Ronald Stoops: documenting Antwerp’s greatest

Ronald Stoops sits in the sunny backyard of his Antwerp house, talking in short, to-the-point phrases about his long career in photography, in which he has shot the work of all Antwerp Six designers, except Ann Demeulemeester. In tune with the sound of our conversation is a stream of water and fishes swimming in a pond next to us. Every once in a while, one of Ronald’s many cats appears, like a shadow on the plastic roof above us, and Inge Grognard — his partner in both work and life — pops in every once in a while, tending the garden or answering emails indoors. A bottle of sparkling water stands between us and is left empty after one-and-a-half hour of conversation, which is much needed due to its quick-fire nature. It’s not necessarily an intentionally chosen mode of interviewing, but Ronald doesn’t seem particularly keen on exhaustively dwelling on fashion or photography-related topics. So, when mentioning the brevity of his answers and asking if there are other topics that he prefers talking about, he mentions that he is much more interested in talking about ‘real feelings’: how you feel, what you feel, how you walk in the street, what your hopes are, what you want to do in life — and a cheeky one: do you have a lover, somebody who you love?

Seetal Solanki

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