At Xandres we love to be inspired by women with a personal style and a story of their own. In turn, we'd like to inspire you! With Xandres 'Inspiring women', we put strong women in the spotlight. Read all about their inspiring stories, brands and favourite Xandres pieces here.
Marianne Janssens, Ciska Dings and Amandine De Paepe are enterprising women with a mission and a preference for Belgian fashion and sustainability. Day or night, home or the office, weekday or weekend… As Xandres puts it: 'always be in the moment'. Each with a fantastic personality and unbelievable style.
Who is Marianne?
MARIANNE JANSSENS FROM KUUN DESIGN IS ONE OF OUR #XANDRESWOMEN THIS MONTH. Marianne is 45 years old and lives in Brussels with her 3 children. She views the world in an open and inquisitive way and a has personal connection with Mexico. Her passion for traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design in Mexico led to a collection of luxurious hand-blown glassware. To create her glassware, Marianne works with a socially committed and sustainable glass studio. The glasses are made from recycled glass without a mould. This makes each glass unique and the ideal eye-catcher for celebrating special moments at the table with friends and family.
For Xandres, Marianne is an 'inspiring woman' because she wants to have a positive social impact with her products.
I AM PROUD OF THE FACT THAT WITH KUUN, I WORK WITH DESIGNERS AND CRAFTSMEN WHO TAKE SUSTAINABLE DESIGN TO THE NEXT LEVEL
— MARIANNE JANSSENS
WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE
What is Kuun design, and what else do you do?
KUUN DESIGN IS A BELGIAN BRAND AND WEBSHOP WITH A UNIQUE COLLECTION OF HAND-BLOWN GLASSES that complement heartwarming and special moments at the table with friends and family. I am also a Marketing Manager at Tourism Flanders. It is great fun to combine these two jobs.
ONCE I PASSED 40, I FELT LIKE I NEEDED AN EXTRA CHALLENGE, WHICH I FOUND IN KUUN. It is a project I was able to undertake myself, born from my passion for art, aesthetics and authenticity. I was also able to express my passion for Mexico, a country with which I have a personal connection. I really wanted to do something with the craftsmanship that is omnipresent there, and with the beautiful translation into contemporary design and architecture. I get a lot of energy from my brand, and the cross-pollination between my two jobs is contagious in all areas.
Kuun design products are not only aesthetically beautiful but also durable and ethical. Can you tell us more about that?
MY GLASSWARE IS AIMED AT PEOPLE WHO LOVE BEAUTY AND APPRECIATE THE STORY BEHIND IT; Kuun design is a sustainable brand. For me, it's about living consciously and ethically and having an eye for detail. What I love about my glassware is the texture. And people with an eye for quality will notice the difference.
THE GLASSES ARE HAND BLOWN IN A GLASS STUDIO IN MEXICO, where they attach great importance to the sustainable aspect. The studio is a renewable energy ecosystem in its own right. All glasses are made from recycled glass and collected from the community and surrounding villages. The entire production process is sustainable. For example, a lot of oil is used in Mexican cuisine. This is collected by the studio and transformed into fuel for the glass furnaces. The production process should have as little impact on the environment as possible. The seven glassblowers in the studio work for a fair wage, in safe and good conditions.
You also have a personal connection with Mexico. Can you tell us more about that?
KUUN DESIGN IS INDEED A PERSONAL STORY. I have a personal connection with Mexico; I was married to a Mexican, and we have 3 Belgian-Mexican children together. I also have a very warm relationship with the Mexican family there and a lot of Mexican friends in Brussels, where I live. They sometimes call me the ambassador for Mexico because I am enormously charmed by the culture and sense of aesthetics there. Today there is a new generation of contemporary designers who still work with authentic materials.
MOST PEOPLE KNOW MEXICO FOR THE FOLKLORE CLICHÉS, THE SOMBREROS, THE TEQUILA AND THE BEAUTIFUL BEACHES. But it has so much more to offer. It is very diverse in terms of landscapes and has beautiful architecture. So many beautiful things are made there that also fit perfectly in a European interior, and that is what I would like to share with Kuun design.
What does being a #xandreswomen mean to you, and what do you think of the collection?
FOR ME, XANDRES HAS THE SAME BASIC VALUES AS KUUN DESIGN, namely authenticity, beauty, simplicity and sustainability. I incorporate those in everything I do. Xandres' clothing is stylish and timeless, which is what Kuun design stands for. I really like purity and beauty, both in the aesthetics and the story behind it. And that is also reflected in Xandres. When choosing clothes, I pay a lot of attention to textures and materials. All the pieces I found at Xandres are comfortable.
THE COLLECTION IS STRONG IN SIMPLICITY BUT HAS A TOUGH SIDE THAT SUITS ME. Because the collection is easy to combine, I can use different accessories to complete my look. Like in life, I like variety in my clothing, and that is perfectly possible with Xandres. I easily found a business look in the form of a suit, a slightly more casual look with jeans and a shirt, and my skirt and jumper are perfect for a festive occasion.
'Always be in the moment', what does that mean to you?
THAT IS SOMETHING THAT DEPICTS WHAT I STAND FOR AND WHAT KUUN DESIGN STANDS FOR, slow living, slow design. For me, that means that you have to occasionally take the time to enjoy the small and the big moments, but it is also about consciously dealing with beautiful and less beautiful moments. Kuun design is all about beautiful and heartwarming moments around the table with friends and family. Or a moment for yourself.
IT'S ABOUT THE SMALL MOMENTS THAT MATTER AND THAT MOVE YOU. Looking at the world with an open mind and being curious is also part of who I am, how I do business and living in the moment. That's how I try to sell a bit of experience and happiness with Kuun design.
Do you have a message that you would like to share with all our #xandreswomen?
ALWAYS BE YOURSELF AND BE AUTHENTIC. That is something that always keeps me going in what is sometimes a difficult journey of entrepreneurship. There are times when I don't always know which direction to go in or which choices to make, but by staying true to myself, the course will right itself and everything will work out. Have faith in yourself. I think that's very important for everyone.
Thank you for chatting with us Marianne! We wish you a lot of success.
CURIOUS ABOUT MARIANNE'S FAVOURITE LOOKS FROM THE XANDRES AUTUMN COLLECTION? DISCOVER THEM HERE!