With her fashion label Kasbah Kosmic, Brussels designer Kenza Vandeput-Taleb links the cosmoses of North Africa and the West, although she mostly fights against colonisation in fashion. “I want to reclaim my cultural heritage.”
Even as a young child, clothing was the ideal medium for Kenza Vandeput-Taleb to express herself and shape her identity. Vandeput-Taleb, now 30, was born in Uccle to a Belgian father and Algerian mother. “I grew up between two worlds, worlds that quickly came together in my clothing style. I loved browsing through my mother’s wardrobe, full of beautiful clothes from Algeria, and finding things to wear.” Her love for second-hand clothes is also rooted in her childhood. “I often accompanied my mother to second-hand shops. I soon saw that they had really beautiful pieces.”
Vandeput-Taleb founded her own fashion label Kasbah Kosmic in 2019. With the label, she offers a colourful, playful mix of North African and Western fashion with upcycled and personalised creations. Sportswear played an important role in the collection from the beginning, including boxing clothes. This came to the attention of the curators at MIMA while they were preparing the exhibition Local Heroes, which is dedicated to art about the noble art of boxing. Vandeput-Taleb created unique combat clothing for the expo, which will not only be on display, but also worn during fights. For the four-month expo, a boxing ring will be installed at MIMA where members of the Brussels clubs BBA and IBP will display their boxing skills.
How familiar are you with the boxing world? Spent any time in the boxing ring yourself?
KENZA VANDEPUT-TALEB: Hours and hours as a teenager. I trained four times a week for years. It allowed me to blow off steam and made me more self-confident. At that time, I was