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New look for the Modefabriek

This weekend saw the 32nd edition of the Modefabriek - the Benelux’ largest fashion event. Its focus has shifted somewhat to include high-end, sustainable fashion and more shopping experiences.

By Cassandra Pizzey / 27-01-2012

Two new areas were launched during this edition of the Modefabriek: upscale branding at Sublime and sustainable fashion at MINT. A talk by fashion-guru David Shah preceded the opening of Sublime which led visitors not on a tour of new brands (Mercedes-Benz, Persol, Hugo Boss, to name a few), but through an experience.

MINT on the other hand, was open to the public and included not only sustainable clothing brands, but a shop featuring sustainable design - we spotted Dirk van der Kooi’s endless table and chair.


The past year has seen four MAF Music and Fashion Battles organized over four regions of Amsterdam by MAFB, an initiative of Richard Soesanna and Marian Duff. Aiming to offer unschooled and ROC fashion students a stage for their creations, the finale was held at the Modefabriek. Four designers La Femme Chic, Deveney, Nawal and Uzuri Couture presented four very different collections and were judged by an acclaimed jury featuring Els van der Plas (Premsela), Ronald Kahn (Cool Cat), Angelique Hoorn (Angelique Hoorn Management), Caroline Krouwel (Modefabriek), Steven Dahlberg (JFK Magazine) and Mariana Verkerk (Hollands Next Top Model).
Winner was Uzuri Couture by Audrey Ngo Mbog who presented a modern interpretation of traditional African Fabrics by Vlisco.

Next/ Cutting Edge

Of course, our favourite event during Modefabriek wasn’t left out, as young talented designers presented their collections on the catwalk during the Next/Cutting Edge show. A notable number of Dutch designers were in the line up including Jonathan Christopher, Anne de Grijff, and ZEM. We spoke to the designers and asked them about their collections.

What’s the idea behind this collection?

Samira Algoe: “It’s named Dusk and is based on the colours you’d see during a sunset in the Autumn. I combined classic tailoring with a modern twist such as tweed fabric inserts forming sharp lines on a classic trench coat. The clothing worn during hunter’s season was also an inspiration to this collection.”

After showing at Fashion Week last year, how would you compare it to the Modefabriek?

“Fashion Week is very busy and you don’t really get a chance to interact with buyers. At the Modefabriek people can come over to your stand, see and touch the clothing and have a talk with you.”

What are your future plans?

“At the moment my clothing is sold in a few shops around the Netherlands, but it would be great to get my brand internationally recognized.”

Anne de Grijff

Could you tell us a little bit about the collection?

“It’s all about hidden colours. By hiding bursts of colour within pleats and volumes, it becomes visible only when the models walk. I started by experimenting with black fabric, bleaching it to see what would happen. Through bleaching,  an array of colours was revealed which I made into a palette of Autumn hues.”

What is your favourite piece from this collection?

‘I like the fact that all the pieces refer to my previous collections thanks to the pleats, but I must say the coat with the unusually-placed zip and silhouette is my favourite.”

Jonathan Christopher Hofwegen

Your menswear designs are classed as Cutting Edge at the Modefabriek, what was your inspiration?

“The collection is named Hybris and is based on a Greek mythological story about Icarus and his wife. The main idea of the collection is pride which is why some of the pieces are somewhat overconfident, made to a larger scale. The spiky shoes symbolize our struggles in life, and details in the clothing aim to bring you back to reality.”

Who is your clothing line aimed at?

“Because of the very high-quality fabrics (Jonathan Christopher works together with Furansu) I’d say the clothing is aimed at young entrepreneurs, creatives with their own business. But in Asia, where we aim to branch out, the market is probably slightly older.”

It’s obvious that Modefabriek is offering the young design talents just the starting board they need to get their business off the ground, maybe even gain interest from foreign buyers.

More images to follow

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