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The diva with 10 needles who goes by the name of Hally Hopper and is a spirit trapped in a collection of biological molecules Text by Manuela Ernst Image by Hally Hopper

Hally Hopper is an embroidery artist who works in her atelier until four in the morning to create stuff that she never sells. She thinks embroidery is stupid, but loves to hear people’s life stories as a reaction to her embroidered characters, which are composed of things such as a Gumba body and a Picasso head. Who is Hally Hopper??

A fiction, an apparition, a seeker of rare beauty, a lover whose inner spiritual periscope to the universe goes up every time she goes down on her hoops. She is a defender of the downtrodden, a woman highly suspicious that the seed of sociopathy is lurking around every corner, waiting to pounce when her guard is down.

What sort of fashionable fashion embroidery do you make? All of my embroideries are characters that can be used as wearable art to embroider the front, back, arm, leg, or butt of any piece of clothing. Comparisons can be made to tattoo art, actually. Of course designs can also be framed and put on walls.

What’s the coolest character you have ever created?

It is a female character who totally accepts herself and all her contradictions. She is ‘jolie laide’, as the French say. Pretty and ravaged, all at once. She is mournful about all she sees in life, but at the same time, resilient and hopeful. She believes in the female principle of the universe as the source of eternal creation and renewal. She is a middleweight contender stepping into the ring knowing she has a glass jaw. She feels like she is treading on the precipice of death with every step she takes. She is an artist. Yes, I confess. It is a self-portrait.

Are there stories behind the characters?

Absolutely, and there are probably connecting threads through all of their psychologies. The typical character in my embroidery sees herself as a shipwreck washed up on the shores of the dominant culture. A survivor of some kind of war and, to some degree or another, suffering as a result. She might be idealized. She might be missing pieces or be broken in some way. But she is also defiant and looking for a new day.

Would you consider embroidery as fashion?

Embroidery is one of the oldest known forms of clothing embellishment. It was used on clothing buried in tombs in ancient Egypt. Everybody has seen the legendary traditional peasant blouses from Eastern Europe. Indian and Chinese embroidery represents unique heights in the craft. Of course, there are so many other examples, too. The line is unbroken. There are plenty of brilliant new embroiderers out there today. Maharishi in London does killer designs for example. So, yes, I consider it fashion.

“I guess what I’m saying is that embroidery is a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it” Embroidery for you is....?

It is the albatross around my neck and it is my refuge.

Why do you say albatross? Do you mean it feels like a burden to you? Something you are chained to in a painful way?

Let’s put it this way. Embroidery requires that I toil in solitude. It takes weeks if not months of full time work to create a quality piece. Beyond dedication, it requires a full complement of other skills such as drawing, Photoshop, knowledge of esoteric materials unique to embroidery and tailoring. I use a lot of multimedia in my designs. Besides, knowing how to handle the beast that is the embroidery machine, a semi-industrial monster, is a real skill. Let me tell you something about an embroidery machine. Some nights I cry myself to sleep because my 10-needle machine can feel like a bed of nails. One minute it can run as fast as a racehorse, the next it can break down like a two-year-old

child having a tantrum. A serious embroiderer must remain on top of her work at all times to bring a project to completion. I guess what I’m saying is that embroidery is a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it.

What do you want to offer with your embroidery art?

I want to offer enduring charm, something to please the eye... And if it turns out that Charles Saatchi does not ache to own my work, or the White Cube Gallery in London does not kick that old fart Tracey Emin off its walls to make room for my embroidery masterpieces, I will die happy dreaming that my work will wander from flea market to flea market and owner to owner, for years to come. Let it be sold for six pence per piece, I say, if that means it finds its way to someone who might enjoy it. If my work brings a smile to anyone at all, I will be happy. I want to offer pieces that make the heart sigh.

We needed all our TIGER instincts to find you. Why don’t you have a website?

I am already up to my ears in work. I don’t need more, I have a full schedule. Not only that, anyone who needs to find me will find me. It’s that simple. I do not have to troll the cyber-world to find friends of my work. Fortunately my communication is subtler than that, maybe like the protons I described. All I know is the right people seem to enter my life at the right moment. However, I don’t rule out a web site in the future. Anything is possible.

Why do you do this?

Fear, I suppose. If I had more courage I would play the concertina on the street corner with a tin cup at my feet.

tigerdragonslayersfromtheunderworld 21

e pantar,

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Blouse and Puma Shorts by Episode, Shoes by Nelly Trend

Dress by Nieuw Jurk, Bird Sunglasses by Tessa Van De Meerendork



Akihabara is a neighbourhood in Tokyo like any other filled with electronic stores. Once you enter you will be surprised by all the flashing advertising signs and Japanese pop music that blares out from every store and cafe front. Surreal, but what makes the neighbourhood really special are the manga and anime people who dress and behave the way their fictional heroes do. Akihabara is a Mecca for Otakus, people who are obsessively occupied with manga and anime.

a hangout for manga maniacs In a neighbourhood in

Sh Japane ogo is a wic se ke showe architect w d d us a h round o crazy t h n e eig Akihiha bara. T hbourhood hanks buddy !

Tokyo where they can live their comic dream text by Mirna Everhard photography left by Toshihiro Oimatsu, right by fabian reus

Comic Nerd

They are from all ages and drawn from all walks of life. Most Otakus live in Japan, but you can find them spread all over the world. Otaku means ‘geek’. Japan has a culture strongly related to manga and anime, but being this obsessed with it is, even here, considered weird. For that reason the Otaku community is relatively closed with their own habits, shops and cafés. In Akihabara they are at home.

This is the ultimate place where the real and the virtual merge together Fantasy maids

Besides manga shops Akihabara has a lot more to offer, such as video games and anime dolls. There are many cafés where you can step into the fictional world of manga and anime. Cute, sweet girls serve you in a sexy French maid costume. They look like they jumped right out of a comic book. The first thing you will hear when you enter a maid café is “welcome master!” From that moment on you will be swamped with attention and entertained by the ‘maids’. These dressed up girls can also be found on the streets, but they have mastered the act of vanishing for tourist cameras. The surrealism of the

maid cafés, for the often less social Otakus, is perfect. They prefer this fantasy world above reality. This is often the reason for the manga obsession. “You can see anime and manga as a tool to expand the reality,” says Shogo Kawata, an architect from Japan, who has just designed a new maid café. “Manga and anime are for our generation the equivalent of reality.” The maid café ‘Mai Dreamin’ designed by Kawata looks like a manga cyber-land. The furniture reacts to the movements of the maids and the guests so it is almost as if you are sitting in a manga computer game. The virtual reality of the Otakus becomes the reality in this café.

