Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Verena Klein. Due to my studies at the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design, I moved to the Netherlands and graduated in 2015 as a fashion designer. I feel so comfortable here, that’s why I chose Maastricht as my adopted home. I set up my business right after finishing my studies and I have been working since then on my own clothing line, which is made from 100% pure wool and linen.
On my website – which is still “under construction”– I communicate all prices of the production process as well as fabric-information and descriptions of the materials that are known to me. I chose to present both myself and my products as transparent as possible, because
to me it is of utmost importance to re-establish the appreciation for an authentic and honest clothing production.
Together with four very good friends who are designers as well, we run a little showroom at the Capucijnenstraat, the Peace Stone Studios Showroom. Experiencing it as the ideal medium to express and underline the pure, free and intimate feeling of my designs. I prefer to present my label through modern dance, since I have been dancing myself for over 22 years.
What do you consider your distinctive achievement?
Actually I see the achievements more in my personal process of development and the consequent development of my work, rather than in single milestone that I encountered.
Nowadays most people are more often busy with presenting themselves and thinking about how they are perceived from the outside world, instead of asking themselves who they really are, if they are a valuable person or what they want to contribute to the world.
Personally I’m a quite an insecure human being, because I have to question everything thousand times. In addition, I feel I make myself through my independent, transparent and authentic way to work very vulnerable. Especially in the fashion world I find that very exciting and challenging.
My work to me does not only means to design clothes, but much more, is the constant process to get to know myself, and to acknowledge and reveal different values and emotions. Sometimes I feel very brave because of that. 😀 Haha!
What are you looking forward too?
At the moment I’m working on my website and my online shop, and therefore I hope to reach more people and obviously to expand my client-network.
This summer the Peace Stone Studios will be at the Fashionclash market during the festival. I look forward to communicate directly with the festival’s attendants to experience the interaction, in the same way I do through our showroom.
Next to my own label, I am currently designing costumes for dance-theatre-performances, and we are already busy with the planning of a production for next year. I am very happy to combine my two passions in my work.
Which advice would you give to other professionals?
There are four things that I realized during my year as an independent designer that I consider important to share:
Disclose your wisdom and your ideas.
The more you share, the more resonance you produce, the more you will learn and the more you can help others. Don’t be afraid of competition. Your creations will be unique, because they come from you.
Surround yourself with people you admire.
It will support you in your process achieving your goals and to become the best version of yourself.
My favorite quote from Albert Einstein who said: “Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.“
Keep on going.
What are the challenges that we need to come to make about cultural entrepreneurship more accessible?
Regarding the city I live in:
I think that it is important for a city to recognize that what make a city a great city are not always the things that generate the commercial revenues.
Reasonable sums are being spent for external profiling and presentations to attract tourists so that people will buy and consume a lot. But in my opinion a city doesn’t only gains character from its visitors but from its citizens, who live and shape their environment.
To me culture does not mean to rely on historic achievements, traditions, values and good wine, but it should be recreated everyday. Because of that, I think that an artistic, creative and constructive scene is very important, because the people involved – amongst others – generate the flair, innovation and authenticity to a cityscape.
Therefore I hope that more space, more support and more understanding will be provided, but most of all, workplaces for the designers, artists and all other cultural entrepreneurs involved.