by Megan Budden
Light’s on? Light’s off? Thanks to the confidence inspired in me by my new Marlies|Dekkers lingerie set, light’s on. Always.
“Every woman zooms in on what she finds unattractive. Zoom out and see how beautiful you are. A naked body is always right.” Marlies Dekkers was quoted as saying in Het Parol in 2000.
That is precisly what her lingerie line, called Marlies|Dekkers, is attempting to inspire in women. You can be sensual and sexual, powerful and pure, nurturing and independant all at the same time. Every woman has many facets to their personality and every woman is beautiful. After 15 years in the business, Dekkers has proven to many woman just how beautiful they can be.
It all started when she graduated from Saint Joost Academy of Art and Design in 1991. Her exam piece was the “bare buttock dress” and she recieved immidiate acclaim and garnered a full page article in the NRC daily newspaper.
“My final exam collection was inspired by the classical story of Adam, Eve, and the apple. Because Eve took a bite from the apple, now we know the difference between good and evil. Between sex and the erotic, and we are conscious of the sharp edges of life. I find that special, and I wanted to put Eve on a pedestal.” Dekkers was quoted in Volkstrant in 2001.
After the wild success of her graduation, she started her own label in 1993 called “Undressed”. She began the business out of her Amsterdam apartment with only one employee, herself. Dekkers was designer, publicist, distributor, marketer, and more.
After 5 years of hard work, Dekkers had 4 employess, 40 sales outlets, and the Rotterdam Kunsthal had invited her to create an exhibition to showcase her brand and her vision.
“I want to make women aware via my collection of the beauty of their bodies. My clothes are for the self-aware woman who is not ashamed of her body.” Dekkers said on VPRO TV program Onrust in 1990.
The business continued to grow and, after a name change, the brand now know as Marlies|Dekkers opened its first shop in Antwerp in 2002. The brand also garnered a few celebrity fans along the way including Diana Ross, Christina Aguilera, Courtney Love, Janet Jackson, and Juliette Binoche.
Now, 17 years after the bare buttock dress she is still putting Eve on that pedestal today and, with ten stores around the world including two in Amsterdam, it doesn’t look like she’ll be coming down anytime soon.