Amsterdam based designer Blazinbell believes a product deserves her love, energy and time. KUYICHI agrees with this way of approaching design, shouldn’t we all love the products we create deeply? Over the past few years KUYICHI and Blazinbell collaborated multiple times for many beautiful reasons. Her handcrafted garments are built out of a zero waste philosophy, designed with pure passion. For her, a great design isn’t restricted to certain elements and rules. With patchwork as her signature she has an intuitive way of working and surrounds herself with creative freedom. Recently Blazinbell designed beautiful sweaters for KUYICHI, only using postconsumer waste denim. KUYICHI had the chance of meeting Blazinbell at her atelier and interviewing her. Proudly we would like to introduce you to this great designer and her beautiful products!
HOW AND WHY DID BLAZINBELL GET FOUNDED?
In my younger years I worked at the Zipper, a second-hand clothes shop in Amsterdam. Working there was great, as I really loved all the beautiful garments. No day was the same. During this period of my life people began to call me Blazinbell. After working here for a long time the feeling got over me there had to be more. I couldn’t explain this strange feeling, but my intuition told me to create myself. By that time, I already knew how to sew, though I never studied fashion. My grandma taught me how to sew and for years I’d sew what I loved for my own use. Due to the fact that sewing was such a routine for me I never thought of this as a possible career.
Next came the shop I started with a friend of mine; Studio Shop. This combination of a studio and a shop was one creative explosion intertwined with all sorts of beautiful people. We just started creating and making, without any goal in mind. Two years after founding I got pregnant and we closed Studio Shop. My creative flow wasn’t over yet and I for sure wasn’t ready to stop. This work and complete creative freedom gave me so much happiness, so I kept on designing at home, and used it as my atelier for a few years. Right now I have an atelier in Amsterdam in where I design and create what I love. Many years ago the only fabrics I had and could afford where some old sweaters, which resulted in a pants made out of patchwork. This was the start of my designs now.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGNS?
Patchwork is one of the most important characteristics of Blazinbell. During my time as a designer the shapes and forms of patchwork evolve. This never-ending process has endless possibilities. Mostly due to the surprise effect that comes with designing like this my love for patchwork is big. I make no sketches and mostly never know what the outcome will be; a design forms itself in my head and is never restricted. I’m a very intuitive designer and can’t really explain this process. I won’t pin down what the end-result has to be; along the way I will feel in what direction I have to go. With this comes a lot of creative freedom. Though sometimes I have to figure some details out upfront, such as which colours I would use where. Each garment is different, the effects and possibilities are endless. Sometimes I can create a beautiful rhythm in a design and with other designs that wouldn’t be possible. Discovering new techniques is what I love most. There exist so many different styles that are close to my heart. Currently I’m combining my patchwork with a Japanese way of stitching, called Boro. I love to keep on discovering.
WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL IDEALS AND HOW DOES BLAZINBELL’S PHILOSOPHY REFLECT THEM?
Most important for me is to design a product close to my heart. I believe each product deserves your love and energy, take your time to create and people will notice. I want Blazinbell to be local and work with old school techniques. Times are changing and I believe the possibilities are endless. High tech possibilities are giving me the time to practise ancient crafts. This combination of crafts and high tech is amazing. I too believe there is a lot of over-consumption. For me, garments have to be consciously made or made by hand. That’s why I love KUYICHI; you guys go beyond the regular restrains of fashion and have a clear vision. Blazinbell is hand-made with love. Blazinbell is my heart. For me the beauty lays in every hand-made piece and the inspiration based on different crafts and cultures from around the world.
THE DESIGNS YOU’VE MADE FOR KUYICHI WHERE MADE FROM POSTCONSUMER WASTE, ARE YOU AIMING ON THIS FOR ALL YOUR DESIGNS?
I always try to recycle as much as I can. Other designers or brands are giving me a lot of their waste fabrics. If I don’t use these fabrics myself a good friend of mine uses them for her designs. My aim is to use or share everything and to not waste anything. Every once in a while I buy sweaters and use their fabrics, but those aren’t sustainable. I’m considering to only work with sustainable fabrics. Also quite recently I wanted to get rid of all the plastic bags, so I started to sew bags from waste fabrics.
WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE?
To be honest I’ve thought about this for quite some time. My biggest dream would be having an atelier with multiple seamstresses. All my designs are sewed by hand and I would never give that up. I sometimes work together with an HKU graduate and interns from the Jeanschool. It would be fantastic to have more people to sew at the atelier. But that is all in the future. Blazinbell is growing slowly and I believe that’s beautiful.
The patchwork sweaters Blazinbell made out of postconsumer waste fabric for KUYICHI are now available! Please contact us if you’re interested.
Check more work of Blazinbell here.