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Candiani Loom State: Denim for the Future

The denim industry is full of innovative and exciting brands, especially in the Denim Capital of Amsterdam. How can a label or ingredient stand out – and what are AMFI students doing in order to keep excitement in the market? 

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Loom State’s Denim Atelier at Blueprint. Photo M. Kasteleijns.

After a visit to Amsterdam Denim Days, it’s clear even the biggest brands have to work hard to stay relevant. On Saturday 18 April at the Westergasfabriek, Denim Days showcased the best of new and tried-and-tested techniques on the market, from laser and artwork personalisation, and workshops on sashiko/boro and indigo dyeing, from leather tanning to tintype photography, to creations for the Global Denim Awards; everybody from Benzak to Oyuki, from DENHAM to G-Star, would agree that innovation was all around us. Looking to the past, through the lenses of industry, has proven to generate something people haven’t seen before.

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From loom to leg in 3 simple steps. Photo M. Kasteleijns.

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Denimheads could fit out their jeans with details of their choice. Photo by M. Kasteleijns.

AMFI joined forces with Amsterdam’s Jean School and the premium Italian denim mill Candiani for ‘Loom State’. At the public trade fair Blueprint, visitors gathered every hour to observe a 1950’s Picanol loom from Belgium weaving selvedge denim to create 100% made in Amsterdam jeans. 30 special folks were selected to create the perfect pair by hand-picking weight, styling and trimming.

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Simon Giuliani turns on the loom – what a noise!

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A close up of warp and weft with a selvedge edge.

Jean School and AMFI students worked together in the Denim Atelier to measure up clients and sew together the blue jeans on the spot. Students Leon Blok and Dymphe Smit (F&M), Roa Shamaan (F&D), Annabel van Eijk and Melissa Kasteleijns (F&B) played vital roles in getting the jeans from loom to legs.

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Jean School students snipping out some pocketing.

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Leon Blok hard at work.

The small donation of €120 indigo lovers paid for the jeans funds the eagerly-awaited Denim Archive in De Hallen’s Denim City, which opened officially last Wednesday. The Archive will catalogue denim from hundreds of brands all over the world, with a showroom for presentations originating from the perusal of its pieces.

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Work-in-progress: 100% Made in Amsterdam

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‘The industry’s finest apprentices unite…’ Photo by M. Kasteleijns.

As Branding students, we are trained to find unmet needs in the market and invent new concepts in order to introduce solutions. Opportunities like this one brought together Branders with Designers and Managers in the Denim minor to collaborate with contemporary brands of the industry. Bringing these concepts to life leads to original, innovative contributions to the world of denim. What is the future of the fabric for which there seems to be no shortage of demand in our fair city?

Text by Clemency Newman and Laura Meijnen, second-year International Fashion & Branding students. Video and Photography by Sophie van Hasselt, second-year International Fashion & Branding student. This article written with thanks to Simon Giuliani from Candiani.

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