Manga in a box

Japanese subways are always crowded, the houses are very small and the workload is huge. Therefore, relaxing is considered a luxury. In Akihabara you can also go to a Manga ‘Kissaten’ (Japanese for manga café). These are cyber cafés where you can rent a booth. Every box has a comfortable chair, a television, a computer and, of course, piles of manga. The ‘Manga Kissaten’ brings you into your own little reality – it is you and your booth, with hours of Internet, manga and anime. You pay per hour and you can for a moment close yourself off from the stressful life in Japan. A few hours in a ‘Manga Kissaten’ are a gift from heaven for the overworked Otaku. Kawata: “The Otaku lifestyle seems bizarre to outsiders, but we simply have a different culture. Many people in Japan have grown into it naturally. The city is full of manga posters and anime is everywhere!”


Akihahabara is not just a neighbourhood, it is also a major inspiration and home base of the largest pop group on earth, AKB48. The group is named after the neighbourhood and exists of 61 schoolgirls who are divided in four subgroups. One of them preforms in their own theatre in Akihabara everyday, while the other groups preform simultaneously somewhere else. In this way fans in Tokyo can always go and see their favourite pop group live, although they have become so popular now that tickets are only available via the lottery. The group is a social phenomenon and an exceptional expression of the schoolgirl fetish seen in manga and anime.

For manga and anime fans Akihabara is a Mecca. However, it is a destination that is not only interesting for Otakus. The neighbourhood shows such a crazy and interesting side of Tokyo. It is a whole new world to discover. Go there and let the manga spirit grab your ass. tigerdragonslayersfromtheunderworld 33

Fashion in non-colours Which is endlessly fascinating, even though it is just black and white text by elfi seidel

Just as much as a little black dress differs from an opulent white wedding gown, black and white illustrate other opposites as well: light and darkness, bride and groom, good and evil and – essentially - life and death.

Black and white’s ghosts

Some things have always been the same: a statement written black on white is valid, black is beautiful, white is virginal, and someone who has a black-and-white way of thinking is just not that smart. Black and white are the extremes of our colour spectrum and that is why they are so suitable for extreme statements. In the history of Western art, black has been used in many different ways. Whether used to address gloomy issues such as melancholia and post-war depression or taken to a higher level of abstraction, it has always been a strong statement. Like Kazimir Malevich, the Russian modern painter, whose ‘Black Square’ on a white background dared to stand out against the colourful expressionist pieces of his time. It was quite a bold statement, especially in 1915. The Op-Art movement of the 1960’s also would not have happened without black and white. Take as an example Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, who produced black and white compositions with an intricate visual language. A style of visionary strength was coined. Today this value is reflected in fashion, graphic or industrial design, where black and white and especially their combination still stand for purity and stark abstraction.

Plus and minus

About time to look behind the visual surface, where there is a whole cosmos of cultural traditions. Obviously, the perception of the two ‘non-colours’ is not the same in each culture. In any European society, you would probably be turning in your grave if people were showing up for your funeral wearing white. Nothing like that in Africa: black is celebrated as being the colour of joy, whereas white is the inconvenient colour of mourning and sadness. Yet a different connotation: in the Hindu culture the members of a family dress in white when someone dies, in order to express their joy and relief for a dead person transcending to the next level of reincarnation. What a joyous contrast to our psychoanalytically advanced Western world, where we have terms like melanophobia the phobic fear of black.

Ambiguous meanings

Colour psychologists have been researching the ever-lasting popularity of black and white. It is common sense that back in our early roots of human mankind, one was dependent on the fast recognition of changes in order to react and save lives. White on black being the highest contrast possible and therefore easy on the human eye makes perfect sense then and now, so no wonder that today still, the combination is used to communicate important messages and instructions. Black is either sad or elegant, sometimes both. Black is the colour of Coco Chanel, the colour of the night, the colour of funerals and grief, death and decay, at least in Western societies. In contrast, art, design and of course fashion connote a certain conceptual force with black and white. Values like elegance, timelessness and a high level of theoretical consideration are attached to them like a second skin. 40 tigerdragonslayersfromtheunderworld

Sex sells, colour too!

From an aesthetic to a physical view: black and white are no actual colours, just the absence or presence of light. Still, what makes it so intriguing for designers to work with colours that are non-colours? Black and white represent objectivity, abstraction, and conceptual thinking. Looking at the duo in this light, it is no surprise that it is the most avant-garde and conceptual fashion designers of today who prefer black, white and grey over purple, yellow and green. I’m thinking of names like Gareth Pugh or Rick Owens, who have been pushing this contrast at a high level of imagination and abstraction. In the grey area of high street fashion, though, every spring collection inevitably coughs up a whole range of pastels, followed by the ever-present bold colour blocks for summer. It may seem fresh and

We have terms like melanophobia - the phobic fear of black up-to-date, but in the end it is nothing but a sales strategy. Whenever the H&M’s and Zara’s of the world decide to have black and white on their racks, it is probably because these non-colours sell well in accordance to the current trends. Colours are being picked depending on mainstream trends and fashion tendencies rather than independent aesthetic standards. Opportunistic fashion, so to speak. Quite in contrast to that, independent fashion designers like Pugh or Owens barely ever show any colour at all in their collections in order to give space and attention to their much more sophisticated designs. It appears that the more refined the aesthetic scope of a fashion designer or brand, the more independent the use of black and white.

Timeless style

Take for example Rad Hourani, whose collections do not only show what fashion is all about in 2012, but are also a leading force in futuristic fashion design. His unisex clothes simply are not subject to fashion with its seasons, critics, trends and followers. They are above this system and present themselves as a stream of pure, undiluted fashion visions. Obviously, the refusal to use colour and the turn to such an idiosyncratic style gives attention to a more detailed and implicit form of fashion poetry, a refined cosmos. In that sense, the highly imaginative approaches of Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh have a unique and, therefore, truly independent way of using black and white. Which may refer back to Malevich, whose black square certainly did not speak to a big audience.

a bunch of black depressed clothes together in a shoot

Photography by Ellen van Bennekom Styling by Bas Groefsema Hair by Maikel PiquĂŠ MAKE-UP BY Lieke Sylvester at oOzaga agency Models: Mark at Rocket Garage, his band Hoodoo Charm and Marjolein Spuybroek

Top BY Rianne Suk Longsleeve by Ovan Abdullah

Top By Individuals Coat by Lars van der Kooij Shoes by United Nude Pants by Ovan Abdullah

Body by Shanita de Vries Shoes by Ilja Visser

all fashion by sims-line



We like it Doggy style The story of a person who

likes to dress up her K9 buddy and show her off Text by Katharina Chiao-Li Fuchs and mirte p. van der lugt Photography by Martha Schoemaker

This is not an ordinary doggy-human relationship. It is not about throwing balls or wet and dry food. The friendship between Mercedes and Dolly goes beyond that. Mercedes treats her Chihuahua as a person. From the first moment she laid eyes on the little nugget she knew that Dolly’s sassy personality needed a little more than just a collar.

