During the year 2022, WBDM organised 3 support programmes (Fashion Programme, 1 series of workshops, coaching grants for design), 8 major promotional operations, 1 seminar and 5 invitations to journalists, directly showcasing 74 designers/brands (for a total of 112 participations) and 1 Walloon event.
Discover some of the highlights of the past year below.
After several years of collective participation in Fashion Weeks, WBDM has been offering since 2017 personalised help to fashion brands: grants to deploy their strategy, and coaching grants to become even more professional. This programme also allows us to broaden our support to different types of fashion creations, unlike collective attendance at Fashion Weeks.
The 2022 edition of the Fashion Programme saw its budget allocated by WBI increase, enabling us to offer 2 additional project grants. We therefore supported 8 brands in total.
Read the details here.
Maison&Objet and MOM Platform
Maison&Objet (2 editions in September and January) has been a key event for WBDM since 2009. The Belgium is Design stand, organised in collaboration with Flanders DC during the January session, always generates interesting spinoffs from a quality show. Shifted to March 2022 (Covid context), this edition attracted a smaller number of visitors, mostly French, but the results remain positive, with orders for companies and interesting prospects.
In addition to our stand at the show, Belgium is Design (BID) has a subscription to MOM, Maison&Objet’s digital platform, which enables us to receive requests throughout the year from prospective customers (shops, architects, the on-trade, etc.) for the Belgian brands on show. It is also a way for Belgium is Design to communicate regularly with our international target audience (mailing and social networks) with thematic focuses.
Discover all details here.
Group workshops on international strategy and digital strategy
Thanks to the “Plan de relance des acteurs culturels de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles via leur diffusion internationale” WBI has made available to Wallonie-Bruxelles Design Mode the budget needed to organise collective workshops once again.
WBDM has therefore organised a new series of collective support sessions with experts, enabling designers and professionals in the fashion and design sectors to review or perfect their global and/or digital strategy, with a focus on international development.
We worked with consultants who have a ‘design thinking’ methodology and a collaborative approach: Alok Nandi for the global fashion and design strategy workshops, Yves Voglaire for the strategy workshops aimed solely at industrial designers, Astrid Lefèvre for the fashion sector commercial strategy workshops and Vaya Sigmas for the digital strategy workshops (basic and advanced / fashion and design).
22 designers took part, with a total attendance of 33, some of whom attended more than one course.
Individual coaching grants for designers
As part of the same recovery plan, but with exceptional funding from WBI, WBDM was able to award 10 coaching grants for the design sector in 2022. The grants covered expert fees up to a maximum of EUR 4,000 if the beneficiary is subject to VAT (or EUR 4,840 if not subject to VAT).
To be selected, applicants had to stand out for their originality and professionalism, and demonstrate the potential necessary to break through on the international scene.
The missions close on 30 September 2023 at the latest. A new budget has been earmarked for 2023 to award 9 design grants.
Milan Design Week – Fuorisalone
This event is organised as part of the Belgium is Design project in collaboration with MAD Home of Creators, Hub.Brussels and Flanders DC. Milan Design Week is the world’s most important event for the design sector. We take part with a number of initiatives that vary from year to year.
In 2022 we organised a Belgium is Design evening at the Baranzate Ateliers, a group exhibition of Belgian designers organised by the Zaventem Ateliers collective, one of the biggest successes of the 2022 edition of Milan Design Week (MDW). As we do every year, we have listed all the Belgians present at MDW in the Belgian Design Map on the Belgium is Design website.
SaloneSatellite is the section of the Milan Furniture Fair reserved for designers under the age of 35 who are presenting prototypes. This important platform allows young people to test their products in front of an audience of design professionals and enthusiasts.
In 2022, Belgium is Design organised its biggest presence at the SaloneSatellite since the start of its involvement: 13 designers were supported, including 7 by WBDM.
Although visitor numbers were lower than usual (post-covid recovery and postponement from April to June), the contacts were qualitative. Designers presented prototypes or made-to-measure projects. Because of this, the results are not always immediate. However, contracts were signed and one of our exhibitors, Gilles Werbrouck (B), won a Satellite Award.
The Belgium is Design stand, a much-appreciated presence at the show, enabled us to continue supporting the emerging scene and help promote a high-quality image of Belgian design abroad.
Find all details here.
The object becomes.
We have continued to circulate the film we produced for Milan Design Week 2021, “The object becomes”. It was selected by the Millenium Festival in Brussels and we presented it on several occasions: at the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris, as part of the European Bauhaus Festival and Design September in Brussels, and at the Edit Festival in Naples.
What’s more, it has been acclaimed by a number of teachers in higher and secondary education for use in the classroom. We have produced a teaching pack to facilitate distribution in secondary schools.
New York Textile Month – The Gift to be Simple
For the second time WBDM took part in New York Textile Month, a festival organised since 2016 throughout the city to celebrate textile creativity. As in 2019, the curators of our exhibition ‘The gift to be simple’ were Li Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano, the organisers of this festival.
Lidewij Edelkoort, trendsetter and Dean of Hybrid Studies at The New School (Parsons School of Design) is a highly influential figure in the world of design and fashion. Her festival brings together all the voices and expressions relating to textiles, bringing together museums, galleries, showrooms, boutiques, design studios, schools and the general public. The event offers a unique opportunity for selected designers to meet America’s most dynamic interior designers, collectors and galleries.
Through the textile works of 9 talented women, the exhibition explored the sobriety of Belgian design and its correlation with a purer aesthetic: discovering excellence in everyday objects. This initiative is helping to raise the international profile of Belgian design, and textile design in particular.
Discover the 9 textile designers.
Belgian Fashion Awards
The Belgian Fashion Awards are an annual opportunity to celebrate Belgian fashion and honour the industry’s designers. The ceremony was held for the fifth time on 24 November, this time at MAD Brussels. Numerous Belgian designers and fashion industry personalities were honoured, including the overall winner, Stéphanie D’Heygere, who received the Jury Prize.
WBDM ensures that the event has an international dimension, by involving international personalities and journalists on the jury, making them ambassadors for this Belgian platform.
See all winners here.
Invitation to international journalists
As every year, WBDM and the WBI Press Department are joining forces to invite (some) Belgian and (mainly) international journalists to follow the news of our image-bearing talents.
- Collectible (Brussels, 18-22.05): 20 media.
In the case of Collectible, we are working with Visit Brussels and the press agency hired by the fair to identify and bring in these journalists. We make sure we welcome them and forge links with them. Room Diseño (Spain) is now following our operations: the magazine has spontaneously published articles on the Belgian presence at Milan Design Week, and has offered us a collaboration in 2023 for a special 16-page Belgian design feature.
- Milan Design Week (6-9.06): 3 media.
- Belgian Fashion Awards (21-25.11): 3 international media.
- Hyères International Fashion, Photography and Accessories Festival (14-16/10/2022): 6 media.
- KIKK (27-30/10/2022): 4 media.