Korsetten- en lingeriefabriek Schellebelle


‘Hélène des Champs Lingerie’ and ‘Korsetten- en lingeriefabriek DéWé’ are two lingerie factories in Schellebelle, Belgium.

The ‘Korsetten- en lingeriefabriek DéWé’ was a producer of quality ladies’ underwear. With brands like Perle and Bugatti, they were a known name in Europe. The firm started in 1897 with the name AW, named after Achiel De Waele, the founder. After the sons of Achiel took over the business in 1903, they changed the name to DW. Over the next few years, the factory grew, and they added new workshops. The factory closed during the First World War. Immediately after the Second World War, they demolished the old buildings to construct a brand new, modern factory. These buildings, which had been producing lingerie for 101 years, were abandoned in 1998.

Close to the abandoned DéWé factory, there is another lingerie factory. ‘Hélène des Champs Lingerie’ specialized in bigger sized, quality lingerie. At the end of the 1990s, this factory went bankrupt. In the factory worked 20 employees. In 1999 the factory was taken over by the Schauvliege textile company. Schauvliege started in 1976 with the production of working clothes. In 1997, they started producing sleepwear and not much later the company ‘Velba’ was incorporated into the company. That company has been known since the 1950s as the specialist in lingerie.

Around that time, the three sons of father Schauvliege joined the business. The new company produced brands like Juliette, Marlies Dekkers and the classic Hélène des Champs. Eventually, production was moved to a new factory. In 2014 the old factory buildings were demolished. I took these photos of ‘Hélène des Champs Lingerie’ in 2008. I visited both factories in 2008.

Built 1946
Abandoned 1999
Demolished 2014
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