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Delvaux: 180 Years of Belgian Luxury

Start Date 17 September 2009
End Date 21 February 2010
Venue MoMu
Location Antwerp, Belgium
Curator Hettie Judah
Designer Bob Verhelst
Exhibition display of shop front with handbags on display

To celebrate the 180th anniversary of the Belgian leather goods manufacturer Delvaux, MoMu presents the exhibition “Delvaux: 180 Years of Belgian Luxury”.

Charles Delvaux opened his first workshop in the center of Brussels in 1829, one year before the revolution that led to Belgian independence. A year older than the Belgian nation itself, this no doubt makes Delvaux the most Belgian of all luxury fashion houses.

Over 180 years, the output of Delvaux has met the needs of a clientele living through times of dramatic change and movement. Founded in an era when travel was largely horse-drawn, the company has survived through revolutions and wars, and adapted to the requirements of ocean liners and railways, bicycles, cars, and jets.

This exhibition follows Delvaux from the manufacture of travel goods for the local nobility in the 19th century, through the rise of the modern handbag in the 20th century, and to the company’s vision of a new kind of elegance under its artistic director Veronique Branquinho.

The creative process behind each bag has changed little in the last sixty years: all of Delvaux’s products are still handmade, the company is still under family ownership, the management of the House keeps up clear values and ethics, and its output remains exclusive.

In addition to showcasing Delvaux’s unique history and sylistic evolution, this exhibition honours the unseen side of the business: the skills of the designers and artisans who represent the core of the company’s values.

Exhibition Website

Exhibition under the lead of
Curator: Hettie Judah | Scenographer: Bob Verhelst

Image courtesy of © MoMu Modemuseum Antwerp, photo Frederik Vercruysse