The city selected 7 innovations in fashion/design for a financial kickstart up to €50,000

In 2023, the city of Antwerp launched another call for innovation in fashion and design. Entrepreneurs in the creative industry could submit their innovative projects. Out of the submitted projects, seven innovations were selected. These Antwerp entrepreneurs will receive a financial kickstart to accelerate the realisation of their project. The innovations not only add value to Antwerp, they also demonstrate the city's attractive business climate.
  • Home
  • News & events
  • The city selected 7 innovations in fashion/design for a financial kickstart up to €50,000

Out of 38 innovations in fashion and design submitted, 12 were selected. The entrepreneurs pitched their project and after a round of questions, an independent jury finally selected 7 projects: 4 in fashion and 3 in design.

A total budget of 300,000 euros has been allocated; each project will receive support up to 50,000 euros. The selected projects will help strengthen Antwerp's fashion and creative ecosystem.

We like to briefly introduce them here.

OKRET | one-stop shop to switch to circular economy

Sara Kovic and the okret team want to help fashion companies develop sustainable strategies. okret functions as a one-stop shop for fashion brands that want to implement re-commerce in their value chain; a digital platform that offers in one place everything needed to integrate circular business and collect crucial data for sustainability reporting. This project will integrate new software for circular product management with recommerce sales channels. With this infrastructure, okret can help fashion companies with new insights to implement short-term take-back systems and resale cascades under their own branding.

Goal: Return clothes to fashion brands via consumers to gain insights into consumer behaviour and quality during the use phase. These insights contribute to smarter design, product choices and ensure longer life, reuse of clothes and an optimal recycle-flow with local partners.

Sara Kovic | | +32 472 343 623 |


NIGHTFALL | where fashion meets eros

NIGHTFALL is a new online shop and digital platform focusing on the hitherto non-existent intersection of fashion and erotica. NIGHTFALL was founded by Filip Arickx (A.F. Vandevorst) and Eveline Rigouts (ex-L'Oréal) out of a passion for beauty, fashion and design innovation as well as a fascination for eros as a discipline. NIGHTFALL breaks through dogma, proposes a new language within erotica and invites multi-disciplinary artists to reinvent the genre and raise it to an unprecedented aesthetic level. This will create a whole new category of erotic accessories within the luxury and fashion industry. NIGHTFALL's beating heart and creative studio will operate from Antwerp and collaborate with Antwerp entrepreneurs and internationally renowned artists and designers.

Filip Arickx & Eveline Rigouts | | +32 470 229 559 |


CONTOUR LAB x SHAVATAR | fashion e-commerce enriched with thorough AI personalisation

Fashion e-commerce has complex challenges. Fashion companies struggle online with low conversion rates, minimal customer retention and high return rates. Competition for customers’ attention online is fierce.

Contour Lab and Shavatar have teamed up to launch their AI Styling & Sizing Advisor; this innovation provides an inclusive, personalised online shopping experience. Shoppers are uniquely guided in finding suitable clothes as well as the right size for each body type. The technology is innovative and uses image recognition and machine learning to respond to the growing demand from the fashion industry to offer a combined solution that makes the online user experience even more personal.

Geert Mertens, Christina Hadinoto and Ilias Mansouri | | +32 468 275 437 |


MOODSENSE collection | SAM Sensory Clothing with scent and colour for well-being and communication

SAM is a clothing brand with sensory-friendly collections for people who are sensitive to stimuli. These clothes are perceived by them as pleasant to wear and thus support their well-being.

The MoodSense project enriches SAM's inclusive clothing line with scents and colours, transforming fashion into a tool for well-being and communication. MoodSense adds scent as a powerful tool to reduce stress and feel emotionally safe. And Moodsense creates subtle colour changes in clothing or accessories enabling non-verbal communication. Valuable not only for individuals who have difficulties with speech but also for anyone who needs a subtle way to express their feelings or needs.

An Luyten | | +32 475 373 700 |


Studio Type - Font Foundry | digital platform offering fonts

With this support, type designer Jo De Baerdemaeker will develop and establish studio type - font foundry. It will be the first Belgian online type foundry with an active web shop where original high-quality retail fonts and unique custom-made font families with a Belgian connection will be offered for sale internationally. In addition, information is offered on the various custom type projects, research, types of licences and user conditions, and activities are announced (such as workshops, talks, type walks, and other events) which studio type - font foundry organises, with references to (inter)national partners.

In addition, studio type - font foundry will also be the first online platform where creative designers & entrepreneurs from a culturally diverse Antwerp and other Belgian regions will offer their letter designs for sale around the world.

Jo De Baerdemaeker | | +32 (0)478 073 968 |


uBEE | effortless door-to-door luggage transport

Early 2024, Studio Sunstone will launch uBee; an electric or non-electric luggage step that can be converted into a trolley within 3 seconds. The scooter/trolley offers ergonomic comfort to transport people and goods, is highly manoeuvrable and compact to store at home or on complementary means of transport.

With the support, uBee will commit to a sustainable strategy; local production and assembly. From idea to production, uBee remains true to the "created in Antwerp" label. With this local production, there is more control over quality and service and uBee can respond more flexibly to design trends. 

Wouter de Beukelaar | | +32 494 524 400 |


STOCK | from forgotten plates to refined tableware, (re)found in Antwerp

Created from forgotten mugs and plates. Locally and socially produced. With minimal use of new raw materials. Bringing forgotten, stocked tableware back into use. Stock creates high-quality, unique and affordable circular tableware. Due to passing trends or missing items, tableware is often disposed of well before the end of its technical lifespan. Through second-hand shops, a small proportion of these products still find a way to a new user, but most tableware is discarded prematurely.

Sander and Charlotte "The stockrooms of several thrift shops are full of unsold, unwanted pieces of tableware. We join hands with the local social economy to strip these pieces of their old glaze. Afterwards, we apply a new contemporary colour which allows us to bring plates, bowls or cups different in shape back together in beautiful unique sets."

Sander de Clercq and Charlotte Van Hoecke | | +32 470 805 686 |


All these projects will be realized in 2024. In addition to financial support, entrepreneurs will receive guidance from Business & Innovation | city of Antwerp who will also help them to match with interesting partners.