The world's first official specialized course in denim has begun the school year in Amsterdam. The Jean School is a collaboration between the jeans platform House of Denim and Amsterdam's regional centre for education, the ROCvA.Over a period of three years, students will be taught all the ins and outs of the business and will eventually be able to call themselves denim developers.
"It's my ambition to train a new generation of denim designers and developers," says James Veenhoff, the brains behind the jeans platform House of Denim and founder of the Jean School. "It's very specific, and therefore very different from any other fashion course. That's why we started this." After a very successful pilot earlier this year, the Jean School received close to thirty applications. Eventually, eighteen students were selected, based on personal interviews and a design assignment.
In the ROCvA's new facility, students have access to a large workshop designed especially for the course. The practical portion of the course is taught by the ROCvA's own docents. Design, sewing, fit, sales, weaves, washes and treatments - all facets of the jeans industry will be taught. Major brands such as Levi's and Hilfiger, and Dutch brands Scotch & Soda and Denham are happy with the new course. They will participate in the educational program by offering guest lectures, company visits, assignments and intern positions. Every other week the course will host various inspirational figures from the industry who will share their expertise and personal experiences with the students.
Sustainability is an important aspect of the Jean School. The jeans industry causes major pollution, with its use of chemicals and large quantities of water. Some jeans are then sold for less than thirty dollars. This is something that Veenhoff does not condone. He wants to encourage students to think about new concepts for a cleaner, drier and more efficient industry. No surprise that House of Denim's motto is 'Towards a brighter blue'.
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