Hi, I’m Lea Athene, a designer and tailor based in Brussels. Ever since I was young I’ve loved dressing up and playing with fabric and yarn. I was very lucky my mother kept a lot of her old clothes, and it soon inspired me to start my own collection of what were mostly ‘nice-to-touch’ fabrics, often in the form of scarfs and hats. In fact, my mom gave me a beautiful piece of bordeaux silk as a baby, with which I couldn’t stop fiddling.
At 14 I sewed my first real piece of clothing on the machine. Sitting on the floor of my room, using my knee to work the peddle, because I didn’t have a desk or table, I turned my eldest sister’s trousers into a top. Soon after this, the ‘I-have-nothing-to-wear’ phase started, so I started creating garments from scratch. I drew my inspiration from a variety of things: the fabrics themselves, natural shapes and architecture I came across on my walks, the human form…. Once I had started my bachelor in Art history and Archaeology, I found that the styles, shapes and designs I came across also started influencing my work.
I’ve been making clothes for 14 years now, using fabrics I find in shops and markets, pieces I’ve knitted or crocheted myself, or a combination of the two. I have a strong tendency towards natural fibers such as linen, silk, wool and cotton, and I love working with plain colours. As is the case for many autodidacts, years of trial and error and lots of practice have allowed me to gain ample experience and expertise in designing clothes myself, drawing out the patterns, and using various sewing techniques to put them together.
Personally, I’m attracted to clothing that makes me feel confident as well as comfortable, whether I’m going for casual, sexy or elegant. Furthermore, I think it’s important to know that the clothes you wear have been made within a safe and healthy environment, and are available for a fair price. And, of course, knowing that they were made with passion is a nice extra 😉 The clothes we wear say a lot about us: directly, indirectly, intentionally and unintentionally.