Fashion meets design in the conceptual Nendo x Jil Sander Capsule Collection debuting during Milan Design Week.
INTERVIEW / FASHION STORY "CLAIRE DE REGGE"
Interview / Fashion Story
"CLAIRE DE REGGE" is now available!
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--------- CLAIRE DE REGGE's INTERVIEW ---------
1. Where are you from?
I’m from Liège, a city located in east Belgium. My country is known for beer, chocolate, waffles, and french fries.
2.How long have you been working as a model?
For a long time! I was found by my first agent at the age of 14, but I didn’t start working right away, because I was still a baby back then. I think I got my first model job at 16 years old.
3.What is your most memorable experience modeling?
It’s definitely the time when I did the cover of ELLE Belgium. It was my first trip with an entire team, and it was not a small trip, because we went to shoot in Phuket, Thailand for a week. It was like a paid vacation. I had to swim in the crystal blue water and take some sun on a personal, long-tail boat.
4.What excites you the most about your work?
First, going to amazing places. A new place is like meeting someone for the first time. There is so much to discover, and it’s inspiring to me– the culture, the architecture, the people that live there. Second, it’s a job where you meet people from everywhere around the planet, and in this business they are all interested in art in different ways. I like to get to know a bit about everyone and their interests. There is always something new to learn.
5.If you hadn't pursued modeling, what do you think you would be doing now?
I would be doing what I want to do when I retire from modeling. I studied art at school, and when I started modeling full-time, I began painting and doing some collages. It’s my way of expressing myself, and I’m trying to develop the business of me as an artist at the same time as I'm modeling.
6.What are some of your other interests?
Art in all visual matters like video, photography, painting, architecture, sculpture. I like to know it’s history– what’s behind a piece of art, its message, the way it’s made.
7.How would you describe your personal style?
I’m a dreamer. I like to discover new stuff and learn new things.
8.What is your routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
As you know, there are all the basic things like eating healthily and doing sports, but I do something really fun as well. I often turn on the music and dance in the living room with my boyfriend. We laugh a lot and exercise at the same time. It's great!
9.When did you start working as an artist?
I think I’ve always considered myself as one. When I was a child, I was drawing, painting, making artistic stuff out of everything. At a restaurant, I would draw on the table set. In the garden, I would create a small village with tree leaves and pieces of wood– like a miniature Japanese garden. I had my first camera when I was 8, and I would take pictures of flowers, landscapes, and people. I would also cut pictures out of magazines to stick them all around my room, and it's actually something that I still do in my collages, before adding my personal touch with paint.
10.Where have you lived, and how have those places influenced your understanding of art?
I’ve been traveling a lot around Europe, Italy, Spain, France, also in London, but the best was always the USA, especially New York. To me, New York is a place where everyone comes from somewhere else, and they all have so many nice stories to tell. For art, I’ve always understood it the same way– all art is beautiful in its own way, and there is always something new to learn about it.
11.Which artists do you most admire?
I have a particular interest in Andy Warhol. He turned visual elements of popular culture into fine arts. What characterizes the pop art movement is the role of the consumer society. American artists like Andy Warhol will highlight the influence that advertising, magazines, comics, and television can have on our consumer decisions. The concept of pop art presents itself more in the approach and the operation in which the work is inscribed, than in the work itself. This process is what I do with fashion. I discovered a hidden side of this environment, so I collect beautiful pictures of girls to give them a real personality, and not the one they are shaped in, where we are told that it is beautiful, so we all want to look like them.
12.Are there any specific icons or characters that especially inspire you?
All fashion icons, celebrities, models. The women I represent are all made perfect by artifices, and my artistic approach is to blur all that superfluous, sometimes by shaping them like they are in a comic, by adding a wild animal and flowers in the background, sometimes through explosions of colors, or by placing cuts of images.
13.Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?
I’m currently working on lots of new projects. I have never been able to do only one at the time. I'm creating a series of collages with only images from PHOTO magazine from the eighties. Also, I'm working on a few black and white paintings of women portraiture with a powerful sentence for each. But, for my most personal work, I’m creating a book with photographs of New York and the people that live in the city.
14.What is one thing that would surprise TWELV readers?
I’m not sure if it is surprising, but when I was in New York, I made stickers with one of my drawings, and I stuck them around the city and everywhere I've gone since.
15.Do you have any life-essential tips for our readers?
There's a sentence I came up with one day, "Wild heart never stop dreaming." I consider myself like both. Never stop dreaming and never stop realizing your dreams.
16. So, what are your lifelong dreams?
I’d love to become a famous artist. I think I’m not working hard enough for that yet, but I’m trying to always improve myself so that one day, maybe I can get there.
INTERVIEWED BY YU WATANABE
EDITED BY HOLLIS DE LANEY
PHOTOGRAPHY: CHIAKI KATO
STYLING: MASAMI MARUSAWA
HAIR: RENA INOUE
FASHION EDITOR: YU WATANABE
MODEL: CLAIRE DE REGGE @NEW YORK MODELS