Celebrating innovation in Amsterdam

The first edition of the Global Denim Awards celebrated true innovation in the fashion industry. As part of this, six emerging international designers were selected and paired with one of six progressive denim mills from around the world. The designers were afforded the opportunity to visit their designated mill to develop an in-depth understanding of fibre, fabric, wash and denim development. Armed with new skills and their mill’s best fabrications, each designer presented a ‘capsule collection’ of five total looks on the runway at Amsterdam's brand new denim innovation campus, Denim City. A panel of international denim experts, including Adriano Goldschmied (often referred to as “the Godfather of denim”) and Jason Denham (the founder of Denham the Jeanmaker) judged these collections.

Promoting new talent

A bustling audience of denim enthusiasts and international industry leaders took their place at the awards ceremony to see Rotterdam-based designer Jonathan Christopher – who was paired with Italian denim mill ITV Denim – be crowned as the first winner at the Global Denim Awards. Christopher’s award includes a prize of €10,000 and he will have his winning collection displayed at the Kingpins Shows in Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and at Amsterdam Denim Days 2015.

Amsterdam: Denim Capital

Creative icons such as Amsterdam DJ Joost van Bellen composed the music for the show. Ian Berry, a denim artist from the UK who’s relocated to Amsterdam said: “I moved to Amsterdam because this is the place to be for denim. Here, I am close to so many influential denim companies.” With the highest density of denim companies in the world, Amsterdam is the most logical place to establish an institute like the

Denim City and to host the Global Denim Awards

The awards also marked an unique event since it was the pre-opening of Denim City which is officially due to open in the beginning of 2015. During the Kingpins Show selected guests and participants already got a sneak preview of what Denim City has in store. Set up by Amsterdam’s House of Denim Foundation and supported by the Amsterdam Economic Board and the City of Amsterdam,  Denim City aims to connect and inspire players within the denim industry.

The House of Denim is also responsible for the world’s first dedicated Jean School: a three-year curriculum to train the next generation of denim developers and designers. Denim City will feature a master workshop, an upcycling workshop where used denim clothes are given a second life, a denim and media archive, Blue Lab and an “embassy” for connecting industry players.