Can you recall the exact moment when you decided to become a fashion designer?

Well, I am not exactly a fashion designer to begin with. I lack the skills to sketch or draw, but I am very good at creating images and styles in my mind and have someone else start on the design. If I have to recall when I wanted to do something for myself, I believe it was around 2011 after visiting Japan. I felt heavily influenced and inspired by the denim styles there, and the fashion in general, and it was the first moment when I started to create images of styles. But it took a few years before I actually developed something of an image into a real design and physical product, basically that decision and realization came in 2016.
Dandy Blu fabrics woven by Berto, a 10.6oz denim fabric in a cotton/elasthane blend [...] has proven to be perfect for my project and the quality is sublime.
What was your first project?

For specific design and product development, my own brand Du Nord Projects is my first project. The first product is a formal workwear denim pants, The Zachary, and the project goes by the name "Le Jean Du Nord".

Creative process: do you work instinctively or planning each single small step? Where do your ideas come from?

I believe every step comes from instinct. I get inspired by images and styles I see on social media, blogs and the streets and eventually it transforms in my mind and I try to think of a style that would suit the consumer without generalising or stereotyping people. I believe products should be accessible for all, and not targeted towards one type of person. But, after finding the spark or instinct, I do work in steps as I am a perfectionist at heart.

What did you think when you have been contacted by Berto first?

Well actually, I got introduced to Berto after visiting the Denim Boulevard in Milan in 2014. They had a stand there and Maurizio Zampollo was so energetic and passionate about their work, that I immediately felt triggered by their philosophy and fabrics. After our first meet, I had some frequent contacts with both Maurizio and Arianna Morimando about the company, and I visited the factory in Bovolenta. Both Maurizio and Arianna take so much pride in their work and the heritage of the company, qualities that I value very highly when working with companies.

Which Berto’s fabrics have you been working with for your project/collection?

For The Zachary denim pants I have used the Dandy Blu fabrics woven by Berto, a 10.6oz denim fabric in a cotton/elasthane blend. The fabric was recommended to me by Arianna, and it has proven to be perfect for my project and the quality is sublime.

What's the most meaningful part about this project in your opinion? What have you been able to achieve thanks to this program?

The reason why I started Du Nord Projects is to develop a company that can support my son in the future, mainly this start-up has been done for him. As he lives in China with his mother, I wanted to do more for him. I believe that by pursuing this project, I will be able to give him more options in the future. Also, it has always been one of my goals to create my own brand and develop my vision into a physical product.

“Less but better” could be read as an endorsement for purity in design but in fashion design too. It can also be adopted as an environmental message about reduction and sustainability. What do you think about this?

I take this very highly. It saddens me to see how the society as a whole, and global powerhouses in general, keep destroying the environment merely for personal benefit. Seeing the world leaders in action is quite disappointing, as they hardly do enough to propel environmental awareness as they focus more on monetary gains than saving our planet. Luckily, more and more consumers are getting more conscious about how to look at products and behaviour. I hope that future generations will keep pushing for a cleaner and better world, in which we respect Mother Nature. Specifically looking at Du Nord Projects, I prefer working with mainly natural products and collaborating with factories and suppliers from Western Europe that do in-house production. Transparency is key and I am pleased to say that the suppliers I work with I either know personally or have them recommended by veterans in the industry, ensuring their quality.

Is there anything you'd like to do that you haven't done yet?

From a design point-of-view, I hope that Du Nord Projects will become a brand that can keep continuing development in products. I would like to focus on creating a contemporary denim dress shirt, waistcoat and suit-jacket. From a wider perspective, Du Nord Projects will hopefully develop into a creativity platform for talented individuals where they can connect and collaborate as I feel that these kind of platforms are highly undervalued in The Netherlands.​