If you look closely at Manon Garritsen’s products, you’ll realize that she’s actually also an urban planning expert. At first glance, they are simply beautiful, but look deeper and you’ll notice the functional details.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
“I’m Manon Garritsen (39), married and the mother of Roy (6) and Youri (4). I live and work in Rotterdam, but we are moving to Vancouver this summer. In 2010, three years after I graduated as a fashion designer from the Artemis Styling Academy in Rotterdam, I founded my own label ‘Manon Garritsen.’ Under this label, I create lifestyle products that you can enjoy using every day. The first product that I created was made as a result of a need that I actually had myself: a simple, stylish A3 felt bag. Since then, the collection has grown, with bags in different sizes, and I’m also focusing on interior design and accessories.”
How do you choose and develop your products?
“I just want to be able to make products that can be used and that I myself would like to have. Sometimes I create products as a result of a request, but the Urban Patterns collection—a collaboration with Jessica Nielsen—was born from my desire to design my own textiles and stationery.”
How does the combination of urban planning and fashion affect your work?
“The interface between the two disciplines fascinates me and, for me, they come together seamlessly. You can also see this in my designs and my method of working. When I design, I do so with great attention to detail and I focus on the needs of business people. My architectural background is heavily reflected in the collection ‘Rotterdam on the Maas,’ which is a triptych of cushions on which the river Maas is embroidered. I want to be able to portray my background in my work, because that is what makes my label unique.”