Dolly Box Baby

“It was in August two years ago when I received a huge pink box from my sister for my birthday. The box had holes on the top and was tied with a glittery, purple ribbon. Just the way I like it! I had already assumed that something alive would be in there and I felt a little scared and excited at the same time. What kind of meat-eating creature would be in there? When I carefully opened the box and looked inside… I saw her. Between soft, pink silk two big eyes were looking back at me. The tiny, white Chihuahua puppy sat up straight and I immediately fell in love with her. From then on she was my baby, my little girl, my Dolly!”

Forbidden love…?

“In the first few months I watched and laughed at my new baby’s strange behaviour. She used the kitty toilet in my bathroom, which actually belonged to my cat, loved to jump in my dirty clothes, played with weird shadows on the walls and adored getting her belly tickled. The interest was mutual. Dolly could watch me for hours, while cooking, on the phone or getting ready for a party. She never wanted to leave my side. Months

“When I need a new sweater, Dolly needs a new one too” passed by and our fascination with each other only grew. ‘Normal gets you nowhere’ is my motto, and my intention was to project this strong attitude to my dearest Chihuahua. Personally I love it when I grab people’s

been e has she m a n y’s se dogg ged becau and n cha ulous to b a f is so n’t want . oes ers she d age stalk r u enco

attention with my extravagant style so I decided to do the same for Dolly. There are millions of Chihuahuas on this planet and my dog deserved more than just a shiny, bright collar if she wanted to stand out! So I decided to start dressing up my sweetheart.”

and sad. These people don’t know that Dolly truly loves getting dressed up. She loves hearing the ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Aaahs’ from people that think she is just the cutest thing in the world. And on top of that, the thing is, Dolly just loves clothes! Dolly loves fashion!”

Animal Dress up 101

Sweet Doggy Dreams...

“It was during Christmas time when I first decided to give my girl a piece of clothing. I went for a warm, cozy cotton sweater which had the added bonus of keeping little Dolly warm. Not once did she run away, wriggle around or bark while I was putting it on. I noticed she truly loved the reactions of the

“My dog needed something more than a shiny collar to stand out” people around me. After several sweaters a tartan school dress followed, a bright yellow rain coat and some other crazy costumes, which truly made Dolly the cutest Chihuahua on earth. Whether it was Christmas, Carnival or my Granny’s birthday I soon had an outfit for every occasion! She loves it when she has something on and I even get the impression that she feels naked when she is only wearing her collar. She will bark, jump up and down, and run around the table until I put a sweater on her and then she is my happy Chihuahua again. Dolly is my honey and a true reflection of me. When some people tell me that dressing her up is animal cruelty it just makes me so angry

“It does not stop with dressing her up. On top of her growing wardrobe I also made Dolly her own little room in the corner close to my bed. I furnished it with a fancy, pink, princess doggy bed, a rack with all her special dog collars neatly lined up and of course a little closet where all her clothes are displayed. When she wakes up in the morning I know that she, just like her Mummy, can’t wait to get dressed. She runs back and forth between my feet and her closet urging me to help her pick out her outfit and, to be honest, when I get dressed I also ask for her opinion.”

Best Friends Forever!

“A friend asked me once if I would ever stop buying clothes for Dolly as her little doggy wardrobe is already getting too big. I did not have to think twice about the answer at all. Stopping is not an option because when I need a new sweater, Dolly needs a new one as well! When asked what I would do with her outfits when Dolly goes to doggy heaven, or whether I am going to replace her I almost cry. No Chihuahua, other dog, or cat could ever replace Dolly! She is unique. She is a star. She is my baby girl. Dolly is so optimistic and adorably hyperactive. She is always there for me. She is my best friend. Most important of all: I have never met a dog before that loves fashion as much as I do!” tigerdragonslayersfromtheunderworld 69



We <3 Sustainability thanks to Kate Fletcher who believes in ‘green fashion’ and still celebrates shopping Text by Isabelle Sporleder photography by Des Moriarty

Kate Fletcher, founder of the slow fashion movement, researcher, instigator of directional sustainability projects, inspirational speaker, consultant and author of several books and publications. In other words: our guru for one of the most important changes the twenty-first century is facing, sustainable fashion. Luckily she had time to answer a couple of our questions about damn cheap clothes, Coco Chanel, poor perceptions and super sad fashion.

Why is fashion not sustainable?

Whoa! Hang on a sec… Fashion can be attuned to sustainability. In its original form fashion was a social activity, where small groups came together to make things. What is not sustainable is the individualistic, consumerist version of fashion that we see today. This is definitely not all that fashion is though, please!

Is the fashion system anti-sustainable by nature? After all having ‘new’ fashion every season, makes the ‘old’ fashion redundant automatically, right?

Change is not inherently anti-sustainability. Take a look at nature, it is full of change and is sustainable in ways that human systems are not. The version of fashion we currently wear – and daydream about – punishes ‘old’ looks, leads us to throw away and continuously repurchase on an almost daily basis. What I want to know is who benefits from this system? Is it you and me? Is it the workers? I do not think so. The fashion system seeks to justify itself – classically by promoting uncertainty – and we have become dependent on it. The fashion system tells us that shopping for something new helps us make sense of who we are in a complex world!

Why do you say in your new book: “Sustainability is arguably the defining theme of the twenty-first century?”

Is there a critique more probing of fashion’s current priorities, its rules and goals than one that asks about sustainability, for example one that questions what we need to do to be human, to connect with others and the world around us? Hhhmmm I don’t think so…

You advise big companies like Marks & Spencer on sustainability. Do you think you can make a difference? In the end: if they only offer sustainable products, the consumer can only buy sustainable?

Large brands can make a big difference. Change happens at many different points

and big companies are working to improve their operations in ways that we can all see and appreciate. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition and other major initiatives are trying to improve the baseline of all producers so that the impact of fibre, fabric and garment production across the board is lower. Manufacturers and retailers are only one side of the coin – the other side are the people who use their products.

A lot of people think sustainability is boring, for some reason. Why? Because they think it is all about what you CANNOT do. That it’s about what you have to restrict, to cut back: not only that, but that giving something up is always bad for us. People cling to the status quo. So perhaps we need to give them strong alternative platforms to jump to.

Like your Local Wisdom Project? Can you explain that a little bit?

follo www. w k Twitt atefletc kate at h er @k atetf letch er

tainable fashion is to think and imagine in a certain way. Our main problem, that clouds the advantages of sustainable fashion, is poor perception. We all have to change.

Do you think the role of designers has to change?

People who are experts as makers of things will inevitably need to use their expertise differently when materials are valued more highly as resources become scarce. Designers are already operating in many different and new roles, which rely on their skills as complex problem solvers and their unique insight.

What about commercial brands? Can they change our mind-sets by giving detailed information on production and costs?

