Jina Khayyer: Who is Y/Project?
Glenn Martens: We are a small team where everyone has a voice. An intern has as much influence proposing a solution as I do. Our idea of fashion is not to create an army of lookalike people. There are enough brands who create for people that buy a piece to become part of the brand-gang. We create to ask questions. Y/Project is driven by emotions. What kind of questions does Y/Project ask? Who are you? For example. So who are you, Glenn Martens? I don’t always know who I am. You need to reflect a lot to be able to know who you are. Of course I’m not a stranger to myself, but I don’t totally know myself and I like that I can surprise myself, in good and in bad ways. You said Y/Project is driven by emotions. Can you please explain that? We don’t follow any rules. Everything is possible. While making a piece we never really know where it’s going to end up. What is your starting point when you create a collection: Do you first make sketches? Do you mold on the figure? Or is your design-approach entirely digital? I always start with a technique-idea that is mostly an abstract concept, which then later can be translated into garments. We’re five people in the design team, interns included. We do all of our patterns here. Well, 95% of the patterns. I give the first input, which are sketches and drawings showing the technique I want to use. I pass them onto the team who then have two weeks to develop the ideas. But as mentioned earlier, there are no rules. Most of the pieces evolve during the fittings. For example, in the last collection we had these amazing overlapping shoulder-parts. I had this idea when I saw my intern sizing down his t-shirt, which was too big so he stitched the sleeve inside out. I loved that idea and pushed it further.