From Priya Ahluwalia To Richard Quinn: 5 Fashion Designers On How Their Mothers Influenced Their Work

“She loves my clothes. She she’ll sport a bow coat to the Fashion Awards. She has early dibs on things going through production… My parents and my brothers and sisters, we’re all such a close family. They always come to my shows. My sister now works alongside me, so it’s very much a family business. Around fashion week [autumn/winter 2022], there was that massive storm, but my mum was visiting Ireland for work. On her way back di lei I was like, “I don’t think you’re going to make it.” And then she turned up at the show, but she had to get a boat over and braved the storm. She was like: ‘I wouldn’t miss it for the world.’ “

Charlotte de Geyter with her mother Bernadette de Geyter, who she says has never been afraid to experiment.

Eva Donckers

Charlotte: “My mum was never afraid to try different styles and experiment. If I see the clothing di lei from her past di lei, that she kept so carefully throughout the years so I could wear them, I imagine she must have been a bombshell! Lots of ’90s Ralph Lauren crop tops, miniskirts, and tiny posh tennis dresses. I love that in all my memories she was confident and in touch with her femininity di lei… We have always had such a close friendship, and it feels like our lives have led to us working together. I studied at the Antwerp fashion academy, while my mum was a buyer for many years. After graduating, our creative partnership came super naturally. Our communication is so important. It is vital that we listen to each other as we both represent different women, different generations. [In working together] I have gotten to know my mum in such a different way, as a woman who is in a different chapter of life, with different desires, different goals of dressing herself. “

Bernadette: “Charlotte [went] to art school to draw and paint from early on. She created these… super personal scrapbooks, sometimes filled with stickers, pieces of paper she loved, magazine scraps. These books became her obsessions of her. She was always thinking how to improve them and could work on them for hours. Once in a while she showed them to me with great enthusiasm and passion. [Now] she loves to challenge herself and our customer. A lot of times her experiments di lei became our bestsellers.

“When it comes to design, I love to give Charlotte the freedom to try anything. We both give each other space and are always open-minded to listen to each other’s honest opinions. Charlotte does exactly what makes her happy, and she doesn’t like to force herself if it doesn’t feel good. I have started trying this as well, and it has led me to become much happier. “


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