The winners of this year's Dutch Design Award have been announced. Tailors and Wearers, a platform for Afro-Surinamese fashion and heritage, took home the award in the fashion category. The award ceremony took place on Thursday night in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Tailors and Wearers is a foundation aimed at preserving, developing and exchanging knowledge around Afro-Surinamese costume. The initiative was founded by creatives Jane Stjeward-Schubert, Ella Broek and Michelle Piergoelam.
Jane Stjeward-Schubert is a milliner and expert on Afro-Surinamese costume, who took courses at the Technical School for Fashion and Clothing in The Hague, anthropologist and costume maker Ella Broek, an alumna of ROC Mondriaan Amsterdam and the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, and art photographer Michelle Piergoelam, who studied at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague (KABK) and the Rotterdam School for Photography.
The three artists focus their attention in particular on the angisa, a folded headscarf, and the koto, a term for a skirt and for a complete ensemble with a skirt and blouse.
Stjeward-Schubert, Broek and Piergolam conduct research, organise events, meetings and presentations, create educational materials and maintain a knowledge platform. Earlier this year, they presented the book Goma Weri, a publication in which historical and scientific texts on Afro-Surinamese costume are intertwined with personal stories, photos and explanations of techniques. They also organised an exhibition on the angisa.
Expert jury: 'Tailors and Wearers is an important platform to celebrate heritage'
'This platform creates an important and relevant space to celebrate heritage, whose value previously went unrecognised, and passes it on to future generations,' the expert jury said of Tailors and Wearers in a statement. 'In terms of composition, colours and image, they create convincing work, in an open collaboration. The impact of the platform is particularly meaningful. With the publication of Goma Weri, that which for centuries did not get the recognition it deserved is now clearly documented.'
Two other designers were nominated in the fashion category. Photographer Paul Kooiker, an alumnus of the Academy of Visual Arts The Hague and the State Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam, was nominated with his solo exhibition 'Fashion', which took place at Amsterdam photography museum Foam last year.
Fashion designer Lisa Konno received a nomination for the film 'Henk', made in collaboration with director Sarah Blok. The film portrays the Surinamese-Dutch concierge of Amsterdam art and design institution the Rietveld Academy in a clothing collection designed by Konno.
In 2018, Lisa Konno, who is an alumna of ArtEZ University of the Arts, won a Dutch Design Award for her collection 'Nobu'.
Dutch Design Week 2023 runs from October 21 to October 23 in Eindhoven. The creations of this year’s winner in the fashion category and the other 2023 nominees are displayed in an exhibition. During design week, visitors can vote for their favourite artist. The overall favourite of the public will win the audience award.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and editing by: Veerle Versteeg.