Veronique Branquinho makes a comebackTuesday, 26 June 2012
Branquinho is relaunching her eponymous label together with Italian clothing manufacturer Gibò Co. SpA. "Gibò's will focus on reestablishing the brand in quality stores around the world starting with ready-to-wear and shoes, followed in the future by accessories," the company tells the American website.
In 2009 Branquinho's was forced to shut down her business as a result of the economic crisis. According to the company there was a slump in orders for new collections. In addition, the business increasingly faced back payments or no payment at all from clients. But the designer did not disappear into thin air altogether. Branquinho became artistic director for the Belgian luxury department store Delvaux and was partially responsible for its metamorphosis into an international luxury brand and for the expansion of its product offering. In 2011 this collaboration came to an end. That is when the designer said: "After two years it's time for something different."
This new collaboration is not that surprising. Branquinho previously worked on her shoe collections together with Gibò's subsidiary Iris. The designer reveals that she is happy to be making a comeback with Gibò's support. "Before, I had an independent company. I was responsible for everything. In this new situation, it feels so comfortable, because I'm only busy with the creative part," she tells WWD. Rumours are circulating that Gibò has acquired a stake in the Belgian designer's company, but Gibò chairman Franco Pené refuses to elaborate on details of the deal. "We've always appreciated and had faith in her," Pené says about Branquinho. "She is very good at designing shoes. She was born with fashion, so we decided to take the development into our hands." Pené hopes to land one hundred clients during the first season. At whole sale prices for the fashion collection will average about 300 euros, for example for a dress.
Branquinho graduated from Antwerp's fashion academy in 1995, thereby belonging to the second generation to graduate following the Six of Antwerp. In 2008 the Antwerp Fashion Museum dedicated a retrospective exhibition to her work, titled 'Moi, Veronique. Branquinho toute nue'. A slim silhouette dressed in long skirt with volants is characteristic of her work. Capes and cowl-necked sweaters under jackets, blouses and bustiers are also typical. Branquinho likes to combine sturdy, classic materials - such as tweed - with supple silk or fragile embroidery. Her new collection should be 'more mature'.