Support MoMu: Three philanthropists tell you why
Enthusiastic visitors can make their own contribution to MoMu's activities, in different ways. We ask three philanthropists how and why they have chosen to support Antwerp's Fashion Museum.
Hilary Dalton-Slegers, from America, and Cecile Gruwier, from Belgium, have founded a fundraising programme to raise money via the KBS fund. Theo Vervliet has been a fan from the very beginning, as a MoMu Friend. They each have a special bond with MoMu and their own good reasons to offer financial support.
WHAT CAUSED YOU TO BECOME INTERESTED IN MOMU?
Hilary Dalton-Slegers: "Six years ago, one of the members of our international women's group suggested meeting up there and visiting the exhibition ‘Happy Birthday Dear Academy’. The guided tour with Katleen (editor's note: Derijcke, guide coordinator and guide at MoMu) was amazing, truly inspiring. After the visit the group decided to support MoMu, and we still do, in fact. Personally I have no background in fashion or design, but I did admire my grandmother's style. She had an iconic collection of clothes. MoMu fuelled this interest. I was blown away by the large number of Belgian designers. Everyone knows Hermès or Dior, but it was a revelation to me that these Houses were led by Belgians. Raf Simons at Prada, Jil Sander and Dior, Martin Margiela at Hermès: they are in charge of large fashion labels and come from this relatively small city. There are students from all over the world that go to Parsons in New York. Here, in a place where you know the baker and the butcher, there is just so much talent. That should be appreciated and supported”.
Cecile Gruwier: "As a family, we also lived abroad for a long time. From a distance you are often more interested in what's going on in your own country than when you actually live there. One of the things that attracted my attention, in the early 2000s, was the opening of MoMu. When I returned for good in 2005, I visited all exhibitions – I think that's quite logical if you're interested in fashion - and I became a Friend of MoMu. Through the international women's group, I was friends with Hilary, who contacted me and asked if was interested in getting involved in setting up the fundraising programme”.
Theo Vervliet: “In the 1970s, I worked as a student at the I.C.C., the former international cultural centre in the Palace on the Meir. I helped to build exhibitions and got to know the - then emerging - artists. I also became friends with people such as Kaat Tilley and Linda Loppa, and thus rolled into the world of fashion. This interest meant I was already supporting MoMu before it was launched under its present name and I have always followed the museum”.
It is a misunderstanding that donations must always be large. Small donations are just as important. You immediately feel more involved when you visit a museum that you personally support, even with a contribution of 10 euros.
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT MOMU AND WHAT IS YOUR DONATION USED FOR?
Hilary Dalton-Slegers: “At present, our donations are being used to fund the renovation and collection. In the past, we also raised money to buy a lace wedding dress from Margiela. Through the KBS fund the resources go directly to the library, the auditorium, the educational areas and the MoMu atelier for children and young people. In fact, it is a misunderstanding that donations must always be large. Small donations are just as important. You immediately feel more involved when you visit a museum that you personally support, even with a contribution of 10 euros. When you come inside you know that you are part of the organisation and are helping to support Antwerp's fashion culture”.
Cecile Gruwier: “You can support MoMu as a Friend or through the KBS fund. It will appeal to anyone who loves fashion, Antwerp and Antwerp as a fashion city. You might think is makes more sense to donate in support other causes, rather than to a fashion museum that, you could say, is limited to the happy few. However, it shouldn't be like that: culture and creativity - and therefore fashion too - are important to everyone”.
MoMu focuses not only on historic, but also recent items, such as the historic lace work for the coming exhibition, but also the work of designers straight from the academy. Your donation helps to preserve this cultural history,
WHY ARE YOU DONATING SPECIFICALLY TO THIS (FASHION) MUSEUM?
Hilary Dalton-Slegers: “MoMu is a museum that protects your past. My husband is Belgian and I don't think he realised the tremendous cultural value of what was in his own back yard. However, despite being a fifty-year old with a business mind, he too was blown away by the ‘Margiela, the Hermès years’ exhibition. He suddenly realised that fashion was art. Since then, I've not heard another comment about buying a piece of clothing”.
Theo Vervliet: “MoMu is part of Antwerp's history. I was born in Mechelen but I'm also from Antwerp and a product of Antwerp's Academy, following my studies at the National Higher Institute for Architecture and Urban Planning. In fact, my interest in MoMu has evolved over the past years, partly due to the accessible nature of the museum. MoMu is an essential museum in Antwerp”.
Cecile Gruwier: “After all, Antwerp is the true fashion city. MoMu also targets Belgian fashion more than other fashion museums. Furthermore, it's a lovely spot in the city, how wonderful if it becomes a real meeting place, once it reopens, with the new infrastructure and café”.
Hilary Dalton-Slegers: “It may sound rather American, but this cultural heritage should be protected for future generations. MoMu focuses not only on historic, such as the historic lace work for the upcoming exhibition, but also the work of designers straight from the academy. With your donation, you help to preserve this cultural history. You also support the educational areas, and therefore also young people and future designers”.