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Photography by Sam Rock, courtesy of 1Granary

Step Inside the Antwerp Academy’s Famed Fashion Department

As 1 Granary and Red Hook Labs present a new edition of VOID, we preview Sam Rock’s captivating photo-story on life inside the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

TextAya NoëlPhotographySam Rock

Creating means connecting your personal universe to the world around you. In return, that exterior environment always affects your individual expression. Are you comfortable in your workspace? Do you feel stimulated by the people around you? Is the view from your window inspiring? All these elements change the way you perceive yourself, your work, and your future. The value of art education cannot be measured by the number of classes you take or the technology you have access to. It is something much more intimate and personal that shapes your experience. It’s not always about what you produce. Your thoughts, emotions and experiences matter just as much.

Thus, a single fashion shoot could never translate what it means to study in Antwerp. To truly understand what happens during the months and years a student spends creating, one would have to go beyond the finished collection, infiltrate the private surrounding and capture the characters behind the creations. So that’s exactly what we did with photographer Sam Rock. Hanging around during fittings and crashing on couches, he managed to catch a glimpse of the life behind the line-up.

“I don’t think that I have ever felt like I truly expressed myself. Working in the fashion system forces you to re-introduce yourself every season. Knowing what you want is the biggest challenge in fashion” ‒ Max Welsch

“I remember arriving in Antwerp for the first time. The first thing I felt, right there in the central station, was the fact that a new halter of my life had begun” ‒ Yelizavetta Volosovska

“To be in an environment where there’s a gathering of the brightest, most talented and creative people from around the world is incredibly rewarding. So I would say my fondest memories are the ones where these people became part of and stepped into my world, and vice versa” ‒ Robbie Van Mierlo

VOID, a collaboration between Red Hook Labs and 1 Granary, runs at Red Hook Labs, New York, until February 17, 2018.