Do we need a Dutch label?
I joined a discussion about Dutch design and fashion at the Vodafone Creative Corner during Amsterdam International Fashion Week. The question was: why has Dutch design become famous, while Dutch fashion has not?
I don’t think one should give design or fashion a national label. The outside world should do this by discovering its unique qualities. When we started Droog, we deliberately did not label our presentations as Dutch, but rather as Droog. We showed a bunch of very different designers because we thought they had something in common. It was the outside world that started to label us as Dutch, recognizing a new less is more mentality, an expressionist sobriety. And recently when an American television channel featured The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, they did not mention our store as Droog, but as a store full of Dutch Design.
The fashion industry has a different dynamic, dominated by the catwalk show and the pressure to create two or more collections per year. I think this model is obsolete. Young Dutch fashion designers should try to break out this model, create new models, and present them to the world. Some designers are already doing this. It is also what the SALON/ presentations in Amsterdam are initiating (see image). I would also like to invite young designers to join the platform for downloadable design which Droog will launch soon. This online platform will offer design, fashion and other consumables as a downloadable file in connection to an international network of makers. Customers can also upload the products or garments that have been made and thus a community will be created. No catwalks needed anymore. And, with more innovation, no need to promote the Dutch, either.