This year, NFS has organized a streetwear event that focuses on different elements or subjects within the streetwear scene. This year the event will be a 3-day online Cross-Cultural Streetwear event from April 14th to 16th. The focus of this year’s event will be on creating more awareness for diversity and inclusivity within the fashion industry.
Quote from the events committee: “We realize that fashion is often based on white, Western ideals and therefore lacks a great deal of interesting perspectives on fashion related topics. During a 3-day event, we want to provide a stage for upcoming streetwear designers and professionals within the field who highlight cross-cultural interactions in fashion.”
In this blog, I will introduce the different designers and partners of the event, and explain the meaning of diversity and inclusivity as we hear those words a lot in the media but sometimes forget what they actually mean.
Diversity in fashion means a difference or mix within a group of people, for example, gender, sexuality, disability, race, and body image. Diversity within the fashion industry is often measured and discussed when looking at covers of magazines, fashion shows, or advertisements.
However, diversity within the ‘front desk’ of a company is not enough. Lately, the demand for inclusivity within fashion companies’ ‘back offices’ is being pressured and demanded by activists, the media, consumers, and opinion leaders. Several types of research and media outlets have shown that fashion brands include diverse models within their advertisements, fashion shows, and cover shoots; however, the companies are still run by mainly white western people in the offices.
The public demands a more inclusive company behind the scenes which means hiring people from different cultural backgrounds, sexuality, and disabilities for, management and production jobs. When a company has people from different backgrounds working within all its layers, they can say that they are an inclusive company.
Now that you understand the words of diversity and inclusivity a bit better, it’s time to introduce the participants.
Day 1 - Online sneaker design workshop
On the first day of our street wear event you can follow an exclusive sneaker design workshop offered by MR MOZ
Mr. Moz (Moos) is a custom made sneaker design artist. Moos is only 15 years old and started his brand in 2019. His talent was soon to be picked up by the Dutch press. Since then, Moos has done several interviews for Dutch newspapers, radio and TV. Next to this, he featured sneaker events like Sneakerzone, in Groningen. Would you like your own pair of customized sneakers? Check out @mrmozartist or http://mrmozartist.com/ and place your order!
During an one hour online workshop you get the chance to customize your own pair of sneakers, while Mr Moz shares his tips & tricks! After ticket registration, you will receive a list with materials that are needed to attend the workshop.
Day 2 - Premier of fashion documentary on cross cultural streetwear
The second day is the premier day of our fashion documentary. The documentary is a collaboration between NFS and Fat Crayon Creative, TRES PERA, Songul Kara AKWAMAN, Ulkuan Akgul and dancers from the Erasmus Dance Society.
Starting with introducing the first designer that collaborated with us on the documentary: TRÈS PERA. As she describes it herself her style is where east and west meet and merge. The collection originated from a personal point of view and a bi-cultural background. Born and raised in the Netherlands, with a Turkish inspiration. Inspired by living in Istanbul and the Pera district and getting fascinated by the east/west influence of the city. Taking design elements from Ottoman historical garments and adding them to western tailoring to create new shapes in vintage blazers which clashes with a new, sustainable streetwear collection. The aim is to be the bridge between diverse cultures and bridging gaps while breaking stereotypes. TRÈS PERA is the graduation collection of AMFI graduate Sema Doğan
Next up: AKWAMAN! AKWAMAN was founded by Ekwele & Jetske after they met in Ghana. Jetske comes from the Netherlands, and Ekwele is originally from Southern Cameroon and currently living in Accra, the capital of Ghana. With an likeminded interest and passion for fashion, ethical principles and human rights, AKWAMAN was born.
Inspired by the Ghanaian Culture, they combine the style of the streets of Ghana and the Western world. The clothing they make together with the makers are made with fair trade agreements. The fabrics are 100% cotton and wax printed with original Kente prints from the Akan Tribe in South Ghana.
Then comes the label Fat Crayon Creative! It was founded by Max Bijsterbosch & Jari Nuno. They met in 2019 and instantly knew they wanted to create something together. Jari is a freelance photographer, while Max also has a job at Patta. Fat Crayon Creative is a two-man initiative who take inspiration from their surroundings. With (hip-hop) music deeply rooted in the DNA of the brand the duo hosts a monthly radio show at Operator. They express their passion for apparel by producing quality garments and accessories that are meant to stand the test of time, with their no-concession mentality each piece needs to be something they fully stand behind.
Next up! Songül Kara! She will give us an exclusive sneak peek of her not yet released collection. It is telling a story about children playing in the mosque and showing the levity that can happen in a place that unfortunately feels threatening to many. By focussing on this uncomplicated side of Islam she aims to capture everything with a humane eye and create a new perspective. It is important to her that young Muslims start taking control over their narrative.
Fifth! Ulkuhan Akgul! Ulkuhan Akgul is an AMFI student focussing on diversity and cultural elements in street wear. During the fashion documentary he will showcase some pieces of his digital collection. He will also attend our panel to talk about diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry.
Last but not least in the documentary the Erasmus Dance Society (EDS) and their Hip Hop Showteam will perform a dance x fashion show! They created a performance inspired by the designs of AKWAMAN
Day 3 - Pre-recorded panel on diversity and inclusivity within the fashion industry
On the third day you can listen to a pre-recorded panel in dutch with English subtitles. During the panel, four inspiring speakers will discuss several statements and topics about diversity and inclusivity within fashion, as well as answer critical questions. We promise you that this panel is definitely worth your time!
Introducing our first panel speaker; Lara De Vleeschhouwer, co-founder of the educational platform Rasioneel. Rasioneel offers a rational and approachable way to educate yourself on racism through Youtube. Rational in this sense can be defined as logical, reasonable and easily understandable.
Second, Carmen Luijt, a cultural anthropological designer and founder of the designer brand Stitching Stories, which is not just a fashion label, but a way to make your own identity and story visible to others. She wants to bridge the differences, but also the connections that exist between us and initiate a sincere dialogue.
Third, Janice Deul, journalist, writer, fashion activist, curator and founder of the platform Diversity Rules. Janice Deul is one the most significant Dutch advocates of inclusion and diversity in the fashion, art and culture related industries. Being a fashion activist and writer, with a background in journalism, Janice addresses a great extent of societal themes, varying from #MeToo, ‘identity politics’ and inclusive use of language, to cultural appropriation, beauty standards, stereotypes in the media, reassessment of the fashion system and sustainable and gender free fashion.
And fourth, the already introduced, Ulkuhan Akgul!
You now have the program of our Cross-Cultural Streetwear event. I hope you have a better understanding of what to expect and are excited for the event! You can order your ticket through the following link. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about the event and check out the designers and speakers on their websites and social media.
We can’t wait to share this experience with you!