Nathalie Vleeschouwer offers the kind of subtle elegance to women of character who want to enjoy life actively and confidently.
The Belgian designer launched her collection in 2011, but the roots of her fashion house go back as far as 1990. Inspiration is derived from all corners of the globe and distilled by Nathalie and her team at their headquarters in Antwerp. Because the soul of the collection is inextricably bound to the designer herself, it has an authentic style and is continually evolving, just like Nathalie’s creative ideas.
Experience, craftsmanship and lasting partnerships with a handful of suppliers and workshops form the basis of every garment that bears her name. Made with love, so that you can wear it again and again, and mix & match it with different items every season. Where the creativity of this collection – released once every six months – stops, yours begins.
Who is Nathalie?
Nathalie Vleeschouwer really does exist. She is not just the designer of the collection; she is also a wife, the mother of three children and two dogs, a traveller, nature lover, city-tripper, swimmer, connoisseur, and so much more.
Nathalie actively enjoys life and the clothing she wears plays an important part in this. It gives her confidence and supports her in all her activities, making it an essential part of her life.
There may be only one Nathalie Vleeschouwer, but many women can identify with her.
Why did she create the collection?
Nathalie Vleeschouwer’s interest in fashion stems from her childhood. Her father was a purchaser for a clothing chain, and as a child she loved nothing more than to accompany him to the big clothing factories. The Antwerp Academy of fashion was a logical next step in her career, but she decided – at the age of 22 – to swap the Academy with learning from practice. This resulted in the launch of Fragile, a maternity wear collection, in 1990. In those days, making fashionable maternity clothing was unheard of. That is how Nathalie became a global pioneer in the world of maternity fashion. The collection was a great success, all the way from Antwerp to Tokyo, and many brands have since followed in Fragile’s footsteps.
Having won the Womed Award in 2010 for female entrepreneurship, Nathalie felt she was ready to embark on a new venture in addition to Fragile. To underscore the authentic style of this new collection she decided to give it her own name: Nathalie Vleeschouwer.
The first collection was presented at the international trade fair in Paris in September 2010 and was available in shops in the spring of 2011.
What does the company Natale do?
Natale stands for Nathalie, and also for the Italian word for ‘birth’.
The family business comprises two collections: Fragile & Nathalie Vleeschouwer. Both are the artistic creations of designer Nathalie Vleeschouwer. The management of Natale is in the hands of Nathalie herself and her husband, Jan.
A staff of approximately 40 work hard every day, prominently or behind the scenes, in a wide range of jobs from pattern designer to sales assistant. By outsourcing as little work as possible experience is combined, ensuring a dynamic business culture.
Who makes your favourite pieces?
Nathalie Vleeschouwer is the head designer of a creative team, and collaborates with her own pattern maker. Each design is developed in detail by our team. We strive to build relationships of trust with all our suppliers and manufacturers, in which transparency and long-term cooperation are of the essence. We regularly visit our partners on site with a view to strengthening our ties and building a genuine relationship of trust and mutual respect.
Socially responsible entrepreneurship and sustainability
Respect for people, the environment and society are key values at Natale.
By opting for quality goods at fair as a starting point, we hope to contribute to enhancing the sustainability of the fashion industry. We deliberately choose to release only two collections a year and are adverse to hypes as well as overproducing. By adhering to this long-term vision we can make honest fashion that you will enjoy for many years to come and in which both the maker and the wearer take pride.
Our collections are produced without any use of child labour, in pleasant working conditions and for honest wages by audited suppliers with whom we build up partnerships with a long-term vision.
Keeping our creative, commercial and administrative departments under one and the same roof in Antwerp ensures that Natale’s environmental impact remains limited. We make every effort to minimise our ecological footprint throughout our production chain as well. This is one of the reasons why we have been sourcing more than half of what we produce from Belgian manufacturers for over 20 years. The remaining half is primarily produced in Europe.
Step by step, we aim to integrate more ecological fabrics into the collection every season – depending on the offering – while always maintaining a correct price/quality ratio.