Quinten Mestdagh

23, Belgium


Where does your interest in fashion come from?
In a way, I’ve always been into fashion. Growing up in Antwerp, its fashion scene felt quite closeby, even from an early age on. I must have been like 9 and was already looking at beauty ads and fashion in magazines. When my mom took me and my sister to the Academy’s graduate show, I discovered that fashion can become your business and profession. Ten years later, I did my entrance exam and got accepted.

What excites you within fashion?
Fashion is a very visible thing, it creates an image. The graphical side of it interests me a lot. I always start from a two-dimensional image and then think of how it can be transformed into clothing.

What does The Royal Academy signify for you on a personal level?
I had such a connection with the Academy from an early age on and it very much created my idea of what fashion is and should be. All people that came out of this school, developed such a strong and individual vision. It’s something they push really hard in this school. They have this artistic approach in which they let you free within your own process. It means you get to make your own mistakes and learn from them. It really offered me a way to get to know myself more and learn about my strengths and weaknesses.


What drives you?
The push for something new. If something is very visual, I start thinking about how to translate that into a fashion context. Everything that I get inspired by, is somehow linked to fashion. For me, it’s important that there is always a relation to clothing or at least a connection to it.

What did you want to achieve with your eyewear capsule?
My main goal is to create the effect of make-up in eyewear. As make-up is always applied onto the skin, I was interested in transforming it into an object or accessory that can easily be put on and off.


How do you see your future within the industry?
I want to intern at various brands to learn how the industry works and how I can apply all my knowledge I gathered in school. I do think that at one point, I would like to create my own collection again. I don’t feel I would want to work my whole life realizing the vision of someone else. You work so hard at the Academy to develop your own voice, it would feel weird to me to then not use it.