"Elegance and charm are my keywords. I pay particular attention to details."
"I was born in 1970 in Antwerp, Belgium, and grew up there. You could say I'm a city girl. At the age of 12, I began refusing to wear the clothes my mum chose especially for me. No way! I already knew about famous brands and names such as Fiorucci, Chippie, and El Charro, and that's what I wanted. So when I was 15, I decided to work weekends in a bakery for money to build my own wardrobe, and continued to do so until I graduated.
"After finishing high school, I went to work as a representative, first for a handbags brand and later for several well-known shoe designers. This had me traveling all over Europe visiting fashion fairs and events, and kept me close to my passion for clothes. I really enjoyed my life and the city, however something was missing. In 2000, I decided to follow another passion – traveling. So I left my job and 30 years of comfortable living in Antwerp.
"I took two sabbatical years to travel around the world, and ended up living in Brazil for four years where I managed a Bed & Breakfast. Upon returning to Antwerp, I met the father of my daughter, Louise. He was there on holiday, but had been living year-round in Bali for the past twelve years. So I said goodbye to Brazil and its exciting beach life to follow him to Bali.
"There I met Meriem, a French woman who grew up in Paris and studied Visual and Performing Art. We immediately connected. Our creative backgrounds are quite the opposite. Meriem was devoted almost entirely to art, with no commercial skills or business interests. I also create art, but with my eyes on the market and its potential. From this friendship, the Louise brand was born – 'Belgian Fashion Design made in Indonesia with love.'
"I am involved in most parts of the production process, from choosing the fabrics and defining the print pattern for each collection, to bead or embroidery work and kind of label that will be sewn on each item.
"Elegance and charm are my keywords. I pay particular attention to details; they are what make the attire delicate. In all my clothing you can find beadwork, sequins or embroidery. Indonesia is a wonderful place for this kind of handwork and there are many skilled hand workers, mostly women. I love to work with women. From the beginning of our experience, we chose to work mainly with women's communities in local villages, and with small family businesses.
"Renewal is the most challenging aspect of my work. Creativity is always in action – new fabrics, new themes and trends, new accessories and new techniques of work to develop. We never get bored. The biggest satisfaction comes from our clients and their expression of enjoyment and satisfaction, their excitement when trying on our designs, their pleasure when purchasing it. Clothing is also an expression of identity.
"Our clothes are made to be worn for years. However, you must follow these three simple pieces of advice: do not use hot water, use very little detergent, and never let them dry in the sun."
Catherine Dox is proud to empower others through providing jobs and works with marginalized ethnic groups. She also perpetuates traditional textile techniques.