While walking into the sewing room, indigo colours peek out from the very far corner. A room filled with pieces of fabric, patterns and orange yarns; twelve students reviewing the latest samples from their visit to manufacturers in Istanbul.
This year the city of Amsterdam launched the Amsterdam Jeans Capital project. The place where big denim players on the market such as G-star, Levi’s, Scotch & Soda, Hilfiger Denim and Denham are headquartered but where dedicated Denim education at HBO-level has been lacking. Last semester AMFI took the plunge to rectify this and now offers a full experience for third and fourth year students in the world of denim.
A week ago the Design, Management and Branding students visited partner factories in Istanbul to review and check if their designs meet their expectations and criteria for their final product: a presentation from concept to distribution of their fully developed sub-brand for Denham and Levi’s.
Fanny Klumper, fourth year Branding student: ‘The denim manufacturer Isko resembled one I could have drawn as a child, a huge space with pulleys and meters of denim twills.’ The amount of denim fabric produced at Isko is good for 50 million jeans. They are one of the biggest manufacturers in Europe. Fanny: ‘The samples from Eroğlu turned out better than we expected. After giving our final instructions we experimented on different denim finishes at Carbon, the washing factory.’
‘Our programme offers an innovative and groundbreaking path of denim realisation’, states Sean Chiles, Design lecturer at AMFI. ‘Normally, you’ll gain denim experience in the working field, after your graduation. This programme has the industry embedded.’ Denim companies are involved in giving feedback to the students and professionals such as Adriano Goldschmied, co-founder of Diesel and his brand AG Jeans, have visited AMFI to inspire and advise.
Fanny: ‘In the final phase of the programme we will be making the visual identity, collection book and range plan. We will also develop a sustainable collection route for our sub-brand.’ For now, Fanny returns to her blue room, where rivets, whiskers and indigo lovers meet. The incubator for a new generation of denim professionals.
Text by Adriënne van der Werf, second year student Fashion & Branding. Pictures by Fanny Klumper and Adriënne van der Werf.