"Coffee break with" - Daan de Haan
Today we are having coffee with one of our stores' most valued friends/partners/customers: Daan de Haan.
Daan is Venlo’s top-notch designer and an important advisor to our store. He is the man responsible for the interior designs of our first store, our current one and the upcoming store in Venlo-West. Daan also played a part in all of our collaborations ranging from our upcoming Eastpak collaboration to our iconic Mizuno collaboration.
As a designer, Daan has an intentional way of dressing himself.
He is as intentional in the concepts and designs that he creates as the way he dresses. He likes to build his outfits with items that have bright details and innovative features, with a solid black base.
"I grew up with the idea of using black as the basis for my daily looks. My closet has mostly black items. But as a designer I appreciate the products that have bright details and innovative features.
Sometimes you see that a brand has to deviate from the regular production process to create an item. That’s where interesting things happen. To show the extra effort, brands often, quite literally, highlight these features.
I’m also a sucker for performance clothing. Some Italian brands like Diemme give me the feeling of a high-tech factory somewhere in the Alps. I feel a bit quirky sometimes wearing Alpinist clothing in the flat landscape of the Netherlands. And, somehow I get all of my clothes and shoes dirty and worn, which I feel is somewhat disrespectful to the guys at Calico (who always look impeccable)."
As a graduate from the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven , Daan came back to Venlo to launch his design bureau in our relatively small town. It was over 16 years ago but Daan still clearly remembers why he decided to settle here and has absolutely no regrets about staying in Venlo.
"I feel old talking about it, because it was 16 years ago. It was the start of the “star-designer” trend, where the designer replaced the artist by making collectible design with an according price-tag. I didn't make the cut and didn’t have what it took to be an autonomous creator. I like to work for companies and institutions, big and small. I love getting the best results out of the available resources and people. I still think it was the best choice to come back to Venlo because it gave me the opportunity to work in very different fields and industries and I developed skills that have a value in the future, not just as a designer.
My company is growing and we’re currently integrating our business with Lab Service Design and other creative professionals. Within a couple of weeks we will launch our Creative and Strategic Design Agency working from the Nedinscofabriek."
What are the things that inspire you as a designer?
"I’m inspired by younger people and their choices and creations. The tools they use, the arguments or lack of arguments to create something. It helps me to understand multiple perspectives. These perspectives are to be found not so much in design, but more in which things are important or fun in life. Being informed and accepting the opinion of others gets you through life easier and helps you to be positive.
Cutting edge production processes are a very important feature of what makes me tick. Therefore I am thrilled by the new Calico Jack West shop, where many inspiring and innovative ways of rendering products come forward, e.g. advanced 3D techniques and ceramics."
We have been working together for a long time now, trying to give you as few restraints as possible, how have you experienced it?
"I’m so happy with the role I play for the Calico crew. I have a connection with the people who work there and I try to give my opinion on strategy and design related issues. I’m so excited about the new store Calico Jack West.
The concept of the interior design is a combination of using existing infrastructure and combining it with new elements with a wow
effect. We found a partner in Porcelanosa, a company that offers high-end ceramics to create a big impact.
Together with a team of builders and contracters, all of who are in the Calico community, we created a smart and unique retail environment ready for the next two decades."
Thanks for reading this first edition of "Coffee Break With", spearheaded by our dear friend and partner Daan. For our next issue we will be talking to Giel & Mauro about their Sable Model Management.