Alexander van Slobbe and Francisco van Benthum have proved themselves as independently operating designers. For years they have sold their collections in their own stores and other locations. They have also both worked with the industry. This combination of roles (independent designer, commissioned designer and commissioning client for the industry and retailer) has been essential for the creation of this initiative. After all, this is about more than the start of yet another new website for online shopping. Much more than the collaboration between two respected names in Dutch fashion.
Alexander van Slobbe
Alexander van Slobbe (1959, Schiedam, the Netherlands) studied at the fashion department, ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, where he graduated in woman's and man's design and illustrations. There he became interested in the minimalist School of Dutch architecture and design, and began applying these principles to his fashion design. In 1989 he introduced his women’s line orson + bodil. The men’s label SO by alexander van slobbe was developed in 1993. When SO was sold in 2003 Van Slobbe started colloborations with company’s like Royal Tichelaar Makkum, Puma and fellow designers like Claudy Jongstra, Jan Jansen and Francisco van Benthum.
Van Slobbe received numerous awards such as the Theo Limperg Prize for Best Industrial Design, the Prince Bernhard Cultural Prize for Applied Arts and Architecture and the ELLE style award.
Francisco van Benthum
Francisco van Benthum (1972, Boxmeer, the Netherlands) began his career in the late 1990’s as soon as he graduated from the fashion department at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem. He immediately started searching for his own vision as a menswear designer by exploring and stretching the boundaries of traditional men’s fashion and playing with its codes and restrictions. Alongside developing the brand and the business, van Benthum has always been involved in external design projects, assignments and collaborations with other designers. In 2012 van Benthum designed and launched a special line of spectacle frames for SPECSAVERS. The FRANCISCO VAN BENTHUM for SPECSAVERS collection is exclusively available at all SPECSAVERS stores.
In 2012, van Benthum was awarded a Fashion Grant for his work and career achievements so far, given by the Netherlands Prince Bernhard Culture Foundation in collaboration with the Dutch Fashion Foundation.