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WdKA X Margreeth Olsthoorn

Entitled 3, Margreeth Olsthoorn and students from the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam have teamed up to create a fashion collection based around the theme ‘Attention’. Red dominates this collection, an attention-seeking colour amidst rows and rows of dark clothing.

By Cassandra Pizzey / 19-12-2013

Those familiar with Rotterdam’s fashion scene will no doubt be acquainted with Margreeth Olsthoorn. Her fashion boutique-cum-gallery space is where the more conceptual labels can be found (such as Avelon, Henrik Vibskov and Individuals by AMFI) but also where small fashion presentations, pop-up shops and art exhibitions can be found. 

As a Willem de Kooning (WdKA) graduate herself, it was a logical step for Olsthoorn to work together with the students. Instead of designing her own collection after graduating in 1993, Olsthoorn began a shop and from there has grown out into a brand in her own right. ‘Attention’ isn’t the first collaboration with WdKA students, last year for instance she featured the project ‘Intruders’.


We spoke with third-year student Anke van den Ban about the collection.


How did you become part of this project?

“The project was linked to a designing class of the fashion course. The entire class participated but Margreeth Olsthoorn made a selection to be on show in her shop.”

Could you tell us about the assignment?

“Each student worked from his or her own vision and concept. We all have different concepts so we all used different materials. The overall theme ‘Attention’ can be found in the colour red, which we all used for our designs. We chose this colour because it is an attention-seeking colour, especially amongst all the dark clothing in Margreeth Olsthoorn’s shop. We used all different hues of red so that each student could pick the one that fits with their concept.”

What was it like to work with Margreeth Olsthoorn?

“It was really interesting. We visited her shop to see what kind of collections she has and we were able to ask her questions about how she buys for her shop. Afterwards she came to the Willem de Kooning Academie to see our collections. She gave us feedback about our clothing which was really helpful.”

Could you tell us about the collection?

“It’s a very special collection as it is so diverse yet still manages to form a whole. Each piece of clothing shows the signature of it’s maker.”

What did you learn from this experience?

“It was great to work for a specific shop as it forces you to look at clothing differently. I found myself paying more attention to detail and finish which taught me a lot. Besides my own concept, during the design process I always kept the atmosphere of the shop in my mind.”

Would you like to see a follow-up to this project?

“Yes definitely! It was a really interesting project and it teaches you a lot about designing a collection and what you need to keep in mind. Our brand ‘3’ even has its own logo and we designed all of the labels and washing instructions ourselves. 

Tell us about your plans for the future.

“After graduating from the academy I want to work as a designer for a label. Eventually I would love to be the head designer at a label.”

‘3’ premiers on 20 December and will be on show and for sale at Margreeth Olsthoorn until 4 January 2014.

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