Who is Sjaak Hullekes?
Sjaak Hullekes is me, and the name of the brand I own together with Sebastiaan. I've been born in the South-Western province of the Netherlands called 'Zeeland'. I spent my whole childhood in the monumental small town Zierikzee, at the age of eighteen I moved to the city in now still live in, Arnhem. I there started my education being a fashion designer, that's where I met Sebastiaan. After we both graduated in 2005 we decided to work together, and started our own company, so we did. In the last couple of years we have done many things, we won the Mercedes-Benz Dutch Fashion Award 2009 as being the most promising Dutch fashion brand for the international market, last year we opened our first shop, introduced our own perfume earlier on this year, and since a couple of weeks our underwear line, called Sjaak Hullekes Sensitives, is for sale. As a person I enjoy very much the small details in life, I collect paperclips, enjoy our two dogs, antiques, old paintings and sculptures and 20th century design.
Portrait by Narayana Sewnandan
What is one of the most important parts in my designs is color; I like to give the men's wardrobe a wider vision in using colors. It should not be only navy's, black's and white's but could be so much more. Besides that I only use natural materials which always should have a special touch and feel and focus most on details in any item I design. Another great feature of the brand is the combination I like to reach between fashion design and tailoring, many items are (partly) made by hand, that's (so I believe) the most important way to give an item its own characteristics.
Where and thru what do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in daily life. It can be a great vacation, a piece of art I collected, a person on a terrace, actually a lot. When I have to start designing a new collection I like to surround myself with all I like at that certain moment as inspiration for the new season, it can be even that I paint my living room all over again to get the right ambiance for the upcoming season. Then I start designing...
What is the most important men's fashion accessory?
Accessories in general are very important for men as well as for women. A man should have several shoes, watches, bags, shawls, hats, belts and so on to go with the moods they are or what to be in. I do it myself too. The good thing about having a good wardrobe of clothing and accessories is that you will be able to make your total appearance suitable for every occasion. Men should not forget the importance of, for example, shoes; shoes can really make or break your total look, and it's the same for many accessories.
Pictures by Peter Stigter
Who has/had the best style according to you and why?
I do not have a person in particular in mind. I do like the total image of the actors Gaspard Ulliel, Louis Garrel and Eddie Redmayne. They all have a certain self-awareness which I like, in both their characteristics and style.