Incase you didn’t already know it’s that time of year again when Amsterdam city centre turns a deeper shade of blue as the global denim community descends on the Dutch capital for the seasonal Kingpins show and annual Denim Days and Blue Print festival. 

During the 5 day event from 23-28th October, there is a full programme of events for denim lovers of every kind, from expert trend talks, sustainability conferences, meeting brands and makers as well as getting your hands blue with a range of interactive indigo experiences. It’s here in Amsterdam during this event that denim devotees and influential denim innovators in the industry come together to celebrate all things indigo.

As the new contributing editor for Denim Dudes, I’m excited to get back into the thick of it all and share the experience with all you lovely denim readers out there. Both Amy and I will be reporting live from the event and sharing the all the action; from street style, new fabric innovations, emerging brands and all the friendly faces that make the event so much fun to attend every season. SO make sure you follow the @denimdudes and @samutaro insta accounts to keep up with it all.

But before it all kicks off, we wanted to give you guys an insiders look into what to expect and what to check out during both Kingpins and Denim Days. This Denim Dudes top 10 list is our essential guide to Amsterdam with personal tips on what events to attend, stores to check out, and where to stay, eat and drink.

 

DRINK COFFEE @ NEWWERKTHEATRE

There are few things that prepare you for a day of denim hunting quite like a visit to your favourite barista. And let us tell you, Amsterdam is well known for its love of real, good coffee. You can find everything from Instagrammable flat whites to the wave of artisan coffee pop-ups. While local connoisseurs will have their own opinions on the best place to start your morning or refuel during the day, we like to get our caffeine fix in the capital at NewWerkTheatre.

Oostenburgergracht 75, 1018 NC Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

EAT PANCAKES @ MOOK

Amsterdam might be the known as the denim capital of Europe but its better known for its Dutch pancakes. If you ask any local where the best place to tuck into the best in the city they will tell you Mook. Its located a little outside of the city centre, just over the bridge from Jordaan, and is run by a group of young guys who are wholly passionate about the process of making pancakes. Their hip-hop inspired menu has quirky favourites like The Infamous (Daily Paper Special) with heavy amount fruit and lavishing of chocolate for those with a sweet tooth, while The Bubba Sparxx mixes it up with a savoury choice of chicken and sweetcorn. These are just a few of the ones that I’ve sampled, but the list goes on.

De Clercqstraat 34, 1053 LB Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

GET LUNCH @ LOTTIE’S BAR & GRILL, THE HOXTON

The Hoxton is the new urban hotspot in Amsterdam and is where the Denim Dudes team will be residing during Denim Days. Even if you don’t stay here, it is a great spot to check out for lunch as its not far from Kingpins show, or even if you wanted somewhere to hang out during the evening for wine, cocktails or a long dinner. The tasteful interior with the bottle green seats, exposed piping, rustic wooden features and the stark white tiles that evoke the feeling of being in an urban New York venue.

Herengracht 255, 1016 BJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

HANG OUT @ SOHO HOUSE AMSTERDAM

We might be a bit ambitious with this roof top swimming pool pic when its mid October, but Europe has been experiencing somewhat of an Indian summer and we’re rooting for it to roll over during Denim Days. Rain or shine though, you need head over to the new SOHO House Amsterdam where you’ll be brushing shoulders with international jet-setters, entrepreneurs and local Amsterdam creatives alike. The six-storey building is the latest edition to the brands list of 22 global club house locations. It features 79 hotel bedrooms, screening rooms, a spa and Cecconi’s restaurant. If you’re fly enough to have an all-house card and visited any of their global locations before you’ll be familiar with their stylish interiors and arty flourishes that have a home-from-home feeling.

Spuistraat 210, 1012 VT Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

GET AN AFTERNOON TREAT @TOKI

If you’re looking for something a little closer to Kingpins show then we recommend checking out TOKI for a quick coffee or lunch. Located in a beautiful corner building on a side street of the Haarlemmerdijk (also where you’ll also find great stores like Store Without a HomeRestored and Tenue de Nimes) TOKI is a great spot to refresh, chill out and take in the calming atmosphere of this the minimalist space: the wooden bar and the Amsterdam Blauw (blue) floor are particulary stunning. The space also features some other inspiring interior details like the couches, one of which is made out of marble and the other couch is a design of Stephen Kenn from Los Angeles. Be careful not too relax in them too long though as they’re so comfy that you’ll struggle to get back up. If you’re a coffee connoisseur, you’ll appreciate the Bonanza Coffee Roasters Berlin they serve up , whilst the delicious cakes by Petit Gateau are worth testing out too.

Binnen Dommersstraat 15, 1013 HK Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

DRINK @ CAFE DE PIJP

If you’re looking for somewhere to start of your evening ahead of the loaded schedule of denim parties during denim days, we recommend heading to Café de Pijp. This spot is popular with both young and old hands with its reasonably-priced drinks menu. If the sun is still on our side during October you might be lucky enough to enjoy the terrrace, otherwise the inside bar provides a cool vibe to unwind after a long day of denim.

Ferdinand Bolstraat 17-19, 1072 LA Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

DINE LIKE A STAR @ MAMA KELLY

If you’re looking for a slap-up meal that’s  Insta-ready, then look no further than Mama Kelly. The restaurants millennial pink interior and bright white show lights will have you feeling like you’re in a Wes Anderson film as you tuck into a choice of either chicken or lobster. Located at the Olympisch Stadion in Amsterdam’s outskirts, the 1,000 is square-metre (10,763 sq ft), 230-seat restaurant is a spectacular in itself and worth the journey if you’re looking to experience something new in the city.

