Michaël Verheyden is a Belgian designer, based in the city of Genk, birthplace of Martin Margiela for one, in the West of Belgium. The very talented creative mind creates fashion accessories, home accessories and furniture with a distinct elegant robust aesthetic. Verheyden graduated as an industrial designer in 2001 and before starting his own design label, worked together with, among others, another Belgium design master; fashion designer Raf Simons. The highly influential designer coached Verheyden’s graduation project and commissioned him to make a series of leather bags for his Spring/Summer 2003 collection. In the same year as working on the pieces for Simons, Verheyden started his own label focusing on leather bags and accessories, which trained his exquisite eye for detail and dealing with all kinds of different materials.
I’m not into complicated forms.
In 2009 the designer expanded the output of his label with home accessories, working closely with his wife Saartje Vereecke, with all of Verheyden’s creations inhabiting basic geometrical lines and made from noble, durable materials with an intrinsic natural beauty which age with grace like marble, wood, leather, and linen. Since then he created both bespoke and production pieces, which made Verheyden one of the most interesting names in Belgian design.
In a very revealing interview with The New York Times Verheyden states on his motivations in his work:
I hope that people are slowing down when they are using my designs. We’re living today at a very high speed, reading e-mails every five minutes and traveling the world, but to be able to do this you need to slow down and create your own rituals. We need to feel grounded again. So the materials I choose, by looking at them and touching them, I hope they can work in some kind of healing way.
In the recent years Verheyden, together with Vereecke, has worked on commissions for interesting clients like the L’Apogée hotel in Courchevel with India Mahdavi and Joseph Dirand, and they also created the beautiful table accessories for the new Antwerp-based restaurant of three-star Michelin chef Sergio Herman named The Jane. Parallel they have been expanding the collection of the Michaël Verheyden label, which is sold at selected retailers worldwide.
In many ways the year 2009 has been a pinnacle in the story of the Belgian designer, as next to the creative power-move of starting his cooperation with wife Saartje which has taken the label to the next level, in the same year Verheyden was also granted the ‘Henry van de Velden Young Talent Award’, which is one of the most important gestures of recognition from the Flemish Design Industry. Marking the moment in time the start of greatness, both through recognition from the outside world as the creative hausse which began at that very moment.
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