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Dream Team: Interview with co-owner and designer at Yoek, Chantal Smits

Dream Team: Interview with co-owner and designer at Yoek, Chantal Smits
By Yoek June 30, 2017 9851 Views

We would like to introduce several people from the Yoek team to you. After owner Johanna Timmer we are having a coffee with co-owner and Head of Design Chantal Smits! Chantal has been a part of the Yoek brand for more than 20 years!

"How did you start as a fashion designer?"
'From a very early age, I already made my own clothes. First by hand and later on with my mother’s sewing machine. Therefore it was a logic thing I was going to the fashion academy. Luckily the academy was located in Amsterdam, I always hoped to end up living there because I was born in Limburg and longed for the bubbly, lively city. At the academy I made my first collection, very nice and super creative but not wearable at all. When I started working for Yoek, I made the first collections together with Johanna. In the beginning we only had two collections a year, right now we have ten! Fortunately, we are never lacking in new ideas.'

"What inspires you the most for the collections?"
'Our customers inspire me the most. They want to look fashionable and not different compared to smaller sizes. This inspires me the most every season, to create a new collection. For inspiration and to stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the fashion cities of the world, we visit different fabric fairs in Paris and Milan. We also plan several trips to London and New York every season, to visit shops and museums abroad. But even if you are sitting on a terrace in Amsterdam, sipping from your drink, you can find inspiration in people who are passing by. And I am addicted to read fashion magazines, especially the English Vogue is my absolute favourite. And if I go on holiday in-between collections, to spend some time in a different culture, definitely feeds my creative thinking and work.'

"What’s your top pick from your newest collection?"
'The black-white bomber jacket with the brightly coloured embroidery on its backside. You can wear it with almost everything. It is trendy on a destroyed denim jeans. And it can spice up a classic pencil skirt or a basic black dress.'

"What are three pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe?"
'First of all, a nice lace dress, one which always looks perfect. Then you at least never have stress when there is an unexpected date popping up in your schedule. But also a great jeans. Take your time to find the right fit and then buy different colours. Because finding the right one is not easy, but when you finally found it, you can enjoy it to the max! And last but not least, invest in a beautiful coat. It is such a shame when you are dressed beautifully and leave without a coat which is not finishing or adding up to your look.'

"Which trend do you absolutely love?"
'All variations on the classic collar shirt. A large white shirt was always a favourite, but now with all the trendy variations in frills, embroidery and stripes, it really makes me happy.'

"For which dish can we wake you in the middle of the night?"
'Ooh for many things, but I am only allowed to mention one thing, right? Then it is definitely a fresh croissant with Nutella, of the Mensinck bakery in Amsterdam. But actually you can wake me for anything with chocolate.'

"What is on your nightstand?"
'I just came back from my holidays in Puglia. Next to our cottage was a major lavender bush. I secretly took a small bunch home. Right now, it is drying on my nightstand, in a small pouch. It smells lovely and every day I go to sleep with a holiday feel and spirit.'