When it comes to denim, Amsterdam is the place to be
Amsterdam is the birthplace of denim labels like Scotch & Soda, the European hub for global brands like Calvin Klein and the home of Denim City, which has a workshop for students and an upcycling facility. And of course, it only takes one look around to know the locals love denim, too. With an average of five pairs of jeans per person, Amsterdammers are leading the way when it comes to denim ownership.
For years, the city has been a design and development mecca for fashion brands and it also has one of the highest densities of denim companies in the world. Not only did Dutch brands like G-Star RAW, KOI and Denham the Jeanmaker start here, internationally acclaimed labels like Calvin Klein have recognised Amsterdam’s pivotal position in the denim sector and set up their European headquarters in the Dutch capital.
Bringing new talent and established brands together
Considering Amsterdam’s status as an international centre for all things jeans, it’s not surprising that Denim City, which describes its purpose as “connecting the next generation with the forefront of the denim world,” is here, too.
Aiming to unite and inspire all players in the denim industry, it was Amsterdam’s House of Denim Foundation, started by James Veenhoff and Mariette Hoitink, that came up with the idea of creating a denim campus. “We were looking for a place where we could bring new talent and established brands together,” Veenhoff explains. “There’s such an incredible talent pool in this city when it comes to denim, it would be a waste if we didn’t share that knowledge and build a platform for further innovation.”
Denim City serves as a campus for craftsmanship, enterprise and sustainable innovation and is found in De Hallen, the former tram-works on Amsterdam’s Kinkerstraat. It consists of six independent but collaborating parts, including a workshop training centre, a denim archive, a research lab and an embassy for the international denim community.
Bringing innovators, experts and students together
Veenhoff believes Denim City is creating valuable opportunities for the denim industry. “This campus is attracting innovators, experts, eager students and many others. It’s an incredibly inspiring place for anyone who’s affiliated with denim in any way.”
Additionally, Denim City provides the fashion industry with some serious benefits. “Brands and denim mills that are considering a move to Amsterdam will have an incredible talent pool at their disposal. From design and development to merchandise and social media, all the know-how is already here.”