“What’s not to like about making affordable, desirable, sustainable pieces that reach many people? That is the design dream.”
– Elsa Crawford, ILSE Studio
Hello beautiful people. The Guru is back and full of updates and gossip about her trip, hurray! For those who still haven’t started following me in Instagram @furgurusnaps (oh, oh…) and you didn’t enjoy the beautiful snaps I got from my visit to the Dutch low lands, don’t despair. I brought more images and amazing news from one of the most chilled out and welcoming countries this Guru has called to. She was reminded of what a difference it makes in her life to be surrounded by friendly, helpful people. The city of Amsterdam is populated with laid-back citizens, who sympathetically deals with the unaware tourist walking down the cycle lane (yes, that was me).
The Guru’s first stop was FURlab. This place is a hub of creativity and they are not shy with their designs. You see, Dutch people like colour and wild designs but also, they keep a close eye on detail and features. This place is a good example of the national approach to fashion design. They are keen on meeting, nurturing and guiding the new creative generation; they define it as a node of fresh design. But also, they will happily help and support any member of the public that is interested in learning about fur and the best way to use this gorgeous material.
This place started as a non- commercial company supported by IFF and fur farmers in the Netherlands ten years ago and has evolved into one of the most successful and prolific greenhouses of talent influencing the international catwalks. Their passion for fur has also developed over the past three years with an intensive outreach to retailers. They work on a national level but also; they are keen on supporting and promoting new talents around the world starting with the very imminent launch of FURlab in Poland. Django Steenbakker, creative manager at FURlab and fashion designer is in charge of hitting the road around the nation and worldwide. They offer workshops selecting the best students from different fashion academies to bring to FURlab for two weeks.
The Guru would describe them as design democrats. They want to share the love of beauty, creativity and knowledge with everyone. Fashion design, fur and innovation, ladies and gentlemen, is accessible to everyone that wants to learn and feels a genuine passion for fur and its endless potential. In her visit, this Guru saw all the colours of the rainbow, the whole range of fur types and the most beautiful creations done in house. Django and Ron Haarman (FURlab Managing Director) stay true to their nationality with their charming and approachable personalities. Ron is the voice of the fur industry and Django is the creative spirit. It was such a joy to learn about their work while having a friendly conversation while munching away on some lunch.
Go to www.furlab.nl to learn more about the fabulous workshops and more information about their work and their services.
P.S. Next week, I will tell you all the ins and outs about the FASHIONCLASH festival. I will introduce you to one of the Guru’s catwalk favourites: Adam Bystrzycki. Trust me, this Polish designer is not planning to pass unnoticed.
The Fur Guru