The Dutch fashion scene continues to be dominated by a few individual names, such as the theatrical Aziz Bekkaoui, the sober Analik and Hans Demoed and Geert de Rooy, the designers behind the fairy-tale People of the Labyrinths, and Mariette Hoiting (HTNK) who with her advice agency chose the young designers for the Red Light Fashion project (2008) in Amsterdam’s red light district. As yet, a genuine Dutch fashion industry as such does not exist, although many would like to see this come about. Only Viktor & Rolf have been able to flourish internationally with their own collections, and even their own perfume, Flower Bomb. It is the Dutch fashion scene in particular which provides fertile ground for versatile talent with an affinity for fashion that can mainly be found in the nightlife (parties and clubs), magazines, the advertising world and the styling departments of countless design companies. There are however a number of designers who do play an individual role in the few prestigious fashion events which do take place in the Netherlands, such as the Amsterdam International Fashion Week, which is held twice a year, the competition during the Mercedes Benz Dutch Fashion Award and the Arnhem Fashion Biennale. Today’s important designers include Mada van Gaans, Monique van Heist, Marcha Hüskes, Sjaak Hullekes, Bas Kosters, Spijkers & Spijkers, Oscar Suleyman, Jan Taminiau, Jeroen van Tuyl, Daryl van Wouw and Iris van Herpen. Almost all of these have spent some time studying at the Fashion Institute Arnhem, which was founded by Angelique Westerhof. This study programme from the Arnhem Art Academy has contributed greatly to the further development of Dutch fashion. Arnhem is also home to the new initiative Arnhem Coming Soon, from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts. Arnhem Coming Soon advocates a top-quality range and offers young fashion and product designers a platform to enable the transitional phase from the academy to the market.
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