REFLAGS is a project by studio VOLLAERSZWART. 
The starting point was to create a Rotterdam fashion collection of reused country flags. The title REFLAGS is a combination of RE (reuse) and FLAGS (flags) The flags originate from a large flag manufacturer that had a batch of unsellable flags in its storage. The flags symbolize the international cultural diversity of the city of Rotterdam.

Tailor workshops / Rotterdam Designers
There are many tailor workshops in Rotterdam run by residents of different nationalities. There is a lot of specialty here. We want to appeal to these to complete the collection. The Reflags clothing sets are inspired by the clothing of the country of origin. The costumes are fantastic and reflect the time spirit of Rotterdam. The unifying power of all the pieces results in a multicultural unity that cannot be ignored. 
We sought out multiple parties in Rotterdam from different levels of society during Coronavirus Pandemic 2020. This resulted in collaboration with: Dairdesign, IFdenim, Dick van der Vlies, Sam C.Cruden, Doreen van der Meer, Afrikaanderwijk CO-OP, Angelle Chang, Selita Klas and Stichting Krachtvrouwen Ouden Westen.

During the Coronavirus lockdown in January 2021, everyone started working on the flags and clothing designs. Of course the supervision and production of this project was not really easy with all the covid rules and contamination risks when we visited the designers and tailor workshops or when they came to our studio. We had to have a lot of quick tests done there were quite a few boxes of masks put through. Clothing making and all that goes with it is largely a physical thing. In the end everything worked out fine and the first results came in early April. 

We wanted to show the final result of all the costumes in a big fashion show on the Museumplein near the Collection Building Rotterdam ( Depot Boijmans van Beuningen ). We used Rem Koolhaas' famous EU flag painted on the square as a catwalk. On this we had 20 stages placed on which the different clothing sets were shown. 50 models and all the designers were present for this colorful apotheosis. This was the first time during the lockdown that everyone could go crazy.  Everything was allowed to take exactly one hour within the permit: set up, dress up models, make-up, photo shoot / video, polonaise, pack up and go. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic experience for everyone.
After the fashion show, we donated the Reflags fashion collection to the Landverhuizers Museum Rotterdam.
When the museum opens in 2025, the Reflags collection will be displayed there. 

On the following pages some impressions of the show.

Special thanks to:  Madje Vollaers, Droom en Daad, Municipality of Rotterdam and everyone who made this project possible.

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