Where were you born?
I was born in a small village in the south of the Netherlands. Though it was nice and quiet, I couldn’t wait to get out and live in a city. I need the city dynamics; I like things to change around me.
Where do you live now?
I live in west Rotterdam, in Delfshaven. I like the fact I can decide to take a walk in Heemraadspark, stroll along the chic Heemraadssingel or eat shawarma on the Middellandstraat just two steps from my house.
If money were no object, where would you live?
I would still live in Rotterdam. It’s my friends and the familiar faces here that make me feel at home. Otherwise I would rent an apartment in a new city each year.
Which city is your favourite shopping destination?
Berlin. I like the city because it is the master of doing things differently. That’s what inspires me.
Which are your favourite Rotterdam stores?
My friend C Cruden has opened her store on Boomgaardstraat selling sophisticated and custom denim products. On Hoogstraat, Every day is a day to be beautiful has delicate jewellery. CBK Rotterdam on Nieuwe Binnenweg recently reopened its gift shop, which is curated by my friend Niels van Hout; it finally has some good design in it! Wendela van Dijk and Nen Xavier both sell my favourite fashion brands.
And your favourite restaurants?
My number one favourite is Fritschy on Piet Heynsplein in Delfshaven for an evening full of chef’s surprises. I like Mevrouw Meijer for its purity and cosiness, and Chez Mo-i on Nieuwe Binnenweg for chicken salad sandwiches and spending a relaxed morning reading a newspaper and drinking fresh coffee. If you don’t feel like getting out of your pyjamas, visit Sangam on Vierambachtstraat for the best Indian takeaway in Rotterdam.
Do you have a favourite local café or bar?
I like to go to Le Vagabond on Nieuwe Binnenweg or De Schouw on Witte de Withstraat for a good chat with friends.
Where do you take out-of-town friends?
I would take them to Strandpark Coolhaven for a barbecue. It’s a temporary community beach, visited and managed by locals. If you are lucky, there is a DJ or even bingo!
Where do you like to celebrate?
We throw our best parties at home and dance to our own playlist until morning.
Do you have a favourite Rotterdam walk?
The Verborgen Tuinen (Hidden Gardens) tour guides you through enclosed, domestic gardens which are opened to the public once a year.
Can you reveal any hidden spots?
A local food spot called Kapsalon (which means hairdresser). You have to go there to understand.
In your opinion, which is the best attraction in Rotterdam?Van Nelle Ontwerpfabriek, because of its architecture, which still manages to look contemporary and futuristic. It’s also fun because of the chickens walking freely around the building. Another controversial tourist attraction is Santa Claus by Paul McCarthy. The people from Rotterdam have given it a very unflattering nickname! What I like is that it always provokes a strong reaction.
What one insider tip would you offer to visitors?
Never visit the main tourist attractions; you already know them from the pictures. Better take a subway and see where it ends. Just get lost.
Where do you like to travel for inspiration?
Any place that is new to me.
What can’t you live without?
My studio with garden.