WELCOME TO THE BEAUTIFUL CHAOS.  

Essentiel Antwerp stands for refreshing, offbeat and luxurious fashion, renowned for its impeccable cuts, floral prints and trendy mixes of colour. The rich and unique collections are designed to provoke an emotional response.

STEP INTO OUR WORLD WHERE IMAGINATION AND BEAUTY REIGN, WHERE LACK OF ORDER CREATES A SPACE FOR SURPRISE.

The Antwerp-based brand is influenced by the numerous life experiences of its founders Esfan Eghtessadi and Inge Onsea. Esfan grew up in a world of textiles, sketches and fashion collections while Inge had a vintage loving mother, was a fashion model and spent five years in India, where she fell in love with colours, prints and unexpected combinations.  In 1999 Esfan and Inge took a chance and launched a T-shirt collection. Four styles, twenty different colors: their response to the monochrome fashion landscape. After a year, the first store opened in Antwerp. Four seasons later, knitwear, jackets, dresses, shirts, and trousers in trendy colors, new materials, and an entire range of accessories were added. Essentiel Antwerp grew into a global brand with a powerful message of love, fun, and colorful surprises. A universal message that translates anywhere and everywhere in the world.

LIFE LOOKS BETTER IN COLOUR: STAY CURIOUS AND ORIGINAL TO KEEP THINGS SURPRISING AND CELEBRATE LIFE.

Co-founder Inge gives us some insight below into what goes on behind the brand, her inspiration, processes and the age old question of how do you find working with your husband...

 

How do you describe the Essentiel Antwerp brand?

We are a playful, colourful, young brand for women who like to have fun with their fashion.

What do you love most about your job?

Creating things together with a top team. Every morning, I walk into the office with a big smile on my face. I love – and am obsessed with – my job.

Why did you decide to found your own label?

I met my husband in 1999 and we had no clue what we wanted to do professionally. I guess this was the only thing we were good at. Esfan had the business sense and I had the fashion sense – so it was the perfect combination.

How involved are you in the design process?

Together with my team, I design the whole women’s collection and the accessories collection. I ultimately decide on all the colours, prints and styles.

The Essentiel Antwerp mission values say you want to ”dress people’s emotions”. Why do you think this is important?

It is all about feeling good in your skin.

You work on the brand with your husband, how do you find that? Does it make it difficult to leave your work in the office?

In the beginning, we did everything together. It was our big success. But we are also both very passionate and have strong characters – we could fight over a colour! I think we have found our place now though: Esfan takes care of the business side and all the shops [41 worldwide], and I do the creative development. We are very good at leaving our work at the office. 

What’s your favourite thing about living in Antwerp?

Antwerp is a very cool, laid-back city. There are so many different nationalities living here. I love the mix of cultures.

How would you describe the Belgian aesthetic?

Belgians (especially the Antwerp Six [Belgian designers who found fame in the 1980s, including Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten and Walter Van Beirendonck]) have very different styles and collections. It would be impossible to put Demeulemeester, Van Noten and Martin Margiela on the same line. I certainly do not put Essentiel Antwerp on that level. They are the masters, especially Dries. But I am very proud to come from the same country.