MEET MARIEKE - THE WOMAN BEHIND CATWALK JUNKIE

For our Women in CJ series we met up with our very own Marieke Willemars at her home.

Marieke is the founder and creative director of Catwalk Junkie. For over 10 years this innovative female entrepreneur has created collection after collection – tapping into her endless creativity and keen eye for style. Marieke is a true city nomad. She adores her freedom, travel and her cat Pika. We spoke about how she grew the brand Catwalk Junkie over time and her life beyond work.


Can you tell us a little bit about how you started to design for Catwalk Junkie?
My love for prints and patterns started when I studied Graphic Design. After a while my interest for 3D started to grow. I became interested in the idea of bringing 2D designs to 3D creations and I decided to make the switch to Fashion. This gave me the opportunity to create designs for daily life. Something that brings joy and make people feel good about themselves.

I am so proud and I feel so lucky with the team that is working with me today! Also our suppliers and the people who are making our sketches and ideas come to live. It is one big Catwalk Junkie family.

How did you and the brand develop over time?
I like to play with volume and make clothes extra comfortable so you want to wear it every day for years to come. But also keep it feminine and strong. As I want to continue to learn and grow I added something new with every collection. Starting with woven skirts and dresses, swimwear and denim. One by one so we had enough time to develop it into the perfect item.

What does a work day for you look like at Catwalk Junkie?
I love starting my day with coffee and meeting up with the people at the offce. We have a beautiful and light in-house design studio that is currently getting a little touch-up for the new year. It’s going to be so pretty! We also grew a lot in the last year so we needed to make more space for everyone.

My days at the office are usually filled with all kinds of meetings and working on our new collections. When I create new ideas, designs and graphics I usually work from home where I can work in all serenity.

How do you keep yourself motivated and creative?
Listening to my feelings, being myself and keeping a positive mindset.

What gives you joy?
I love to travel and to experience new landscapes and learn about cultures. I love to meet the local people and to hear their stories. It can be so inspiring. During the pandemic we started to cook more so now our kitchen shelve is filled with cookbooks from all over the world. The last months we started making a lot of Lebanese food, it’s so good!

Where do you go or what do you do to recharge
In the weekends I love to skate especially in Spring and Summer. Or take a walk in the forest next to where we live.

How will you be spending the holidays?
Christmas with my family. We have this family tradition of taking a long walk and having a nice dinner together. Everyone will prepare a special dish. And of course some presents for under the Christmas tree. Such a cozy time! New Year’s Eve we celebrate with our friends with even more food and music.

Words you live by
Let love rule.

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