What exactly are you doing for the Doninger Fashion Group? Please give me a brief description of yourself and your position at Doninger Fashion Group.

Cristel: My name is Cristel and have been working for Gaastra / Doniger Fashon Group since January 2nd this year in the position as Designer Gaastra Junior. I also worked for the company from March 2015 – May 2016  in the same position and very happy to be back. I graduated in 2006 as a designer from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and passed with a boys collection. Since then I have been a dedicated kidswear designer and worked for several brands, such as Cakewalk, Jottum, Rags Industry and Mexx Europe.

What is special about the team and who do you work with when creating a new collection?

Cristel: The team is full of dynamic and international people, very creative and they all have a lot of experience and skills when it comes to design, imagination and vision. During developing the collection we start to work strongly with our Head of Design for inspiration and guidance regarding concept and colors, our graphic designer who’s creating the story in artworks and aop’s and of course our product developers who make sure the product is placed at the best supplier. During designing the collection we travel often for inspiration or sourcing and proto development, because it’s very important to build an enduring relationship with suppliers who are developing our collections. During creating Summer 2017 I traveled to the CIFF Kids Fair in Copenhagen and Indonesia for proto development. When you work on the spot together with suppliers who are making the collection, you also get a lot of new ideas because the environment and people trigger you with new impulses and give you so much energy. 


For many people being a fashion designer is the ultimate dream job. How did you come up with the idea to make this your profession? And how hard was it to make this dream come true?

Cristel: The actual ultimate dream job is when it’s not just "a job you do everyday". It‘s when you truely love what you do and time flies and it makes you feel full bliss in what you create and how you spend your time. A while ago during a visit to India, I came across the quote ‚‘our job is to show emotion through clothes. We need to tell stories‘ which I locked in my memory bank. My idea to make my creativity a profession started when I was young. I was drawing, sewing, into Origami and international fashion magazines and into music. At Fashion Academy it was hard work and a lot of discipline but that was just a test for what was coming next. „if you can take it, you can make it". It’s a great thing to do!

Could you please explain the typical Gaastra Design?

Cristel: Gaastra stands for ultimate nautical heritage, tradition and quality. The typical Gaastra Design has a strong nautical signature in functionality, high quality materials, bright colors, graphics and details. 

What is special about the Spring/Summer Collection 2017? 

For Junior it’s about KEY WEST, a very vibrant story in colours, happy spirit ; Future Sailorettes and King of the Seas going out for true adventure! 

The year 2017 is very special for Gaastra. We celebrate 120 years of Gaastra’s brand heritage and nautical collections, since Douwe Gaaastra started the sailmaking company in Sneek in 1897.

 The interview was held by Sarah Schlifter.


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