Shop: Akaso

© Saskia Vanderstichele
Onze score

The stylish Koningsgalerij/Galerie du Roi has welcomed a newcomer. Akaso, a Belgian brand, has opened its flagship store there.

Philippe Vertriest left the Van de Velde lingerie brand in 2016 to found Akaso along with his Italian wife. He was inspired by Ethiopean culture.

Artists from the South-Western Ethiopian Kara tribe design drawings themselves, for which they receive correct payment, and Belgian designers then use the drawings as a basis to design clothes in consultation with the artists.

These items are shown off to their best advantage in this elegant shop, on the corner of Beenhouwersstraat/rue des Bouchers and the Koningsgalerij/Galerie du Roi. Golden frames, white walls, and cleverly placed mirrors bathe the space in light. Fresh shades of green and projections of inspiring images give the shop extra cachet.

Scar-like patterns

This new brand – Akaso was only founded two years ago – has managed to expand its range considerably in only a short time. There is now more space for leather goods and fine knitwear, with prices starting at 150 euro.

The handbags are especially eye-catching. Just like the prints on the sweaters and shirts, they are influenced by the culture of the Ethiopian Kara. The patterns on the bags and wallets look like scars that the tribe members use as body decorations.

The accessories are not cheap; the handbags cost 450 euro and the wallets 225 euro, but they are of exceptionally high quality. You can tell that there is great love for the materials, technique, and craftsmanship here. And in the touristic heart of Brus­sels, that is really quite refreshing.

> Akaso. Koningsgalerij 1 Galerie du Roi, Brussel/Bruxelles, 02-513.20.07, ma/lu/Mo > za/sa/Sa 10.30 > 18.30, zo/di/Su 11 > 18.00

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