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Donderdag, 24 juni 2021


Industry Talk: Female Entrepeneurship

Industry Talk: Female Entrepeneurship



Ilse Cornelissen – KASSL Editions
Ilse Cornelissen is the founder of Graanmarkt 13 in Antwerp. A boutique, restaurant and apartment. She also started KASSL Editions, a new outerwear brand carried by a collective of friends working in different fields of fashion. The timeless collection is based on a single coat with an outstanding shape, created by and for people with a love for quality.

Monique Randami – Moise Store
Monique Randami is the owner of high-end store Moise in Amsterdam. The store opened in 2017 and sells brands like Jaqcuemus, Acne Studios and Helmut Lang. In 2018 Monique branched out to menswear as well.

Danielle Cathari – Fashion designer
Daniëlle Cathari is an Amsterdam based designer. She was the first student to be awarded the VFiles prize at the 2017 Vfiles runway show. Into her second year at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute she participated in the Honours Programme which ultimately resulted in her designing the renown deconstructed vintage adidas tracksuits initially sourced from vintage stores. During this time, she caught the eye of adidas Originals which shortly resulted in a first collaborative partnership for SS18 – adidas Originals by Daniëlle Cathari



Defining moment career
D: “The Vfiles show was the turning point in my career. I only had three outfits. And was still in school when I got the email. I went for it, I had to. I started making several more outfits and I got the opportunity to show at New York Fashion Week. Within a month Adidas Originals reached out. It was a rollercoaster. I chose to set up my own label after that.”

I: “We found Graanmarkt 13 ten years ago. All the sudden I had my third baby when my agency called me with an opportunity. It all started from one fisherman’s coat from the fleamarket of Amsterdam. It was made out of some sort of boiled cotton and I fell in love with it. That’s how KASSL Edition started.”

M: “My defining moment was 10 years ago. Before I had Moise I owned a different store. I really didn’t like it. My focus was on learning how to run a business. After 2 years I decided that this was not for me, but I had a contract so I couldn’t get out of it. That’s when I started to think about the concept of Moise. We started in Haarlem and found a gap in the market. There was no Acne, no Givenchy. After while I felt like I couldn’t grow anymore so I decided to pick up my store and move to Amsterdam. That really felt like starting over. The first year and a half I survived on my Haarlem clientele, and was lucky to also built up a clientele in Amsterdam.”


Men vs. women
M: “I think a lot of women trust on their intuition, with Moise I really felt like I had to do that.”

D: “I heard that I was in the Hypebeast one hundred list, out of the 100 designers on their I was one of the 26 women. We’re not there yet but the industry is changing.”

I: “I think women have different qualities. It’s not about being female or male it’s about working together and combining forces. I really learnt that you can’t do everything alone and if you want to grow you need people that can complement your skills and view.”


D: “Adidas is a very big brand and I’m very grateful for this opportunity. But I have my own brand as well, with an overlapping DNA. It’s a very unusual way of entering the fashion industry, starting out with a big brand collab and then starting on your own. Of course with my own label I do have a small team, but it’s so much different than working with Adidas.”


Limitations vs. growth
D: “I want to reach to a high-quality brand with no creative concessions, I also have a love for design outside fashion. I don’t feel very limited, fashion is my main outlet for translating my vision but that doesn’t mean I have to stop there. There is so much more than apparel.”

I: “I mainly focus on outerwear, which is a small segment. I believe that working with a good product, instead of doing everything at once, is key to creating a good business.”

M: “I made the decision to scale down, and focus on a higher segment. At the same time, I’m expanding because I’m focusing on men now as well. It’s a growing business and I’m trying to figure out how to translate Moise women to men.”


I: “We are a starting company so one of our biggest challenges is finding investors. You have to make decisions financially and find people that believe in you. In terms of the growth of our company, I am quite slow pace and my husband likes going faster. It’s a discussion you have to make.”


D: “When you’re set on an idea for your own business, you have to take risks and calculate setbacks. They’re always around a corner and you have to allow yourself to have your insecurities and then share them with others. It’s not an easy road but it’s an important one.”


Buying Behaviour
D: I don’t really buy that much and when I do I only buy investment pieces or things that have a practical value. I got a really nice vintage chair in a cute purple mid-century colour. If I purchase something I need to feel obsessed with it.”

I: “I have a store which sells quite a lot of different items so I don’t really buy a lot of clothes myself. However, I recently purchased this beautiful vintage dress. It’s like wearing a piece of history.”


The state of the fashion industry
M: “I have mixed feelings about the current industry because I’m part of it. I hope that people that buy things at my store, think longer about what they buy and love those pieces forever, but of course I can’t guarantee this is always what happens.”

I: “we have coatwear brand that launches 4 collections a year and I’m questioning myself now if that is really necessary. On the other hand we have Graanmarkt 13, which is doing the opposite because we decided to never put our items on sale anymore. A lot of people got mad about this but we feel that the system is overproducing and people are buying too much. After three years no one asks me anymore why we don’t have sale. We keep the items in the store for a very long time and mix old items with newer collections. Every season we also do a second-hand sale. If necessary, we also do a stock sale but we have been cautious and are buying in way less to avoid having a waste problem.”