In mid January, I had the opportunity to travel to Amsterdam in an exchange program with FIT x Jean School to learn about the latest technologies and innovations in the denim world, and to each make our own pair of jeans. (crazy right?!)
It has taken me almost two weeks to write this post while I was trying to organize my thoughts, trying to think of the best way to categorize everything we experienced. I intend on writing additional posts that go more into detail about different aspects of the trip :)
The Jean School is the first and only denim school of its kind which began in 2012. It is a 3 year associates degree program focusing on the ins and outs of denim and the industry, or from "crop to shop" as they like to say. The focus of the program is everything from textile development to developing collections. Working with the industry, the students work on real life projects with companies in the industry such as G-Star RAW, Candiani Denim, Diesel, and Tommy Jeans.
While Amsterdam is not a high fashion city, it is a huge center for the denim industry, including brands such as Denham, G-Star RAW, and Tenue de Nimes. Since the manufacturing of jeans has such a large environmental impact, House of Denim was created in Amsterdam as a platform for craftsmanship and innovation in the denim industry. House of Denim's mission includes "advocating for the good, collaborating for the better, and educating for the best." House of Denim believes the best way to make a positive impact in the denim industry is to educate those in the industry, along with the next generation of designers. This is where the Jean School was born.
Another major part of Jean School is the hands on creativity of actually drafting and sewing their designs. And actually, a huge part of our trip was that we each made our own pair of jeans... in only two days! (This part of the trip I especially loved, well, because sewing is kind of my thing.) Each of us from FIT have never made jeans before, so the Jean School students guided us and made sure we were on the right track. It was really awesome to be sewing in this type of group setting. I haven't done anything like that since I was in the Fashion Design AAS program at FIT.
We also toured PVH headquarters and G-Star headquarters and learned about their latest innovations and what their plans are for the future of denim and the fashion industry. I don't want to overwhelm you with a super long post so I will write separate posts for some of these really cool experiences. (I have plenty of photos to post!)
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