Maison Ullens appoints Christian Wijnants as new Creative Director
Nomadic elegance, essential luxury, chic casual wear… Ten years after its creation, Maison Ullens remains faithful to a philosophy built upon travel and quality. Season after season, the brand offers the ideal wardrobe for a woman constantly on the move.
Fluid, versatile, modular, Maison Ullens pieces can be folded into a suitcase, slipped into a 48-hour bag and interpreted in a unique way. A knitted jumpsuit comes off the plane and is easily accessorized with a jewel. A waistcoat takes the train in blue and reappears with its other side, in black, for a professional meeting. Since the beginning, the company has offered travel kits, jumpers, jackets, dresses, trousers and T-shirts in reversible cashmere. Signature pieces, embodying absolute comfort.
Unaffected by passing trends and allergic to flashy logos, Maison Ullens is more of a lifestyle than a fashion brand. Its first concern is quality. The yarns and materials are rigorously sourced, and the garments manufactured in the best Italian factories. Knitwear makes up the bulk of the collections. And, under delicious names, sweet cash’, mousse de cash’, a high level of technicality is developed. Leather, as supple as a glove, is the other key element of the brand.
But the range also includes cotton, silk and shearling, all synonymous with maximum softness. The work on volume is a sign of the elegance of a silhouette. All of this in a range of subtle colors that emphasizes the personality of the wearer, a connoisseur who pays attention to detail but above all to quality and origin. The timelessness of these garments allows them to stand the test of time, to be truly durable.
The first encounter with a Maison Ullens piece is above all tactile. It is the touch that creates the sensations and therefore the adhesion.
The focus is on a set of pieces of clothing in which women are happy to live.
Christian Wijnants, Creative Director of Maison Ullens
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 2000, Christian Wijnants has established himself as one of the major creators on the Belgian scene. He won the Grand Prix of the Hyères Festival in 1997, before creating his own label in 2003. Three years later he was awarded the ANDAM prize and in 2013 he was also awarded the Woolmark Prize.
Discretion is the major trait of his fashion, which highlights an intelligent femininity. His frank colours and supple silhouettes allow the body to move in a sensual way without cliché. He is not interested in the fashion of the flashy, and there is no greater compliment to pay him than to wear his clothes for ten or twenty years. All this forms, by his own admission, a set of similarities with Maison Ullens.
Myriam Ullens, Founder of Maison Ullens
Entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector, Myriam Ullens created Maison Ullens in 2012, embodying the lifestyle and values of a woman whose existence is a journey, a quest, a path. She proves that luxury is nothing without generosity and that elegance is an attitude rather than a look.
Myriam Ullens is indeed always on the move. Between the studio in Brussels and the shops in Paris, New York and Aspen. The Ullens are now leading collectors of digital art, just as they were pioneers of contemporary art in China. They initiated the Ullens Center-UCCA in Beijing in 2007.
The other axis of their action is humanitarian. They have created the Ullens School in Nepal, designed by Rem Koolhaas, who used only local materials for this project. This school, which goes from kindergarten to the baccalaureate, educates 1,300 students each year, a third of whom receive scholarships, sometimes from extremely poor families. After suffering from cancer, Myriam Ullens also founded the Mimi Foundation, which has set up wellness centers in seven hospitals where therapists and beauty professionals work hand in hand. They are now continuing their activities independently.
The Maison Ullens projects also revolves around art and architecture. The Paris, New York and Aspen boutiques regularly exhibit works and propose collaborations with artists
The collaboration between Myriam Ullens and Christian Wijnants
Myriam Ullens had been following Christian Wijnants’ career for a long time when she approached him almost two years ago. The link was immediately established at the first meeting. With Christian, Myriam Ullens intends to further affirm the Belgian character of the house, which she wants to inscribe in the tradition of a country whose design schools build a fashion where quality and creativity go hand in hand.
Their keen sense of style created an instant bond between Myriam Ullens and Christian Wijnants. The first act is the Winter 2023 collection, presented at the end of January in Paris. The starting point? A common desire for nature. Then there was a discussion and constant back and forth. Christian Wijnants absorbs the visions of Myriam Ullens, whom he sees as a spokesperson for women in general and for the company’s customers. Myriam Ullens loves the peaceful and trusting relationship with Christian Wijnants. “He’s as gentle as the collection,” she says.
They embarked on an imaginary journey to Wyoming, one of the places in the world where nature is most majestic, literally in its purest state. The noble materials (shearling, leather, cashmere…) reflect the infinite resources of the region, in legendary natural parks. They have inspired a palette of colors where yellows, oranges and greens burst forth.
What is expressed here is a reflection of the complementarity between Myriam Ullens and Christian Wijnants. This is exactly what she is looking for in those with whom she works. A new chapter in Maison Ullens has just opened.