Denim City, the home of Jean School and the nonprofit House of Denim, opened its doors to the public during the Denim Days Festival in Amsterdam last week.
The bi-annual consumer event on April 14-15 featured a marketplace with vendors including Amsterdam-based Benzak Denim Developers and Kings of Indigo as well as zero-waste brand Story Wear and vintage dealer Zipper. The event hosted talks with Bryan Szabo, the founder of the Indigo Invitational fade competition, and denim collector Ruedi Karrer, who also curated a raw denim exhibition.
The festival was also a chance for visitors to catch up the latest projects by Jean School students. On display was a Scotch & Soda collaboration with Jean School’s Class of 2023 students. The brand challenged students to create denim styles inspired by the “free spirit of Amsterdam.” Designs spanned jackets with laser-printed artwork, landscape scenes made using scrap fabrics, and wavy hemlines that mimic the city’s famous waterways.
“We were blown away by their creativity, talent and the uniqueness of each denim piece, representing their interpretation of what free-spirited truly means,” the brand stated.
Jean School students and designers in the House of Denim’s Talent Incubator Program stepped up to The Lycra Company’s creative challenge to design gender-fluid and multi-functional stretch denim garments.
Called Stretch Yourself #2, the conceptual collection spanned 16 designs made with stretch fabrics from Bossa, Calik, Orta and Maritas Denim from Turkey, Naveena Denim Mills and Soorty from Pakistan, and Advance Denim from China. Each of the fabrics is available at Denim City for design and sampling.
Children’s laser-printed jumpsuits, a cage skirt, a zip-up jacket with a trompe-l’œil shirt and tie, and technical outdoor jackets and convertible pants were among the highlights. The purpose of the project is to support inclusion and creativity.
It’s the Jean School’s second collection with The Lycra Company. The first was developed during the pandemic and examined stretch denim through the Gen Z lens.
“We were so impressed with the work produced by the students of Jean School last year that we really wanted to repeat the experience,” said Helen Latham, The Lycra Company’s senior strategic accounts manager. “Using denim fabrics that contain our innovative technologies, produced by some of the best mills in the world, the students push the boundaries of denim design into the future, their future.”
Denim Days was also home to the Solidarity Selvedge project, a Turkish-Dutch collaboration establishing an exchange program that connects Turkish textile community with Amsterdam’s denim network. The project was set up by the House of Denim Foundation, Denim City, Jean School and Denim Deal to to help collect donations for Turkey and Syria earthquake victims.
The nonprofits teamed with supply chain partners to produce a limited series of 1,000 button-fly selvedge jeans, which will be sold to raise funds for an annual exchange program for Turkish textile students. House of Denim will host the students at Denim City and provide “a tailor made program.”
The jeans retail for 250 euros ($274) and feature a Richter scale tremor design, which is placed as stitching in the back pocket. T-shirts are also available.