The VAN SLOBBE VAN BENTHUM label is a collaboration-project between renowned Dutch fashion designers Alexander van Slobbe and Francisco van Benthum. The project represents a response the growing power of the so-called fast fashion chains. These chains created a fashion system, in which the speed of production, distribution, sales, and consumption is the main objective.
VAN SLOBBE VAN BENTHUM questions and challenges their strategy that not only has reduced the position of the independent designer to that of an unpaid vendor of ideas, but it also discards raw materials, resources, labor and the value awareness of the consumer. With the VAN SLOBBE VAN BENTHUM collection, the designers are introducing a new approach on designing and creating a collection.
Van Slobbe and Van Benthum are actually reversing the roles. While the chains are prospering by shamelessly plundering the collections of independent designers, this time it is the designers who have infiltrated the production systems of the chains.
Van Slobbe and Van Benthum acquired the leftovers the fashion industry usually leaves behind at its production sites. These garments, fabrics, parts of bags and shoes became their point of departure. By manually adding new layers to this ‘prefab’ basis, their pieces regain the signature of the designer. Moreover, this signature results in a coherent collection for men and women that is able to achieve a price level with which the chains have been excluding their competition from the market. The mighty system has been hacked.
In this way, VAN SLOBBE VAN BENTHUM is providing a radical alternative to the growing range of the fast-fashion chains. And through its multifaceted agenda, this initiative offers a fertile base to discuss topics such as overproduction, copyright, waste, up-cycling and the actual significance of clothing.