Nathalie van den Bergh
After chatting with Nathalie van den Bergh via email a few weeks ago, we were thrilled to finally meet up and have a chat about her ace new designer product!
RDC: Hey Nathalie, it's a pleasure to meet you, tell us where you are from and where you live now please?
Hey Wayne, thanks a lot for having me. As you know, I'm German. For 9 years now I live in Cologne, but before I've been a bit around Germany having lived in Düsseldorf, Berlin and Hamburg.
RDC: Could you tell us about yourself, we understand you are in the television industry and have you got any artistic training?
That's right. I'm working at Germany's largest private Broadcast Network for a news Channel. I work there as technical engineer in different roles: Mainly transmitting technology officer, floor manager and live director and coordinator for live news casts. So professionally I've got a strong technological focus. Whereas originally I started out as graphic designer and later media designer focusing on film making. While money and security are pretty good in my current job my creative mind gets a bit neglected. But luckily my job leaves enough room to constantly think something up and making it real.
RDC: You have started a business just recently using your interest in fabrics, art and design to come up with something new. Tell us about the venture?
It all started out just for fun: My sister needed a new hat because hers got blown away. I installed my old sewing machine and began working on what later became my current baby. Like babies do, it took almost nine month to actually develop into the current form with all its details. The premier of it was at a fashion show in last years august. Since then the whole thing constantly grows and I can say that I'm in business.
Although I have to say that I was quite taken aback at how long it took me to make the whole my hat a product that I was actually completely satisfied with. Not to speak of the whole administrative and legal stuff involved in setting up a business in Germany. If I had known what was ahead of me when I started the whole thing, I definitely wouldn't have done it. It was only because I already had gone so far that I pushed on.
On the other hand the development was truly rewarding. To see the whole thing evolve was incredible. Getting in touch with textile dealers all over europe or take the cord stoppers. These cord stoppers have been developed and produced for me and only me. Can you imagine that? Cheers out to my cord stopper producers, I love you guys, you make my cords complete.
RDC: The inspiration for your colour patterns and designs, where do they come from?
I have no recipe for that. I just let my sublime sense for style rule...just kidding. In fact I'm partly limited to what is on the market. You have to have a keen out for special designs and visit every fabric fair that's on. I'm still looking for the perfect way to get what I really want, but I think I'm doing too bad up to now. What I don't want is using prints, I know that.
RDC: Random question, are you a cat liker or a dog person?
Catdog, like the thing from the cartoon.
RDC: What stores are you currently selling your hoodies in?
MY label and website is called neonbeige Ehrenfeld, you can have a look there. Ehrenfeld is a small district of cologne which has a lighthouse, also the English translation of Ehren is honour, so it means honour field. I really like that!
There are two stores selling my stuff at the moment. One in Germany - Cologne and one in Austria – Vienna. There are a number of shops in Berlin and even UK whom I am currently talking with. We'll see how that turns out. Due to other major projects of mine I didn't not have a lot of time to promote properly...and of course fill up my stocks first. And of course there is always the web shop, which will soon be available in English. Although it's quite easy “Kaufen” means “Buy” and the rest is quite self-explanatory.
RDC: Have you got any fashion shows or exhibitions coming up in the future?
If there's something on, I always try to take part. There were a lot of very interesting local designer shows and fairs last year before Christmas. Right now there seems to be a bit of a slack.
I'd really love to present my stuff in UK. You might have a demand for my kind of product who knows. I'll definitely keep you informed when I'm around.
RDC: It's been great meeting you Nathalie, all the best on your new venture.
Nathalie is kindly throwing us a Hoodie soon so we can do a Street Test on it... so keep um... you know... peeled!
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