We are thrilled to introduce our latest - and very special - collaboration with Maison Dandoy, the iconic Brussels company that happens to make our favorite speculoos biscuits. Together, Alexandre from Dandoy and our menswear stylist Derek worked on developing the Smashbox, a beautifully crafted object that contains everything you need to indulge in the ultimate speculoos experience. Read on to find out how Alexandre and Derek brought this project to life!
We've been great admirers of Maison Dandoy for many years now, and not only because their speculoos biscuits are the best we've ever tasted. Derek, our menswear stylist and the son of Bellerose's founder Patrick, has known Dandoy's head of sales, marketing, and business development Alexandre for years. Alexandre also happens to be a descendant of Jean-Baptiste Dandoy, who founded Maison Dandoy in 1829.
Derek Van Heurck has officially been working for Bellerose for 9 years now. He started out by designing our boys collection before moving on to menswear, and he’s been working on our collaborations alongside that. He’s mostly been learning on the job and, in his own words, considers that clothes are his all life. He was born just 4 years before his father - who has always been very close to his children -founded Bellerose and has fond memories of spending his weekends at the Bellerose office as a child. While his father never actively tried to transmit his passion for textile to him, Bellerose has always been part of his life and he’s very happy that things turned out that way.
Alexandre, on the other hand, has been with Maison Dandoy for 5 years and is the fourth great-grandson of founder Jean-Baptiste Dandoy. He started his career with a long-term rebranding project that aimed to make his family’s company truly enter the 21st century. Like Derek, he feels like he was born into the business. In fact, several employees have known him ever since he was a child playing among massive speculoos cooking pots that were three times his size. Today, he is continuously aiming to improve the quality of the ingredients of his biscuits and even daydreams of Dandoy having its own fields and cows. Because he is so passionate, he also hopes future generations will keep Dandoy alive.
After they met, Derek and Alexandre immediately bonded over their love of authenticity and their wish to modernize their families' respective companies all while preserving their Belgian heritage. Both based in Brussels, Bellerose and Dandoy are brands that have always been close to each other and it didn't take long for Derek and Alexandre to start discussing a possible collaboration. Shortly after that, the Smashbox was born.
Containing an apron (lovingly made and designed by Bellerose, obviously), a small wooden hammer and large speculoos in three different flavors, the beautifully crafted box combines Dandoy's iconic golden polka dot pattern with kraft, a material that Bellerose is very fond of. Not compromising on quality, the box is meant to be kept once the fun is over and will become a beautiful container for your treasured possessions.
As Derek puts it, "the aim was to make a box where everything can be either reused or eaten." For Alexandre, the idea of long-term was also crucial when designing the Smashbox. Did you know the hammer can be used to prepare cocktails or crush and grind cooking ingredients? Made of wood, it was inspired by the wooden baking molds used to bake speculoos and is also a nod to the aesthetic of our Bellerose stores.
A testimonial of our expertise in the world of textile, the apron is sure to make you the most stylish home cook. Made of linen chambray, it is an ode to craftsmanship, workwear and attention to detail—three concepts we particularly cherish. We are really proud of its timeless design and functionality and hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do.
We find chopping speculoos to be an almost meditative experience and are excited that we were able to make this process easy. As Alexandre told us, it's all about this dramatic gesture, the one that comes right before sharing these delicious biscuits. They break into crumbs and slivers and their rough look is what really symbolizes the alliance of Bellerose and Maison Dandoy.
Plus, there’s a nice life lesson to be learned: when things fall apart, the best you can do is enjoy the pieces.
Pictures : Sébastien Bonin
Writer : Camille Darroux