Marlies Dekkers
Written by Yvette N. Coleman

Marlies Dekkers takes the beautiful of world lingerie into her own interpretation and entrances customers with a full experience of daring seductive collections that will reveal a confidence in the wearer.  She has been a storm in the design world since her appearance of the ‘bare buttock dress’ at her graduation show in 1991. She received a full page article in the NRC daily newspaper. Since then things have rarely been quiet again around for her as a designer and businesswoman.

“I persisted with my dream and set to work designing my way of lingerie; strong, sexy, self-confident and with a perfect fit. In 1993 I started my own Undressed label with a subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, out of my top floor apartment in Amsterdam.”  Every collection has a different story behind it. Her main inspiration sources vary from philosophers and artists to her own life experiences. For example Célestine – one of the spring summer 2009 collections was inspired by Luis Bunuel’s surrealist film the Diary of a Chambermaid. Hard lace, another part of the collection takes its reference from the contemporary use of lace like patterns in interior design, where lace designs are translated into hard materials such as metal or plastic. In Modern ajour, she translated the traditional lacy knitting technique of ajouré into a subtle print of vintage nets. The final part of the spring summer collection, Costume Drama, takes its inspiration from the rich satin colors worn in the portraits of the Dutch Master paintings of the 17th century.

Dekker designs for all women and the unique shapes and sizes and aims to accentuate every woman’s self-confidence. “I believe every woman has her own uniqueness’s and beauty despite her age, size or color. Unfortunately women tend to have a different view of who they are and I try to create designs that allow women to accept themselves as they are and feel comfortable about it.”

How is YOUR COLLECTION different from others?  Why do I want to buy your brand before others?
Every now and then I visit my own stores to personally assist women in finding their perfect bra. For me it is really important to learn from my customers. I compare the creation of the perfect bra to pure mathematics and I think I found the perfect formula but since learning is an ongoing process, I love to hear feedback. Recently, one of my costumers gave me the best compliment I could wish for: 'These bras, they're pure haute couture; mine feels entirely as if it was made for me personally!' You can imagine what a great feeling that gave to me, as a lingerie designer this is the best compliment that you can get.
We always debate about whether women buy for themselves or for a significant other-what is your take?
For themselves! My dream when I first started was to design lingerie in which women could feel beautiful and seductive, but at the same time powerful and independent. I just won't rest until women all over the world are proud of their own bodies, determined and seductive in all aspects of their lives! If I can help this come about with my designs then I will be a very happy woman!


Do you agree that the economic times call for minimalist designs?  Does the economy directly affect the lingerie industry?
I don’t believe that the economy will directly affect the lingerie industry. An inspiring story and true fact is that there have never been purchased as many stockings (nylons) as during World War 2! This shows that even in difficult times women don’t moderate on their lingerie. It is a special treat and it will remain like this.

What are some of the more popular styles of lingerie in your collection?
Well, every collection is different so this is hard to tell but I believe that the modern and graphic character of my designs is popular all around the globe.

What do you think will be the biggest trends in lingerie for Spring 09?
Matching and combining your lingerie with your outerwear. Lingerie is becoming more and more part of the total fashion outfit a woman is wearing.  My lingerie is meant to be seen. The attached bra straps make the bra become less of a functional item and more of a fashionable one. You can basically build your whole outfit around your bra and mood. For example, when I dress myself in the morning, I start with selecting the lingerie and then I choose a matching outfit.  I think we will see a lot more of this trend in the next season.
What's next for YOUR COLLECTION?
My main goal is to create the possibility for every woman in the world to choose for a marlies|dekkers design. One of my greatest wishes is to have a marlies|dekkers store in every country where we distribute my lingerie successfully. I can proudly say I am on my way, but I want to take it step by step…
As for my future collections, the list of things that inspire me is endless, so you will keep hearing from me!  More and more celebrities from the worlds of film, showbiz and music have been spotted wearing my lingerie: Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, The Pussycat Dolls, Kelly Rowland, Pink, Juliette Binoche, Solange Knowles, Jessica Stam, Olga Kurylenko and Nelly Furtado…   Sometimes it just dazzles me and is it hard for me to even believe this is all true and not just a dream!

What advice would you give women whose bodies may not be the “model-type”, but who love YOUR COLLECTION and want to wear it?
As a lingerie designer I design as a woman for other women and absolutely do not believe in ‘model-types’. Like I said before a lot of lingerie on the market is designed from a men’s point of view. I design from a feminine point of view. I believe every woman has her own uniqueness’s and beauty. Inspired by my own vision of life, I aim to accentuate the beautiful parts of a woman’s body which I see as my canvas while designing; ‘Your body…my canvas’.
I believe American women are ready for a small lingerie revolution. I dare American woman to be themselves and I wish to stimulate American women to search for their own dreams and fantasies…dare to be!

Words of wisdom:
“Dare to be…don’t just dream it…be it!”


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