Each month, The New Fashion Initiative invites a leading voice in the sustainable fashion revolution to answer 17 questions about themselves, both personal and professional. It’s our green and socially conscious spin on Vanity Fair‘s beloved Proust Questionnaire. This month, our inaugural interviewee is Dutch designer Ronald van der Kemp, whose dramatic deadstock demi-couture designs draw from existing fabrics (most recently lampshade gauze and embroidered bathtub coverings) and are ethically made in Amsterdam. He is considered the first sustainable couture designer, and since founding his fashion house in 2014, van der Kemp has drawn legions of well-known fans, including Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Emma Stone, and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Photo of van der Kemp by @marijkeaerden.
1. What is your favorite article of clothing?
My worn out pair of jeans.
2. What is the most wonderful thing about the fashion industry right now?
The renewed interest for couture.
3. What do you think is the most shocking thing about fashion today?
The ignorance about the enormous waste and the continuing focus on unsustainable business growth rather than on creation and love for clothes.
4. What’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
New York City.
5. What is your favorite indulgence?
6. What makes you happiest?
7. What social problem are we overlooking?
8. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
More and more extrovert the older I get.
9. What do you do first in the morning?
Take a shower.
10. What was the happiest moment of this past year?
The realization that I am supported by great people and friends.
11. Best professional moment of your life thus far?
12. What do you do to get into a positive mindset?
13. Favorite movie quote?
14. How do you recharge?
Workout! Movies and friends.
15. What three words describe you best?
Passionate, creative and loyal.
16. Favorite historical figure?
17. Favorite book?
Perfume: The Story of a Murder by Patrick Suskind.