Born on 29th November 1965, Marlies Dekkers is a fashion designer from Netherlands, who spent her childhood in Oosterhout before moving to Breda to study in an art school. She graduated from there with a distinction in 1991. People were impressed by her thesis of mooning dress, and two years later, with a grant from the government of 16,000 euros, in 1993, she opened her own company from a studio flat. She launched her debut collection by the name of Undressed. The range was considered as a novel design approach towards lingerie.
In 1996, Marlies married Peter Wagenaar, a photographer. The duo have a daughter named Zilver, which means silver in Dutch language. In addition to being a husband, Wagenaar was the board member of Marlies’s company. In 2006, when the couple separated permanently, Peter left his position at the company as well.
Designs by Marlies have been appreciated and accepted nationally and in other parts of the world as well. They have been considered as trendsetting, innovative and refreshing. With her ground-breaking design philosophy, she transformed the market of lingerie. Her aim is to provide women with beauty and self-confidence, hence her motto: Dare to be.
In addition to this, she is an exceptional business woman and marketer. Marlies Dekkers has also written books as well and simultaneously taken care of her daughter.
Marlies is inspired by philosophers and artists. Her work is recognized for reflecting power and radiance. She uses pioneering techniques and contemporary materials to produce great styles. Personalities who wear her designs, include Rihanna, Candy Dulfer, The Pussycat Dolls, Nelly Futardo, Britney Spears, Carice van Houten, Anastasia, Diana Ross, Christina Aguilera among others.
Marlies has won many fashion awards and prizes. In 1991, for her graduate work, she was given the Zeebeltprijs. Three years later, she was presented with the Dutch Bodyfashion Award. In 2004, she was awarded by Elle as the Year’s Innovator. A year later, Dekkers won a grant from the Dutch Textile Organization.
Marlies was a keen student and often spent time in learning distribution and design herself. She visited several shops to show her designs and at times she was rejected. But soon she rose to success and although it was all too exciting for her, she did feel lonely at times. It was amazing to observe that along with the designing of her collections, Marlies managed the production, promotion, sales and distribution. It was challenging to do undergarments in fashion among the Dutch females, but her label was successful because such a thing is needed by women.
The reason that the designer mostly works in black is that when she was young, she could only afford clothes that were of black hues. Also, the color contrasts well with her skin tone. Black is a universal color according to Marlies and can suit anyone.
The most important thing the designer feels she needs in life is ‘confidence’. When she was a child, she used to get bullied because she stood out and was different. As she grew up, she experimented with her appearance and clothing and hence people weren’t aggressive but were astonished.
According to Marlies Dekkers, seventy percent of the women wear the wrong bra and some wear the right one but in a wrong way. Hence, she advises people to spend time on observing their body structure and then deciding.