Milan, Paris, and London may be the fashion centers of Europe, but Amsterdam certainly takes its fashion seriously too. Walking through the city, you will see stylish vintage stores, innovative boutiques with an industrial feel, and an eclectic range of clothing worn by the locals. Colorful, edgy, and stylish, Amsterdam’s fashion scene is fascinating.
The city is known for its creativity and innovation, and this certainly comes through in its fashion. Here are some of the best places to discover the fashion scene in Amsterdam during your stay.
Fashion Shopping in Amsterdam
The first thing many fashion enthusiasts will want to do is check out the shops, and there are plenty of these to be found in Amsterdam. Designer clothes are not hard to come across, with many international brands found throughout the city, as well as smaller Dutch designers.
The first place to head for is the Museumplein, also known as the Fashion & Museum District. Book your hotel nearby using a service like Hipmunk and you will find yourself in the perfect spot for a bit of window shopping (or splash out and pick up some designer items to take home with you.) In between the famous museums of the area, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, you will find plenty of antiques shops, luxury boutiques, and designer stores.
Next, walk down the P.C. Hooftstraat, the most upscale shopping street in the city, and you will soon come across designer names including Chanel, Ralph Lauren, DKNY, and many others, as well as local designers such as Percy Irausquin and Mart Visser.
Maison de Bonneterie at Rokin 140 is a famous department store that is well worth a look. It’s been open for over a century, and inside the attractive building you will find three floors of luxury fashion and brand names.
LockStock & Barrel at Hartenstraat 26 is in the Nine Streets shopping district, which is also a good area to shop. There are many excellent independent stores here stocking an eclectic range of clothing, and this is one of the best.
Ennu, located at Cornelis Schuytstraat 15 in the Old South, one of the richest areas of the city, is another place to go for luxury shopping. Find clothing by designers like Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens, and splash out.
You can also enjoy the fashion scene on a budget if you don’t have the money for expensive designer goods. You could start by visiting Noordermarkt, a famous vintage clothing market in the Jordaan neighborhood.
Tour the Fashion Museums
Amsterdam is well-known for its museums, and many of these will appeal to fashion enthusiasts. To start with, head to the Museum of Bags and Purses (Tassenmuseum Hendrikje) on the Herengracht canal, which is one of the best fashion museums in the world. Started by Hendrikje Ivo decades ago after buying an antique handbag, the collection has now expanded to over 4,000 specialist bags. You will also find that temporary shows related to fashion are put on throughout the year.
Or take a tour of the National Museum of Spectacles (Brilmuseum). Here centuries of art and culture in relation to spectacles are on display, including glasses dating back to the 17th century. Find it at Gasthuismolensteeg 7 in the Nine Streets area.
Then there is the Hermitage Amsterdam, which displays a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibitions. The main focus is on art, but you will also be able to see many antique uniforms, gowns, and accessories on display.
Visit for Fashion Week
One of the best times of the year to be in Amsterdam is during Fashion Week. There are actually two fashion weeks, one held in January and one held in July. The Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Amsterdam (AFW) showcases the best young talent in the country, and it also attracts international names.
Throughout the week there are many catwalk shows, and there is a diverse program to enjoy. It is held in the Westergasfabriek, but you will also find that a number of parties and exhibitions are held throughout the city during the week, making it an exciting time to be in Amsterdam.
Get Inspired by the Fashion Scene in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a fascinating fashion scene, and whether you want to visit the fashionable highlights or hit the shops, you can easily spend a few days here enjoying everything that the city has to offer. Try to visit some of the museums that are of interest to the fashion conscious, and if you can book your hotel during one of the two fashion weeks, you will be able to experience the city at the most exciting times of the year. So get inspired and have a fantastic time in Amsterdam.
Fiona Moriarty is a content strategist for Hipmunk. She enjoys sharing her fashion insights. You can read her articles on many style and fashion sites.