Behind success often lies a beautiful story. American Outfitters is a belgian brand created by three sisters. It is a soft mix of talent and perseverance. A lot of attention is given to quality and American Outfitters is famous for its creativity and its sense of detail.
interview with Patricia Vandemoortele
The AO76 showroom, located close to the very charming Belgian city of Gent, looks like an art exhibition. The ground is covered with dry leaves blown in from the forest and there are several kinds of sculptures in the room, all tinted in shades from the current collection.
We meet Patricia Vandemoortele, the design manager of AO76. Patricia is a woman who is full of energy, with a contagious smile and the belief that less is more. She loves wearing vintage pieces and believes in the importance of working in a pleasant environment. This is why she chose this beautiful place to set up the A076 headquarters.
Fun, happiness, freedom, play: these are some of the key values of AO76 Kids!
I’m the founder and stylist of AO76. I’m also the one in charge of creating the collections.
AO76 is a beautiful family project that you created with your sisters. Tell us more about your role in the company.
I get my inspiration from my travels, from nature, for daily impressions, art exhibits I visit, from people I see in the streets…I follow the trends and I do some shopping of course, but not too much. The hardest part is to create a new theme each season. Once it’s done, we can start looking for the right materials and create new models.
You are the creative mind of the brand, what inspires you?
When we’re working on the collection, I arrive at the office very early in the morning to work with my team. Once the collection is ready or when it’s in production, I go to some fairs and I travel to find new manufacturers and/or inspiration while keeping an eye on production.
What’s your daily life like?
By staying true to our image and true to the AO76 style while following the latest trends. By putting an emphasis on the quality of our products and in making sure we have a good distribution system for our brand and are ranked correct in the market.
The availability of children’s fashion has evolved a lot these last few years. How do you manage to set your brand apart from your competitors?
We were looking for a brand name that sounded American since that’s where the casual and sportswear inspiration came from. And we were creating clothes, so we chose American Outfitters, in short: AO. the “76” part comes from the year the company was created, in 1976
Where does your brand’s name come from?
We want to keep creating cool collections that children and their parents really like. We follow the trends and the market. Our products are distributed in our own stores, in other boutiques and we want to develop our e-commerce even more. Young people buy more and more on the internet nowadays.
3 kid-friendly addresses in your cityEat at Vooruit, our city’s art déco and cultural centre. Visit the STAM museum, it tells the history of our city and is has a beautiful location. Go for a boat trip on the Gand canals, even more beautiful than the ones from Bruges according to some people. End your day with some shopping at Korte Dagsteeg where we have our most beautiful AO76 store!
AO76 is avaible at Smallable online and in our parisian concept store 81, rue du Cherche-Midi - 75006