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Style City



Holland – innovative furniture design, a thriving art scene and beautiful people blessed with rather attractive chiselled features but what about Dutch fashion? For a long time Dutch style seemed to be pretty much non-existent, but thanks to high-art conceptualists – Viktor & Rolf, denimwear brand – G-Star and now Amsterdam’s very own Fashion Week its seems the city has finally woken up…


Amsterdam International Fashion Week


{mosimage}Amsterdam is keen to put itself on the international fashion map, hence the launch of Amsterdam International Fashion Week in July 2004. Trade shows, catwalk presentations, product launches and parties make for an exciting and busy week. Pulling in International labels is the trade exhibition: ‘District.’ Twinned with New York’s ‘Project’ trade show ‘District’ focuses on new, innovative and directional fashion brands. Previous exhibitors include the likes of – Bikkembergs Sport, Citizens of Humanity, True Religion, See by Chloe and Michiko Koshino.


The next edition of Amsterdam International Fashion Week is scheduled for July 27th -31st 2005.


For more information contact: AIFW, Haarlemmerweg 317, 1051 LG Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel – 0031 (0)20 688 5818 Fax – 0031 (0)20 486 4967 E-mail – info@amsterdamfashionweek.com


Names 2 Watch


New designer names to keep an eye on over the coming year:


– Kim Bekker


– Frido van der Wey


– Percy Irausquin


– Wolf




One of Amsterdam’s biggest success stories on the fashion front is denimwear brand G-Star. The Dutch love their denims and their casual laid-back vibe is an ethos often applied to their wardrobes. Prior to G-Star brand giants such as Diesel and Levi’s dominated the scene but founder Jos Van Tilburg discovered a niche in the market. “When I launched G-Star all I could think about was surviving, it’s only when you do survive that you start to think about ways to maintain your success – and that means opening up to the global market.”


In 1989 Van Tilburg was working with the international fashion company ‘Secon Group’ when the offer of a denim launch came his way. A deal was struck with a Swiss denim supplier operating in the Far East with the condition that he must use their brand name under licence – ‘Gap-Star.’


The Gap-Star brand was born and its innovative cuts, washes and weaves got those Dutch customers a-flocking. Reaching a 20-30% growth with each passing year Van Tilburg began to consider other markets. “When I started to export I hit a problem with the name. We agreed to drop the A and the P and became G-Star, which has actually worked out better for us internationally.”


G-Star Campaign


Fifteen years on and G-Star denims can be found in 36 countries with 16 of its own shops and another 24 openings planned across Europe this year. Target markets include Germany, UK, Italy and France plus a breakthrough into the tough US denim scene. Here, in the UK G-Star can be found at Harrods and Selfridges, there’s a shop in Sheffield and a new G-Star store opening in Nottingham this May.


How is Van Tilburg retaining such a strong customer base in an overcrowded denim market? “Creatively there are no limits. Everyone feels like wearing a pair of jeans some days. We collaborate with people like Australian product designer – Marc Newson to create fresh and unexpected ideas. You need constant innovation all the time. And even today we create everything in-house – from ad campaigns to shop interiors. We are a very close team.”


This season Amsterdam is awash with dark moody denims featuring contrasting zippers and plenty of functional pockets. These staples are teamed-up with military look jackets, retro tees and leather biker and bomber styles.


Other successful brands and labels sprouting from the Dutch fashion camp include: Mexx, Oilily, Laundry Industry, Viktor & Rolf, Sissy Boy and Cora Kemperman.


Amsterdam resident and fashion addict tells us how it is…


Fashion addict extraordinaire Stephan Karlas gives a brief insight into what and where’s hot on the Amsterdam scene:


Going out:


Jimmy Woo’s – club (started happening after Ocean’s Twelve stars started going there)

Korte Leidsedwarsstratt 18 1017 RC Amsterdam


11 – restaurant & club – trendy (can be a bit yuppie)

Oosterdokskade 3-5, 1011 AD Amsterdam


Vak Zuid – restaurant & club – trendy young crowd 21-35 yrs

Olympisch Stadion 35, Amsterdam         {mosimage}


Vibing – lounge – great music with a relaxed atmosphere

Raamstraat 27, Amsterdam


Club Arena – club mixed music – mixed crowd trendy yet relaxed

‘s-Gravesandestraat 51, 1092 AA Amsterdam         


Arc – lounge – mixed crowd gay/straight – trendy with good atmosphere and music

Reguliersdwarsstraat 44, 1017 BM Amsterdam


Panama Club – Nice crowd, very happening music with a Latin flavour

Oostelijke handelskade 4, 1019 BM Amsterdam


Fashion scene:


Finally starting to see more effort with the fashion program. The shoes are fantastic, everything from Italy and Spain, good leather worn-in and reptile skin styles.


G-Star appears to be the “new look” for Amsterdam.  Diesel is still seen but not as interesting. 


Leather is very big. Motorcycle jackets, short leather jackets etc… 


Accessories are strong – fantastic cuff watches, sunglasses and cool shoulder bags for men and women.


Hair styles:


Men are tending to go towards the “short” look, very military retro. 


Women: various looks from short to the return of “Farah Fawcett.” Styles appear to be reverting back to 80s for women.






By JoJo Iles




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