Olympisch Stadion 35, 1076 DE Amsterdam, Netherlands

Celebrate @ Tenue de Nimes 10th Anniversary, Benzak 5th Anniversary and Nudie Jeans 1 year

A stop in Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t pass through the doors of premium denim purveyors Tenue De Nîmes. For the past 10 years the guys at the store have been serving you up the best denim from around the world that has unquestionably made it one of the best denim stores in the world. Founder Menno and the team are hosting a celebratory 10 year anniversary party for friends, family and denim lovers on Saturday night at Blue Print festival in collaboration with legendary Japanese jeanswear brand Momotaro. To mark the milestone, Tenue de Nîmes and Momortaro have come together to create a very special double indigo ‘Go to War’ jean that is limited to just 60 pairs. Alongside this, they will also release a special Blue Propaganda tee made by Office of Information for Tenue de Nîmes x Denim Days.  And if thats not enough, during Kingpins the guys at the store will completely revamp their Tenue de Nîmes Vintage Gallery in the former back-house of the Haarlemmerstraat store. People can find a huge selection of 60s, 70s and 80s jeans from Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler. On top of that the Gallery presents some of the best Tenue de Nîmes archive pieces that will now be for sale. Think Korean War Jackets, original Hawaii shirts and American Sportswear! Make sure you stop by both the store and the party early to get hold of some of this special product.

DATE: Saturday 27th of October
TIME: 7pm
LOCATION: Blue Print Festival

Another longstanding Amsterdam denim dude, Lennaert Nijgh of Benzak celebrates a milestone this year too with his 5-year anniversary. Whats more he’s just opened up a brand new studio, which means its time to party! As part of the anniversary, Lennaert has teamed up with Candiani Denim and collaborated on an exclusive fabric: ‘special #2’ 15 oz. vintage indigo selvedge. The event which promises food, drinks and fun will kick-off right after the final day of Kingpins on Thursday 25th October and the studio is just a short 10 minute walk from the Westergasterrein (where Kingpins is held) so there’s no excuse to miss this one.

DATE: Thursday 25th of October
TIME: 18:00 – 22:00
LOCATION: Buyspad 2

Rumour has it that Nudie Jeans have sold close to a million pairs of our jeans in the Netherlands. This is a mind blowing number and one that lead the Swedish retailer to open their first Repair Shop in the Dutch Capital, or European Denim Capital as its better known last year. Located in the heart of Amsterdam’s most photogenic micro-neighbourhood, known to locals as De Negen Straatjes or ‘The Nine Streets’, this is a legendary neighbourhood bursting with denim stores, vintage op-shops, cafes and bars and the Repair Shop is a welcome addition. They will be following up their grand opening party, with with a special 1st year anniversary party at the store held after the day 1 of Kingpins. Make sure you get there early as the first 100 people to come through the door will get a free Limited Edition Nudie Jeans X Amsterdam Tee.

DATE: Wednesday 24th October.
TIME: 6pm until the beers run out
LOCATION: Hartenstraat 2 1016 CB, Amsterdam Netherlands

 

LISTEN & LEARN @ DENIM DAYS SEMINARS & TALKS 

If you don’t know your Two Horse Logo from your Hair on Hide’s then you might want to book yourself in for a denim branding masterclass with branding expert Nick Williams. Fresh off the press from his recent book launch, Denim Branded, Nick will be heading out to Amsterdam to make 2 special talks that will explore denim branding’s evolution and give you a history lesson as well as interesting insights that he dug up in the process of researching his new book. The talk will be held during Kingpins so this is only one for denim industry, but you can also pick up the book at Blue Print.

DATE: Thursday 25th October.
TIME: 1:30pm
LOCATION: Kingpins

 

Blue Print Festival will also be hosting a schedule of inspiring talks over the weekend. On Saturday you can listen to local Amsterdam heroes like Jason Denham of Denham the Jeanmaker who will be giving a talk on 10 years of Denham, while Tony Tonnaer will be educating you on the importance of sustainability and low impact denim. And off the back of the Denim Dudettes book, our very own Amy Leverton will also be giving a talk on girls in the denim industry. Sunday will feature indigo master, Celia Geraedts of Blue Print Amsterdam who will be taking you on a blue handed trip through the world of indigo & sustainable small batch production, while Bert van Son – CEO/Owner Mud Jeans will discuss the hot topic of  the Circular Economy and Mud jeans ‘Lease a Jean’ approach.  See the full program of events here.

 

PICK UP ESSENTIAL READING @ WORN x KINGPINS

You might already be familiar with the WORN Publication series, the collaborative book between our pals The Vintage Showroom and Sue Barrett. Now in its 3rd edition and in collaboration with Kingpins, the book once again covers an incredible array of denim street style looks, specifically digging into western style this time round, with wearers showing of their favourite pieces and their flair for style. Photographer John Turner lends his hand for a beautiful selection of calm and crafted documentary style shots from London and Stockholm. This combined with the unrivalled archive and expansive knowledge of The Vintage Showroom and Sue Barrett’s insider knowledge and natural storytelling, and you have the perfect recipe for inspiring denim lovers. The book will be available to purchase at Kingpins or if you cant wait you can pre-order now.