Hidden Belgium: Essentiel

Hidden Belgium: Essentiel

Esfan Eghtessadi and Inge Onsea founded Antwerp fashion brand Essentiel in 1999 with the aim of selling flamboyant women’s clothes in multiple colours. The window display of their store in Antwerp’s fashion quarter shows how passionately they believe in bright colours, loud checks and clashing styles.

It was a bit of a niche brand until last December, when Netflix released the trailer for the third season of Emily in Paris. Fans spotted Emily wearing one of the Antwerp brand’s bright, floppy sweaters. Not once (at 3 secs), but again (at 18 secs) and again (24 secs).

Well, it hardly needs to be said. All hell broke out. The company website was flooded with orders from all over the world, Inge Onsea told Antwerp news channel ATV.

The company has provided nine different pieces for Emily to wear in the third season. ‘We are super proud,’ Onsea said.

But you are already too late to pick up the iconic Essential sweater. The Cadaques pullover has already sold out. And it’s now selling as a collector’s item at more than twice the original price.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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