“Jazz is not just music, it’s a way of life. It’s a way of being, a way of thinking.”
Brush&Needles forms a symbiosis between the exciting craft of visual artists and top-notch Italian tailoring. Just like in jazz, it is a fusion of different worlds that complement and enrich each other. New roads are discovered, various high-end materials are used and exciting collaborations are formed. The artists’ using their brush, while the tailor takes out his needle and thread. Together they present a blend of passionate craftsmanship with eye for detail and high quality. Our sustainable apparel is certified and all products are handmade in Italy – still the world leader in fashion! We use organic cotton and responsible materials.
Marketeer Peter Bierens founded Brush&Needles in late 2018. A Dutchman with a great love for fashion and craft flowing through his veins, as both his grandfathers were tailors. So, it's no surprise that sooner or later - after several years of working in the fashion industry - he launched his own brand and that merges with his other passion: music. As a teenager of the 80s Peter grew up with a broad taste in music. His love for jazz was ignited when he became a volunteer at the Rotterdam jazz club Thelonious at the age of fifteen! Here he heard many of his jazz heroes. “I absorbed everything I heard, and I put all my money into new records and CDs,” he recalls. Peter says, “I am extremely lucky in combining three of my true passions, music, art, and fashion and trying to make a living from it executing this huge challenge with my team of kindred spirits." Peter is an enthusiastic go-getter who likes to connect people. Peter’s passion for fashion and jazz comes together in Brush & Needles and where everything revolves around high quality experiences.
Peter & Easton
Peter met visual artist Easton Davy at The North Sea Jazz Festival around 2005. Easton was a regular face at the art show from 2004 until 2018. The two became good friends and Peter took a keen interest in Easton's work. He says, “Easton has a unique style and recognizable signature art style, this style with his exciting color choices makes his works appeal to a vast majority of people.” Peter was convinced for many years that Easton's art would also be suitable for apparel. At the beginning of 2020, Peter, and a team of inspired professionals from Italy started working on some of Easton's early works, which have now evolved into the first series of Brush&Needles shirts.
Easton Davy is a top-notch American visual artist who brings jazz to life with rich colours, sharp shapes in a recognizable, provocative style on different kind of materials. He is well known for his music inspired screen prints and paintings, with a keen interest in jazz and blues. His work pays unmistakable tribute to his love, admiration, and respect for the history of jazz but also for jazz as an art form itself.
For the last two decades Easton Davy created many live paintings on the spot and was a regular guest at worldwide jazz festivals, but he also creates art at other places that inspire him. During this creating process he almost always puts on music that inspires him to paint, to challenge him and see what happens. Rich exciting colours and African roots influenced by jazz distinguish his work. In his art he also shows the blues, the seriousness and melancholy of the music.
For the apparel of Brush&Needles Easton uses three central colours: red, green, and blue. These are the bright colours from his parent’s heritage that refer to the Caribbean (see background). Also when Easton started focusing on jazz in the late 1990s, he was inspired by the vintage art of Paul Colin and the colours he used. With that in mind, Easton brings back a kind of nostalgia.
As a young child Easton was already drawing and creating his own fantasy world with his pencil. His parents always encouraged him to draw and later paint. When Easton was eleven, he moved with his family, three brothers and sisters, to the countryside of Montrose, Pennsylvania. Easton's parents fell in love with the tranquility of Montrose's landscape and the easy lifestyle during a church trip. This area is known for its Amish communities. Life was sober and simple there and the family managed to build a quiet life at a modest farm. According to Easton, “We kids hated living in Montrose. We were one of the few black people living there. There was racism, but at the same time people were curious and friendly because we were new and different.”
Easton did not realize it at the time, but looking back to that period in Montrose, was very important for his creative development. He created a lot of artwork. “I did not have many friends to distract me from my passion to paint. Also I left to Art School in 1981. I graduated at the Pennsylvania School of Art & Design in 1985. I went back to New York in 1987 to work as a Graphic Designer,” Easton explains. Living in New York Easton had a lot of interaction with street art in the eighties. For a short period (1989-1991) he worked as a graphic designer in San Francisco. But he missed the spirit of the Big Apple too much. “I painted but I was still finding my voice and style, so meanwhile I was a graphic designer for advertising agencies to make money.”
Love for jazz
The interest and love for jazz came during the 90s through two girlfriends of Easton. In 1997 he had his own art gallery in New Jersey and had exhibitions. Slowly he spread his name and became a familiar face at jazz festivals. Easton has created and sold thousands of prints. Also, he has created album covers for the famous Blue Note label. For instance, for Greg Osby and has done custom artwork for singer FKA Twigs. Just before the pandemic struck the world, Easton went back to his Caribbean roots and stayed there to paint a new series of watercolors called, The Daily Paper. His island Nevis was in lockdown for almost a year. In late 2021 he came over to stay in Rotterdam for a few months and nowadays he travels between both continents.