Christophe Coppens is a Belgian artist, living and working in Los Angeles.
Trained initially as a theater director, Coppens started his own label as an accessories designer at the age of 21, a career that would span over 20 years with several outlets, international press following and buyers the world over, and that he would combine and nurture with his first stunts and solo shows as an artist.
CC created his first experimental hat collection in 1990 which was picked up from the start by international buyers and press. Through the years his activities extended to complete accessories collections for men and women and opening outlets in Antwerp, Bruges and Brussels. He would also present his collections twice a year during Paris and Japan Fashion Week. Alongside he worked on collaborations for the fashion shows of international renowned designers making hats for the likes of Issey Miyake, Guy Laroche, JuunJ and Manish Arora, and he created one of a kind presentations for high-end world class retailers Charivay (NYC), Frank et Fils (Paris) and Joyce (Hong Kong and Paris), among others. In Japan he found distribution and representation in fashion group HP France , a collaboration that would last for more than 15 years.
In addition Coppens has made accessories for pop stars such as Rihanna, Grace Jones, Scissor Sisters and Beth Ditto, and he has worked most closely with Roïsin Murphy, particularly on all the costumes worn by the performer during her 2008/09 ‘Overpowered’ world tour.
CC presented his first couture accessories collection in 2006 during Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, displaying spectacular theatrical skills and the surreal undertone that has become his signature style since the early beginnings. That same year HP France opened his first shop in Tokyo, and he presented his couture collection during Japan Fashion Week.
In 2010 he was named Royal Warrant Holder in Belgium, recognition that came after more than 15 years making accessories for the Belgian Royal Family.
At then end of 2011, to celebrate his 20 career anniversary as a milliner and artist, Coppens opened an exhibition to show and auction some of his most outstanding couture pieces and artworks, hosted by Pierre Berge & Associates in Brussels. In early 2012, following this event, he launched a retrospective book ‘Homework’ encompassing these pieces and other highlights of his career. The book was listed among the New York Times’ ‘Summer’s 2012 must-reads’’.
But 2012 would also mark a very important episode in his career, when, after 21 years of making work on the edge of art and fashion Coppens decided to close his company to focus exclusively on his work as an artist. At this point his label was sold in 140 shops worldwide, his name was heard among fashion connoisseurs and he had become arguably one of the most celebrated milliners in Japan.
Coppens expressed his view on this transition in the exhibition “Everything Is Local: Landscape 1” at the prestigious Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam. The show is a journey through the first six months following this violent break, how to deal with loss, letting go of the past and looking at the future.
Today CC lives and works in Los Angeles.
2014 “Early Paintings” HPGRP New York
2013 “The Hills Are Alive : Landscape 2” Tokyo
2013 “Everything is Local ; Landscape 1” Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam
2011 “Barbra” Highlight Gallery San Francisco
2011 “CC 20 years” Pierre Bergé Auction House Brussels
2008 “No References” Platform 21 Amsterdam
2006 “Dream Your Dream II” Gallery Joyce Paris
2005 “Dream Your Dream” Yoyogi Stadium Tokyo
2003 “The Dollhouse III: Return to the Dollhouse” Z33 Hasselt
2002 “The Dollhouse II: Life Goes On” Brakke Grond Amsterdam
2001 “The Dollhouse” Museum Charlier Brussels
2011 “ARRRGH Monsters in Fashion” Athens
2011 “The Art Of Fashion” Wolfsburg Museum
2009 “The Art Of Fashion” Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam
HOMEWORK published by LIDO ISBN 9789491301087
NO REFERENCES published by d'jonge Hond ISBN 9789089100634
FASHION AND ACCESSORIES published by ARTEZ/TERRA ISBN 9789058976772
NOT A TOY published by PICTOPLASMA BERLIN ISBN 9783942245029
WERKEN MET WOORDEN published by LUDION ISBN9789055448197
ART&FASHION published by KERBER ART ISBN 9783866785380
THE ART OF FASHION published by BOJMANS VAN BEUNINGEN ISBN 9789069182407