Amsterdam Fashion Week kicks off in style, and is open to the public

The Bodil-Ouédraogo show is based on diverse cultures. Photo: Team Peter Stigter via AFW

After last year’s hiatus, Amsterdam Fashion Week 2021 kicks off on September 1 and this year’s programme is the most accessible and inclusive in Fashion Week history.

High couture must-sees and quality streetwear must-haves, collections from established designers, labels, international brands, and red-hot, young talent will dictate fashion trends for the next few years. Many designers have embraced sustainable production, upcycling and zero-waste practices, appealing to young consumers.

Museumplein hosts a coronavirus-safe schedule of runway shows and time-slot appointments for journalists and industry leaders. In contrast, exhibitions and off-schedule programmes are taking place in industrial spaces and hot spots in and around Amsterdam. You might even see a model or two sprinting in heels from one show to the next if you’re in town.

The HUB by AFW at Stadhouderkade 85 will be a home base for the Fashion Week team, press, and guests. On Thursday and Friday, they welcome you to the open-door events. The Concept Store features ‘The Collection,’ 30 creative brands and artists in one event.

Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet celebrates its 20th anniversary, presenting H20RA! The project brings 20 Dutch designers, including Duran Lantink and Hullekes, to create unique designs for BSFO’s international brands.

AFW transformed the Four Amsterdam shop at Van Baerlestraat 9-11 for a unique experience, including prizes of AFW branded apparel and a customization station. Also, an artist from the Ink District is on hand for free tattoos if you’re feeling bold.

There are video reveals, podcasts, and live streaming, so you can also see the fiercest chic in real-time from the comfort of your sofa. The full schedule and streaming are available on the AFW website.

Must-see shows

Wednesday, September 1

Fashion duo, Schepers Bosman, launch AFW 2021 with musical artists from Bloomers Records to kick off the event. As the opening act, they’ll be unrolling an overview collection of men’s and women’s-wear.

Thursday, September 2

Ronald van der Kemp combines his creativity with technical expertise to reimagine and upcycle trash as haute couture. His show promises to be dramatic and awe-inspiring—high fashion, created from the unlikeliest finds.

Jenneskens presents a 360 experience on the industrial estate of Amsterdam Sloterdijk. The emerging label’s distinctive, high-end streetwear is versatile, and most of their collection features their commitment to non-gender-specific apparel. Proudly using sustainable production practices, the Jenneskens label leads more prominent brands to follow suit.

Friday, September 3

LICHTING 2021 co-organizers HTNK and the Meester Koetsier Foundation will showcase the best 14 graduates from Dutch design academies. The idea is to connect promising young talent to the press and industry influencers looking for the next ‘big thing.’ The winner will receive an award of €10,000 and, more importantly, a solo show at AFW 2022.

Duran Lantink: Since graduating in 2017, Duran Lantink has become the master of innovative upcycling, a zero-waste creator of ethical, contemporary clothing. Lantink returns to AFW to prove that fashion should not have a ‘so last season’ expiration date.

Saturday, September 4

Following Natan‘s hugely successful 2020 show in the minimalist backdrop of Amsterdam’s Eye Film Museum, the Belgian collective, headed by creative visionary Edouard Vermeulen, epitomizes modern femininity. A sneak preview of this year’s collection looks promising.

Bodil Ouédraogo’s Netherlands/Burkino-Faso background drives her design concepts. She uses a combination of Dutch and Birkinabe shapes, colors, and fabrics to show how diverse cultures beautifully blend and complement each other.

Ouédraogo will be closing AFW 2021 with a live performance in partnership with Patta Amsterdam and show an abridged collection celebrating Afro Modernism and diaspora streetwear.

Read more
Growing underground: could the future of fashion be fungal?
Nine Dutch companies making fashion from recyclable waste
Dutch changemakers making fashion more sustainable

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