Seeking new inspiration in the land of fashion
THE HAGUE – Michael Barnaart is starting an exciting new chapter. He moves with his fashion label to France. The boutique in The Hague’s Papestraat will close its doors on 23 December, but the revamped webshop will remain open.
“After 15 wonderful years in The Hague, it is time to broaden my horizons,” Michael Barnaart says of his decision to live and work in France – the land of fashion. “The city has always offered me a lot of inspiration. Now I find that the picturesque French campaign brings a breath of fresh air to my designs. I would like to focus on that to get the best out of myself as a designer.”
Barnaart’s design table will be in the tower room of the charming petit château Le Piot in Fleurance, overlooking the rolling Gascony countryside. And yet the fashion designer remains closely linked to the Netherlands and the rest of the world. “This is not a goodbye, this is a new beginning,” he says. “Online shopping has boomed; through the internet, I am reaching an increasing international audience.”
That is why Barnaart has invested in the shopping experience in his webshop. Apart from online, his work is also available at museum shops nationwide and at various European design fairs. In addition, he is targeting additional sales points in the Netherlands and France. “Without the boutique, it also creates more space for my other creative projects, such as corporate clothing and illustration commissions. I am greatly looking forward to that,” Barnaart said.
Of course, he will also miss Papestraat. “I cherish the beautiful conversations and special experiences with my customers in the shop,” the designer says. “Fortunately, my husband turns Le Piot into welcoming chambres d’hôtes, where everyone is cordially invited. And who knows, maybe this little castle will inspire me to create a collection of wallpaper and home textiles. In any case, I hope my clients are equally looking forward to everything that comes out of this new chapter.”
About Michael Barnaart
Michael Barnaart became known for his jersey designs, which are exhibited in (inter)national museums. In recent years, Barnaart has broadened his scope to include innovative fabrics, accessories and collaborative projects. His work, produced in small editions and with attention to the environment, is characterised by its accessibility, clear design, sophisticated colours and unique graphic designs.