This unlikely duo met while studying in Arnhem, both graduating in 1992. One year later, as a prelude to their successful career, they received three prizes at the Hyères Festival. After different collaborations and projects, they decided to follow their own path. With the objective of calling attention to the apathy that prevails in the world of fashion, they presented the collection "Viktor & Rolf on Strike," in which they make clear their attitude toward a creative environment that is apathetic, insensitive and utterly lacking in new ideas.
If anything sums up the creations of Viktor & Rolf, it is a rebellious elegance and a penchant for conceptual and unruly volumes combined with an exquisiteness and surreal humor that pervade all of their work. And it is for this reason that Viktor & Rolf are not just special but necessary, for they represent a concave mirror in fashion that gives rise to a personal cosmos, the unreal world of Alice viewed through the looking-glass, which defies all conventional limitations through chic, meticulous elegance.
What inspires you?
Our work is autobiographical in the sense that it is based on personal experiences. Fashion itself and our position within the fashion world are also a source of inspiration.
What is your dream as a designer?
It has always been our dream to become fashion designers, so we are actually living the dream at this moment. Growing up in suburbia in a country where fashion doesn't really exist, the images of fashion in magazines provided an escape from reality. Fashion still has that effect on us. It is a place to dream. We operate in fashion but still feel like monitors, commenting on fashion whilst being part of it at the same time. Fashion is more than just clothes; it is an aura, with a soul of its own.
What has been the most important achievement of your career?
To be in fashion and stay in fashion. Our last collection, entitled "No," was based on the current fashion climate, where the demands on designers are so high that we question whether it is sustainable at all. We use our creativity to channel our emotions into our work: our collections and the show. These emotions have a wide range, and we firmly believe that through creativity we can transform anything into something beautiful.
How important are trends?
Trends for us are not important as an inspiration. We do not set out to design something within a trend or to set a trend. We create something because it is at the forefront of our minds and it needs to be expressed.
Fashion has always reflected a certain era. What does fashion reflect in the twenty-first century?
It is a little early in the century to be able to say that for fashion in general. We are working on building the House of Viktor & Rolf, a twenty-first-century fashion house, with all the elements such an institution entails, but we want to do it on our terms.
What book would you recommend to every fashion designer?
Your own diary…