Behind some of the industry’s foremost talents stands Linda Loppa; the influential Belgian tutor who put Belgium’s progressive fashion apex on a global stage for the first time, while simultaneously reinstating its prowess. Loppa has established a superlative reputation for educating design students with a collaborative, solution based ethos and commercial savvy attained from a solid grounding in retail. In 45 years, she has undoubtedly taken more different routes through the fashion industry than most of the contemporaries. She graduated from the Royal Academy in 1971; worked as a designer for a Belgian company; launched a high-end boutique in 1978 that sold fashion from designers like Helmut Lang and Comme des Garçons; was the head of the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts for twenty-five years.
What advice does Loppa have for the students’ self-self-representation without losing integrity? “Integrity is key! First one has to work on integrity, understanding this means saying no to 99% of the requests you receive – in other words, saying no to losing your integrity and honesty. Then it becomes an automatic reaction in your body and mind. You will know what to do and when it is right…simple.”