Arnhem, the Netherlands, 1981. We were not punk. We were Weverstraat. HUMANOID just happened. No philosophy. Doing something. Leafing through HUMANOID’s 26-year anniversary publication, it’s over 30 years by now, you see a women’s label maturing in the big world of fashion without so much as a step astray. Without screaming for attention. HUMANOID’s identity feels familiar. That pleasantly unruly early 80s feel always remained: expressive, creative, authentic, but always functional and contemporary.
Human-oid, literally: like a human. And very much like founders Sandra Harmsen and Hans Boelens, creative and financial director respectively of this proto-Dutch global brand. But just the same like the current designers who joined the design team since 1998. HUMANOID’s strength is that it is a brand like a wonderful person. Two feet on the ground, feeling completely sound and comfortable with yourself, doing what you feel you have to do and above all, having a great time. Freedom. Quality. Here and now.
Every HUMANOID collection originates from this gut sense of freedom, and the feel of the materials. The way they drape, move, how it behaves while treated and how it caresses the skin. Soft, lush fabrics, great qualities. They appear to be worn in and washed, they all match in shades, structures and in layering. Fine cashmere, unstable cotton, suede and leather. Earthly, feminine, comfortable and contemporary. Every collection a continuation of the previous one. A large luxurious wrap scarf, symbolizing the HUMANOID feel, has been a staple from the start.
Over 30 years of HUMANOID. It appears so self-evident, which of course it is not. What started with the new wave gut feeling and fun punk attitude of a small collective around Sandra Harmsen and Hans Boelens in Arnhem’s Weverstraat has steadily blossomed into an international fashion conception.