Review: Denim City Amsterdam
By Michal Edelman Tepper On May 22, 2019
DENIM CITY AMSTERDAM
Oud-West, Amsterdam | Hannie Dankbaarpassage 22 | Denim City
Located in De Hallen Amsterdam, Denim City feels like the Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of denim. The space functions as a workshop, school, lab and store and it’s pretty much impossible to leave without a new pair of jeans (or three).
When you walk into Denim City you feel like you just walked into the Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of denim. On your left is a wall full of rolls of denim of every texture and color. On your right are workshop stations outfitted with sewing machines and denim cutters and tricked out with every color yarn and metal fastener imaginable. At the back of the store is the Denim Lab which is an R&D and innovation laundry center powered by a consortium of denim industry leaders. The lab has all sorts of cool equipment such as giant washing machines and dryers, lasers and scraping and spraying units. The store itself functions as a boutique selling denim from a variety of high-end brands including Denham, Eat Dust, Kings of Indigo, Levi’s and Nudie Jeans, among others. Some of the merchandise is unique to the store and some is the latest products from the various brands. You can pick out a new pair of jeans or a jacket and then take it over to the tailoring station to customize and personalize your piece. It’s nearly impossible to leave this Denim candy-land empty handed, there really is something for everyone.
Denim City was founded by the not-for-profit foundation House of Denim and the staff work as part time volunteers. Many of the staff members are students in the on-site Jean School in which they learn about denim design and development with an emphasis on sustainability and innovation. They are incredibly friendly and excited to share their knowledge about their craft and their love for the mission of Denim City. Somehow they make you feel like you are doing good in the world by purchasing yet another pair of jeans...
Denim City is located in De Hallen Amsterdam, a multipurpose complex in an old train station. This development fits into a larger global trend of repurposing old buildings into modern centers for fashion, art, food and entertainment. De Hallen is anchored by a food market, an independent cinema complex, a design hotel and an event space in addition to a number of retail stores. In some ways De Hallen feels like it could be anywhere in the world (think Chelsea Market in NYC, Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid or Sarona Market in Tel Aviv.) While the broader development may feel a bit more global than local, the Denim City store feels uniquely Dutch. The store is at once cool and approachable and taps into the rich Dutch heritage in denim.
The energy at Denim City is infectious. The space is at once a denim workshop, school, lab and store. You can watch students at work, chat with the staff about their latest projects or watch what’s going on in the lab while you have your chosen item customized to your liking. You’ll probably leave with a new pair of jeans (or three), but hey, at least you are supporting a good cause!
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