Yes. But not if that’s all they do. Consuming something with a hangtag full of information that does not need to be consumed in the first place is no cause for rejoicing.

Local Wisdom is a project exploring the ‘craft’ of using fashion pieces in resourceful and satisfying ways. It has been gathering stories and images from the public about the way they use their clothes and now we are running international design projects to amplify these user practices and try to find ways to increase the take up of these cultivated and ingenious ways of engaging with fashion.

“Coco Chanel said that the poor cannot afford to buy cheap things”

Is it still okay to enjoy shopping though?

Do you really believe the mass market will change any time soon?

Fashion, including shopping, is a core part of human culture and needs to be celebrated. I think most of us would agree that fashion without sustainability is ignorant, but so few people fail to appreciate that sustainability without fashion is SAD.

We often see sustainable fashion being all beige, unsexy and expensive. Don’t you?

Fashion and sustainability for me is the opposite of what it is for you: diverse, glorious and idiosyncratic! New ways of wearing clothes! I think you’ve been the victim of spin by an industry who simply doesn’t get it – or doesn’t want to get it. The key to sus-

Maybe. It depends whether the cost of energy and water continue to rise. Price fluctuations are already influencing the cost of cotton and polyester fibre within the world market.

The majority of society might not be able to ever afford sustainable clothing, as it is always more expensive, right?

It’s not! You know what I want to know is why is the stuff that is damaging watercourses and exploiting workers and etcetera so damn cheap?? I think it was Coco Chanel who said that the poor cannot afford to buy cheap things. Suck it up! tigerdragonslayersfromtheunderworld 75



like a sweatshop at meester koetsier

a daily routine at amfi, models walking down the staircase Duals a/w 2012 designers never let go, they are always making final touches

and yes, this is how the amfi building looked like twenty years ago!

backstage tension

the wet dream of every designer: the show!!

Duals a/w 2012

from start tohowfuture this school ended up being as it is TEXT BY MAY PUTMAN CRAMER PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE AMFI ARCHIVE

AMFI students are passionate go-getters who are unfamiliar with the word ‘no’. Why? Because real-life factors have been built into the curriculum and students are used to being coached by professionals, to dealing with clients and having to please actual people. When the going gets tough, the tough get going and that is a creed they are comfortable to live by.

it is all about the story

AMFI was established in 1992 as a result of the merger between Meester Koetsier and Charles Montaigne, two institutes that had thrived since the early 1950s. HTS Meester Koetsier was founded 60 years ago as a technical and commercial school. Academy Charles Montaigne, founded in 1951, was a private school for couture and later also for styling. Both institutes were founded to ensure a good number of highly educated, qualified professionals for the Dutch textile and apparel industry and to safeguard the future of the industry in the Netherlands. Meester Koetsier became part of the General Amsterdam School of Applied Sciences in 1987. In 1992 when the merger took place, the newly formed institute became part of the Amsterdam School of Applied Sciences (HvA). In 2002 the institute was given its current name: the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, in short AMFI. As you might expect, it was not all plain sailing after the merger. Each institute had its own ideas, practices and particular spheres of interest, and a unified vision and policy needed to be agreed on for the future. Now, thanks to this rich if sometimes turbulent heritage, AMFI is the only institute in the Netherlands offering a Bachelor Degree in Fashion Technology.

morphing into something

AMFI’s educational programme is unique and distinguishes itself from the fashion studies courses offered at other schools because it teaches students about all the activities needed to transform an item of clothing from a design concept into a finished product that is displayed in a shop and ultimately sold. In other words, AMFI has designers, managers and branders (i.e. the whole fashion chain) in the same building. Each thinks that they are the most important, but secretly they all know that all three are vital links in the fashion chain.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going bridging the gap

The first year of the four year programme introduces basic principles and sets students thinking about exactly where in the fashion chain they eventually want to work and how to get there. They choose from three specialisations: Fashion & Design, Fashion & Management and Fashion & Branding. Fashion & Design educates students to develop a strong and personal vision of fashion, and students busy themselves with design, pattern making, moulage and the realisation of their own designs. Fashion & Management prepares students for technical and commercial jobs in the fashion industry, and covers subjects such as marketing, production organiation systems and logistics. Fashion & Branding relates to the identity of brands and communications, and students develop concepts and learn how to set up a brand strategy. It does not matter which specialisation students choose,

the link between technical, commercial and creative thinking and trading forms the basis of the study. AMFI would not be AMFI without a dash of Dutch pragmatism and its recognition of the importance of an international orientation to the institute. This goes way beyond accepting foreign students and offering all three specialisations in the English language. For example, the Netherlands is not a manufacturing country and Dutch students who graduate from AMFI and join the fashion industry will need to travel overseas for their production. The programme helps students prepare for this.

AMFI would not be AMFI without a dash of Dutch pragmatism what i want to be

Sustainability has also had a huge impact on design practice over the last few years and AMFI has responded to this by incorporating sustainability as an integral part of the teaching programme. Irrespective of whether they intend to become designers, managers or branders, students are repeatedly exposed to the importance of sustainability and encouraged to be forward-thinking and responsible in the pursuit of their profession. From eco fabrics to socially responsible methods of production, these are matters which underpin AMFI’s vision for the fashionable future.

AMFI anno 2012

After twenty years, where does AMFI find itself? With plenty to celebrate! AMFI has evolved into a professionally oriented institute whose starting point is the future of fashion. Not only does it respond to a need for highly qualified fashion professionals, it also uses its Dutch identity to make a valuable contribution to the global fashion industry. Alumni continue to be involved in the institute as visiting lecturers and coaches, and it would be tempting to say that the only blot on an otherwise pristine landscape might be the low numbers of male students. Ah well, you can’t have everything. Creative, theoretical, practical, actively involved in the educational and professional worlds: it sounds as though AMFI’s managed to embody all the best qualities of Meester Koetsier and Charles Montaigne. How fitting then that in addition to the traditional graduation ceremony, catwalk show and exhibition to showcase the 2012 graduates, the graduation event Transit 2012 includes a special programme for alumni and former staff members from AMFI, Meester Koetsier and Charles Montaigne.

Happy 20th birthday AMFI! amfiyearbook2012 17


TIGER THINGS TEXT BY manuela ernst


Twelve of our graduates have created 2D collections, showing off their outstanding talents. Designs do not always have to be wearable, so check out their bold concepts, the underlying stories and their intense sources of inspiration which have been transformed into tangible fabrics.

People let us think again! A minimalistic collection full of prints with a twist. The future is bizarre and unexpected, like her stylebook with make-up and design.

