Laura (°1991) and Jamilla (°1976) only met each other one year prior to founding ‘Statie Twee’ in 2017. It was a coincidental meeting on a sunny terrace, in the very same street as that where their store is now located. For years, Laura had been dreaming about designing her own collection and building a label. Jamilla owned a vacant building in the Statiestraat and was looking for a new challenge. Moreover, she had found a large piece of leather which had been collecting dust for years, at the bottom of the staircase at her work place. Both of them saw the enormous potential of this forgotten piece of precious material. A handbag was born, along with a business philosophy. The two Antwerp women soon proved to be perfectly complementary. With ‘Statie Twee’, they bring a refreshing fashion concept to the market, with an important emphasis on sustainability.
“Wastage is a real shame. That’s why we only use left-overs: material at the back of a cellar or container, waiting to be thrown out. Perfectly qualitative pieces of fabric or leather which were set aside because of their size, and were consequently forgotten about. Bankruptcies of textile companies, samples of curtain shops, warehouses that relocate,… We do not shy away from sifting through containers or dusting out cellars. Don’t get us wrong: we rarely re-use fabric, but instead use new, decent material which may no longer be of value to anyone else, yet perfectly serves our purpose. Statie Twee gives those materials a second life.”
Jamilla (°1976) opted for a fashion education in secondary school. She grew a passion for the technical aspects of fashion design, an interest which was confirmed during her internship at ‘Trois Quarts’, a large company that creates sewing patterns for famous Antwerp fashion designers. “I was barely 18 years old and was drawn into a different, magical world. Designers brought in a sketch, we would develop the patterns and ultimately attend the shows in Paris. Fantastic to witness, an unforgettable experience.” After 10 years, Jamilla took a course in digital pattern creation in order to further specialise her skills, but eventually she ended up in made-to-measure business KUNNIG, where she currently leads the textile department. Her dream is to draw the taste of the fashion industry into the company. “We want to retain the production of Statie Twee in Belgium. This is perfectly feasible. There is a lot of talent here.”
LAURA VAN DEN NOORTGATE
After high school, Laura (°1991) completed a two-year ‘Fashion & Styling’ course at the Sint-Maria Institute in Antwerp, where she learned the basics to sewing, pattern creation and design. She discovered her passion for creating a world of her own. “Designing a collection is my way of storytelling. Everything is possible in this parallel universe, and it allows me to keep alive my inner child.” Laura subsequently followed the fashion program at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sint-Niklaas (SASK), combining her education with her work at Lily-Balou. She currently works at the concept store ‘Fred + Ginger Labo Antwerp’, where she gains experience in the retail sector. Laura tries to maintain an ethical and ecologically responsible lifestyle and equally applies those standards to her professional activities. “The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries, let’s make an effort to change that."