According to folklore, the city of Antwerp got its name from a legendary giant, Antigoon, who lived near the banks of the Scheldt River. He caused great distress to the residents of the city by extracting a toll for crossing the river. For those who revolted, he cut off one of their hands and threw them in the river waters.
Martine van Loock, creator and maker of THE HAND BAG collection, was inspired to create classic handbag designs with a modern twist reminiscent of the beautiful city in which she resides, Antwerp, Belgium. Very literally, the “hand clasp” represents the many hands that were thrown in the river Schedlt by the mythical giant Antigoon – and the result is lovely. Martine says, “THE HAND BAG collection is a slow process and just in its infancy, but it sure has many possibilities.” We agree.
Martine van Loock, Atelier MVLHC
You could say Belgian handbag designer Martine van Loock inherited her love for creating from her grandmother, who was a haute couture dressmaker. When she was a little girl, Martine’s curiosity drew her to learning how to sew…and that she did. With a patient and devoted teacher, Martine began creating. She started by making clothing for her dolls; then moved on to sewing dresses for herself out of all types of fabric, as well as leather. “From her, I inherited my striving for perfectionism and quality,” says Martine of her grandmother.
Years later, she began a course in fashion design and publicity, creating designs that were beautiful and creative, but not wearable. Eventually, she landed a job with a company that sold CAD CAM systems and she was able to travel all over the world, gaining inspiration and experience along the way. Meanwhile, her husband opened a restaurant in the center of Antwerp. Martine quickly realized he needed her help and quit her job. For 10 years, they operated the successful restaurant before selling it. The two decided they needed a change of scenery and moved to Spain, where they spent a decade before heading back home to Antwerp.
Upon their return, Martine enrolled in a shoemaking course, but soon became more attracted to making leather handbags. Taking up study at local schools and participating in private courses from well-known world brands gave her the knowledge she needed to launch her own company, Atelier MVLHC.
Martine van Loock
Kasteeldreef 41, Schoten 2900
Phone number: +32 492762316