Hendrik Vermeulen is a South African fashion designer specialising in Haute Couture.
Born in Fauresmith, he learned the basics of dressmaking from his mother and sold his first evening dress at the age of 15. An unlikely move for a small town Free State lad; and yet it foretold the vibrancy and extraordinary innovation which would one day become Hendrik Vermeulen Couture.
From humble beginnings to international acclaim
Upon wrapping up his Haute Couture studies, Hendrik received the Student of the Year award, after which he went on to work for an internationally renowned fashion designer. In 2006 he started producing custom bridal and formal wear from his garage, but demand for his creations quickly pushed him to expand to a studio in Westlake, Cape Town, in 2012.
He’s been appointed board member of the World Fashion Council, which empowers women through skills development in fashion, and board member of the South African National Chapter of the World Fashion Organisation. His work has been featured in several local and international magazines and has adorned many a public figure and celebrity worldwide.
Creations with a conscience
Hendrik’s intricate designs effortlessly incorporate hints of nature into his work – the end-product of which is striking, unique and remarkably fresh. His designs have a distinct South African flair, which does not mean that he skimps on global fashion standards – as Hendrik Vermeulen Couture has made an unmistakable mark on catwalks around the world.
One of these events was the New York Fashion Week at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station on 13 September 2015, where he showcased his ‘I am water’ collection. Although wooed by the striking elegance of each individual masterpiece, we were even more moved by Hendrik’s seemingly innate endorsement of critical causes which serves as a common thread and motivator throughout his work.
His involvement in humanitarian and environmental efforts include various events for the MyLife foundation, serving as ambassador for Hope for the Sunflower Fund and his ‘I am Water’ collection mentioned above, which aimed to create awareness for the I am Water Ocean Conservation Trust. The show was undoubtedly stolen, along with our hearts, by Madeline Stuart, renowned international model with Down Syndrome, who opened the Hendrik Vermeulen Spring 2016 show.
With great power comes great responsibility
What Hendrik has managed to underscore through his support of these social causes is the world’s thirst for premium products which are both aesthetically superlative as well as morally commendable.
The constantly-evolving consumer psyche can no longer shrug off the repercussions of social responsibility, and is increasingly holding icons and trendsetters – our beloved brands – to a higher standard. A standard which can be spoken of, lauded, and enjoyed for its positive impact on the world.
The message to leaders across different industries is clear – we don’t just want brands who are, we seek brands that do.
So if you want to turn heads wherever you go while taking pride in the origins of your couture – investing in a signature Hendrik Vermeulen creation is the way to go.
Proudly ethical and proudly South African!
Five things about Hendrik
We checked in with Hendrik to ask him a few questions.
For a man born in 80s Free State, becoming a fashion designer went against the norm. What advice would you give others whose aspirations are unconventional?
Follow your aspiration, no matter what…
What inspires your designs?
The inspiration comes from many different angles; nature, architecture, art, etc…
What has been your greatest challenge for getting into the international fashion world?
To overcome the anguish of not delivering the quality expected by the International community.
What was it like to work with Madeline Stuart?
It was a life changing moment… to be lucky enough to meet with a girl that against all odds found the strength and courage to fulfill her dream in an industry more prompt to lapidate any person who doesn’t fit in the fashion mould.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans are to carry on progressing and developing my artistic skills while continuing to reach a 100% client satisfaction.
If you’re interested in Hendrik Vermeulen Couture, you can visit his Facebook page or contact him on +27 21 424 1686.