Showcasing and developing Brussels’ expertise in fashion and design

MAD Brussels is an emerging hub for fashion industry specialists and designers across the region. Besides helping to develop their careers and businesses, it aims to highlight their creative talent and display their work to the wider world.

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Illustration of MAD Brussels’ new headquarters in the heart of the city. © Vplus Illustration of MAD Brussels’ new headquarters in the heart of the city. © Vplus

" Our main goal is to promote the economic development of fashion and design in Brussels. "

Alexandra Lambert, Director of MAD Brussels, Mode And Design Center

An attractive white building will serve as the Center’s permanent new headquarters in the trendy Dansaert district. Set to open in 2016, it features 3 000 m² of space over four floors, including facilities for teaching, exhibitions and events.

Since its launch in 2011, MAD Brussels (Mode and Design Center) has supported dozens of individuals and firms working in fashion and design. These two sectors are estimated to provide employment for some 20 000 people across the region.

Tailored training is delivered in regular seminars and workshops, the latter involving designers and producers. Topics covered include eco-design, seasonal trends, exports and sales royalties. Specialists also offer individual coaching on business development and entrepreneurship.

MAD@Work, the Center’s jobs and training unit

Young graduates from Brussels’ fashion and design schools often call on the Center’s staff to assemble eye-catching CVs and portfolios. Thanks to its industry contacts, MAD Brussels can also assist graduates with job searches and link them up with employers. In 2013, with support from the Brussels public employment agency Actiris, MAD Brussels organised over 30 intensive coaching sessions and 65 careers guidance interviews, and published around 70 sector-specific job offers.

The Center is also keen to become a cultural and tourism hub for fashion and design. It organises numerous sector-specific exhibitions as well as national and international events. MAD Brussels has also partnered with local fashion schools, such as La Cambre, and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts located in Brussels.

MAD Brussels is encouraging more collaboration between the creative and economic industries through its Triaxes programme. With MAD in SITU, a laboratory for design and social innovation, it also promotes ‘collaborative design’ for the benefit of local people plus projects with a good social or environmental impact. For example, a multidisciplinary team of young Brussels designers recently worked with Belgian water company Vivaqua, in order to create new public water fountains that can be attached to fire hydrants: three are now in service in central Brussels.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “MAD Brussels” is EUR 7 005 000, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 750 000, from the Operational Programme “Brussels Capital Region”, for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date

10/12/2014