Amsterdam - This weekend marks the first edition of New York Denim Days, the denim event for both industry professionals as well as denim aficionados. The first-ever New York Denim Days follows on from several, successful editions of big-sister event Amsterdam Denim Days, as members of the event organisations felt the time was right to introduce the concept in the United States. FashionUnited spoke to Lucel van den Hoeven, one of the organisers of New York Denim Days, before the event kicks off to learn more about his vision of the festival.
The first Amsterdam Denim Days took place in the capital of the Netherlands four years ago. The event took place simultaneously with boutique denim trade fair Kingpins, as it attracted both a national and an international audience. “It’s a unique event,” said Lucel van den Hoeven. “We had plans to expand for a long time, we have been asked by several countries to come.” After considering several options, the organisers announced in March that New York City, the home of their partner event Kingpins, had been selected. “It was the logical follow-up.”
New York Denim Days: ‘We are more focused on the consumer
The concept behind New York Denim Days, which aims to unit denim enthusiasts, will take place from September 29 to October 1 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. The event will include hands-on workshops and interactive installations, as well as seminars and lecturers run by denim experts and leading denim mills. For example, the first day is set to see a FIT Denim Talk from Stefano Rosso from Diesel and Adriano Goldschmied, also known as the Godfather of Denim. The following days are set to include one on one fit sessions with the Godmother of Denim, Christine Rucci, as well as expert styling sessions, pop-up shops and DIY workshops.
Although its big sister event in Amsterdam focuses on both consumers and professionals, New York Denim Days is more focused on consumers. “There is more for sale than in the Amsterdam edition,” says van den Hoeven. For example, a vintage denim market is set to take place on Sunday, next to a number of food trucks and musicians who will also be on site to serve the visitors every need. Another big difference between the two events is the noticeable absence of Kingpins, which usually runs simultaneously with Amsterdam Denim Days. “Due to the lack of the trade fair, we have opted to take a more consumer-oriented approach, among other things.”
The event will host both established as well as upcoming denim brands from the American denim industry, as well as a number of Dutch brands, as part of Denim Days international denim exchange, to add a hint of Dutch flavour. “In my opinion, we couldn’t miss that,” says van den Hoeven with a laugh. “We made a selection of brands to showcase what is happening in the denim industry in Amsterdam. Together with House of Denim [one of the partners behind the denim event, together with the city of Amsterdam], we made the choice to tell our Dutch story at New York Denim Days.” Kings of Indigo, Anbasja Blanken, Tenue de Nimes, Benzak Denim Developers and Tossijn are the Dutch brands which will be present at the event. In total, 75 to 80 denim companies will be present at New York Denim Days.
New York Denim Days: "A hint of Dutch should not be missed”
Tickets are said to be selling at the same pace as that of Amsterdam Denim Days, which van den Hoeven thinks is a good sign. "We are, of course, curious about how many tickets we will sell at the door.” However, the turnover figures from the event will not go directly to the organization. "It's mainly about the image we want to create. We want to have a nice start in New York, with the right target audience.” But will there be a second edition? "Of course, we need to evaluate how the first edition went, but we do not just want to do one or two editions, we're in for the long run."
Originally written by Caitlyn Terra for FashionUnited NL. Translated and edited by Vivian Hendriksz
Photo: courtesy of Denim Days