BREGJE CRONE Graduation project


Contradiction of the future as a textile collection The future can cause anxiety but can also be desired. Bregje has chosen to translate this contradiction into a textile collection. She focusses on creating a new world with an abundance of bizarre, experimental textiles with a lot of colour. The collection is called Subtle Disorder. She plays with the mind in order to break the regular. Her proudest moment was when she made a dress out of a million clothing-pins and laser-cut rubber, and she really likes to sniff pencils because she likes the sensation.

ANOUK VAN DER LAAN Graduation project

Collections for MARNI and a print collection Anouk designed a mens and womenswear collection for the brand MARNI, with the ancient story of Orpheo and Eurydice in mind. The second part of her project is a printcollection, focussed on the reaction of prints when layered. Anouk wants a job where she can let her creativity take her away. She believes that the best inspiration comes when it is least expected and says the best way to cure a hangover is to let someone else look after you. 20 amfiyearbook2012



Anouk van der Laan

A print is used to enhance an outfit, to spice up the image and to transform life into a garment. The collection offers an extra dimension to a print and therefore also to a garment.

Lost and found, based on a group of people who form their own tribe with unique ideas about style and fashion. a fabric and print collection made out of a mix of cheap and luxurious fabrics.

dieke klijn Graduation project

Collection inspired by two societal groups

dieke klijn

A collection inspired by two groups of people reacting towards the changes in society in opposing ways. They first finds each other online and joins forces on the streets, but the individual remains anonymous whilst the second group creates a different, parallel culture where they develop their own aesthetics. Dieke would like to set-up her own project with close friends, to see if they can build something long-lasting. She once bought a pink cocktail dress, and later realised she could not sit in it. dieke klijn

dieke klijn

bound (oppression) and unbound (liberation) translated in two collections. firstly in print, the second as a swimwear-retroprint collection.

ines veselcic Graduation project


ines veselcic

Ines believes that after a long deep sleep, life is born. Both her collection books and print collections will be inspired by this idea in relation to the contradiction between oppression and liberation. Her collections are called BOUND and UNBOUND. During her specialisation she surprised herself by encountering the infinite creativity dormant in her, and she dreams of organising exhibitions with her own illustrations in order to inspire and be inspired. The tiger in her comes out when she is tipsy.

playing with your mind, breaking the order and creating the unexpected, is what they are outstandingly good at DAPHNE TRAEGER


What can new technology bring to the future of lingerie. The beautiful things that we are not able to see with our own eyes.

DAPHNE TRAEGER Graduation project

Visualising two 2D collections based on the history and future of lingerie Daphne explores what she loves to do during her graduation project. She created two 2D collections, one explored the future of lingerie based on the development of technology, the second is inspired by the history of lingerie and protection. In the near future she would like to set-up her own lingerie label, and otherwise dive into the world of graphic design. Daphne was conceived in a caravan, which might explain why she does all her work in very strange positions.

amfiyearbook2012 21

i am fashion amfi students show


annemieke van de lavoir nieke mulder Graduation project A new retail concept

The Mini Factory is a new retail concept for a local bag brand; Bagism. The concept is best described as mobile, social interactive, functional and compact retail environment which visually communicates the Bagism bag production process from A to Z. Eventually Annemieke would like to work together with Miuccia Prada and Rem Koolhaas. She tends to growl in her sleep, so that is definitely the tiger in her. fashion & BRANDING |

Claudia Jansen

mariette engelsma

Graduation project

Graduation project

Graduation project

Nieke interned at Modefabriek, which was one of her best moments at AMFI. For her graduation project she focussed on developing a new concept and identity for the Amsterdambased platform for international and young designers called Next & Cutting Edge. Ideally she would like to work for Prada in New York, because she is always looking for new adventures and opportunities. She loves the smell of gasoline and has realised that there are too few hours in a day for her to do everything.

Claudia introduced the American retail concept STORY to the Netherlands, using their very first theme to launch the concept. She has a hidden passion for the cowboy style, and a secret craving for Coke Zero. Claudia’s ultimate dream job is one where she can see her work as her hobby. This fits well with her relaxed attitude to life and her nonchalant way of living; leaving her bike keys in her bike is a very ‘Claudia’ thing to do.

Mariette did dissertation research about the relationship between the marketing activities of Carhartt and how they are engaging with target(fan-) groups. Later transformed into an inspiring booklet for brands, showing how they can build a community around their brand. She would love to own a shoe brand or become a product manager to combine her love for art and management, in the future. Mariette tends to buy a lot of vintage shoes, even when they are not her size.

New concept and identity for Next & Cutting Edge

fashion & BRANDING | |

24 amfiyearbook2012

Introduced the American concept STORY to the Netherlands

fashion & BRANDING |


Fashion & Management |

eveline rozing

janneke dekker

danielle frick

charlotte poppelaars

Graduation project

Graduation project

Graduation project

Graduation project

Eveline is determined and hardworking which helped her achieve a high grade during the specialisation Make & Buy. For her graduation project she has chosen to focus on developing multiple strategic options for the brand Studio Sober. If all else fails we know Eveline will be â&#x20AC;&#x153;enjoying lifeâ&#x20AC;? whilst standing in front of the camera on RTL Travel.

Janneke would like to become a brand manager or movie director. She has chosen to analyse different branding and communication strategies to find out what they aim to achieve and if they are key for the success of a brand. Her choice was influenced by the ethical value of fashion in society. Her biggest dream is to go bungee jumping and she is outstandingly good at annoying people.

Danielle focussed on the development of a digital visual merchandising strategy for an accessory brand, which takes shape in a web store. In the near future she would like to be her own boss. She dreams of swimming in chocolate, which is also her hangover cure because apparently floating in liquid and feeling weightless is the best way to get rid of a hangover.

Market research for Studio Sober

fashion & MANAGEMENT |

Branding and communication strategies

fashion & MANAGEMENT |

Digital visual merchandising strategy

International Fashion & Branding |

Fetishism and fashion Charlotte looked into the influence that fetishism has on the fashion industry from different aspects; physically and psychologically, but also from the underground to haute couture and high-street fashion. Fetishism turned into a trend in 2012, and Charlotte researched how this happened, and why we see high heels and long legs as a sexy image. So far she has concluded that fetishism comes quite naturally in the circumstances we currently live in and we easily call ourselves a bag or shoe-fetishist. She is actually a shoe fanatic herself. fashion & MANAGEMENT |

amfiyearbook2012 25


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amfiyearbook2012 33



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40 amfiyearbook2012

the heart breakers The ambitious boys from

the branding department Photography by Meis Belle Wahr Production & Styling by Manuela Ernst Styling assistants kim Dickmann and Jaleesa Thijm Hair and Make-up by Wouter van Schaaijk, Jolanda Denneman and Emma Blok Special Thanks to Nieuw Jurk and poul brouwer! from left to right

marnix tanis



Graduation project

Graduation project

Graduation project

Marnix has created a 3D version of VICE Magazine in the form of a caravan. He is an open book and can definitely withstand a hectic job because he has a very positive mindset. Since he was three years old he knew what kind of animal he wanted to be a koala, and even promised his mum to take her to Australia to see them.

