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Student / youth projects


Fashion designer Filiz Akcakal (1971, Turkey) lived in Istanbul until the age of 25 and graduated from the Mimar Sinan University. After having worked for 5 years in Istanbul, she came to Holland to study fashion at the HKU. In her life she won many prizes. She also received coaching from Kunstenaars &Co as part of the program Van Talent naar Beroep. In her work Akcakal brings together different cultures, creating a bridge between Holland and Istanbul. By showing fashion as a form of art she hopes to bring Dutch people who have their roots in another country in contact with their own cultural background. Her plan is to bring youth with a Turkish (or other) background in contact with the fashion world by taking them backstage during the Amsterdam International Fashion Week. Especially when considering that youth look at fashion in a different way – it is more accessible to them than other art disciplines – she hopes this experience will gain their interest and that her own life story will function as an example for them. Her exposition during the AIFW will attract much attention since it will be the first time that a Turkish-Dutch designer will present her work at the event and since the project creates a bridge between Turkey and Holland in the fashion scene. If she is able to show her collection during the Istanbul European Capital 2010 festivities this may have the same effect, since she is a Turkish designer who received her education in Holland. 11 October 2010 Filiz Akcakal presents fashion art on a catwalk in Istanbul.


The Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen organized the fashion show ‘Een leven lang’. In the museum and its park, models showed designs by 50 second-year students of the AMFI-Amsterdam Fashion Institute. The designs were inspired by Turkish and Dutch handicraft techniques. The students researched these techniques from a quality and sustainability angle. These techniques were the starting point for the students’ fashion and textile collections. The show fitted the museum’s theme for 2009, ‘From Craft to Abstraction’, as well as the fashion exhibition ‘Gejaagd door de wind’.


Students of the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam who chose the minor Cultural Diversity, focused on the relationship between twin cities Rotterdam and Istanbul. During this minor the students attended several workshops about Turkish fashion. In March 2010, in collaboration with Kosmopolis Rotterdam, there was a Masterclass Fashion wherein designer Hatice Gökce gave a masterclass to a mixed group of 30 students of the art academy (Willem de Kooning) and to students from the Zadkine College (vocational training) and women from a local sewing atelier. The students made a fashion line of 15 creations, titled Optimism. The creations were shown in 7 shows, held in the Bijenkorf (the most luxurious Dutch warehouse) and thereafter in an exhibition space Gemaal op Zuid in Rotterdam.

Visiting artist-in residence Annet Couwenberg initiated ‘Whispering Frills. Clothing as Interface’ wherein she explained how clothes of Turkish women from Rotterdam can be seen as the bearers of culture. To round off the minor, the students were asked to create a newspaper about this theme, wherein the own research of the students had to be combined with reports about the fashion initiatives. The newspaper shows both with text and visually what differences, but also which connections there are between both cities.


Students Nathan Reijnen (1988) and Annelinde Gorter (1990) won the first prize at Turkey Fashion Skills, an event organized in Bursa by Skills Netherlands. Together with the students, 16 other fashion designers from Turkey and the Netherlands competed to design the best ready to wear dress for summer 2010. Nathan Reijnen and Annelinde Gorter study fashion at a Dutch MBO school. Skills Netherlands also developed other projects in order to promote vocational education. The project was supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences (OCW) and ‘Kenniscentrum Handel’.