Based in Antwerp, which has the second biggest harbour in Europe, Komono lives according to the city’s best values: endless creativity, constant international exchange and exposure, and avant-garde and pioneering ideas. “I believe in growth and learning”, says the brand’s co-founder. “You go with a lot of energy and, of course, you make mistakes. But you learn from them and also succeed”, he continues. “Everything is part of life and everything is part of growing, and that’s the Komono company culture that I have built. It’s a culture of going off the beaten track doing things differently. I push my team to think outside the box.”
With shops around the world in cities like Amsterdam, Tokyo or Barcelona (and Antwerp, naturally), there is no doubt that this disruptive way of thinking is rewarding. “As a relatively small company in a world of multinationals, I think our strengths are our unique identity and our team, everybody who’s pushing themselves on an individual level”, Anton says. But it’s also thanks to his vision and courage to push it forward that Komono is such a respected brand. “I’m always thinking on what’s next and I don’t hold much onto the part. In that sense, today it’s still like the first day”, he affirms happily.
But it’s been ten years since Anton and Raf were simply friends enjoying some days in the snow doing what they loved the most back then: snowboarding. After an exciting, almost naive (and a bit drunk) conversation about their future and founding a project together, they haven’t stopped working for a more creative present and future. And in a moment of reflection – “I don’t do that very much, I’m always thinking about the future”, Anton confesses –, we ask the co-founder to go through Komono’s history and highlight some of its most remarkable moments.