This is a tragedy for Belgium and for the world of accessories. For several years he could fulfill my wildest hat, scarf and other pompous jewelry dreams. His creations are still the icing on the cake for some of my outfits. The man knows how powerful the right accessory can be. He was able to persuade me that you can make a statement by wearing an accessory.
But not only his exuberant creations swept me of my feet. I am a very very loyal customer but I am a difficult one! So I need more. Only a brand with a total package can satisfy my demanding genes. Besides the designs you can win me over with impeccable service, fabulous stores and interesting marketing. And he did satisfy my demanding genes. Walking into one of his stores made me go ballistic. I tried on every model like a little kid going through the most phenomenal precious collection.
I am not going to write an elaborate discourse about how fashion works because of the simple reason that I don't know how fashion works. But there is a thing that strikes me: the constant deliberation an artist has to deal with. Your mind is bursting with ideas and you have an uncontrollable urge to share them with the world. But will they sell, will you make enough money? After all in our neoliberal system it is all about numbers and popularity. So you will have to make some choices with your business mind and not with your heart. Will I go mainstream or do I stay true to my extravagant designs? As an artist that must be heartbreaking and the danger of losing your identity is unbearable.
And there is another thing that bugs me. I know that fashion weeks are like real life magazines and celebrities are like walking billboard advertisements. If a celeb is wearing one of your designs, you're in! And frankly I love watching them too. Christophe Coppens could not have asked for better fans. I am talking about Roisin Murphy, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, ... . But in the end, every day people will have to buy your creations. And apparently they did not.
Maybe the world isn't ready for a new hat era. Or maybe we need more russian socialites who will show us how whimsical a hat can be. For me there is only one thing left to say: This is my Christophe Coppens collection and I am damn proud of it. The end of an era!