Versatility in design is a high valued but rare trait. After all, it takes countless practice to develop a single skill within an area towards the highest excellence levels. Moreover, being able to possess multiple skills in various facets at a high level is extraordinary. If one were to form a cohesive unit of two individuals with such a caliber of design, the result would be unimaginable. That is just what the Dutch clothing brand founders represent, the jack-of-trades fashion design duo of the Botter label, Rushemy Botter, and Lisi Herrebrugh. Creating pieces that offer a unique blend of floating, elegance, yet hip boldness, the duo, provides a candid and elastic approach to fashion, welcoming enthusiasts of all kinds.
Originally born in Curacao but mainly residing in the Netherlands, Rushemy Botter started fashion school at Arnhem before getting accepted at the Royal Academy of the Hague and later furthered his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. His collection won IFF awards and won the VFiles Runway 7 prize and part of New York Fashion Week. The second half of Botter, Lisi Herrebrugh is an Amsterdam-born designer who met Rushemy while still in school. A fashion student herself, Herrebrugh attended the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, where she interned at Viktor & Rolf and worked on the first haute couture from the company in 13 years.
In 2018, the duo was named the new artistic directors at Nina Ricci, replacing Guillaume Henry. A unique opportunity for the pair to exhibit new ideas to the brand: “We feel very inspired by the fresh and subtle codes that make Nina Ricci such a beautiful ode to femininity. We aim to create a new spirit, a spirit of our times: effortless, sophisticated, and strong.” Indeed, the two did not disappoint their artistic vision when they made their debut with the brand for the Fall/Winter 19-20 collection. The clothing displayed played homage to 50s and 60s clothing with big hats and draped dresses. They were able to add a twist to the designs by adjusting the size of the fabrics and Caribbean details within the design form. The pieces’ stretching to create the function and fit shifted the ubiquitous form of blazers and replaced the slacks with a more flexible set of trousers. Of course, these types of collections are only part of what makes Botter special. On the flip side, their core designs for Botter demonstrate the duo’s versatility for developing unique outfits for various demographics.
Their don’t bother collection features colorful bathrobe-like coats, a chameleon-esque mixture of towel skirt, sleek blouses, and turtleneck. Without question, the versatility between their runway shows and more street-focus designs offered a dynamic artistic canvas on display. Still, Botter continues their conscious efforts to be different by opting for a more eco-friendly design in their latest collection, which refuses material to reduce waste. Not only in production but the duo mix in poetic justice to their art as explained by their manifesto: “With our color palette we reflect the bleaching problem of the corals in the ocean. Due to the world’s climate crisis, the corals are losing their color faster than ever before, the clothing is beautiful, but in a floundering state to the waste that humans create.” However, as art has previously shown, it brings greater consciousness when words cannot do so. As it stands, Botter and Herrebrugh demonstrate they can accomplish that very feat with intellectual curiosity and moral courage.