Veronique Branquinho is a diverse Belgian designer who creates ladieswear, menswear, shoes, boots, sunglasses and lingerie. She has worked on several projects collaboratively with other designers and fashion manufacturers. Her designs fall into the luxury brand category, are well-tailored, and use the finest fabrics to create striking, yet lovely garments. She is in tune with the female body and believes that clothing should be made to fit perfectly, thus, making them more comfortable and more appealing. Her attention to detail through the use of quality fabrics is her signature feature.
Veronique was born in Vilvoorde, Belgium in 1973. As a child, she was timid and quiet, preferring to be alone, rather than in a large group. Because of this, she never imagined working with so many people, owning a company, much less being in the limelight. The world of fashion to her was something that people saw in a magazine, not something that someone like her lived. But she did decide to study fashion, and like other excellent designers from Belgium, she studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1995.
After graduation, Veronique worked hard and released her first collection in 1997, a ready-to-wear womens line. Her label was called Veronique Branquinho. She was not afraid to show her work and was confident enough to present the collection on the Paris runway. All of the garments were clearly top quality, as she wanted everything to be perfect, right down to the finishing touches and magnificent detailing of each item. She was immediately known for her long pleated skirts which resembled kilts in a maxi styling length. Her womenswear collections would continue until Fall 2009.
Not long after Veronique’s first showing, she established an actual company in Antwerp, as she was growing from the orders from luxury companies like Barneys New York and Iris in Montreal. Boutiques in Moscow, Tokyo, London and Paris also wanted to stock her now famous label. By Fall 2003, she launched her menswear line which also continued successfully until 2009. One her most unique collections was the 2006 “his and hers” line. It was basically the same garments, but made for both men and women. The women’s line also had a skirt which was made from the same fabric as the men’s pants. When interviewed, she said that this was probably her favorite collection to date.
Through the years, collaboration was important to Veronique and she has worked with numerous companies to create unique pieces. Examples include luxury eyewear with Linda Farrow, a British sunglass designer; leather goods with Raf Simmons for Ruffo Research, an Italian company; an exclusive sixteen-piece collection for 3 Suisses, a French catalog company selling upper end fashions; and jazz shoes for Repetto, the French company that specializes in ballet and dance footwear.
By early 2008, just ten short years in business, Veronique had shown a total of twenty-one collections on the Paris catwalk. As a result, she was permitted a presentation at the MoMu which was called “Moi, Veronique: Branquinho Toute Nue” translated as “Totally Naked Veronique”. It was a reflection of her ten successful years showing examples of her ideas and the actual clothing that she created.
Ruffo Research by Veronique Branquinho & Raf Simmons
In early 2009, Veronique announced that she would have to close her company, ending production of her own designs and label. The economy was such that she felt she could no longer sustain a business and compete in the marketplace solely on the merits of her name. She also felt that although many great designers existed, and people loved their finished products, independent designers were no match against the conglomerates in the fashion world. Joyfully, that has not stopped her from carrying on with her designs. Since then, she has worked on various projects and keeps her name in the spotlight through designing for other companies.
Shortly before leaving her own brand, Veronique was named Artistic Director for Delvaux, a prestigious leather manufacturer with over two hundred years of history crafting handbags. The first collection she designed for the company debuted in Paris for Fall-Winter 2010. Additionally, in early 2010, she entered into an agreement with Camper, a Spanish shoe company, to create a line called “Veronique Branquinho for Camper Together“. The collection was released in the Spring of 2010 around April.
One of her collaborations is a lingerie collection. In the fall of 2011, Marie Jo L’Aventure, a lingerie company in Belgium, requested Veronique’s assistance in creating a new “design series”, something completely unique . Called “Veronique Branquinho voor Marie Jo L’Aventure“, the eleven pieces are absolutely stunning. A “silky gloss look”, in green or black satin and tulle, the collection includes three variations on a balconette bra, a fiberfill bra, a strapless bra, a full body (teddy from shoulder straps to crotch closures), a rio brief, a full brief with control top, a hipster brief, g-string, and garter band with straps. Each piece is sumptuously comfortable to wear and truly elegant to view.
For a short period, Veronique worked at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna where she taught fashion. Although the strict teaching side of designing does not interest her as much, she does help young up-and-coming designers, such as George Bezhanishvili, who studied under her tutelage. Likewise, Delvaux has a relationship with the program, so she sometimes works with Masters students while she creates for the company.
Fall/Winter ’15 Collection
Veronique returned to fashion under her own name, three years after filing for bankruptcy. The designer set to return to the ready-to-wear (S/S 2013) schedule in Paris, with a slightly lower-priced offering than her former eponymous brand.
Created along with Italian clothing manufacturer Gibò, who has reportedly also invested in her company, the collection will be a “bit more adult” than her former designs, she says.
“I’ve always been a no-nonsense girl, I think,” the designer said. “My approach is also like that and I think this is something people are looking for – honest things… Before, I had an independent company. I was responsible for everything. In this new situation, it feels so comfortable, because I’m only busy with the creative part.”
Watch A Magazine curated by Veronique Branquinho by clicking on the link below
Veronique Branquinho ®MARK SEGAL