Brian Elstak


Hailing from Koog aan de Zaan, The Netherlands, Elstak is a multi-talented artist, illustrator, painter, and children’s book writer, with a passion for connecting creatives and storytellers across diverse communities. His work is not just aesthetically pleasing, but also culturally rich and deeply meaningful, reflecting his commitment to social justice, diversity and inclusion. As a member of the art collective Lowrey Foley McClane (LFMC), Elstak has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of contemporary art, experimenting with new forms and mediums, and engaging with audiences in new and innovative ways. His work has inspired the latest Spring / Summer ‘23 collection, capturing the essence of his vibrant and dynamic aesthetic.



By Roxy Merrell 

You’re known as a visual artist, illustrator, painter, children’s book writer and creative connector. Where did it all begin?

It all started as a kid watching cartoons, reading comic books, growing up with hip hop culture and my mom and I loving Eddie Murphy films and stand up comedy. It was like falling into a rich well of creativity. It became a large part of who I was a child. I loved to draw and fantasize about all sorts of adventures and it all grew from there.

What inspires you to make art?

The art of storytelling in general inspires me. I love to see what great tales people come up with, and how artists visualize those stories in their signature ways. Whether it be a song, theater play, movie, book, (graphic) design, art installation, cartoon or painting. It also inspires me to tell the stories that I would love to see, but feel are missing or have not yet been made (that I know of) – and try to create them myself. In the first case for myself, secondly for my kids, family and/or creative tribe. Lastly... Hopefully, others dig it too. Hoping they get to enjoy the stories and the art it’s embedded in. 

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

It starts when an idea pops in my head, and decides to stay there until I do something with it. The next step is drawing. The illustration is to help communicate the idea to collaborators. So it doesn’t just get stuck in my head, but also in those of people that help me with the realization of the idea. When everything is in place, I put on music and whatever energy comes in guides the colours and the vibe of the final outcome. I often use acrylic paint for my paintings. For work on paper I use a mix of pencils, fineliners, inks, ballpoint pens, ecoline, felt tip pens, even crayons. Anything goes actually. Whatever isn’t empty yet and happens to be in range.

What inspired your work on the Pinkorange collection?

In Surinamese culture, the “mattenklopper” or carpet beater is an iconic symbol. Probably most recognizable on hands in ring form. The idea is that it fends away bad energy. So if you offer a handshake with that ring on your finger, you only have good intentions. Swatting away bad vibes. The handshake between me and Pinkorange is also based on that idea. No malice. Respect and a mutual agreement to collab to the best of our ability and create some fire threads together.


Pinkorange is inspired by nature and the island of Vlieland. Did nature influence your work for this collection?

Nature is a big inspiration to me and always has been. Nature is a big part of my children’s books, for instance. The adventures in TORI, TROBI and LOBI take place on an island. And in Lennox En De Gouden Sikkel, Lennox is making his way through enormous plants to find the invisible hospital. Nature is always in my mind. This collection was created with that energy. 

Fashion can allow us to express ourselves and our identities. For example, we know about your love of hip hop – a culture and music genre that is strongly influenced by and influences fashion. Where do these worlds meet, in your point of view?

To me hip hop culture is a state of mind. Almost like a global religion a lot of us partake in. The art of sampling – a big part of the culture – is not just something you use to create beats; you can also use that mindstate for plays, paintings, clothing collections. Sampling is a big influence in how I create all of my art. That's why the idea to sample something iconic from my Surinamese heritage for this collaboration is very rooted in hip hop to me.



By David van Dartel


Trapini, Sicily.


Scala dei Turchi, Sicily.

Brian _Elstak_SS23_3

Capo Resello, Sicily.