renskeversluijs

renskeversluijs riempjes

Renske Versluijs (29), makes accessories with a very unique look. You recognise Renske’s designs immediately by her unique use of colours and materials. Her brand is now four years old and only getting prettier. I often wonder how designers design: where do they get their ideas from and how do they manage to make what’s in their head? Read about the process of Renske Versluijs.

 

How it all started

Five years ago Renske graduated Fashion Design at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU). She liked designing fashion, but she also thought that it was somehow limited. So then she started to do some other projects. Renske explains: “I made furniture and I was always experimenting with original combinations of materials, like wool and wood. Eventually I started working with leather and I never stopped.” You could say that leather is Renske’s favourite material. She likes the way it feels and looks and how you can manipulate it in so many ways. However, Renske does not limit her choice of material solely to leather and still likes to experiment with different combinations. This resulted for example in a beautiful scarf, which was made with leather and knitted wool.

Atelier Renske Versluijs

 

The brand “renskeversluijs”

Renske describes her brand as one big experiment for herself. “I love to work with leather, to cut and shape it in different ways and to try out different kinds of colour combinations. Finding the right leather in the right colours is always a challenging search. All the colours in my collection have to go well together. This time I went to Paris to find leather in the exact colours I wanted for the collection.

I think you can tell, if you look at my collection, that I have tried to make my collection a whole.” We can tell, because the renskeversluijs collection does not only consist of practical objects, but also things that are simply pretty and little installations of copper, glass and wood she makes to present her designs. Everything in that one signature look.

 

Inspiration and production

So how does Renske design? Well, she just gets a piece of leather and starts experimenting with it. On the wall of her atelier there are lots of little experiments. Eventually it becomes something, like the key holder in the picture below. To me, that’s kind of magical.

renskeversluijs sleutelhanger

 

When I asked Renske about the production process and if she ever has an intern for help, she replied: “I never had an intern, but my mother is very good at knitting and my sister is good at making little holes in leather.” So it’s a little family business. Now that Renske has added wallets to the collection, she has delegated a production process for the first time. She went to Portugal to talk with a specialised company that makes wallets and explained to them exactly what the wallets had to look like. Now they produce the wallets and I think they look perfect. They have the beautiful leather and colours that we know from Renske, but they are also very practical and well thought of, which is important for a wallet.

 

Collaboration with Granny’s Finest

Since last September, Renske is designing for Granny’s Finest as well. At Granny’s Finest, elderly women that want to spend their days with something fun, knit accessories that are being sold at stores like Puha Shop. The accessories they knit, are all designed by young designers. “I design a shawl and explain to the granny’s what it should look like. I don’t have to explain anything about knitting to them, because they know more about that than I do.” Some of the designs Renske made for Granny’s Finest have already been shown on fashion exhibition the “Modefabriek”.

 

Future

Renske wants to keep expanding her collection with accessories, but also with installations to present her designs and with a lot of photography. Most of Renske’s items come in pastel colours, but she has made a few black coloured accessories as well. Renske explains to me that she maybe will transform her little collection of black accessories into a second collection in the future, with colours like dark blue, dark brown and black.

renskeversluijs portemonnee

 

Interview: Carmen Kloosterhuis