Friday 6 June 2014

A.M. WESTEN at FASHIONCLASH Festival Side Program

A.M. WESTEN for the de Bijenkorf Maastricht Pop-Up Store Challange during FASHIONCLASH Festival Side Program 

A.M. WESTEN, fashion label by Annemarie Manon Westen is the winner of this year’s Pop-up Store challenge at the de Bijenkorf Maastricht. The talented fashion designer, who grew up in Mussel- kanaal, is currently based in Utrecht. Despite her interest in fashion from a young age, Annemarie only decided to become a fashion designer after she was accepted at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU). Her current A.M. WESTEN designs reflect femininity, allure and strength. Annemarie credits her work to her mother’s creativity and her grandmother’s sense of style.

What made you decide to compete for the de Bijenkorf Pop-up Store challenge?
As a new label, I strive to focus on where I can sell my designs. De Bijenkorf, as a higher segment warehouse, was a great opportu- nity to showcase and introduce A.M. WESTEN to the potential customers.

How do you feel as a winner of the de Bijenkorf Pop-up Store challenge?
The opportunity to have my own ‘pop-up’ store is great in itself, let alone that this is at the de Bijenkorf! Now, I can reach a higher range of women. How would you describe your role in Maastricht as a Modestad? Maastricht is a very classy and historical city in the Netherlands. One can see that in Maastricht, and in southern regions of the Netherlands, women put much effort in their appearance.

Can you describe your design aesthetics?
A.M. WESTEN is qualified with a sophisticated wearability. It fo- cuses on elegant, contemporary designs and plaiting techniques, and works with graphic lines and elegant material. With A.M. WESTEN, women look both feminine and powerful at the same time.

What kind of feeling do you want to transfer with your latest collection/creation?
I stand for an ‘idea’ as a label, where it is all about the feeling of a garment, and how it makes the wearer feel. It plays with folding and plaiting techniques that, during movements, reveal and unveil some parts of the body. This feeling of strength and elegance is what I want to give to the wearer.

Where do you see your label in five years? What are your expectations, especially after winning the de Bijenkorf challenge?
In five years, A.M. WESTEN will have grown to a company and our market will be known not only nationally, but also at a global level. By then, we will have already developed brand awa- reness and established regular customers, who are completely satisfied with our designs/pro- ducts. That is the main-goal of the label.

What attracts you about the FASHIONCLASH platform? It is very interesting to focus on women and their fashion styles in the south of the Netherlands. The combination of FASHIONCLASH and de Bijenkorf is a logical step to bringing out this classy side of the area.

What can we expect from you in the future?
From this year on, we are going to profile ourselves both nation- ally and globally. This summer we will have a stand at the Copen- hagen visionFair. In a few years, A.M. WESTEN womenswear will grow in brand awareness.

Collection s/s’14
Photo: Ruben Duipmans
Model: Manouk @ elvis Models Pressphoto: Boris Postma

designer Annemarie Westen

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