Marie France Van Damme launches collection at Neiman Marcus, Coral Gables

Resort wear lovers and jetsetters, pay attention!

Marie France Van Damme launched her Spring/Summer 16 Resort Collection on Friday in Neiman Marcus of Coral Gables.

Her designs can also be found at Saks Fifth Avenue in Bal Harbour, within other South Florida locations.

“It’s chiffons and silks as usual, with embroidery and colors such as blacks, whites, greys and this season there is a bit of blues,” said Van Damme, who now has five stores worldwide, including one in London and Singapore.

Marie France Van Damme, first began her own clothing line in 2012. 

After 35 years of working in the fashion industry, manufacturing clothes for private label in Asia, she decided she wanted to shift towards designing exclusive apparel consisting of a neutral palette of shades: blacks, whites, greys, metallics and sometimes a dab of color.

“It’s just a question of, ‘how do you dress?’ Most women dress in black and white.” Van Damme, said. “I’ve always been a very black or white person. I’m not attracted to designers that do a collection using color. I’m doing this, because other people do the blues and the pinks, and then [one time] I presented some pink and people didn’t want pink because, ‘we come to you for the black and white, not for the pink.’”

The Resort Collection was initially presented during Miami Swim Week 2016.

Inspired by her years living in Asia, Van Damme’s varieties usually include light fabric garments in silks and lace. Kaftans, dresses, pants and swimwear are all included in a line that she designs for the travelling, stylish, uncomplicated woman.

“She travels, and I see her in different places, and I started to recognize her, and she’s a jetsetter,” she said describing her target client. “She would be here today; She’s in Mami [for] Art Basel. These ladies are confident, independent, and they usually have the means. They’re educated. They love art. Those are the women that come to me because they go on holidays, and this is their lifestyle.”

Trunk shows have been a preferred way for Van Damme to get to know her clients on a one-to-one basis and see what they are truly looking for in her designs. Within three years, she has had trunk shows at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman within others, and on Art Basel weekend, she was at Neiman Marcus. 

“[I do it] to be close to the customer,”  said the designer, who was also touring around the city looking for retail space for a new store. “It’s quite rewarding when I see people. It’s so much hard work to do what I do, and that is the reward: to see people enjoying it and loving it. “

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