Myriam Ullens, founder of Maison Ullens murdered
A tragic loss. Myriam Ullens, who founded the Belgian women's fashion label Maison Ullens in 2009, was found dead on March 29, murdered outside her home in Lasne, a town south of Brussels, Belgium, the Walloon Brabant public prosecutor's office told the local press. The fashion designer was 70 years old.
The tragedy occurred on Wednesday morning. Myriam Ullens was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds in her car outside her home. Her husband, Guy Ullens from Schooten Whettnall, who was sitting beside her, was also reportedly shot in the leg.
The perpetrator is believed to be Nicolas Ullens de Schooten, the victim's son-in-law and son of Guy Ullens de Schooten Whettnall, who turned himself in to the local police on Thursday. The suspect did not give any reason for the murder.
"The suspect offered no resistance and explained that he had killed his mother-in-law. He was carrying a gun, which was seized. He was taken into custody," the Walloon Brabant prosecutor's office told the local press. An investigation, entrusted to the federal judicial police, is underway.
A committed fashion designer
Oversized mouse-grey dinner jackets, slim-fitting trench coats in royal blue lambskin, casual ensembles in pleated unbleached viscose... In her creations, the Belgian fashion baroness distilled her philosophy of nomadic and chic luxury, an aesthetic inspired by her sailing trips.
In 1999, the designer, who was also a committed businesswoman and philanthropist, married Baron Guy Ullens de Schooten Whettnall, a food industrialist, patron of the arts and collector of contemporary art whose fortune is estimated at over 2 billion euros.
A traveller with a big heart, Myriam Ullens helped build orphanages and care centres in Nepal for malnourished children, in the 1990s. Then, with her husband Guy Ullens, they founded in 2006 a school of the same name (for primary and secondary education) located in Lalitpur, a town on the southern outskirts of Kathmandu.
Myriam Ullens was also involved in associations that help women with cancer. "After battling cancer in 2003, she developed the Mimi Ullens Foundation, a foundation active in cancer research and support for patients in eight French, Belgian and Swiss hospitals. Mimi constantly reminded us that the most important thing is to be thankful for life every day. This is how she would like everyone to remember her," said Maison Ullens in its statement.
The label, which has collaborated with guest designers such as Véronique Leroy and Haider Ackermann, has three locations in Paris, New York and Aspen, and is sold through luxury retailers in around 100 countries worldwide.
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