Nowadays Holland is enjoying a growing reputation for its premium raw denim, even when the sales numbers are pretty modest.
Since G-Star Raw started back in 1989, much water has flown through the denim canal. We can find now big companies like Denham, who always has a generous percentage of dry denim in their collections and who have a strong position in the market. There is also Kuyichi, who flirts with americana in every new season and of course G-Star Raw with their international market appeal.
There are also many smaller companies like Benzak Denim Developers and Atelier Kossijn. The people behind these brands tend to have a closer and more intimate relationship with their clients, and can be placed in the top range of the small premium denim Holland has to offer.
Lennaert Nijgh, owner of the Amsterdam-based denim atelier, Benzak Denim Developers (AKA BDD), explains his own work: “I don’t create fashion. Instead, I create timeless products.” He prefers to work on individual projects rather then with seasonal collections. It’s a simple way to describe his love for denim.
His projects are made using a European 14.5oz. left-hand twill green selvedge, cast in pure indigo and chain-stitched on a Union Special 43200G.
In contrast, Koen Tossijn, owner of Atelier Tossijn, keeps things basic just like the name implies. He tailors custom-made jeans with pure craftmanship; constructing what best suits the customer, creating their ultimate jeans. He works with a 14oz.denim selvedge, dyed in natural indigo from Okayama, Japan.
According to the denim experts at Tenues de Nimes, the ones that are taking the lead in the growing Dutch denim scene are these small companies. They are the trendsetters, influencing the big guys. Their strength is to make customers feel special with personal attention, authenticity and by offering premium products.
Small dry denim brands like BDD, Tossijn and the recently launched K.O.I., are beginning to sound familiar in the streets of Amsterdam. Meanwhile, denim veteran Atelier LaDurance, a french label with Dutch owners, is promising a big comeback by releasing a new collection in the annual “tradeshow for selected brands” that is the Bread & Butter show in Berlin. Stay tuned for more on that.