All About Antwerp’s Newest Concept Shop-------
Known to many as the thinking fashionista’s city, Antwerp is home to Anne, Dries, and Raf—none of whom need an introduction, let alone a last name. So when I was invited to the launch event this past Saturday of RA 13, a new shopping destination and, dare I say, cultural venue, I had to ask myself: When it comes to concept, does Antwerp need another store? Anna Kushnerova, RA 13′s director and a former Royal Academy student, humbly offered her mission: “I wanted to do something special. I want to share things not easily found.” Perhaps this is why RA 13 has a selection that spans the latest Gareth Pugh to vintage wares, covering along the way indie favorites like Bless and Richard Nicoll.
For Saturday’s event, the fashion community from Antwerp and beyond came together at the 8,000-square-foot former gallery space on Kloosterstraat. RA 13 boasts a sculpture garden (pictured above), restaurant, library, installation space, sections for vintage and music, and two floors of fashion. But the real party was at the Scheld’apen squat across town, where the likes of Bruno Pieters, Katie Eary, and Rad Hourani danced the night away to over ten deejays. However, they still probably didn’t have as much fun as Charles Anastase, spotted dancing shirtless all night with Hannah Marshall.
With space for students and young artists selling and showing their first works (and a rumored showroom to support young designers), Kushnerova has achieved her aim of something a bit different. It’s perhaps reminiscent of Brussels’ Stijl, the store touted for first carrying the Antwerp Six in the early 1980′s. Can you imagine buying a one-of-a-kind Margiela, then a student at the Royal Academy, well before the Maison? You’ll have to wait several years, but RA 13 might help you find out.
RA 13, 13 Kloosterstraat, Antwerp; ra13.be