Arno, Baloji, An Pierlé, Jessie Ware, etc. Also we are supported by the Belgian government FIT to expand our international trading.
What do you think about fashion today?
We have to think in more creative ways, the time that a designer was creating in his studio by his self is over! We have to be and do more than fashion and working together with artists from other disciplines is a must. Therefore we are involved in many multidisciplinary projects. We design for companies. For example we created the uniforms for the International Design Biennale Interior 2010. Also you have to be open for new things and be social about it! Create your own style as a designer, create trends and do not follow them! Black Balloon is the salmon of fashion, always swimming against the current!
What's the media support for emerging talents?
It is really important to get support in the media. We we’re very lucky with the support from the media in Belgian. A lot of influential stylists use our pieces in their shoots.
Do you take part in trade fairs in Paris, London, NY?
We participated at events in Paris; Who’s next trade show and Paris Fashion Week, and in Milan (agent Arete showroom).
For more information: http://www.blackballoon.be/
Black Balloon LookBook SS 13
Photographer: Mous Lamrabat
Models @ Ulla Models
Make up: Laura Noben