Amsterdam-based Erik Frenken is a formidable force in the world of fashion. He’s at the helm of the emerging Dutch brand Avelon, which he first transformed on the shelves of it’s brother label, Blue Blood, and has since spiraled the label into all kinds of wonderful. Prior to this, Frenken cut his teeth working at several internships, eagerly pressed on at Alberta Feretti’s atelier, and finally, spent four years as head designer at Viktor & Rolf, where he says “it gave me the opportunity to completely develop myself as a designer”. Avelon aims to be an innovative brand for real people, and combines a rough approach to delicate materials and raw edge finishing, making it all about fine details and contrasting fabrics. The irrepressibly chic brand is located in Amsterdam’s hip district “De 9 Straatjes”, but for those of us who cant make it across the border, you can get your hands on all that fine fabric online, or at Opening Ceremony.
Click-through to see exclusive sketches for the upcoming Autumn/Winter collection, and read below for more AVELON.
Where are you and what are you doing right now?
I am in Amsterdam in our design office. At the moment I am behind my computer answering your questions. Of course, I’m very busy with the newest AW2012 collection. The concept is ready, we know what direction we would like to go and right now we are draping new shapes and developing new details for the collection.
What are the signature features of AVELON?
The Avelon look is about understated design. I want people to be able to wear Avelon every day and still look relaxed and easy going. Avelon is simple and directional at the same time
For example, our ducked taped cocktail dress is a blend of luxurious detailing and an undpredictable combination of elegance and rough detailing.
Unpredictable combinations of raw and luxurious detailing. The contrast between elegant designs and rough detailing.
We read that you live by the words “ I’m not young enough to know everything.” Who have you recently learned from?
I am learning every day. I was recently reading a book and it mentioned how one must live in the present. And that you will perform better this way.
This means that you give attention to whatever you do at that right moment, and, of course, not always try to make plans and live in the future.
What would people be surprised to find out about you?
Mostly people are surprised that i have two kids: A boy who is eight and a five-year-old girl.
People are like, “oh you’re not gay and, exactly, how old ARE you?” I was still in school in London when my son was born.
If you could collaborate with anyone from the past, who would it be and why?
I think it would be YSL. I love what he did. He was the first designer to really start out with the vision to create a season-less look for every occasion. He wanted to make affordable clothes(from “couture to “ready to wear”, which was definitely ahead of it’s time.