Ronald van der Kemp marches to his own beat. The Dutch designer, founded his eponymous brand RVDK in August 2014, taking the route not many fashion houses are brave enough to: conscious fashion. The brand proposes ‘wardrobes’ consisting of limited-edition and season-less clothes – which are all made of high-end existing materials and left over, that come from small ateliers in Holland. Before launching his brand, Ronald van der Kemp, worked over 25 years as a fashion designer for many luxury brands. We wanted to see through the eyes of a designer who makes ethical fashion exciting and glamorous, so we asked him a few questions:
When did you realise you wanted to pursue a career as a designer? I studied ballet first of all and was making clothes and knitting. When I found out that I had to stop dancing because of my back I turned to fashion design.
Throughout your career as a designer, did you have any muses that inspired you to design? Yes. Strong women like Paloma Picasso, Maria Callas, catherine Denueve, Loulou de la Falaise, Grace Jones
If you could describe Ronald van der Kemp, as a brand, in three words what would they be?
Creative, Ethical, Soulful
And if you could describe yourself as a person, in three words, what would they be?
Emotional Creative Passionate
Your brand has a strong message behind it: ‘new ethics in luxury fashion’, what is the biggest misconception about it?
That I only make clothes with second hand clothes where I mainly work with existing materials and rarely with existing clothes…
How do you want women to feel when they are wearing your clothes?
That they have something exclusive, beautifully made with love that they will keep forever.
Could you explain your concept of ‘wardrobe’ which you use to describe your collections as a whole?
A wardrobe does not have a theme; I find themes outdated. A wardrobe consists of many different clothes that last a long time. With a wardrobe you can combine things in many different ways.
What is your proudest moment so far for Ronald van der Kemp?
I think Tracee Ellis Roos opening the American Music awards in my pleated gown; it was a very spectacular moment…
Do you remember your first job interview? Could you describe how it went
Yes, for my internship at Courrèges. It went well, I got the job. But it was an old teacher that was the creative director at that time.
Can you give one piece of advice for young individuals trying to succeed in the fashion industry?
Be original, passionate, work hard and never give up!