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Monique van Heist wins Dutch Fashion Award

On the night of nights for Dutch Fashion, Monique van Heist took home the Mercedes-Benz Dutch Fashion Award 2008 and two other new prizes.

By Jeanne Tan / 13-11-2008

Hello Fashion!

It was a clean sweep for Monique van Heist who won the Mercedes-Benz Dutch Fashion Award and two additional new awards. For the main prize, she received a financial reward of 25.000 euro to enable her to take further steps in the international fashion industry.

Held at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam the second inaugural event was attended by over 800 guests. All seven nominees presented their latest collections as did the winners of the Mercedes-Benz Dutch Fashion Award 2007, Klavers van Engelen. Highlights was the special tribute and spectacular dresses of the late Percy Irausquin, the strong visual presentation of G+N Glue Jeans, the striking forms from Klavers van Engelen and the latest menswear collection by Francisco van Benthum inspired by Lawrence of Arabia. The awards themselves were designed and produced by Ted Noten.

In addition, van Heist also won the Dutch Fashion Media Award of 5 000 euros and an opportunity to create her own designer eyewear collection made possible by Club Brillant, and the Dutch Fashion Incubator Award, a joint prize supported by De Bijenkorf, Lectra (software) and The Fair Wear Foundation.

For the awards, Van Heist presented a preview of a new project called 'hello fashion' which will be launched in May 2009. 'In this project I will be challenging the short attention-span of the fashion system by making products available for an indefinite period of time. With the introduction of this project there will be a catalogue, that will grow season by season, and in the years to come will become a document of time,' van Heist explains. For all designers trying to develop their label, prize money is a godsend. Van Heist said in her acceptance speech that she hadn't won anything since high school. 'It hasn't completely sunk in yet that I've won and I am only now starting to realise that plans I've had for a long time can be realised with this money. I will hire an assistant, invest in product development and in the hello-fashion project, and be able to develop leather bags which was my wish already for a long time', she says. But first things first. 'I will pay myself a little bit and finally buy an espresso-machine for my studio.'

More images of the designers' new collections (and best dressed guests) can be seen on the website of the Dutch Fashion Awards.

Photography: Reinier van der Aart
Main image: Monique van Heist
Image 1+2: Monique van Heist
Image 3: Percy Irausquin
Image 4+5: Klavers van Engelen
Image 6: G+N Glue Jeans
Image 7: Francisco van Benthum

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