Olivier sees his future as a fashion professional in retail design. Therefore he has chosen to design and develop a new retail concept for Spoiled, a store located in the heart of Amsterdam. He is addicted to design which acts as no surprise judging from his graduation project. In 2011 he had a role in the ANT yearbook, which was part of the AMFI minor Independent Fashion Magazines. He often gives himself too much work and loves the smell of ground coffee.

MiCoach is the technological sub-brand for Adidas. It has been established to improve the individual performance of athletes by training and coaching them to become stronger, faster and better. Robin has developed a pop-up store concept for this brand. He is very good at executing, which is probably why he chose to graduate on the creation of a pop-up store. In the future Robin would like to be a TV presenter on Top Gear because he has a passion for cars, but an even stronger passion for collecting vintage watches.

VICE Magazine in 3D

fashion & BRANDING |

Retail concept for Spoiled

fashion & BRANDING |

Pop-up store for Adidas MiCoach

fashion & BRANDING |



Graduation project

Graduation project

Bowerman Premium by Nike is a high-fashion streetwear brand for men between 25 and 40. The collection consists of blazers, shirts and other upper-wear, the whole brand has been inspired by Coach Bill Bowerman, the father and creator of Nike. Sebastian made sure that the essence revolves around subtle motivation and being a teacher of life. He would like to work as a brand manager for Nike, the brand he is most passionate about. If he could grow his hair, Sebastian would have brown hair.

Deon was part of By AMFI, creating one-of-a-kind concepts which were presented in the store. Now he focusses on the creation of a fashion film for Property Of, to help the brand communicate their identity, and would eventually like to be the art director at a fashion brand. Deon is outstandingly good at eating, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Black Holeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is his nickname because he eats anything and everything, but never gains weight. He is very competitive, and like a tiger, he wants to slay his opponent until he wins.

fashion & BRANDING |

fashion & BRANDING |

Bowerman Premium by Nike

quit playing games with my heart

A fashion film for Property Of

amfiyearbook2012 41

Mariska Harks Fashion & Design |

Mariska wants to pursue her career as a designer, and is creating a men’s collection for Acne and a women’s collection for Avelon. She also has a passion for interior design, which relates to her interest in designing clothes. If Mariska were an animal she would be a bat, which is why she bought weird halloween socks, although she does seem to regret it a little.

marleen hilbrink made a 2D collection book for Monki and an inspiration book fashion & design | Marleen’s 2D collection book for Monki is an ode to still walking this planet. The spring/summer collection celebrates this fact through outstanding colours and prints. Her second project is an inspiration collection book filled with outfits assembled in collage form. Highend fashion brands and department stores can use this as an inspiration tool for their own collections, the content focusses on eco-friendly materials, soothing our guilty conscience. In the future Marleen would like to have a swing in her living room.

Collections ­inspired by Acne and Avelon

michelle rientsma

Creating two different 2D collections for Gstar Raw and Adidas

With an intense passion for knitting, Hanneke created three different knitted fabric collections and would like to pursue a career in this field. She is a curly redhead with an obsessive passion for knitting and wanted to be the queen of arts and crafts when she was a kid. In the future she would like to work for herself and own a knitwear brand. She craves for chocolate eggs a lot. fashion & design |

kim jacobsz

Designed a collection inspired by American football For her graduation project Kim designed a sporty collection inspired by American football. She used bright colours in combination with grey, in a mix of silk, leather and jersey fabrics. Kim’s favourite smell is a bag full of candy from Jamin and she has a secret crush on Valerio from BNN. She is an easy going person who goes with the flow, but still fights for her goals. In the future we can expect to see her running her own clothing line. fashion & design | 44 amfiyearbook2012

nisha rabiee

fashion & design |

Collection with oriental influences

Michelle would like to work as a designer for a fashion brand. She created two different 2D collections for her graduation project. The first is a men’s sportswear collection designed for Adidas by Henrik Vibskov and the second is a casual collection for G-star Raw. She was proudest when she had gotten through her design specialisation. The smell of the ocean is one of her favourites, and she is obsessed with bananas.

A menswear collection inspired by elements from the punk and street culture with oriental influences. Nisha’s collection leans towards androgyny and minimalism which blends rich fabrics like wool, silk and leather with prints and embroidery. These fabrics and prints are combined with earthy colours like henna green, soil black and a touch of sandalwood. If she was not human, Nisha would be a cat with thick eyebrows or a rockstar. fashion & design |

klaartje brouns

three different knit collections

“a ginger tiger with an ­excellent sense of taste and smell”

with A simple, feminine and calm collection For her graduation project Klaartje designed a simple, feminine, calm collection with soft transparent sombre prints. Her dreamy aesthetic is inspired by the smell of rain in the summer and a sensitive, minimalistic outlook. In the future we can expect to see Klaartje working with Raf Simons in Scandinavia. She is a true ginger tiger with an excellent sense of taste and smell, a strong, hidden passion for cars and a neurotic sense of humour. fashion & design |

Textile collection Annemarie has chosen to focus her attention on knitwear, thus forming a textile collection based on her research and inspiration. In the future she would like to be the creative link between designers and the knitwear factories, and if she could work for anyone in the world it would be Dries van Noten. Annemarie wanted to be a shop assistant when she was little, just like her big sister. fashion & design |

jitske nap

fashion & design |

A new movement has been established called the quarterly crisis. Jitske has used this as a source of inspiration and created two 2D women’s collections. The first responds in a nostalgic manner, with the urge to return to the simpler life. But you cannot go back in time, so you have to create a new balance. The second tries to combine all the facets of being a good friend, girlfriend, etc, whilst needing to escape to find ultimate freedom in partying, causing her to get lost in the surreal world. The weirdest thing she owns are her silver leather pants.

created a collection about endless possibilities

Designer thoughts do not simply compromise TEXT BY MIRTE VAN DER LUGT PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARTA GIRALT

We brought together alumni Barbara de Ru and soon-to-be-graduate Tess van Zalinge so the past and future could meet and have a chat. Barbara studied design and had no desire to start her own business, but things turned out slightly differently for her after winning the Robijn Fashion Award (back then in the Netherlands one of the most prestigious fashion awards for young talent). Her brand ‘Barbara de Ru’ is still climbing to the top.

B: The future? Back in the day there was

a very strict rhythm to follow, when to sell and specific moments for new collections to come out. The fashion industry today has evolved and we have new ways of selling, that go beyond the old rules. Sanne Jansen, for example, a Dutch designer brings out one outfit for a guy and a girl per month.

this is tess

T: Everything is going to be faster and that is almost a shame. I really like the details, the handcrafted things, slow fashion, and Sanne is a good example. B: I think there are two things happening;

fast fashion produced in cheap production countries, like a dress from Mango I saw with a blind zip, very expensive, was on sale for € 9,99. On the other hand I think people are getting more aware of this and start to see, appreciate and demand quality.

