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Bright young Belgians

Stéphanie Duval reveals the up-and-coming creative talent to watch in 2011

The Artist

Achraf Amiri (22)

“I am the hidden son of the Addams Family”

He’s known for describing himself as the progeny of pop culture’s weirdest gothic characters, and for drawing the fashion scene’s most influential players as if they’re extras in a Tim Burton film. It might sound like Achraf Amiri doesn’t take things too seriously, but that’s not the whole truth. “My illustrations are almost always a critique of something – most often of the media, which kill the traditions I respect,” he explains. Currently residing in Naples to work on a project with local artist Domenico Cordua, Amiri is taking the year to explore his artistic horizons, before wanting to settle at a steady job. Though judging from the international acclaim his illustrations are garnering, one might just lead to the other. www.achrafamiri.blogspot.com

The Photographer

Zeb Daemen (26)

Zeb Daemen never studied to become a photographer. With an interest in everything visual, graphic design seemed like the perfect career, but when some of his friends from the Antwerp fashion academy asked him to take pictures of their work, he found his true passion. Things have been moving fast since then, and in the past year-and-a-half that Daemen’s been working as a fashion photographer, he’s produced editorials for influential fashion magazines both in Belgium and beyond. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with So’ Chic magazine in Paris and Syntax magazine in London, which was incredibly cool,” he enthuses. For 2011, the young photographer is hoping to expand his work abroad and who knows, maybe even go the way of his idol, Steven Meisel? www.zebdaemen.com

The Musicians

Joy Wellboy: Wim (35) and Joy (30)

“We’re going to Japan”

Asked to describe their music, Joy and Wim make up the term ‘electro acoustic gospel’ on the spot. “It’s about energy, acoustic sounds and preaching what you live,” they say. The duo started their music group two years ago, and are releasing their first album, Let’s Make Love Before We Die, in March. They’ve already managed to capture hipsters’ attention with their single ‘Flush Me’, accompanied by a slightly disturbing but highly imaginative music video in which Joy is ‘born’ out of clay. In the meantime, Joy is convinced big things are in store: “I’ve gotten all kinds of signals that we’re going to Japan in the future, so I went ahead and started studying Japanese,” she says. But above all, these two want to have as much fun as possible making music. www.myspace.com/joyadegoke

The Actor

Titus De Voogdt (31)

Titus De Voogdt is in no way a newcomer to the Belgian film scene. He’s had parts in some of the most interesting home-grown productions of recent years – including Steve + Sky, Any Way the Wind Blows and Ben X – while his reputation in theatre has been growing steadily. But 2011 is going to be a big year. His latest flick, 22nd of May, which came out late 2010, was very well received by critics and will no doubt tour all the big festivals this year. Titus probably has other things on his mind, however. In March 2011 he’ll premiere his own play, called Vorst-Forest. And when he’s not busy rehearsing for that, he’ll be touring France with the play Altijd Prijs.

The Blogger

Elisabeth Ouni (26)

“Maybe you could call me a creative entrepreneur”

Many people know Elisabeth Ouni from her blog ‘A Polaroid Story’, where she recounts the way she tries to get her favourite artists (most of them at hip-hop or r‘n’b concerts) to pose for her polaroid camera. Even so, she doesn’t really think of herself as a blogger. “Bloggers mostly write about other people’s or brands’ content – I make my own,” she says. The former model and stylist is currently working hard on her career as an all-round creative mastermind, especially when it comes to online projects. She has produced photo shoots, is the curator of super-cool web shop worldofobjects.com, and is further developing her digital video-producing skills. With her website Ouni Inc, she wants to make the ultimate platform from which to launch creative collaborations for years to come. www.ouni.be

The Writer/Cartoonist

Fleur Van Groningen (28)

“I’m a self-made woman”

Van Groningen didn’t go to college to become a writer. Or a cartoonist, for that matter. All it took was one drunken encounter with an editor from Flemish magazine Goedele, and an embarrassing phone conversation the day after. She first started publishing her cartoons in Goedele, then started writing too. Her sharp sense of humour, combined with a good dose of sarcasm and irony, has quickly made her a favourite among readers of both the women’s and men’s magazines she currently works for.

