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INTERVIEW: Pascaline Smets

May 24, 2013 by Charlotte

Other Criteria's Beautiful Primal Urges Rug by Damien Hirst is now being stocked by Belgian concept store Smets. We caught up with Pascaline Smets, Buyer and Creative Director for Smets, for a quick Q&A.

Pascaline Smets, Buyer and Creative Director for Smets

Q. As a concept store, what is the Smets ethos? Can you tell us a little about the history of the shop?

A. The Smets Story starts in 1986. It's a family business and the main philosophy of the concept is to mix art, fashion, design, beauty and food. Aesthetics and originality should always be balanced and live in harmony. Brussels and Luxembourg were really lacking a unique and exclusive shopping experience. We need some excitement when shopping!

Q. Smets is known for it's eclectic mix of products ranging from 'of the moment' young fashion talent through to interesting stand alone design items. With so much out there, how do you select your range?

A. Selection is made through passion, sensitivity. I travel a lot, meet many amazing people, attend Art-Fashion-Design Fairs around the world. The in-store choice is a synthesis of all the strong creative moments in my life. Its about meeting people with incredible personalities who become friends and with whom we develop something.

'Beautiful Primal Urges Rug' on display at Smets, Brussels

Q. OC has just participated in Art Brussels for it's second year. Being a keen collector and patron of the arts yourself, what do you feel Art Brussels brings to the ever-burgeoning world of art fairs?

A. Brussels Art Week is really an amazing moment on the world art calendar. It affords a fresh experiment to the collectors thanks to the unusual mix of young, mid-carreer and well established artists. Many amazing private art collections are exceptionally opened up to the public. The off-program of the fair is also very interesting with all the artist studios, galleries vernissages, lectures from well-known art curators... The fair itself is really full of energy. Hall 3 is totally devoted to young talents. The number of young Belgian artists emerging at the international level each year is really impressive compared to the country size.

Q. What is your favorite piece of art in your family collection and why?

A. That's really a difficult question. Art for myself is really depending on my mood at a particular moment, it depends on the light, the energy surrounding me... I don't have one favourite piece of art. Art has to deliver a message, it has to ask you question, to deliver vibrant emotions and to have a strong visual intensity. I don't buy art to sell it. Art collection evolves with your own path so each piece is important and refers to a particular moment in my life.

Q. With stores currently in Luxembourg and Brussels, do you have any plans to open further branches of Smets - in London perhaps?

A. Yes we have! We would love to expand our concept outside Europe. Now it's just a dream and I hope it will become reality...

Notice our Hirst Vipp Spot Bin in the foreground!

Damien Hirst's Spin rugs are available in two different sizes and four different designs. View the full selection here.

Want to learn more about Smets? Click here to visit their website.