T: You have to go either way. Fast or slow. If I could change something in the fashion industry, I would want designers to spend more time on their designs, but there is not enough time in this industry.

and this is barbara

B: Yeah, but now brands are coming up

with new ways to challenge this. Monique van Heist cuts across the fashion system’s usual cycle with her ‘hellofashion’-collection by adding new products at any given time, instead of working with two or more collections per year. New brands have so many possibilities and it is going fast. You used to be in a magazine for a month, now you are on a blog for an hour. When a brand has an opinion they can easily share it, before you had to come up with a brandbook and a strategy. Now you just tweet and the world hears about it, assuming you have a large group of followers of course.

T: Things are so different now and will only continue changing. After my internship at H&M they offered me a job and although it was a really good experience to work at such a big company, I realised that it just was not my cup of tea. B: I also did my internship at H&M, also

got a job offered and also refused it, for the same reason.

T: Haha, really? It was quite disappointing seeing how much of the designing was done behind computers. I like to do stuff myself, see the transformation from cloth to clothes. It does trouble me that in the real world that does not happen very often. B: 90% of the industry is like that. T: True, but I would like to find the balance. B: In the beginning it is good to learn and

understand how to do it all yourself, but at one point there is just no time for that anymore and to be fair we will never be seamstresses. We are designers. They can make trousers in an hour and a half, and it takes me a full day. So, at one point you have to get your priorities straight. It is all about time management when you run your own business.

T: My dream is to start my own lingerie brand. Do you have any tips? B: To start with, you really have to have a good business and financial plan. One thing I would do differently, if I could do it over again, is to get a business partner, although AMFI taught us about the business side of things, a second opinion never harmed anyone.Then the weight is not only on your shoulders. T: I also think you have to stay picky. Stay true to yourself. Not simply compromise.

B: Absolutely. I think you have to go into

this world with the mindset to think beyond the norm. Come with new and fresh ideas to challenge this industry. Start small, think big.

amfiyearbook2012 45

52 amfiyearbook2012

the pink panthers fabulous amfi

graduates PHOTOGRAPHY by elina abdrakhmanova

marija kocareva

niki van niekerk

Graduation project

Graduation project

Graduation project

Marleen wants to understand how we can be in and out of fashion when there are so many trends around. She does not suffer from this herself because she has a versatile style accompanied by oversized bling but still she is curious to find out how this coercion established itself; did we create this idea or is it a marketing trap we have all fallen into? Next to exploring this topic, Marleen has a secret craving for Shakira’s latin sounds, she wants to learn Spanish, the language of sexiness.

Marija chose to create the brand identity for a Fashion & Design graduate; Tess van Zalinge. This is a classic example of how the departments within AMFI can work together because both students are working within their own field of expertise, but still combining their knowledge. Her guilty pleasure is eating chocolate straight after she has woken up, it is also her favourite study snack. During the minor Visual Culture, Marija found a passion she did not know she had, that of film and filmmaking.

Niki started researching the power of stories that come into being with our personal belongings, including clothes and accessories and act as a second layer for brands like Humanoid. Niki rebranded Humanoid’s lookbook into a magazine form because she wants to make sure that print, both books and magazines, remain in the industry. She sees her future in that particular sector. Niki is addicted to books to the point that she enjoys sitting and sniffing them, whether they are new or old.

Fashion & Management |

Fashion & Branding |

Fashion & Branding |

marleen aaftink Coercion of fashion trends

dieuwke van der veen

Brand identity for Tess van Zalinge

Rebranded Humanoid’s lookbook

thomas stevens

masha erjavec

graduation project

graduation project

graduation project

Dieuwke created the brand identity for the platform Bijlmer Style. From this she developed a creative brief to translate the identity into a concept store. She would like to have a versatile job in the future so that she does not get tied down to one type of job. Enthusiasm is one of her outstanding qualities, but so is eating a lot. If she were an animal she would want to be a unicorn.

A compendium presenting the different archetypes of the average Dutch female consumer. His proudest moment was interning at Avelon for six months during his time at AMFI. Thomas would like to be the creative founder of several magazines which turn into full-fledged fashion brands, so he can include his love for foreign literature, film and combine it with writing. If he could choose, Thomas would want to be a chameleon because he enjoys observing his surroundings.

Masha created a concept to set up a store where designer clothes and accessories can be rented by stylists, students and whomever else has a valid reason to borrow items. Ideally she would like to work as the art director for Numero or Tranoi, which makes sense because her end presentation during the minor Visual Culture was beautifully curated including the graphic design of her portfolio and the combination of visuals. Masha is addicted to baking cakes and cookies.

Brand identity Bijlmer Style

Fashion & Branding|

Compendium of archetypes

Fashion & Branding|

esmee zootjes

martijn nekoui

Designer clothes and accessories rental store

Fashion & Branding |

brechje bel

graduation project

graduation project

graduation project

Esmée designed a new website for a small high-end designer brand called Sophie#1234567+. In the future she would like to be an international communicator in between several creative organisations, and she used to want to be a researcher in a laboratory. Her proudest moment was when she got accepted to do the master Fashion Strategy at Artez Academy of Arts.

Martijn has chosen to curate one exhibition which highlights the history of Dutch fashion whilst also introducing new, young talent, based on a concept he designed himself. In the near future he would like to find a way to combine fashion, architecture, art and culture, so that they are able to work together without having to create a whole new platform. Apparently Martijn is better than a tiger because he is a lion, but we are not sure because he is secretly in love with Justin Bieber.

Brechje has developed an online portal for H&M’s cosmetics line as her graduation project. In the future she would like to move into the book publishing business as a brander or a marketer. She has an endless love for books, text and visuals. Brechje was part of the branding team that created the concept for Porcelain Papillon, a collection by INDIVIDUALS. The smell of figs really gets her going because it is a combination of honey and summer.

Fashion & Branding |

Fashion & Branding|

Designed a website

Fashion & Branding |

Curating an exhibition

Online communication for H&M cosmetics

amfiyearbook2012 53

Eva is wearing a Shirt and shorts by Nina Wormer and sneakers from River Island

58 amfiyearbook2012

Olivier is wearing a cardigan and shorts by katrien wassenberg

amfiyearbook2012 59

Outrageous work to keep you going text by may putman cramer

Such a wide array of talent within the group of Branders. Some with an outstanding knack for graphic design whilst others blow us away with their unique concepts and written language. They run ahead of the times in order to give the rest of us a unique experience.

annemieke van de lavoir

annemieke van de lavoir The Mini Factory, a new retail concept for bag brand Bagism in Amsterdam. The concept is based on a shift in modern society where we manifest ourselves towards normality and honesty. The mini factory communicates the production process from ‘A’ to ‘Z’ in order to maximizes the engagement between a digitalised consumer and a crafted bag.

annemieke van de lavoir

LOES VAN LOOK & ARANKA SANDERMAN D.I.Y. is a zine concept based on the tension between tradition and renewal, which is translated by adding a tonguein-cheek twist to the grandma style in a modern way. The zine inspires people, in an abstract manner, to create fashion rather than just consuming it.





