Exclusive in-conversation

Watch Stefan Cooke and Walter Van Beirendonck discuss the principles of fashion and art for MATCHESFASHION
By Alex James Taylor | Fashion | 23 September 2021

Since its formation, MATCHESFASHION’s Innovators programme has helped champion some of the most celebrated and progressive designers: the likes of Claire Barrow, Charles Jeffrey, Wales Bonner and Stefan Cooke. Now in its second year, the initiative sees each Innovator paired with an established designer they admire for a special one-off conversation cutting through the crap to discuss their craft, process and ambitions: old guard meets new, established meets emerging.

Below, we exclusively premiere a head-to-head chat between London design duo Stefan Cooke and eminent Antwerp Six icon Walter Van Beirendonck. Having emerged through the MAN platform, Stefan Cooke – consisting of London designer and his partner Jake Burt – has become one of London’s most innovative talents; pushing sustainable, reconstructive techniques through recycling everyday objects into the extraordinary – look no further than those SS22 iron cast sequin chainmail tops the duo showed last week. Similarly, finding beauty in the mundane has long been the modus operandi of Walter Van Beirendonck, who twins this approach with a singular, surrealist vision.

Hit play below, as the two transformative designers caught up over Zoom, connecting between Antwerp and London – discussing creative license, fashion world survival and explore the question: is fashion really art?

“At the end of the day. fashion is product design and you’re creating products to be used and lived in.” – Stefan Cooke

GALLERYMATCHESFASHION Stefan Cooke and Walter Van Beirendonck collages

Shop the Stefan Cooke and Walter Van Beirendonck FW21 collection at MATCHESFASHION

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