"Amsterdam is the best place to be to do business," stressed Amrin Sachathep, director at the Atlantic Mills during the Kingpins 4th edition in the self-proclaimed denim capital of Europe. Although he has attended other Kingpins shows in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, he believes that the best place to do business, catch up clients and enjoy the true denim feeling is the city of Amsterdam. (not to mention that the majority of their customers have their headquarters in the city!)
The 'casual' denim trade fair returned to the Gashouder at the Westergasfabriek once more, showcasing the latest innovations and denim fabrics from some of world's best denim mills and manufacturers. Sachathep notes that Dutch have a similar attitude towards business as the Americans; "Except they actually come to events like this to work," he adds with a laugh. "The Spanish are really great to work with as well - they know what they want and if you have it, for the right price, then you can be sure that they are buying it." With visitors coming from all over the global, Kingpins remains one of the most international trade fair for denim.
"Denim here, denim there, denim everywhere," joked Swiss menswear designer Michael Seiter. Although he is visiting the city as part of this year's Global Denim Awards, his visit to Kingpins is purely business. "Today is a working day. I am here to see what these manufacturers have to offer and of course be inspired by all these innovations in denim. There is a great vibe here in this venue, everyone seems excited to be here - and who wouldn't be with all these wonderful denim around?"
By ITV Denim,Jonathan Christopher, the winner of the first Global Denim Award paid his former partnering mill a visit to see what new materials they had to show this time round. When partnered together for the début edition of the Global Denim Awards in 2014, the two had turned out to be a match made in heaven. Barbara Gnutti, exports manager for the Italian vertically integrated denim was surprised at how quickly their relationship blossomed. "I am so happy we were given this opportunity. Jonathan is an amazing guy."
Another former nominee for the Global Denim Awards 2014, Bhavesh Samij, also attended Kingpins this year together with denim mill Orta Anadolu. "I am happy I get to visit Amsterdam again and attend Kingpins together with Orta. Although it's all just a day's work, the atmosphere here is very positive which great to see."
Alberto Bressan, Brand Manager for Hugo Boss agrees that Kingpins Amsterdam offers a buzzing vibe to do business. "This is my first time visiting Kingpins, but I really like it. I have been to other denim trade fairs in Barcelona, but I love the hall atmosphere here and the location. Our designer I am with has been before and always loves coming."
"At the moment we are very into Japanese denim and selvedge denim, so we are looking for mills that specialise in these denims in particular." They will likely have no difficulty in finding the denim mills they need as some of the world's largest producers of Japanese denim and selvedge denim attend Kingpins on a regular basis.
With buyers buzzing by nearly all the stands, lines for coffee growing and the hum of activity continuing into the evening, it is no wonder that Kingpins founder Andrew Olah offers us such a big smile when we ask to take his photo. The Kingpins show in Amsterdam runs from October 28 to 29, before jumping to New York for next month's edition, causing the coined phrase: "See you in New York?" to echo throughout the hall.
Photo Credit: Simon Trel Photography