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Denim On Stage

University meets industry at Denim City in Amsterdam

The Enterprise of Culture comes to Denim city in Amsterdam on 30 October 2015 with an international conference on denim, organised in collaboration with HTNK fashion recruitment & consultancy.

Blue denim jeans are the most worn garments in the world. Even though denim is often perceived as a symbol of American culture, the denim fabric originated in Europe and has a long history. Yet it was only when denim trousers were riveted that the first modern pair of jeans were created in the late nineteenth century. Since this invention, jeans have made grand transformations from a worker’s garment, through a uniform of non-conformity and youth protest, to an item of fashion design. Meanwhile, the manufacturing of denim and jeans has been largely relocated from the USA to Japan, China, Brazil and Turkey. Recently, the Netherlands has become an international marketing cluster for the global denim industry.

The aim of this one-day conference is to explore the evolution of denim from its origins in the French town of Nîmes, through the American invention of the modern blue jeans, to the contemporary global manufacturing and marketing of denim and jeans.

Speakers include American, European and Japanese scholars, museum curators, and representatives of denim companies from Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, UK and USA. A round-table will discuss the future of denim and the conference will open the floor for debate.

Open to anyone with an interest in the business history of fashion, this one-day public conference aims to bring together fashion researchers, professionals of the industry, curators, archivists academics, students and wider public audiences.

Booking is essential as places are limited. The registration fee is €30 (€10 for students) and includes lunch, refreshments and a drinks reception. 
Click here to register


9H00-9H30                   Welcome coffee and tea

9H30-9H40                  Opening by Mariette Hoitink ( House of Denim & HTNK Fashion recruitment & consultancy)

 9H40-9H55                 The Enterprise of Culture: a new look at the European fashion industry Professor Regina Blaszczyk (Project Leader for the HERA-funded Enterprise of Culture project, University of Leeds)

9H55-10H10                Introduction to the conference theme
Dr Thierry Maillet (Enterprise of Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

SESSION 1                    DENIM CLUSTERS

10H10-10H25             The House of Denim as the result of the growth of Amsterdam as a hub/cluster for the world wide denim industry
James Veenhoff (House of Denim, Amsterdam)

10H25-10H40             Competitiveness of the Japanese denim and jeans industry:
the cases of Kaihara and Japan Blue, 1970-2015

Prof Ben Wubs (Erasmus University Rotterdam) & Prof Rika Fujioka (Kasai University, Osaka)

10H40-11H00             Questions  & discussion

11H00-11H15             COFFEE & TEA BREAK


SESSION 2                    DENIM HISTORY

11H15-11H30             Cotton: the making of a modern commodity
Prof Giorgio Riello (Enterprise of Culture, University of Warwick)

11H30-11H45             Jean and denim, between  myth and reality
Pascale Gorguet-Ballesteros (Curator Musée Galliera and Université Paris IV Sorbonne) & Aleth Jourdan (Director, Musée du Vieux Nîmes)

11H45-12H00             Questions  & discussion

12H00-12H30             keynote address
Adriano Goldschmied, the “Godfather“ of denim of Premium denim. He created Diesel, Replay, Gap 1969, and AG Adriano Goldschmied, and is currently directing Goldsign. 

12H30-13H30             LUNCH & DJ 

SESSION 3                    DENIM & MARKETING

13H30-13H45             ‘The Jeans that Built America’: music, image and myth in advertising for Lee and Levi’s between 1985 and 1994
Dr Paul Jobling (University of Brighton)

13H45-14H00             Building G-star as a global brand
Thecla-Schaeffer (Chief Marketing Officer at G-Star, Amsterdam)

14H00-14H15             The origins of Kingpins and the role of trade fairs in the denimindustry
Andrew Olah, (CEO Kingpins New York

14H15-14H30             Questions  & discussion

SESSION 4                   DENIM & REPUTATION 

14H30-14H45             Denim dudes: street style, vintage, workwear, obsession
Amy Leverton (Denim Dudes)

14H45-15H00             Denimism: denim in the feminist movement and the perception of the American media, 1915-1975
Pim Jansen Ma (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

14H45-15H00             Questions  & discussion

15H00-15H15             COFFEE & TEA BREAK

15H15-15H45             keynote address: A personal history of Japan Blue
Hisao Manabe (CEO Japan Blue)

15H45-16H30             Presentation by the House of Denim, Visit to the Denim Lab



                                   Chaired by Prof Ben Wubs and Dr Thierry Maillet

                                   (Enterprise of Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam)  

                                   - Mariette Hoitink (HTNK, Amsterdam)

                                   -James Veenhof, (House of Denim, Amsterdam)

                                   - Amy Leverton (Denim Dudes, London)

                                   - Andrew Olah, (CEO Kingpins, New York)

                                   - Thecla-Schaeffer (G-Star, Amsterdam)

                                   - Adriano Goldschmied (Goldsign, Los Angeles and Milan)

                                   - Hisao Manabe (Japan Blue, Kurashiki) 

                                   - Simon Giuliani (Candiani Denim, Milan Area)

17H00-18H00             DRINKS & DJ

See here for booking information

Full details about Denim on the stage can be found here, or email

Posted in: Education, Events, Talent

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