5 Things You Didn't Know About Tim Coppens

Belgian designer Tim Coppens is best known for his sleek, streamlined aesthetic and bomber jackets—count hip-hop artist Pusha T and crooner Miguel among his fans. In the midst of prepping for his Feb. 9 show at MADE fashion week, Milk Made pulled Coppens away from all the work he had to do to tell us a few secrets about himself.

1. He doesn’t consider himself a minimalist

“We portray masculinity in a very modern way, and there is a luxury and athleticism to the clothes. We try to always look forward by intertwining all the traditional ways of working—how do you build a suit, and what materials do you use? How do we deconstruct it to reconstruct it and make it modern? I think a lot of people consider that minimalistic, but it takes a lot to get there. I don’t think I’m a minimalist.”

2. He’s got a skater past

“I was involved in skate culture for almost 15 years. Belgium is a small country, so I was influenced a lot from the U.S. as well as the UK. I was always interested in immersing myself in cultures outside of Belgium. The town I grew up in is very small so I couldn’t go out there and buy a skate magazine or watch MTV. I think that Belgian designers have to look a little further.”

3. Sneakers trump dress shoes

“I think I wear sneakers because they’re very easy—easy off and easy on. I have dress shoes but I walk a lot so sneakers are a must. I have a couple of pairs here [at the studio] I can change into depending on what I’m doing.”

4. Pop culture made him want to decamp to New York

“Paris is very close to where I’m from, and I was looking for a place farther away from home that was still known for fashion. Tokyo was too “Lost in Translation” at the time so I figured New York City to be my best option. There was Sonic Youth and Larry Clark, so for my generation you had this view of New York City that was very cool. Maybe it’s not seen that way anymore, but you just have to remain open to things and open your eyes. For me there’s a lot happening.

5. He fell into fashion by accident

“I didn’t really recognize it at first. It was more where could I go and what could I do. A creative education can be very limiting in my eyes. In Belgium, you have painting and sculpture, but I think what was most interesting for me was that with fashion, you can have all of these things. You can collaborate with a lot of creative people: people who take your pictures and people who do your music.”

Photography by Mario Torres

Photo direction by Erick Ruales

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