Hester Brands (1992) completed a BA in Fashion Design (HKU, 2017) without making clothes. Instead, she focused on exploring what it means to be fashionable and who actually decides what is fashionable or not.

During the MA Fashion Strategy at ArtEZ, she researched how fashion works as a system related to societal power structures. How does our capitalist, Western society contribute to fashion’s existence? Are there any other alternatives to be found regarding capitalist modes of production and consumption? 


Activism, sustainability and education are at the core of Hester’s work. She aims to curate and provide an alternative and critical attitude towards fashion. The role of the consumer, plays herein an important role. 

Can problematic occurrences within fashion like, overproduction, overconsumption, child labour and environmental pollution be tackled by educating the consumer? Or should change come from higher up the societal ladder?

One thing is clear:

Fashion is a system made by people, therefore it can be changed by people. 


     Fashion Issues

     Research Diary



     Following The Herd



     IRL Magazine

Hester entered the Tegenlicht Future Fashion Pioneers competition.

Her entry concept can be viewed here.

She was also asked to participate in the first edition of ArtEZ's podcast series Diversity Stories, together with Chet Bugter and Chinouk Filique de Miranda. In this episode they address cultural appropriation in fashion. Click here to listen.

Additionally, during her internship with fashion lecturer Femke de Vries, she gained significant experience moderating and organising the launch of the independent zine V*gue as well as presenting her personal work during the Fashion Colloquium of 2018 in Arnhem. 


Critical fashion research

BA Fashion Design,

HKU, Utrecht

MA Fine Art & Design,

ArtEZ, Arnhem

Living in Amsterdam