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Brands & Identity at Amfi

Amfi standout graduate Merel Korteweg impressed hundreds of visitors during Fashion Transit, the annual graduation exhibition, with the fashion identity proposal she created for Danish interiors firm, Hay.

By Gabrielle Kennedy / 10-07-2013

Merel Korteweg, according to her teacher and coach at Amfi Joanna Watson, is one of those students who don’t really need teaching.  “She is talented and she just runs with it,” says Watson.For her graduation, Korteweg created an impressive presentation for Danish interiors firm Hay.  The idea was to help guide the company into fashion by augmenting their current collection of interiors with clothes and accessories.

“I really like the brand,” says Korteweg. “It already has something quite fashionable without being fashion branding.  Also, I was interested in why so many fashion brands extend into interiors, but rarely the other way around.  I wanted to explore how this might work.”

Hay works in product families and to maintain that approach Korteweg opted to stick to three style families and created elaborate mood boards.  She directed a styled photoshoot to capture the essence of each.  The natural style, the architect style and the explorer style. The three boards together operate as a sort of style book.

The natural board has the feel of the basic clothing line, and the explorer style is more upbeat.  “It has an ethnic feel with a wink and would suit the accessories line,” says Korteweg.  “The architect style is more about the trend line.  I also think it would best capture the graphic style of the company.”  

Each family comprises a collection of fabrics, prints (designed by Korteweg), colour swatches and 3d objects.  “It is really important to me to have 3d mood boards so clients can see, touch and feel,” she says.  “Also I think ultimately it will help fashion designers understand better the exact look a company wants.”

In the real world what these sorts of presentations would be used for is to brief fashion designers on how a collection should look and feel.  “Also a client can use my sort of research to better understand how their brand can extend into fashion,” Korteweg says.   

In the end, Korteweg got the opportunity to present her project to the CEO of Hay, Rolf Hay.  “Fashion is something they are considering, but they also do not want to become a niche brand,” she says.  “He did say though that if and when they do, this is the exact route they’d take. I’m just so happy he liked it.”

Korteweg graduated from Amfi cum laude with a 9.5 out of 10. Ideally she wants to find work in the space between trend forecasting, branding and art direction. 

Images: Main at top and two small from top the naturalist style, next two from the architect style, and bottom three from the explorer style.  Art Direction and Concept by Merel Korteweg.  Photography: Anne Claire de Breij.

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