In just one week, iNDiViDUALS is opening this season‘s Amsterdam Fashion Week. In between all the busy preparations, I spoke to several students from the iNDiViDUALS team about what to expect on January 23rd when showing their collection, ELEMENT.
How did you get the opportunity to open Fashion Week?
‘This edition we are presenting our fourteenth collection so people know by now that we present a unique vision every season and so they want to see it. Furthermore it’s the mix of education and the real fashion industry that makes iNDiViDUALS so special. Students from three different departments, Design, Management and Branding, working together on one collection.’
What has been the inspiration for this collection?
‘We started off by looking at the world and how it is today. We all sat together, brainstormed and channeled a shared feeling. This time it was the feeling of being paralyzed by all the different choices we have these days. The new collection gives a feeling of self-assurance and protection; that‘s why it’s called ELEMENT. It stands for a state of being that allows us to take on the world. A mixture of strength and vulnerability which places us in our element.’
Can you give a little insight on the collection itself ?
‘The fabrics refer to our concept, which is way more technical and detailed than ever before. The garments are asymmetrical, sharp and more mature than our previous collections. This is quite an outspoken collection because we focused on intelligent details. The colours derive from a dark uniform palette.’
Putting together an entire collection in one semester is immense work. How do you do this?
‘We are all very passionate about the brand so we have a lot of energy to make this collection a big success. Furthermore, we have a weekly schedule and meet twice a week. These meetings with all three departments keep us on track. By giving each other weekly presentations about our work we know what everyone is doing and when.’
Can you give us a glimpse of what the show will be like?
‘What exactly will happen is a well-kept secret, because we want to surprise everybody! So, we can’t really tell. However, this year we have organized a unique live stream event sponsored by Vodafone in the Westerunie, a location opposite to the main catwalk venue. This way all AMFI students, teachers and iNDiViDUALS alumni can see the show at opening night. During this event we will also have the premiere of a documentary about iNDiViDUALS, really exciting!’
How important is the Amsterdam Fashion Week for young creative brands?
‘Dutch fashion has become something really important and AFW is the perfect platform to see all the young talent and established designers on the same catwalk. This has become the unique point about fashion week: the showing of young creative brands as well as well-known and established brands. This is why AFW is so valuable to them and to us.’
Text & pictures by Christopher Riedl, 2nd year student International Fashion & Branding. Students interviewed: Alex Tutuianu (Fashion & Branding), Lisa de Rooij (Fashion & Management), Rosiane Kuijper (Fashion & Branding) and Alina Doll (Fashion & Design). Photography main picture: AnneMarije Groenhuijzen.