66 amfiyearbook2012

MOAM is a fashion exhibition, curated and initiated by Martijn Nekoui, that allows twelve young contemporary talents to reinterpret twelve fashion highlights within Dutch history. All iconic names in fashion, design, photography, illustration and journalism brought together in one exhibition. The past combined with the future.

Lisette ros

Lisette ros The core is ‘from online to offline’. Every physical store has a webshop/ website nowadays, by being a forerunner on the ‘crosschannelling’ trend, Lisette took offline and turned it into a dynamic store concept, meaning the can pop-up anywhere and everywhere at random moments.



DIEUWKE VAN DER VEEN Dieuwke captured the brand identity of the brand and platform Bijlmer Style. The identity is translated into the design for a concept store of the brand. DIEUWKE VAN DER VEEN

steven de wit

steven de wit

steven de wit Introducing the brand identity of a new plussize brand within the Etam Group. The brand ME&ME represents the diversity in beauty and embraces femininity in all its forms. The brand is about: loving and enjoying yourself, just as you are; being happy and confident about the uniqueness that is you.

steven de wit amfiyearbook2012 67

a/w 2012 duals

s/s 2009 hooligan poetry

a/w 2009 holy bleach

a/w 2011 la petite more

s/s 2012 natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s child

a/w 2010 porcelain pappilon

Duals a/w 2012

Duals a/w 2012

summer 2008

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Duals a/w 2012

s/s 2010 lalala

s/s 2011 Some dream of running away to the circus Duals a/w 2012

Duals a/w 2012

when school is your office INDIVIDUALS is the wicked

in-house fashion brand of the amsterdam fashion institute TEXT BY ISABELLE SPORLEDER PHOTOGRAPHY by PETER STIGTER

Individuals is not like any other fashion brand, it is an ultimate reality school, bringing together the three AMFI departments in an ever-changing collective of students, who face the challenge of presenting a new, innovative collection every semester. Their last fashion show ‘DUALS’ was their major breakthrough and the peak of their great success story, which undoubtedly will continue.


Half a decade ago AMFI created her own fashion brand, namely Individuals. Set-up in 2006 and fuelled by the idea of creating a reality school programme, starting with a changing collective every semester. The participating students alternate on a bi-annual basis, and the collection theme is based on their personal stories. Their differing passions and personalities also make up the core of the brand. “Every semester AMFI gives a handful of students the ultimate opportunity to be part of a reality school”, says Peter Leferink, “a programme that allows students to experience the industry within school boundaries, which only a few fashion schools in the world offer.” Nannet van der Kleijn, the initiator, Mikki Engelsbel, the Production Manager and Peter Leferink, Creative Manager of Individuals, dedicate their knowledge and passion to this brand and every student taking part in the project. Showing the students how the business is run and guiding them through the process one semester at a time.


The fusion of departments is the core drive of Individuals. “This programme teaches the students to learn from each other,” Mikki Engelsbel tells us, it combines the three departments of business under one roof. Showing students the importance of Design, Management and Branding working together to make a concept work. Why follow the programme? Erik Pulles, Fashion & Branding student, thinks it is a “chance to get in touch with the other facets of the fashion industry and build a stronger connection with fashion as a substantial form”. Nina de Lange, Branding student, reflects on the benefits of the reality school project with, “when school is your office, it is much easier to fully experience the education and it makes you more productive.”

The reality school programme is flourishing within the students’ minds. Even if there would be prejudices within the departments, all students know they only profit from each other. Margot Noordam, Design student, points out that the most triggering part is to discover “the differences in character” and gain respect for each specialisation. It is essential that the three departments work together and become sparring partners, just like any other fashion company. Communication is key. Charley Peereboom reflects, “keeping everyone well informed and pleased is challenging”, but a skill that has to be achieved. The current Individuals team appreciates the responsibility and freedom they get within the semester. They know one thing for sure; what they do everyday resembles the real world. For most of the students the final fashion show is the highlight of the semester, the light at the end of the tunnel and the fulfillment for all the creative processes they went through were meant to be a success.


The Individuals coaches had one dream; to create a real AMFI in-house brand. Whilst the brand and their initiators came a long way, the initial dream still exists. With a changeover of students on a bi-annual basis, starting in 2006, the Generations helped the project gain strength. Generation Five and Six set the brand identity in stone, which was vital for all the other body parts of the company like; production, sales and PR to skyrocket. The move of the production location to China between Generations Six and Seven added a more realistic touch to the programme. The exact words of ‘a changing collective’ were established a couple of Generations after that. In the past few years Individuals found its red-thread, allowing every collection to tell a story built upon the previous one, which has been implemented

by Generation Thirteen. Slowly a layered story is created, involving every individual who was ever part of the AMFI brand. Individuals is not looking at trend forecasts, but purely focusses on the students vision of fashion based on different backgrounds, stories and ambitions, which form a new concept. The Dutch fashion industry is their territory and Individuals is becoming a strong player in this battlefield. This would not be possible without the three departments uniting in the arms of Individuals, with one ambition, to create a fashion brand based on the zeitgeist, personal stories, dreams and anxieties.

Back to the future

For the future generations Individuals has set several goals to continue growing. During fashion week the brand gains publicity via all online and offline channels. Their first showroom, By AMFI at the Spui, breathed DUALS. It was a great happening for press, buyers and other clients. The all-round experience of one collection really helped to raise sales and awareness, which landed them two new clients, SPRMRKT and Margreet Olsthoorn. This showed that sales were starting to escalate. Everything they have planned for the future is an essential part for the experience of Individuals beyond the AFW. The most important point for everyone is to understand that Individuals is not only about selling clothes, but also a growing story. “The brand itself is in constant development, growing alongside every Generation and the zeitgeist,” says Mikki Engelsbel. “As long as we work with passionate students and get even more fans than Individuals already has,” Peter Leferink silently hopes, “the brand will continue to blossom every semester and then it will slowly conquer the world.”

amfiyearbook2012 73

Profile for AMFI Amsterdam Fashion Institute

TIGER DRAGON SLAYERS from the Underworld  

The new Independent AMFI Fashion Magazine featuring the bold and outstanding. Ready to pounce!

TIGER DRAGON SLAYERS from the Underworld  

The new Independent AMFI Fashion Magazine featuring the bold and outstanding. Ready to pounce!

Profile for amfi