In 2011, she’s publishing her first book. “It’ll be an ironic self-help book about all the big themes in life,” she explains. “People are used to reading about sex – now the last big taboo is what’s really going on in people’s heads. I’m hoping to break that one.” www.fleurmusic.net

The Chef

Davy Schellemans (30)

“I’m off to a dream start”

When Davy Schellemans worked in Michelin- star restaurants like Kasteel Withof in Brasschaat and In De Wulf in Dranouter, he regretted the fact that his friends would never come by because “dinner was simply too expensive.” It made him realise he wanted to open a restaurant where the food was great, but the prices were also friendly. Last year, he finally found the perfect location for his endeavour: an old drugstore in Antwerp. It’s a fitting setting for the no-nonsense way of life this chef advocates. There’s no à la carte at De Veranda, but the five-course menu, which changes weekly and is priced at an affordable €45, has impressed many a food critic since the opening last summer. 60 Guldenvliesstraat, Antwerp

The Designer

Deevie Vermetten (28)

It’s hard not to root for Deevie Vermetten. This young designer isn’t just building his own career – as a set, interior and product designer under the name Fermetti – he’s also helping others along the way. With his second label, Atelier Belge, Vermetten aims to create a platform where young designers get their first shot at creating and producing their own ideas. “The first collection was presented at the Interieur Biennale last year and we’ve had such great reactions,” he says. “A lot of young people are motivated to participate. I’ve experienced how hard it is to get started, so I wanted to help others and give them the support they need.” www.fermetti.be

The Fashion Designer

Lenny Leleu (27)

"I want to push the envelope"

However bizarre their graduate shows may look, most students at Antwerp’s famous fashion academy choose to design a traditional prêt-à-porter collection in their final year. Not Lenny Leleu. “I wanted to be in fashion because I wanted to add something to it,” she says. This vision led her to design an outrageous collection of beachwear and bathing suits, which would fit in more easily in Dubai or Hollywood than Knokke or Ostend. Belgium’s too small – and cold! – for this designer, who has her eyes set on conquering the American fashion scene sooner rather than later. While her first real fashion show, presenting her second full collection, took place in Antwerp last year, the designer hopes to debut in New York in 2011. www.lennyleleu.com

Photographer Lieven Dirckx
Photographer’s assistant Alexander Popelier
Stylist Nino Bauti
Hair & Make-up Orla McKeating
Hair & Make-up assistant Charline Vanderweeën
Provided by C’est Chic Agency

Achraf wears his own clothes; Zeb wears shirt by Dries Van Noten, waistcoat and bow tie stylist’s own; Wim wears his own clothes and Joy wears dress by Yigal Azrouel; Titus wears shirt by Luke, tuxedo jacket by Hugo Boss Black, tie by Hugo Boss; Elisabeth wears dress by BCBG Maxazria; Fleur wears blouse by Tibi, vintage belt by Yves Saint Laurent, pencil skirt by Moschino, gloves by Sermoneta; Davy wears tuxedo and bow tie by Hugo Boss, shirt by Top Man; Deevie wears jacket by Top Man, white top by American Apparel; Lennie wears her own label.

FR Jeunes, brillants et belges

Stéphanie Duval dresse une liste des étoiles montantes de la création, à surveiller en 2011

L’ARTISTE Achraf Amiri (22 ans) « Je suis le fils caché de la famille Adams », affirme l’illustrateur Achraf Amiri, dont le style gothique est salué par des critiques du monde entier. achrafamiri.blogspot.com

LE PHOTOGRAPHE Zeb Daemen (26 ans) Après une formation en design graphique, tout est allé très vite pour Daemen depuis qu’il a trouvé sa voie en photographiant pour divers magazines de mode influents. En 2011, il vise l’étranger et suivre l’exemple de son idole Steven Meisel… zebdaemen.com

LES MUSICIENS Joy Wellboy : Joy (30 ans) et Wim (35 ans) Après avoir attiré l’attention avec le single « Flush Me », le premier album de Joy Wellboy « Let’s Make Love Before We Die », un cocktail « électro-acoustique gospel », sortira en mars. myspace.com/joyadegoke

L’ACTEUR Titus De Voogdt (31 ans) Après plusieurs rôles dans des films belges intéressants et un nom de plus en plus connu dans le milieu du théâtre, 2011 sera une grande année pour De Voogdt, qui présentera sa propre pièce et tournera en France avec la troupe de Tous gagnants (Altijd Prijs).

