One week after Amsterdam International Fashion Week

It is one week after the end of this summer’s edition of Amsterdam International Fashion Week. Is has certainly been a turbulent and vibrant sequence of events. AIWF was initiated in 2004 with the aim of integrating the Netherlands on the international map of fashion industry. Since that the Amsterdam Fashion Week presents a gathering of designers and young talents to present their collections for fashion professionals. This happening takes place twice a year when the Westergasfabriek and its surrounding becomes the centre of Dutch fashion that involves above all catwalk shows but also a whole range of related happenings like lectures, presentations and trade fares. 

Since it aims at emphasizing and increasing Dutch fashion industry’s role on an international scale, AIFW has advanced several projects besides catwalk presentations. Hence, invited guests could attend Business Programmes that were set up within the framework of various presentations of Spring/Summer 2012 collections by well-established designers as Tony Cohen, Spijkers en Spijkers or Hunkemöller. The AIFW Business Programme, containing four projects consisting of workshops, training, discussion and network events, was launched in order to strengthen the Dutch Fashion Industry.

If one disregards the variety of designs and collections and pays closer attention to the framework programme one realized the decisive differences of AIFW from other Fashion Shows. Without doubt, Edith & Ella’s collection Copenhagen or Sage & Ivy’s remarkable outdoor catwalk on water besides others have accounted for an inspiring presentation of fashion. However, the Green Fashion Competition, Fashion Week LAB and Lichting shall not remain unmentioned.

The Green Fashion Competition is a contest for individuals in the fashion industry that are capable of providing a different vision of fashion in the future. Regarding a general disregard to bio-diversity in the fashion branch, this initiative presents an alternative goal. The preservation of bio-diversity whilst creating a business entrepreneurship nonetheless. Although the paradox is obvious since AIFW did not refrain from presenting the generally appreciated, popular fashion industry it found a niche for this exceptional initiative. And hence it reaches at least an approach of a symbolic protest. A symbol toward another direction.

“Supporting sustainable fashion initiatives is essential for AIFW, as we aim to stimulate and strengthen the Dutch fashion  industry. This is why we are searching for future oriented fashion entrepreneurs; entrepreneurs who are able to create fashion  while sustaining biodiversity.” Holly Syrett,  Project manager at Amsterdam International Fashion Week

The crude, simple setting of the Machinegebouw next to Westgasfabriek also presented a stage for Fashion Week LAB on last week’s AIFW.Fashion Week Lab  is dedicated to young and ambitious fashion designers. Young designers present what they consider their key designs of their collections in duos. By this means Fashion Week LAB opens the stage and provides commercial visibility to probably future entrepreneurs. A comparable way of attaining the public’s acknowledgement and facilitating opportunities for the young designers is put forward by the concept of Lichting. Dutch academies send their two best graduates to AIFW that will as a total of fourteen designers show their work. An international board of experts attended Lichting 2011 supported by G-Star Raw Lichting is consideres one of the “most highly principled fashion events in the Netherlands, both in terms of quality and representation” (AIFW). Shelley Fox (New York), Catherine Baba (Paris), Romain Brau & Anna Kushnerova (Antwerp) and Michael van der Ham (London) were present and responsible for 50 % of the votes for the winner.

Altogether the AIFW in July 2011 has been successfully completed and most likely has triggered high expectations of the upcoming AIFW in January 2012 among this year’s spectators.

An event on a big scale as the Amsterdam International Fashion Week cannot run on and by itself. A sophisticated procedure of planning and communication is necessary in order to make these five days a success. This challenging task was taken over by Hans van der Linden and Bart Maussen. 

Bart Maussen has been active in the communication and PR industry since 1987. His Group comprises a number of Maussen communication consultancy and PR agencies. With these offices, he advises numerous companies in positioning, communication and PR processes for their organizations, brands, products and services.


The Maussen press office M * PR  which is specialized in Fashion & Lifestyle
supported the organization regarding positioning and organization of AIFW. A short evaluation of this summer’s edition of Amsterdam International Fashion Week was friendly given by Bart Maussen.

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