5 x Amsterdam fashion heroes
From the high street to the catwalk, meet five Dutch designers changing the way we think about fashion.
HEMA, a department store of sorts, which sells only own-brand products, is ubiquitous on the Dutch high street, but that doesn’t mean it’s pedestrian in any way. The clothing and cosmetics in particular offer remarkable quality and a distinctive simple, fresh and modern design. In true Amsterdam style, the brand’s overriding ethos is inclusive and progressive. Back in 2011, HEMA used transgender model Andreja Pejic to model its push-up bras. Certain stores also stock hijabs in cheerful colours. It’s not hard to see why the chain has a special place in most Amsterdammers’ hearts – and their wardrobes.
Transgender model Andreja Pejic for HEMA
Various locations // www.hema.nl
Inspired by the silk road and born on the cosmopolitan streets of Amsterdam, BANANATIME is the fruit of a shared labour of love. ‘Sometimes you have to create something because it doesn’t exist,’ says Naoyo Kawaguchi of the unisex label she co-founded in 2014 with best friend Julia Mah. Seasoned globetrotters and vintage obsessives with decades of fashion and textile expertise between them, Naoyo and Julia are united in a mission to supply garments durable enough for the demands of everyday but stylish enough to turn heads when night falls. For these style magpies, travel-readiness must come as standard. Comprising a refined seasonal edit of comfortable silk separates in vibrant, vintage-inspired prints, BANANATIME has fast become the brand for in-the-know men and women who believe that life is too short – and too spontaneous – for luxury to be limited by occasion. Or gender. Easy, elegant separates such as the Grandad Shirt have become the staples of BANANATIME collections. Available from stores including De Bijenkorf, garments are cut from hardwearing silk that’s entirely machine washable, thanks to the easy-care mesh bag supplied with each and every piece.
Let’s face facts. If any city was going to gift the world the waterproof onesie, it was bound to be Amsterdam. The brainchild of one of the city’s most successful international advertising agencies, 72 and Sunny, Raynsie is a spanking new range of technical, bike-friendly rainwear inspired by the ever-present threat of a Dutch downpour. Several soggy years of development have given birth to a chic, lightweight garment whose light-reflective design references the iconic hagelslag breakfast (think chocolate sprinkles on toast) without the E-number-fuelled consequences. The Raynsie onesie is woven from breathable nylon and its integrated hood can be adjusted to accommodate a helmet. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, the whole shebang can be zipped into a matching bag. Après moi, le déluge? Too right!
Like Iris van Herpen, Amsterdam-based designer Ronald van der Kemp refers to himself as a demi-couturier. Back in town after a storeyed career designing for the likes of Céline in Paris, Van der Kemp has cultivated a local supply network of pattern-cutters, leather-workers and tailors in order to keep up with the demand for his punkishly elegant creations. Celebrities from Kendall Jenner to Mary J. Blige have worn his RVDK label, which is stocked at De Bijenkorf, and Amsterdam homeowner Justin Bieber was seen wearing a pair of Van der Kemp’s bespoke denim-and-khaki combat trousers on a recent trip to Albert Heijn. Fancy!
Practical enough for the demands of biking yet stylish enough to impress, the Amsterdam-based footwear label Filling Pieces was established in 2009 by designer Guillaume Philibert. While studying architecture, Philibert was frustrated by the scarcity of premium-quality sneakers at a reasonable price. Recognizing both a challenge and an opportunity, he started to design, following his vision of creating a unique shoe that would bridge the gap between streetwear and high-end fashion. Manufactured in Portugal, the brand’s hi-tops are popular with the editors of Dutch Vogue, no less.
Available at F-O-U-R // PC Hooftstraat 127 // www.f-o-u-r.com
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