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EAT DUST INTERVIEW.

ROB HARMSEN AND KEITH HIOCO FOUNDED EAT DUST IN 2010.  THEY STARTED THEIR COMPANY OUT OF A GARAGE IN ANTWERP. THEY’D BEEN FRIENDS FOR A FEW YEARS BEFORE THAT AND HAD BEEN TALKING ABOUT DOING SOMETHING CREATIVE TOGETHER SINCE THE DAY THEY MET. THE GUYS CHOOSE THE NAME 'EAT DUST' OVER BEERS IN THEIR LOCAL PUB AND SKETCHED OUT THEIR SIGNATURE HANDLEBAR STITCHING ON THE BACK OF A BEER COASTER. SINCE THAN THE BELGIAN BRAND HAS BECOME KNOWN FOR ITS ORIGINAL COMBINATIONS OF DENIM, WORKWEAR, STREETWEAR AND BIKER INFLUENCES. ARTISTS SUCH AS JOSH HOMME ( QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE) AND BANDS LIKE EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WEAR THEIR DESIGNS BUT ROB AND KEITH ARE STILL RUNNING THEIR OWN COMPANY. DISCOVER HERE BELOW MY INTERVIEW WITH THIS HARD WORKING DUO, KEITH HIOCO AND ROB HARMSEN.

BY BRUNO PIETERS

BP. HOW DID YOU BOTH MEET?
KH. We met about 12 years ago. At the time I was working for Lee Jeans Europe and Rob just moved back from the US and started a job at Eastpak. Both of these companies are part of the VF group and were located in the same building. A mutual friend introduced us to each other .

BP. WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO CREATE 'EAT DUST' TOGETHER?
RH. As we started to hang out more and more , we discovered we had the same kind of background and interests. I always wanted to have a label of my own and it crossed Keith's mind more than a few times as well.
We both had the experience of working for bigger brands and really wanted to do something of our own without having to make any compromises when it comes to design and the vision we have for the brand .
Eat Dust officially began in June 2010

BP. WHAT DID YOU BOTH DO BEFORE LAUNCHING 'EAT DUST'?
KH. Rob's background is more sales driven , working as a sales rep in the skateboard industry and moved on to being a sales rep for Diesel in Holland then moved to Italy to become Area Manager for Diesel Austria ,Switzerland and Holland.
Which ended up in him moving to New York to launch 55 DSL for the US market , and later moved to San Francisco to work for Levis as a project manger .
I graduated from the Antwerp Academy, got a design job at G-Star Amsterdam, from that I moved  back to Belgium and started working for Lee as a Creative Designer and got asked by Raf Simons to join his Design team where I stayed for 6years.

BP. WHERE DOES THE NAME 'EAT DUST' COME FROM AND WHAT DOES THE BRAND STAND FOR?
RH. We had a list of several names which was narrowed down to 2 in the end .
And Eat Dust made the cut as it represented what we wanted from a brand .
Eat Dust is about quality products that stand the test of time.
The name also has something rebellious.

BP. YOU PRODUCE YOUR ENITRE COLLECTION IN PORTUGAL AND EUROPE. IS THAT SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO YOU? AND WHY?
KH. Portugal has a very good textile history and it is very close to home and still Europe .
We work with very small family owned factories where workers are treated and paid fairly.
We also only work with fabrics that are produced in Europe, and until now the only thing coming from Japan was our denim fabric . But also here we have been working with an Italian supplier to create our own denim fabric, again bringing it closer to home which will also mean less shipping so a smaller environmental footprint .
Sustainability is an important part in our production process but until now we never really communicated it to the outside world in a big way .
We are not overproducing, meaning we produce what is ordered. Also a big part of our collections are carry over styles and non seasonal.

BP. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE FASHION INDUSTRY TODAY?
RH. We try to stay away from it and focus on our own thing that fits our lifestyles.
But we do try to look at what goes around in the fashion world.

BP. DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR GENERATION, YOUR CLIENTS AND ENTOURAGE IS CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR ENVIRONMENT, THEIR FUTURE AND ACTS ACCORDINGLY?
KH. The people that buy our products are already a more conscious audience .
They believe in quality over quantity. We like to believe that most people are concerned with the environment and act accordingly.

BP. HOW 'GREEN' ARE YOU IN YOUR OWN LIFE?  ( FOR INSTANCE .. ARE YOU ON A PLANT BASED DIET OR...)
RH. I am vegetarian and Keith is vegan .
We try as best as we can to be as conscious of the things we consume and purchase.
 
BP. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR MANTRA THAT COULD DESCRIBE YOUR STATE OF MIND TODAY.
KH. "Let's Go!" These where the last words of a dear friend of ours who passed away recently.

BP. THANK YOU FOR THIS INTERVIEW.
KH. & RH. No, thank you!

Shop 'EAT DUST' here