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Money-Makers: What Amsterdam earns from Amsterdam Fashion Week

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - The start of a new year brings the start of a new fashion season for the industry, as the bi-annual showcase known as fashion week kicks off. New York, Paris, London and Milan - the top four international fashion capitals of the world - owe much of their reputations to the designers and labels who present their collections to the world in their cities twice a year.

Thousands of buyers, members of the press, designers, models, and more descend on fashions weeks around the globe, and it is not uncommon for large fashion houses such as Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry, to spend million of pounds, euros or dollars on a single fashion week event. Why? Because the bi-annual showcase is one of the key acts as one of their biggest advertising tools. In addition, cities around the world invest millions of pounds, euros and dollars to ensure the event remains a success, but what do they gain from the investment? Although it is clear what brands and designers gain from a fashion week event, the question arises - how much money do the cities themselves earn from fashion week? In the second part of this mini series, FashionUnited asks what the financial impact of fashion week is in Amsterdam.

Following the start of Berlin Fashion Week in Germany a little over a week ago, Amsterdam Fashion Week in the Netherlands is the next fashion week on our list to open its doors to the public. Kicking off its catwalks shows on Thursday, January 26, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam is strengthening its focus on young talent this season with the launch of a new division known as 'Future Generation.' The new section aims to explore the "future prospects for society and the phenomenon of fashion", according to Amsterdam Fashion Week Creative Director Iris Ruisch. The opening night of the event will be dedicated to young, local designers such as Zyanya Keizer, Johannes Offerhaus and Marlou Breuls.

Key Figures for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam:

  • Unique visitors: 20,000
  • Total Income: 43 million euros
  • City Income: 8 million euros (11.626.500)
  • Business Income: 35 million euros
  • Venue Income: 3 million euros
  • Restaurant Income: 15 million euros
  • Retail Income: 17.5 million euros
  • Accommodation Income: 7.5 million euros
  • Average Visitor Spend: 1,998 euros

Although Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam is not as large as some of its peer fashion weeks, the event is still expected to draw in 20,000 visitors this season, generating a total income of approximately 43 million euros according to FashionUnited's calculations. The city itself is set to gain 8 million euros from the four day event, which is slightly less than its neighbouring city of Berlin. However, visitors are expected to spend an average of 1,998 euros during Amsterdam Fashion Week, which is more than those in Berlin as hotels and stores charge a higher tax rate. In addition, dining out in the Netherlands is also more expensive than eating out in general in Germany, which is why the average visitor spend is close to 500 euros more per person.

Running to January 29, a number of returning designers, including Anbasja Blanken, Alexandra Frida and Tess van Zalinge will show their Autumn/Winter 2017 collections across the weekend. On the final night of the event, established designers Edwin Oudshoorn and Liselore Frowijn are set to close the fashion week. Unlike previous editions of Amsterdam Fashion Week, this season sees the event cutting down on a day of shows. "Five days was too long," said Ruisch to FashionUnited NL. This season also sees the event solidifying its links with other global fashion weeks. "We used to be this island, but now we have made contact with fashion weeks in London and Milan, We would like to strengthen those connections," added the Creative Director.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam will run from January 26 to 29, at the Westergas Terrain in Amsterdam. FashionUnited’s update for 2017 on fashion week’s economical impact is verified by the local municipality in Amsterdam.

Photos: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Amsterdam

Amsterdam Fashion Week