Tom Van der Borght

...creator of his own technicolour universe

Tom Van der Borght is not your average designer. The Belgian fashion design student catches attention with his strong personal style and description-defying “superhuman” looks. Coming from a classical background, his first career was as a social worker. During this time, his idealism developed and – working in a harsh social environment – he became fascinated by the unconventional and the deviant. Working on the streets, with real people, made him fall in love with street culture, which keeps coming back up in his collections. He questions systems and the foundations of social structures and behaviour. Why is ”normal” normal, why is “weird” weird? Björk once described this very well in one of her songs. “If you ever get close to a human, and human behaviour, be ready to be confused”. “As I realised at the age of 27 that one person cannot change the world on his own, I started creating my own idealistic universe.” And what a childlike, hyper-colourful and bright universe that is! His fascination for psychedelic graphics and bright colours finds its origin in the underground tech/trance scene of the late nineties. His overall style comes across as an eclectic clash of elements, coming from the mind of a passionate dreamer. “At first sight, my work can come across as very playful, happy and childlike, but for those who take a deeper look, there is always a wide range of dark sides, freaky twists and sexual tension hidden underneath. Contrasts attract me, just like hidden things.” Tom Van der Borght designs for the next generation, being released from the burdens of the past. He has a vision of an “urban warrior” who is part of a contemporary tribe, trying to cope with challenges of the crazy world we live in. His total image is an “in your face” statement about social reality, a way to escape it, a dream about how to evolve.

I dance like…
It’s 1999, and I keep on doing that until the present. Maybe that’s the explanation why people always say I’m doing silly moves.

Faith in…
Yourself can make you grow outside of your limitations. The mind is such a powerful tool, it just takes a long while to read the manual.

If I could…
Be a pony, I would run throughout the hills of the world, waving my beautiful mane and tail. As a child I thought I really was one, running through the garden with a towel as a tail.

I have never…
Been to the moon. But I would love to go! Imagine having a working space on the moon surface, having a panoramic view over the universe. I would definitely apply for that!

I once thought…
I would be a writer. So I grabbed some books to write down some words. But because words could never match my visual mind, they softly transformed into little drawings.

My dreams are…
Gradually coming true. Not in the ways I planned myself though. They like to take more curvy mysterious roads.

Pain comes from…
The same place happiness and joy come from. I even think what we feel sometimes just is what we want to feel subconsciously.

My first crush…
Had an even sexier brother.

I get bored easily…
Yeah, I do!

I like making…
All my pieces totally myself. It’s really this production process of translating a drawing into a real-life piece that gives me the most satisfaction.