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Amsterdam Fashion Week makes 'big' move

After giving up his dream of staging Amsterdam Fashion Week in the centre of Amsterdam, the bi-annual fashion event will be moving to the Gashouder, keeping its spot at the Westergasterrein.

By Editor Design.nl / 29-11-2012

It wasn’t Amsterdam city centre. Director Bart Maussen had to give up that dream. The Beurs van Berlage and the Rijksmuseum didn’t come up trumps, instead the upcoming edition of Amsterdam Fashion Week (AFW) in January will take place just a few doors down from its current residence. The Zuiveringshal and the Machinegebouw at the Westergasterrein have been swapped for the Gashouder, the place where it once began. 

AFW has signed a three-year contract with the Wetsergasfabriek. The next six editions of the Amsterdam fashion event will take place inside the Gashouder. It’s an expensive move but according to Maussen the extra square metres are a big advantage. The Gashouder offers space for up to 1250 attendees, whereas the Zuiveringshal would hold just 750 fashion professionals. He agrees that the Zuiveringshal was not always filled to capacity, “But we are growing and we want to fill the space as best we can.”


The fact that AFW is moving to the Gashouder has been made possible by more expensive sponsor deals. “It’s viable because sponsons will receive more tickets,” says Maussen. According to him it’s an investment and more benefactors are needed. “We remain positive,” he explains. “I am disappointed though that there isn’t a single sponsor from the fashion industry; a large department store or brand for instance. I’m not sure whether they don’t have the budget or if they are unfamiliar with our work. We do so much more than put on a half-yearly event. We educate designers throughout the year.”


When fashion week started in 2004 – then named Amsterdam International Fashion Week – the Gashouder was also a location. The shows took place in the Zuiveringshal but buyers could find an intimate fair named District in the Gashouder for a number of seasons. Around one-hundred brands presented their collections in the round warehouse, within round stands and even featuring a round fair catalogue.


Together with Hans van der Linden, Bart Maussen has been owner of the fashion event since May of 2010. The owners stated earlier that the Westergasfabriek isn’t holy to them. Maussen said in the Financieele Dagblad that the location misses a sense of direction: “If you step outside to get some fresh air, you catch homeless people pissing against the wall.” The fashion week director never made it a secret that he would gladly move the fashion event to Amsterdam city centre, where there is more of a buzz. He says he hasn’t changed his mind. “There is no available location in the city centre. And, because we’re organizing more activities for consumers in the city centre, the need to move is less great. The raw, edgy character of the Gashouder suits fashion week.”

This text has been adapted from an article on fashionunited.nl

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