Fashion designer Kristof Buntinx embraces both haute couture and ready-to-wear with every so often a crossover to other disciplines. As an all-round avant-gardist he is keen to venture off the beaten track. In 2016 he aims to primarily focus on the design of colourful boxer shorts for the elegant, classic man.
Brussels designer Kristof Buntinx has already created a furore with his God Save the Queens shirts and gained international fame with a boxer short collection with which he targeted Russian anti-gay laws.
Protest and irony are therefore no strangers to Buntinx, but he also dresses Belgian celebrities in little bespoke gems just as much as he has children photographed as superstars. The exiled Sint-Truiden native has been working under his own label for more than a decade. An official introduction is called for!
Kristof Buntinx was born on 10 September 1975 in the Limburg town of Sint-Truiden. He quickly showed an interest in fashion and design and proceeded to draw from a model and attended sewing and pattern design classes. Buntinx completed internships with several major fashion labels such as Levis jeans and the Amsterdam fashion duo Viktor & Rolf.
His own image language
After his initial designs for the Cinderella Shop in Antwerp he sank his teeth into (and left his fingerprints on) a series of coffee mugs for Godiva. Soon Buntinx would tackle hats, a trick he was able to repeat in 2012 for Royal Ascot.
Shortly thereafter, the Pain clothing line followed, with its own photo series in collaboration with Stijn Vanorbeek. Still inspired by the world of image creation, Buntinx worked with filmmaker Ilke De Vries, this time to explore moving images. The film Vision was the result, in which the designer searched his own conscience by referring to a personal crisis.
Between 2008 and 2010 Buntinx focused on hats and a full line of accessories.
Triggered by his own life and personal developments, language associations and puns took up an increasingly important place in his work. Like any true-blue artist, Buntinx also creates from an inner drive. “I have always been crazy about fashion, but designing also proved to be beneficial for my mental health. It is my "therapy with a capital T," the designer states.
Once Buntinx found his way, an increasing number of opportunities came up: in 2011 the Toga 125 Fashion Awards and a fashion show in which his design Ceci n’est pas un Advocaat shone. That same year Modo Brussels, the MIAT in Ghent and Hong Kong Design week also followed. A prominent fashion watcher from the UK even called Buntinx the most eccentric fashion designer of the Modo Brussels event.
The future is now!
Loved by the international fashion blog scene, Kristof Buntinx does not shun controversy. For example, he came up with a series of socially committed designs such as his answer to the Antwerp rainbow controversy, the God Save the Queens T-shirt’, his Russian boxer shorts, which even reached the American media and the crown jewels for King Philip.
During the last festive period Buntinx surprised friend and foe with a range of crisis jewellery, which questions material luxury. The Christmas dresses designed by Buntinx for Dana Winners' Christmas tour and for Marlène de Wouters, the presenter at the Queen Elisabeth competition earlier in 2013, were, on the other hand, downright luxurious.
Kristof Buntinx certainly aims to let his designs speak for themselves in 2017.
Interview with Kristof Buntinx by journalist Ine D'hoe.