Last Friday we received the news that Belgian designer and artist extraordinaire Christophe Coppens has decided to close his company because he couldn’t work anymore under the current circumstances. Greedy banks, overly careful buyers and an overdose of creativity that he couldn’t use in his work all played a role. We’re extremely upset about this news, as this brings us another step closer to a boring, cowardly beige world. We’re sure that Mr Coppens will come back- most probably as a contemporary artist and meanwhile we can only wish him the best of luck and bon courage. Poor Belgium indeed.
This is what Christophe Coppens wrote on his blog on May 4, 2012:
At the dawn of the opening of my first shop in Paris and a new capital injection in June, I have nevertheless decided to stop all my activities as a designer and to close my company.
Because it is enough. Because the price is too high and the goal no longer justify the means.
It all seems too much and at the same time too little.
It has always been difficult, all through my 21 years career as a designer, and difficult is ok. But the past years have been unbearable, and inhuman.
One becomes something you are not.
Nothing follows as expected.
Every part in the chain is having a rough time within this global crisis; banks no longer play their part as banks and factories can’t afford to take any risks which oblige them to requests 100% pre-payments from designers.
Pre-financing, in combination with instalment payments, and paying for the present is a combination mathematically impossible.
Wages are no longer payable in Belgium, producing quality products in limited quantities almost impossible.
Fashion buyers are obliged to play it safe; mostly by choosing the accessories of the same clothing designers they already carry in store. Safer to be sold and delivered on time.
Shops are looking for cheap products, gimmicks, or the hype of the moment.
None of those can be applied to my collections, regardless my faithfull customers.
It is a vicious circle I can’t find my way out of.
And when it comes to the product itself; my ideas are today way bigger than the end result where they are suppossed to fit in.
Since many years it has been only about restraint, cut, omission, reducing, beeing carefull.
My lifelong dilemma between fashion and art seems impossible to reconcile with reality today.
I have almost lost who I am, always between what needs to be done and what is right to do.
What remains is very little, and most of all, I work restrained to 1% of my talent.
And this is no longer the life I want to live.
Today I’m taking a very hard decision, in the first place towards those who kept believing in me through the years, my faithfull staff members, my suppliers, my customers, my shareholders…the consequences are hard on every level, this will be a total deconstruction.
Thank you for your support the past 21 years- CC