I like Belgium
The creations of the Vervietoise sparkle in more than a hundred shops around the world.
By Philippe Fiévet
Coming from a wealthy family from Rabat known in the textile industry, Hind Rabii arrived in Belgium in the early 1990s at the request of her father, in order to follow courses at the Higher Industrial Institute of Verviers, the one of the most famous weaving schools. “My family owned spinning machines made in Verviers and several workers at their hosiery factory had been trained there. “
The fate of the young woman then seemed all mapped out. With her industrial engineering diploma in the textile machinery sector in hand, she returned to Morocco with the one she met on the school benches, Michel Orban, who in the meantime became her husband and, subsequently, co-manager. of his company for the technical part. However, it seems that life has not been a long river, which is why the couple returns to Belgium to settle in the city of their meeting.
“As I had always been passionate about design, I embarked on the creation of lighting on a very small scale. It was a modest structure at the time and we started, Michel and I, in the garage of our rental apartment. “
Stubbornly, the designer clings to it and ends up presenting her lighting for the first time at the highly prized Maison & Objet fair in Paris, where the French discover the refined style of her collections weaving a warm and delicate light in high-end materials. “Our network then expanded considerably and we opened up to the international market by participating in the most prominent trade fairs – Cologne, Frankfurt, Milan – as well as specific fairs intended for professionals and specifiers, such as Architect @ work. “
Today, its lights are found in more than a hundred points of sale around the world, with a predilection for the United States, Russia and Poland but also all European countries, Germany and the Netherlands in head. Without forgetting of course Belgium, where twenty stores present their collections, from the Illudesign chain to the Deco Bianchini boutique in Wavre, including the Appart in Uccle, The Light House in Knokke or Isabel Gilles in Waterloo.
The turnover of the company Hind Rabii now exceeds two million euros and its collection of lamps juggles with noble materials such as leather, ceramics, steel, fiberglass … “Most of it is made here in Belgium. Except the blown glass, which is worked in Murano, and some gilding and galvanizing steps that are done in the Venice area, where small local artisans work for us. In twenty years, word of mouth has done its work. Many architects prescribe our products for hotel or private projects and buy them through a distributor. ”
But for the Vervietoise, the lightings do not only have the function of lighting the places of life. She sees in it a whole philosophy involving exclusively natural materials, short production circuits and, more generally, “quality, provenance and respect for people”. Throughout the fifty models currently in its collection of suspensions, wall lights, table lamps and, most recently, outdoor lighting, we find the same signature of clean lines and tailor-made creations that can be wonderfully combined. ‘adapt to the personality of a place. “A beautiful light”, considers Hind, “Transcends the sole dimension of lighting. It fits into a personality, a style, and goes beyond its functionality to enhance its environment. “
In any case, his projects follow each other at a sustained pace: investing in new markets, approaching other horizons and actively preparing the company’s participation in the next Big Five Show in Dubai, with the Awex, in next September. . Before that, we mention an exhibition at Grand-Hornu during the summer. But one thing is clear: Hind Rabii has not finished bewitching us with his divinely-interwoven lights and shadows.