On her blog, Polienne—“a personal style diary”—Paulien Riemis showcases a fashionable life lived in stylish Antwerp. The 25-year-old’s eyes were opened to the joys of clothing when she won a modeling contest at the age of 16, and after attaining a degree in literature from the University of Antwerp, she has made the city her home. Usually sporting a minimalist girly look, Riemis’s Instagram is an inspirational lookbook of elegant outfits set against essential Antwerp backdrops, hot spots, and some hideouts, which you’ll want to keep in mind.
Sofie Valkiers has worked her way up into the upper echelons of the international fashion scene with a bold, colorful style and a lush sensibility. Her Fashionata blog has sprung a book deal (Mood of the Day), a lifestyle line (Sanui, with scented candles, jewelry, etc.) and a jet-setting life that, together with a wildly picturesque wardrobe, makes scrolling through her socials an exercise in utter escapism. Until recently, it was hard to keep up with Valkiers and her whereabouts—whether she was, for example, on the red carpet at Cannes or on a Dior shoot in Paris. With the recent addition of a bundle of joy, though, we might be seeing her outfit-of-the-days taken in the port city she calls home more than usual.
If Monica Ho’s blog were to be summed up in a Pinterest-worthy quote, the words “Pink hair, don’t care” would come very close. Not only did Ho completely rock the pink—and green, and purple—hair look a little while ago, but her approach to fashion is also more whimsical than most. Popping colors, truly oversized shirts, flared floral pants and tons of prints are what float her boat. In navigating her job at Antwerp’s MoMu fashion museum, writing her blog and generally viewing other people’s style, Ho feels “no need to stick to … gender restrictions.” When entering a store, she’s been known to make a beeline for the men’s section—just one of several golden tips to be derived from her idiosyncratic blog.
Based in Antwerp for the moment but soon to be exploring new horizons in Madrid and Berlin, Matthias Geerts has gathered over 200,000 followers on his Instagram account (at the time of writing). Geerts’ wardrobe runs the gamut from casual bomber jackets to dapper suits, and the 20-something doesn’t shy away from a leopard print or even a Hawaiian-inspired shirt when paired well. His site, MattG Style, contains outfit ideas for just about any climate and situation, from Lisbon rooftops to Thai beaches.
Tiany Kiriloff and Belmodo
In many ways, the godmother of Antwerp’s fashion-loving crowd Tiany Kiriloff had the wits to spin her own love for everything lifestyle and fashion into an online platform, together with Michaël Schockaert and former TV-colleague Angelique Foré, before blogging was really a thing. They started Belmodo in 2008, and it has since grown into an expansive internet platform chock-full of bubbly beauty tips and design and outfit inspiration. Upheld by dozens of fashion-conscious contributors and, of course, Kiriloff, the magazine keeps a finger on the pulse of Belgium’s design world like no other. While their current offices may sit in Ghent, we have a sneaking suspicion that the hearts of Belmodo editors still beat for Antwerp, where they organize Fashion Days and keep a close eye on the Fashion Academy among other things.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with Sofie Valkiers when it comes to having built a career a lot of young Belgian bloggers aspire to, Emma Gelaude has spent a decade creating the thing she wanted to see in the world. My Fashion Blog has become emmagelaude.com since, but the beach dress tips, glimpses into New York and Paris fashion weeks and guides on how to become your own style icon are still right there, only now they’re joined more frequently by travel, career and general “life” content.