Kingpins Amsterdam kicks off the Spring/Summer 2017 season on Oct. 28-29 with 41 exhibitors and a calendar packed with education and networking opportunities. “The Kingpins Amsterdam show is our little jewel,” said Andrew Olah, Kingpins Show founder. “Every mill on our show floor is notable. Thanks to the small size of the show we have the luxury of cherry-picking our exhibitors from around the globe.”
Next week’s event will see denim mills come from all the major denim-producing countries, including the US, Japan, Italy, Spain, Turkey, China, Taiwan, Brazil, Pakistan, Thailand, Mexico, and Egypt. “While it is a very small show, our reach is wide,” Olah noted. Newcomers include Blue Farm Textile, a longtime Kingpins New York exhibitor, joining Amsterdam for the first time; Carlo Bonomi 1860 from Italy, Canatiba from Brazil; and Itochu, Nisshinbo and Kurashiki Group, which Olah described as “the magnificent three” from Japan.
Attendees will have an opportunity to take part in four seminars on the show floor focused on denim trends and the denim’s response to athleisure and knit denim. Another seminar will explore how the industry can collectively reclaim the term “premium denim” to reflect a new set of values, namely ecological and social responsibility and transparency, Olah said.
Additionally, the second annual Global Denim Awards, sponsored by e3, will take place on Oct. 29 in conjunction with Kingpins after-show party. “It is the very first denim design runway show and competition that puts the spotlight on the ingenuity and craftsmanship of denim mills,” Olah explained. This year’s ceremony will feature the work of eight up-and-coming designers inspired by the textiles and heritage of eight leading mills, including Advance Denim, Atlantic, Berto Textile Industry, Calik Denim, Candiani Denim, ITV Denim, Prosperity Textile and Tejidos Royo.
For Olah, Amsterdam—and the support system the city’s denim industry has in place—makes it hotbed for innovation and newness. “Amsterdam is a hub of denim creativity because denim brands and retailers have been comfortable here for a long time. There are a lot of denim lovers here. On top of that, the city government has invested in programs that support education, brands and retailers,” he said.
The city’s support has helped to create opportunities for the industry to interact directly with consumers and students through events like Amsterdam Denim Days and Denim on Stage: University Meets Industry at Denim City. The one-day public conference, slated for Oct. 30, will explore the evolution of denim from its French origins to the contemporary global manufacturing and marketing of denim and jeans.
Olah added, “For the sourcing side of our industry—namely us—this commitment to the denim industry has allowed us to interact with our community in an entirely new way. Not to mention, the world’s first Jean School is based in Amsterdam.”