Tim Franje

Footwear that makes you walk uncomfortably is the future

Dutch designer Dirk Vaessen (26) went viral during London Fashion Week with a video of his futuristic shoes. "I personally really enjoy walking on them, I almost felt like a deer," he says.


Tianwei Zhang

Meet the Designer Behind London Fashion Week’s Most Viral Moment

Dirk Vaessen never expected his graduate collection to go viral on TikTok hours after the London College of Fashion master of arts graduate show on the first day of London Fashion Week.

“I thought: ‘OK. My work is a bit weird or whatever.’ I think it will get some attention, but I didn’t expect it to be this massive,” said Vaessen over Zoom from his home near Arsenal in North London.


Avon Dorsey

Dirk Vaessen’s London College of Fashion MFA Collection Draws Attention to Abstract Footwear

The London College of Fashion’s annual Master of Fine Arts showcase has been known to launch the careers of aspiring design students. And for 2022, Dirk Vaessen stands out as a graduate to watch. 

With a focus on futuristic footwear, the London-based Dutch creator titled his collection “Brave Hendrik’s New Identities,” and presented a monochromatic beige collection of wooden, aluminum and leather shoes. The abstract constructions include a slanted pair of vertical block-heels, an upturned pair of elongated flats, and a geometric-shaped pair of semi-clog wedges.


Luigi Giordano

DIRK VAESSEN for Kurt Prynne

Dirk and Kurt Prynne collaborate to tell a story, challenging and thought-provoking. As always in KURT's imagery.  

In this shoot, DIRK and KURT explore together the character evoked when wearing the Headpieces in combination with the Jockstrap or the Brief. 

Do we feel proud or ashamed, sexy or insecure? Do we become dominant or submissive? Which role do you think is the best for you? 

Kurt Prynne

Jari Putteman


Dirk Vaessen (BRAVE HENDRIK'S NEW IDENTITIES Chapter 2), an alumnus of London College of Fashion who decided to take a shoe design course at the age of 15 because there were no high heels in his size. Today, he studies the concept of identity from the perspective of his alter ego, Brave Hendrik. His collection shows his various potential identities, born from arm, hand and finger movements.


YeEun Kim

LCF graduate Dirk Vaessen‘s wooden shoe collection became the most-viewed LFW moment on TikTok.

At London College of Fashion’s master of arts graduate show, Dirk Vaessen showcased unconventional wooden shoe designs that quickly went viral. “The shoes are not there for being shoes, but more like a tool that changes your posture. It was based on the concept of form follows function. So I took away all the unnecessary things in the shoes,” the designer explained to WWD. “This collection for me was a very interesting new process. I used completely different techniques with milling, laser cutting and water jet cutting. That’s why they look so abstract.”




Part of the MA Footwear Graduation Collection, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, 2022.


 Rana Ghavami

Johnny Bravo

Inspired by English iconic fashion designers Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh, Dirk Vaessen has designed the collection Brave Hendrik for men, consisting of garments, masks, boots and heels. His ambition with his graduate work is to free men from this often monotonous, unimaginative self-image. Perhaps from the same image that Jewish philosopher and sociologist Herbert Marcuse described as 'the one-dimensional man'.


J Tilley

LCFMA22: Brave Hendrik and the fearless footwear you must see

It’s London Fashion Week and the internet is flooded with catwalk images – your designs have been specifically highlighted and have gone viral. i-D Magazine’s TikTok of your catwalk has received over 20 million views! How does it feel to have your work viewed by so many?


Marcel Schlutt

Dirk Vaessen for Kurt Prynne

Kurt Prynne is glad to present the work of artist Dirk Vaessen for KURT. Born 1995, based in London (UK) and Arnhem (NL), Dirk creates ornaments for the body, inviting people to explore who they are as human beings. Headpieces, Footpieces, and all the objects he creates tend to question stereotypes, rules, identities, playing with characters, roles and sexuality.


Michael Radel

Fashion and suffering for art

Dirk Vaessen lives in London and the Netherlands. The avant-gardist was born in the 1990s.
Rubber, nipples, chest hair and pure provocation?! We have already recommended the queer avant-garde fashion label KURT PRYNNE several times, and we couldn't say no to this photo series, which is a thoroughly provocative collaboration with Dutch artist Dirk Vaessen, born in 1995.


Konstantin Paul

How Is Your Head? On new tracks with young artist

Kurt Prynne is no longer an unknown label; in the No Nations Edition we interviewed the Berlin designer duo Šarūnas and Luigi about uncomfortable truths. Now they present their collaboration with the British-Dutch artist Dirk Vaessen, who is known for unusual foot and head jewellery and thus tries to question stereotypes, roles and identities. For the collaboration, the artist, who was born in 1995, stands in front of the camera as a model himself - in underwear by Kurt Prynne.