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Ann Torfs (Antwerp, Belgium)

28-year-old Belgian designer who was the runner up at the sixth ITS award.

28-year-old Belgian designer Ann Torfs began an MA in Fashion Design at the Hogeschool in Antwerp in 2001. Since graduating  in 2006, she has been developing her own label. Most recently Ann Torfs was a runner-up at the sixth International Talents Award event, a competition for new designers held in Italy in conjuction with Diesel. "A colorful explosion, halfway between Frida Kahlo and dias de los muertos," said Diane Pernet.

How long have you been designing?
Since I was about 14. I remember stapling together my designs because I didn't know how to sew yet.
What nationality are you?
I'm Belgian, but I feel like a globalist. I feel at home wherever I am.
Why womenswear?
That is what I do by nature. If you design for women you have more options and more directions to go..
How would you describe your style?
My style is eclectic, always a combination of different ideas. I feel that life nowadays is layered - you cannot escape it. Everyone wants to experience so many different sensations in their lives.
What inspires you?
I'm inspired by making accessories at the moment. What I want to make comes from inside - if you gather all the information that comes to you in your life, sometimes those are the best designs.
Were you interested in fashion when you were growing up?
I can remember trying to copy the style of Thierry Mugler at fancy dress parties when I was 16 - you know, the broad shoulders, the fine waists, the glitter and glamour, the one silhouette with the metallic corset. My god, I was so facinated by all that.
What was your favourite outfit from your youth?
A Portugese folk outfit my parents brought me from their trip.
Who are your favourite designers?
Balenciaga, Marni and Dries van Noten, because they all have this way of working with contrasts, in fabrics, in colors, in patterns. That's what make it really interesting for me.
Who is your ideal customer?
My ideal customer would be probably nearly every strong woman in the world, the ones that think for themselves, act on what they want, fight for their goals. Someone like Björk - i have an imense respect for what she does, she's creative and strong. And still she combines all this with being a mother.