"With Bonbon, for example, we wanted a woman to identify with that story rather than it being a case of 'I want to be like so-and-so'."

"But we live in a celebrity culture," shrugs Horsting. "And when celebrities are attached to so many labels so quickly, it's a little boring. I don't think it always works either."

Yet when they dressed Anne Hathaway in a monochrome dress for the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar party and a pregnant Natalie Portman in a red rose- embellished pink gown for the Golden Globes in 2011, "the PR return was huge. Two days after Natalie wore that dress, there was an $85 knock-off on a website," says Horsting. Did that annoy them? "Actually, it was so quick and so well done that we found it hilarious. "For us, it's more about being fascinated by a girl or an actress - then it's nice to work with her. But we don't have a celebrity fetish. When we dedicated a show to Tilda Swinton, it was because of her - not because she'd won an Oscar."

So there's no one they're longing to dress? "No," says Snoeren, crossing his arms. "Because we're not sitting around thinking that way." Even the world's number one clothes horse, the Duchess of Cambridge? "Kate Middleton?" Horsting murmurs, before covering his mouth at the gaffe. "Sorry, I forget the titles. Again, ours is neither a huge fetish for celebrity or aristocracy."

Snoeren and Horsting's lack of snobbishness extends to everyday fashion. At its best, style should "help empower you and make you feel better about yourself", they feel.

But they are reluctant either to praise or disparage any country for its dress sense. "We don't have those kinds of judgments about people," says Snoeren, visibly tiring of the discussion. "I suppose very high heels are not good right now," he sighs. "It just doesn't look very modern. And we're not big fans of extremely sexualised dresses."

But the Brits, for example, have got better, haven't they? "That's true," agrees Horsting. "Especially the men. There seems to be more of an interest in taking care of yourself with the hair, creams and fragrances here. Taking care of yourself is a good thing ... "

"But with men it should stop at plucking their eyebrows," blurts Snoeren, the most animated he's been since we sat down. "That's something that we don't do." In their curious flatness as human beings as in what they have done for high fashion, Horsting and Snoeren have often been compared to Warhol ("a great compliment, that's for sure"). Yet although the parallels are glaring, so too are the discrepancies. For all the freshness they have brought to couture, ready-to-wear and even fragrances, they are not galvanised either by celebrity or an egotistical desire to impose their cultural vision on the world.

"Our grand plan isn't global domination," asserts Snoeren, "but to be happy doing what we do. We don't like to run towards things. Of course we want to open more stores and make more collections, but actually," he says, checking with Horsting first, "I think we are perfectly happy now."

- The Daily Telegraph

• Bonbon will be on sale from Monday, in selected department stores and pharmacies.