Our Inspiration: Introducing Peter Bezuijen

March 07, 2018

When it comes to designing your clothes, we’re always on the lookout for inspiration and have been lucky enough to work with some super talented people from all corners of the world. And we’re really excited to let you in on our latest collaboration. We’ve teamed up with artist Peter Bezuijen to bring you a new, exclusive collection using his unique prints.

Artist Peter Bezuijen with his watercolour print, and working on something new

Born in the Netherlands, Peter is now based in London. He’s been working since 1988 (just like us), and his work is characterised by his use of colour and humour. We met Peter by chance, when our CEO (also known as “The Chief”) Anthony, popped into Peter’s pop-up shop in Marylebone early last year to take a look at Peter’s designs.

One painting in particular caught his attention. He asked Peter if he could touch it and Peter agreed. Anthony turned it upside down so that the "tassels-with circles" appeared at the bottom, and he said, "And now you have a dress!"

Peter's original print, and in our studio with his garments

Fast forward to today, and we’ve turned Peter’s beautiful painting into our brand new Watercolour print, which you’ll find in this summer’s Copper & Black collection.

We recently caught up with Peter for a cheese and ham toastie at FatFace HQ, to find out a bit more about how this whole thing started, what makes him tick and what’s coming up next…

What’s the inspiration behind your work?

“The artwork I create is about how it makes people feel. There are no hidden meanings or agendas. It works great when spaces need brightening up without offending or upsetting anyone – it’s perfect for any race, religion, culture or gender. I do my paintings in one long stroke, so you get the uniformity with the slight imperfection of doing it by hand. But I think it’s good to be different, and I embrace that in my artwork.”

Peter Bezuijen in his studio, working on something new

How do you plan a painting?

“The only thing I plan is which colours I want to achieve and the size of the paper or board I’m going to use. Everything else comes naturally. But it’s calming to do… like meditation. And I always know when something’s finished. I just feel it.”

Peter hard at work in his design studio

What did you do before becoming an artist?

“I grew up in Uithoorn, which is about half an hour from Amsterdam. It’s a very green area, with lots of lakes and rivers. It’s beautiful. My parents actually encouraged me to get to learn a ‘proper’ profession first so that I always had something to fall back on. So I went into teaching, which was already in my family, then became a primary school headmaster and then went on to training teachers and headteachers.

I actually bumped into a former pupil recently, who recognised me and stopped to tell me that her daughter has one of my old classroom drawings above her bed. That was a great moment.”

But did you always want to be an artist?

“Absolutely! I started drawing at 4 years old, on newspapers and anything I could get my hands on! The photo you can see is me in the classroom next to my actual drawings, so it’s always been in me.”

A four-year-old Peter, standing next to his drawing in the classroom

Tell us, what do you like doing outside the 9 to 5?

“I love visiting museums, especially the Victoria and Albert museum, but not when they’re too busy. I love watching movies, particularly at Picture House Central. It’s quite an authentic cinema, with loads of great places to eat. And I also love going for long walks soaking up nature. Hampstead Heath is nearby — you can really ‘see’ London. It’s great for emptying the head. Oh, I’ve been told I make a mean tarte tatin too. And I recently went clubbing in Tel Aviv… I love to dance!”

And we have to ask — is there any FatFace in your wardrobe?

“Funnily enough, I have a pair of FatFace boots that I bought 8 years ago from the Gatwick store, when I used to travel from Amsterdam to London every weekend. I’d always wear my boots for the journey, and they’re still going strong now!”

Peter's 8-years-old FatFace leather boots

Did you know?

Peter told us that in the Netherlands, they call tassels ‘frizzles’, which we love! So, if you start seeing that word popping up, you now know what it means…!

Like what you see? Why not check out the rest of Peter's work here.

*Photographs of Peter in his studio taken by Pat Langford.