To lingerie designer Marlies Dekkers from Rotterdam 2008 is a jubilee year: she has been in business for exactly fifteen years now. Back in 1997, it was Kunsthal Rotterdam that put her lingerie brand on the so-called cultural map with the exhibition entitled undressed. Now, the Kunsthal presents marlies|dekkers, a survey exhibition of the works of this internationally famous and successful designer. In this exhibition both her sources of inspiration and her designs, from the earliest to the more recent ones, are on display. By means of works of art, films, scale models and photographs of, amongst others, Vanessa Beecroft, Hans Bellmer and Yoshi Yamagata, the world of Marlies Dekkers can be experienced in all its splendour in the monumental daylight hall designed by the famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.
Both Tough and Sexy
It all started when she was granted a subsidy by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs in 1993. Through innovation, creativity, hard labour and a perfect feel for marketing, Marlies Dekkers has managed to expand her business activities - her company has become large and sophisticated, with
9 exclusive shops and over one thousand points of sale worldwide. Marlies Dekkers still produces lingerie with a perfect fit, which is not only tough, but also sexy and always self-conscious. Wearing her lingerie, women feel beautiful and seductive, and at the same time powerful and independent. Her designs are sold all over the world: from Las Vegas to Berlin and from Rotterdam to Hong Kong. Pop stars like Nelly Furtado, Kylie Minogue and Christina Aguilera, but also European Commissioner Neelie Kroes, all wear Marlies Dekkers.
In 1991 Marlies Dekkers finished her education, with distinction, at the Sint Joost Academy for Art and Design in Breda. The famous ‘bare buttock dress' she presented at her final presentation at the academy attracted a lot of publicity. In 1993 Marlies Dekkers started her company in Amsterdam (working ‘from her very own bedroom'), she designed her ‘spider bra' and registered her brand name undressed. In 2007, Marlies Dekkers was declared Business Woman of the Year, an award for commercial and dynamic women, honouring their persistence and creativity in business. In summer 2007, she also won the CILA Award in New York for Best Fashion Lingerie. In the beginning of 2008, the mayor of Paris handed her the ‘Creator of the Year Award', an honourable award from the lingerie capital of the world.