The idea for Wendy Andreu’s line of waterproof apparel took shape during her time at Design Academy Eindoven in the Netherlands. By graduation, she had spent two years developing it, and had dubbed it Regen, the Dutch word for “rain.” As a student, the French designer had experienced something of a false start at École Boulle in Paris, where she concentrated on metalwork. But when she realized she’d cooled on molten matter, she transferred to Design Academy in 2014. She was still drawn to malleable materials—just at room temperature. Enjoying the softness of cotton rope, she tried setting strands of it in latex. The flexible sheet it formed evolved into the textile comprising Regen’s caps, outerwear, and bags. Now 26 and still based in Eindhoven, Andreu is a decidedly one-woman operation, producing new pieces from scratch out of a rented atelier. Not only cost-effective, the system speaks to her craftsmanship-centric ethos. “If beauty is going to be present in my work,” she says, “it is through the process.” While many commercial weatherproof fabrics tout high-tech underpinnings, Andreu’s ingenuity comes from using her hands, coaxing novelty out of physical methods. Likewise, the technique she invented for Regen doesn’t require traditional sewing skills—it demands manual sculpting. Whatever results, it’s her creation through and through.
(Photo: Ronald Smits.)