Tom Van der Borght
T.VDB is the artistic fashion studio founded by Belgian multi-disciplinary fashion artist Tom Van der Borght.
The label focuses on humans rather than gender, as the core of T.VDB is hard to pinpoint under one binary definition, description or title.
T.VDB works as an independent artist, with a focus on fashion, textile, graphics, video, installation and scenography.
He is the producer of his own free work and works on commission for various partners.
Tom Van der Borght got his Fashion Design degree in 2012 at the Stedelijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten of Sint-Niklaas. Both during and after his studies he won international fashion prices and competitions.
From 2012 to 2016 he had the pleasure of showing his work during Berlin, Paris, London and Panama Fashion Week. His collections were sold in the USA, Japan and across Europe.
As a commissioned artist T.VDB worked for companies like Mercedes-Benz, Premiere Vision, DS Automobiles and Le19M. Next to that he creates artwork and video’s for national and international music artists.
In 2021 Tom received a master degree at Zuyd Hogeschool Maastricht, focusing on the intersection between performance, fashion and artistic research.
Before studying arts, Tom got his bachelors degree in Social Studies and worked for in various social organisations for several years.
Discovering at the age of 27 he suffers from a heriditary neuropathic muscle disorder confronted T.VDB with the question what is really important in life. This was the catharsic moment when he decided to study fashion design and pursue his childhood dreams.
During his study he was already confronted with the borders between fashion and art. Reflecting on his own background in social work and his own personal disposition in life led to questioning social structures, definitions, limits, … The visual language T.VDB develops goes far beyond clothes and is always creating a highly personal and questioning universe. It combines media and is crossing borders between fashion and arts.
T.VDB has an ongoing fascination for defects and errors, which comes from his own experience and the questioning of the genetic errors that shaped the designer from his birth.
Finding a place in society has always been a core element in Van der Borght’s work and life. This generated a strong interest for tribal culture, rituals and alternative/indigenous/ social structures, including elements like costumes, ritual dance and performative acts.
Being born in a typical Flemish middle class family, where culture didn’t really exist, T.VDB was fascinated by pop culture, MTV and subcultures.
“My first fashion inspiration came from the 80s, when i looked to magazines like “Mode, C’est Belge”. My mother’s classic couture training also influenced me in my love Of clothing.”
Later on in life I got introduced to more “higher” forms of “culture”. Essential in my work is the mix of those two opposites of “culture”, not necessarily as rivals or opposites. “
Marcel Duchamps once quoted : “ I do not believe in Art, I believe in Artists”.
T.VDB’s generous attitude and authentic radical way of thinking define him as a designer and an artist.
T.VDB ’s view on fashion (and clothes) isn’t purely economics:
his work could be seen as artistic objects. Clothes and outfits become part of a bigger pictures and crossing borders leads to creating a full universe, a total package.
It results in a fascination for creating video, scenography, performance and alternative ways of presentation.
A catwalk presentation has a very strong performative energy, being a boost of energy, a “hic et nunc” reflection on the present with a big artistic value.
Fashion is always a representation of the present. In his work T.VDB translates this in trying to marry the past to the future (which for him is the essence of “present”).
In 2019, T.VDB took a restart. He focuses on an elaborate masterpiece “7 ways to be TVDB”, which is a multidisciplinary selfportrait that borders on the edges between high tech bricolage, haute couture, avantgardistic fashion and low tech performance. A first stage of this work was presented in the FashionClash festival in Maastricht , and won both the Grand Jury Festival Prize as the Audience Award. With this collection the designer won the prestigious Grand Prix du Jury at the 35th Festival Internationale de La Mode de Hyères in 2020, as well as the highly desired Public Prize. His jubilant, theatrical men’s collection was praised by designer Jonathan Anderson, who presided over a jury that included, among others, consultant Amanda Harlech, model Kaia Gerber, sound maverick Michel Gaubert, photographer Tyler Mitchell, journalist Derek Blasberg and editor-in-chief of GQ, Oliver Lalanne
“What we really, really admired in the work of Tom Van Der Borght is that it was a totally new type of form, new type of shape, new type of commitment to a silhouette, and it was uncompromising,” Anderson said during a remote award ceremony. “And in this moment we are in, we as a jury believe that it was about starting this new decade with newness, this idea of originality.” Anderson continued: “It was not about looking at something for its automatic commercial sense. It was about the beauty within fashion, the handmade, the technique, and the risk in it. And I think Tom has really achieved something in what he has done and I think he will go on to do very well.”
In 2021, T.VDB had the honour to open Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin, with a stunning performance he created with choreographer Blanca Li, to accompany his latest collection.
For the 36th edition of the International Festival de la Mode, he launches his new collection “Time For Love”. The collection was realised in close collaboration with Le19M, Chanel’s legendary “ateliers des Metièrs d’Art” and the support of Premiere Vision.
In the troubled world we are living in nowadays, all of us are urging for connection and closeness. We’ve been distanced, physically and psychologically but now, it’s time for love.
T.VDB welcomes you to a brighter future and a celebration of human connection. The collection is an invitation to enter the playful and colorful universe of the collection. Garments leave the borders of the individual human body and search for connections with other humans through cut, detail and accessories. The pieces play on the intersection of textures, artwork and colour.
Everybody is invited to join this contemporary tribe of neo-hippies, lonesome cowboys and genderfluid hybrid creatures, feeling the emotion in the silence and embracing love as an empowerment tool.