HTNK founder and Amsterdam Denim Days co-founder Mariette Hoitink is a force behind Amsterdam's denim scene.
A career conduit for Amsterdam’s elite designers, creative directors, product development leaders and more, Mariette Hoitink has been a near-lifelong fixture of the country’s fashion scene. Since founding her own fashion and recruitment consultancy, HTNK, in 1997, Hoitink has helped connect the world’s leading brands, fashion houses, retailers, wholesale organizations and suppliers with talent.
Despite her wide-ranging fashion influence, denim has always held a place of prominence with Hoitink. She co-founded the House of Denim Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to advancing craftsmanship, innovation and sustainability through efforts like the Jean School, which educates the next generation of denim developers. She also co-founded the Amsterdam Denim Days Festival, “a place for fashion-forward fanatics of denim.”
Why are you drawn to denim?
Denim is for everyone. It’s liberal, and a fabric which gets better with age. Denim has so many faces, from trashy chic to underground suave, from very understated to super stylish, and everything in between. Denim has personality, it makes you look cooler than any other style.
How can brands improve the way they communicate sustainable stories to consumers?
It shouldn’t be stories, it should be genuine in the DNA of the company. It should be about purpose, passion and product. Today’s consumer is far from ignorant, the fashion business should be ethical and honest.
What was the last denim garment you purchased?
A tailor-made pair of jeans designed at Denim City Amsterdam. I love the craftsmanship and attention to detail—they are a true fit.
Which city has the most inspiring street style?
Of course I will say Amsterdam. Dutch people of any age are wearing the most jeans in the world. It’s casual Friday everyday no matter what job or title you have, and since riding a bike is a daily thing, we embrace the practical side of it.
What’s exciting you about denim in 2019?
That it is part of all the runways now—with both big designers and independent labels. And that we’re making progress with women in the jeans industry. To me, women anywhere in the world are liberated when they can wear jeans. The future is female. Go denim!