The winner of Global Denim Awards 2016: Anbasja Blanken & ITV Denim

October 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Amsterdam, Denim, Fashion, Featured Items, Kingpins Show

The third edition of the Global Denim Awards, made possible by e3 cotton, was electrifying. In the presence of nearly 600 denim professionals from all over the world, a jury of international denim experts selected Dutch designer Anbasja Blanken and Italian mill ITV Denim as the winning collaboration for this year’s Best Collection Award. Indian mill Arvind walks away with the Best Fabric Award.

With 11 mills and designers involved this year, the Global Denim Awards has almost doubled its number of participants since debuting in 2014. The quality of the competing collections this year was extremely high. It is safe to say that within the three years of its existence, the Global Denim Awards has grown into the premier platform for denim design, sustainability and craftsmanship.

GDA 2016 paired emerging fashion designers with a selection of the most progressive denim mills worldwide, in order to co-create elaborate and inspired capsule collections.The collections showcased the collaborators’ combined craftsmanship, original designs, and denim innovation. The collections were then judged by an international jury of denim industry experts, comprised of the designer and best-selling author of Denim Dudes Amy Leverton, the designer/stylist duo Art Comes First, trendhunter and self-confessed denim junkie Kelly Harrington, and the global sales director of Scotch & Soda Alex Jaspers.

The winning collection came from designer Anbasja Blanken and mill ITV Denim. Euphoric winner Blanken explains: “My concept was about the deep sea, and more specifically coral, the ‘flowers of the sea’. Some coral’s colours alternate when the light changes. It can even be luminescent. What if my denim pieces produced light themselves?” To honour her inspiration, ITV created glow in the dark denim fabric especially for Blanken. Barbara Gnutti of ITV Denim adds: “It was not easy but we found a way of putting the luminescence into our yarn.”

Brent Crossland of e3 cotton says:
“To us, it is genuinely exciting to bring these young designers together with the mills, and see them engage in endeavors they normally would not do, expanding their knowledge together. This results in real innovation, that normally I think wouldn’t happen.”

Indian denim mill Arvind won the honorary Best Fabric Award in recognition for its innovative yet traditional fabrics. The Khadi fabrics, which were used by Roosmarijn Koster for her capsule collection, are traditionally handwoven and as authentically Indian as can be. Jury member Amy Leverton said: “To us as a jury, innovation is not only a way of creating new technologies, but it’s also looking back and realising that if we lose the past, we’ll lose it forever. By conserving the past, we are nurturing the future. Arvind supports these villages and its inhabitants to continue creating this traditional denim. Economically that does not make sense. But from a sustainability point of view, it’s invaluable. That’s why the Fabric Award also goes to the mill’s community, not to Arvind alone.”

Co-founder Mariette Hoitink (of HTNK) says: “Global Denim Awards is to me, as a matchmaker in fashion, the best ‘blue love’ match ever made.”

The Global Denim Awards is made possible by e3 Cotton and initiated and organised by HTNK, Kingpins Show and House of Denim. The event coincides with the Amsterdam edition of Kingpins Show.

The winning collection will be exhibited at Kingpins Shows in New York City and Hong Kong, before returning to the Netherlands for Amsterdam Denim Days 2017.