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ITW – “An inspirational place in Brugge…”

In the country of beer and chocolate, Thomas created a space between a concept-store and an art gallery, a true oasis of freshness and clean lines. As its name suggests, Fresh offers a carefully selected collection of men and womenswear, jewellery and other works of art. Thomas, who started this whole project, insists on working with local businesses, producers and artists in order to foster true emulation between the various city players, offering great opportunities to the residents of Bruges.

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Crédit photo : Karen Vandenberghe

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Hi Thomas! What made you want to launch Fresh? Is it something you always wanted to do?

Hi Marion! I wanted to do something on my own after having worked as a marketing specialist for a supermarket chain in Brussels for a couple of years. I found the work very demanding and also restrictive on my creativity.

I looked back on my “career” and found that the only time I was a 100% happy with my job, was when I was working in a clothing store here in Bruges. I love making people feel good about themselves, especially when I can handpick the styles they’re going to be wearing.

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How would you describe the Fresh ethos? What did you want to bring to Bruges by setting up shop here?

Fresh is more than a clothing store. Of course clothes are the main thing, but I really like working together with local artists of all kinds. We sell handmade jewellery, pins, patches, bowties, … from local artists and artisans. I also try to work closely with the local businesses, clothing stores & bars alike, to make a more lively scene.

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Your selection is specialized, but also mixed; how do you define the men/womenswear ratio each season?

I always try to do 50/50. I want to be able to give as much choice to men and women alike. It limits the budget for both, but it makes sure you choose every piece with care.

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You make it a point of honour of choosing Scandinavian-inspired brands, so why OLOW and how did you discover the brand?

It wasn’t really my intention to go for, as you put it “Scandinavian-inspired brands”. It came almost as a coincidence. OLOW is a big part of my selection because its identity comes really close to the values I set out for the shop; promoting of artists and their art, playfulness, sense of community, …  

And of course the OLOW styles mix really well with the more sober, low key elements you would find in Scandinavian inspired brands.

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Fresh is also a place where various events are organised; what is the concept of these events exactly?

Every 2-3 months we have a late-night opening and we show the work of a local artist. We’ve had a tattoo artist, a music photographer, a couple of painters,… At the end of this month we’re having another artist who paints and draws on jackets.

We’ve also participated in cultural events organised by others, making the shop a venue for music and performance.

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Like at OLOW, you are very fond of art; how do you go about highlighting this?

I try to incorporate it in everything I do. I love to give (young) artists the chance to show their work in a more informal setting, but I also support local artists and artists from all over the world by selling their pins & patches.  

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E-commerce seems to be the present and future of sales; have you ever thought of opening an e-shop one day?

Of course. For now I’m perfectly happy just running my shop. I do it alone, so there’s not much room for extra work.

 

I know that Bruges is the city of chocolate and beer! But could you give us a few shopping addresses?

For sure!

Leeloo (Young and funky fashion for boys & girls)

Sint-Jakobsstraat 19, 8000 Brugge

Ruth (High end womens boutique)

Sint-Jakobsstraat 55, 8000 Brugge

Twee meisjes (mid range for women & girls)

Sint-Jakobsstraat 61, 8000 Brugge

Goûts et Couleurs (Interior design shop)

Ezelstraat 5, 8000 Brugge

Mais Oui (Fair fashion for women + design)

Academiestraat 12, 8000 Brugge

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• More info about Fresh on his website, Facebook page and Instagram page !

 

Photo credit (shop) : Lori Vandyck


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Marion Bureau
Marion Bureau
Chargée de communication chez OLOW

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