Jan 10, 2019 | By Sandy Chu
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When many people think of Amsterdam they think of pot and prostitution – both are semi-legal here. Others think of tulips and windmills – tulips are not currently in season and there are few windmills in Amsterdam proper as they were not built in cities because the buildings block the wind. Dig a bit past these common associations however and you will find a city bursting with design and fashion talent. Any country that can claim Viktor & Rolf and Rem Koolhaas as native sons is definitely worth a second look on the design front. The Dutch government is doing its part to support and encourage the next generation of fashion designers – Europe is cool with the arts funding like that, you know. In what feels like an “only in Amsterdam” scenario, the Dutch authorities last year bought 55 buildings from a former brothel kingpin and have now temporarily handed 16 of the buildings over to the most promising fashion designers. Most of the designers have their designs displayed on mannequins and dress forms in what were previously the windows where the girls would sit to advertise for customers. (The other rooms in the buildings are being used as atelier and living space.) The initiative is called Redlight Fashion Amsterdam. These young Dutch designers now have a rent-free space to live and work in the very heart of the city. The red light district is in fact the oldest part of Amsterdam and many of the buildings are stunning and back right up to narrow canals Venice-style. I’m now the founding and only member of the People Who Visit The Amsterdam Red Light District To Observe Architecture And Shoot Streetstyle Photos Committee…xo eddie
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