LA BLOGGEUSE Elisabeth Ouni (26 ans) Dans « A Polaroid Story » Ouni raconte des rencontres avec des artistes auxquels elle demande de poser pour elle. Ex-mannequin, elle poursuit désormais une carrière de créatrice polyvalente via son site Ouni Inc. ouni.be

LA JOURNALISTE/CARICATURISTE Fleur Van Groningen (28 ans) D’abord publiée dans le magazine flamand Goedele, avec son humour mordant, Van Groeningen est devenue une incontournable des magazines féminins comme masculins. En 2011 paraîtra An ironic self-help book. fleurmusic.net

LE CHEF Davy Schellemans (30 ans) Fort de son expérience dans des restaurants étoilés, Schellemans rêvait d’ouvrir un lieu où l’on pourrait manger à des prix raisonnables : pour 45€, De Veranda à Anvers propose un menu à 5 plats qui a emballé les critiques. 60 Guldenvliesstraat

LE DESIGNER Deevie Vermetten (28 ans) En parallèle d’une carrière de designer et d’architecte d’intérieur, Vermetten a lancé l’Atelier belge pour créer une plate-forme où d’autres jeunes designers peuvent venir développer leurs idées. fermetti.be

LA STYLISTE Lenny Leleu (27 ans) La Belgique est trop petite – et trop froide ! – pour cette styliste extravagante qui s’apprête à conquérir l’Amérique ; elle espère faire ses débuts à New York en 2011. lennyleleu.com

NL Knappe jonge Belgen

Stéphanie Duval laat u kennismaken met het opkomende creatieve talent dat staat te popelen om door te breken in 2011

DE KUNSTENAAR Achraf Amiri (22) “Ik ben de verborgen zoon van The Addams Family”, zegt Achraf Amiri, een illustrator wiens gothic stijl internationaal bejubeld wordt. achrafamiri.blogspot.com

DE FOTOGRAAF Zeb Daemen (26) Sinds Daemen zijn roeping ontdekte als fotograaf voor verschillende invloedrijke modemagazines, loopt de carrière van deze grafisch ontwerper als een sneltrein. Hij hoopt in 2011 door te breken in het buitenland en in de voetsporen te treden van zijn idool Steven Meisel … zebdaemen.com

DE MUZIKANTEN Joy Wellboy: Joy (30) en Wim (35) Nadat het hippe, jonge volkje als een blok viel voor de single ‘Flush Me’ is nu het tijd voor het grotere werk. Joy Wellboy brengt in maart zijn eerste album ‘elektro-akoestische gospel’ uit: Let’s make love before we die. myspace.com/joyadegoke

DE ACTEUR Titus De Voogdt (31) Na rollen in interessante Belgische films en een stevige reputatie op de planken, gaat De Voogdt het in 2011 helemaal maken. Zijn eigen theaterstuk Vorst/Forêt gaat in première en hij gaat op tournee in Frankrijk met Altijd Prijs.

DE BLOGGER Elisabeth Ouni (26) De schrijfster van ‘A Polaroid Story’, het relaas van haar pogingen om artiesten voor haar te laten poseren. Ouni is een voormalig model dat het nu wil maken als creatief brein via haar website Ouni Inc. ouni.be

DE SCHRIJFSTER/CARTOONIST Fleur Van Groningen (28) Van Groningen debuteerde in het Vlaamse magazine Goedele. Haar scherpe humor valt erg in de smaak bij de lezers van mannen- en vrouwenbladen. In 2011 brengt ze “Een ironisch zelfhulpboek” uit. fleurmusic.net

DE CHEF-KOK Davy Schellemans (30) Nadat hij achter de kookpotten stond in door Michelin bekroonde restaurants, droomde Schellemans van een eigen zaak met betaalbare prijzen. De Veranda in Antwerpen biedt een vijfgangenmenu voor € 45 dat recensenten van hun sokken blaast. Guldenvliesstraat 60

DE DESIGNER Deevie Vermetten (28) Naast het uitbouwen van zijn carrière als setbouwer, binnenhuisarchitect en productdesigner, lanceerde Vermetten Atelier Belge, een platform waar andere jonge designers een eerste kans krijgen om hun eigen ideeën uit te werken. fermetti.be

DE MODEONTWERPER Lenny Leleu (27) België is te klein – en te koud! – voor deze extravagante ontwerpster die vast van plan is Amerika te veroveren. Ze hoopt in 2011 haar debuut te maken in New York. lennyleleu.com

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