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Monique van Heist was already behind the sewing machine at the age of 8 and also wore her own designs as a child.

That she would end up in fashion seemed at least obvious. After studying at the Academy for Visual Arts and Design in Enschede, a few years later she successfully completed the ArtEZ Fashion Design course.

As her love for fashion grows, so does her dissatisfaction with the fashion industry. Monique has little understanding for the short lifespan of trends and what she experiences as the elitist pretensions of the fashion world. Under the motto of change the world, start with yourself, she starts the project Hello Fashion in 2009.

 
 

Her goal? To create an ongoing collection of mostly basic patterns to which designs are then added each time. It turns out to be a great success. Not a single piece of clothing has to retire; her permanent oeuvre of jackets, trousers, shirts and tops is highly sought after. And the by now famous Monique van Heist leggings have been a hit for years.

 
 

While designing, she does not have a particular woman in mind; it is all about creating an ideal shape. The patterns sometimes undergo minor updates, but a good design remains a good design. A garment acquires character mainly by playing with fabrics and materials, Monique says. Every garment is extremely personal, but at the same time capable of surprising variety.

 
 

In a 2011 interview in the Dutch newspaper Het Parool, Monique said: 'If I had known what's involved in fashion, I might have become a baker. Nice and traditional, and at least there's not as much chatter about bread as there is about clothes. Why don't we just call fashion 'clothing', then it's independent of the seasons'. She also thinks it's a pity that such a distorted and superficial image of fashion is presented. Typical Monique and 'why we love her'. 

 

 
 

Monique never has to think about what clothes she puts on in the morning, because it is always one of her own designs. This way she can feel if a garment really fits well. 'Besides, wearing another brand's clothes feels a bit like cheating to me,' she said in an interview in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. Well, everybody wants a closet full of Monique van Heist items. This seems like common sense, right? 

 

'I think it's important to be able to feel if something is really comfortable'.

monique van heist

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