AMFI.nl caught up with some students making their mark on the fashion world with iNDiVIDUALS. Tonight S/S 16 will be presented on the runway. This article zooms in on the experiences of three Branders – Jos, Thomas and Fleur.
What’s different about this generation?
Jos: ‘There’s something more commercial about our intentions, just like the previous generation. We still produce some unique pieces, which are hand crafted and very special, but elsewhere we have focused on increasing the accessibility of the brand in terms of prices.’
Fleur: ‘iNDiViDUALS latest creation is a swimsuit which retails for €50 at byAMFI. This is definitely a milestone for our brand. Not to mention we promoted by seeking matches on Tinder – which was kind of a … thing. The campaign revolves around feeling sexy no matter what you do, so we asked people when they felt the sexiest in swimwear. We got some pretty interesting answers.’
You’re telling me you used a dating app to promote a swimsuit?
Fleur: ‘You could say that. We’ve focused on how to strengthen our digital strategy. We’ve been more experimental with social media, doing things that other brands haven’t done. This way we create more buzz among a new target audience than you would normally see on our Facebook or Instagram pages.’
Would you say the collection is more experimental, then?
Thomas: ‘An inherent part of this brand is having the freedom to experiment. It has always been that way. Everyone here gets the chance to seek out his own boundaries, especially because it is a “student brand”. We learn to see things from a new perspective, which leads us to see new possibilities. We support each other’s decisions as a team because we took the time in the beginning to get to know each other.’
Can you tell me more about the concept for S/S 16?
Jos: ‘During a brainstorm we realised that although many of us AMFI students dress ‘basic’ most of the time, we do have another side. This is the creativity that’s inside of us that we don’t always show others. This is the complexity of the mind: the left and right sides, a constant battle between rational and emotional thinking. You see this back in the variety of collection silhouettes, with flowing forms and square shapes.
Can you tell me about the pressure to deliver?
Fleur: ‘It’s not easy to say to your team ‘Oh, I’m not coming today’. The ball continues rolling here, we each have our own things to do. iNDiViDUALS falls under the reality school concept of AMFI which implies that the products we produce are judged by the standards of the professional fashion industry. Perhaps that’s why we all agree that although we often work from the atelier in school, it doesn’t feel like school.’
How would you describe the learning process?
Thomas: ‘You don’t go class to learn how to do things, you learn on your own initiative. It’s not a fictional budget or fictional people who you invite to become a part of your brand. Many members of the former generation are still involved and aware of what is going on. These connections mean a lot for our work.’
What would be your advice for the next generation?
Thomas: ‘Begin with enough research into the brand. It all began back in 2006 – we could get a lot of input from this history. The brand’s relationships are still warm. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.’
Fleur: ‘Open up to each other. If you’re feeling too much pressure, share that with the group. Be open to letting your work be done by others.’
Jos: ‘First and foremost, have fun. Don’t take it all so seriously. But do pay attention to the details.’
Tonight at b.Amsterdam iNDiViDUALS presents the S/S 16 collection.
Watch the livestream at 18.30 exclusively on Harper’s Bazaar NL!
Interview by Kimberly Waldbillig.