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AMSTERDAM — Amsterdam’s inaugural edition of Denim Days got off to an energetic start Wednesday as the first Kingpins fair in Europe opened to solid reviews.
Held at a former gas works, the Westergasfabriek-Gashouder building, with exhibitors set up around its perimeter, show founder Andrew Olah said he was happy with the turnout, although he focused on the broader purpose of the show and related events throughout Amsterdam during rest of the week.
“The paradigm we are creating here is different than any other show because we are part of an event, from a business-to-business day, business-to-consumer section and education, to a vintage section,” he said. “The participation in an industry event was very important to the success of the show.”
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Adriano Goldschmied, a partner at Citizens of Humanity and GoldSign who’ll address a by-invitation-only presentation during the subsequent Blueprint event aimed at consumers, voiced approval of the show concept and layout.
“They have to keep this formula; it works,” he said. “There is good energy here and it is professional.”
He won’t be attending the Denim by Première Vision show taking place in Barcelona this month because of other travel obligations. “I cannot go but, honestly, it was not a good idea for PV to move to Barcelona because the business of denim is here in northern Europe.”
Denim by PV begins its two-day run at the Montjuïc exhibition center on May 21.
Veteran Italian denim designer Piero Turk liked what he termed the “democratic display where you don’t need huge stands to show off how much money you are making.”
Advances in product development and sustainability options stood out for him. “Like at any other trade show, you think you have seen it all but in the end you find something new,” he said. “At this show, the technical stands out in both treatments and new washes.”
Marly Nijssen, a Diesel veteran who currently serves as a designer and creative consultant to Amsterdam-based G-Star Raw, also seized on the sustainability issue, but added a note of feminism, noting that many of the firms exhibiting, including Turkey’s Bossa Denim and Orta, are owned and operated by women.
“Whether they are showing new treatments that use less water to using chemicals that are nontoxic or less toxic, we did not have as many denim suppliers last year talking about the same topic.”