Boutique call

Amsterdam is packed with cool boutiques; Cynthia Putman discovers some hip stores that are a little off the beaten track

Feature

Friday, 26 August, 2011 by Cynthia Putman

  • Bleecker New and Vintage clothing
  • J. C. Herman Pottenbakkerij
  • Unicorn boutique

Bleecker New & Vintage Clothing
De Pijp is the reserve of quirky cafes and the heaving Albert Cuypmarkt – and also of Bleecker New & Vintage Clothing. Owner Ronald Tuilan was so inspired by New York’s Bleecker Street, the city’s centre for vintage attire, that he felt compelled to create something similar in Amsterdam. ‘I wanted to recreate a place where people could rummage for vintage gems that have that one-off appeal,’ he says. ‘We’re talking everything from a retro €2 snakeskin wallet to a Maison Martin Margiela biker jacket for €350.’

Bleecker New & Vintage Clothing, Eerste Jan Steenstraat 131, 1072 NJ Amsterdam, +31 (0)62 504 2382

Blond
Fair-haired duo Femke van Geffen and Janneke Dröge set up Blond to fill a gap in the gift market. Their quirky sketches of, unsurprisingly, two blonde girls, make it onto teapots, mugs, notebooks and even quilt covers; department store De Bijenkorf has recently started stocking their wares. Need to pick up a birthday present? The Delftware-inspired milk jug from the pair’s new collection is a winner and Blond will personalise all crockery for a small price.

Blond, Gerard Doustraat 69, 1072 VL Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 428 4929

J. C. Herman Pottenbakkerij
The red light district may be a spot for naughtiness and boozing, but search a little further and the likes of J. C. Herman Pottenbakkerij can be found. Set up earlier this year by potter Herman Verhagen, who studied his art at Amsterdam’s prestigious Rietveld Academie, this pottery-filled store offers all manner of highly covetable vessels, cups and vases that have that where-did-you-get-that-from appeal. Verhagen’s style is rustic. ‘I like things heavy and not too pretty or finished,’ he says. Visitors can even make their own pot in the store if nothing takes their fancy.

J. C. Herman Pottenbakkerij, Sint Jansstraat 15, 1012 HG Amsterdam, +31 (0)65 794 5494

Mumu’s Shoes
Manuela Sabarez, the owner of Mumu’s Shoes, has selected the hottest heels in Europe to grace the shelves of this luxe boutique with its polished white interior and copper-coloured carpet. She wants each client to ‘feel like a princess’ the moment they set foot in the store. Brands stocked include everything from all-leather, sky-scraping heels from Romania-based designer DnV to must-have haute couture from Dutch designer Henk Hendriks.

Mumu’s Shoes, Herengracht 360, 1016 CH Amsterdam, +31 (0)64 539 4781

Rosa Rosas
This is a boutique for dedicated followers of vintage fashion. Its paisley tea dresses, woollen shawls, brightly coloured court shoes and retro Ray-Ban sunnies are selected by the store’s owner Carien Reugebrink, whose personal style is obvious in everything from the pretty lilac walls to the vintage sweet jar crammed with humbugs on the counter. The mood wall covered in pages torn from Vogue magazines is a neat touch and the welcoming vibe of this place – expect wide smiles and, if you are lucky, a cup of tea – is matched by its affordability.

Rosa Rosas, Rietwijkerstraat 33, 1059 VW Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 617 5148

Studio 91
Set up by a bunch of budding Dutch artists and designers, this minimalist white-walled boutique in the Jordaan is more edgy than girly. ‘Our stuff is a little darker, a little more baroque,’ says Hester Slaman, co-founder and fashion designer. ‘We like to show people something different to the regular stuff you can get on the high street.’ If Studio 91’s horse-themed crocheted bags and flesh-coloured see-through slips aren’t for you, then the rolling in-store exhibitions are definitely worth perusing. Designer Marc van der Voorn recently exhibited his eclectic collection of curiously shaped lamps.

Studio 91, Elandsgracht 91, 1016 TS Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 616 5444

Unicorn Boutique
This is more of a curiosity cabinet than a boutique, with quirky trinkets filling every nook and cranny. There are hand-painted tea cups from Paris, retro Transformers lunchboxes and, of course, unicorn-inspired jewellery, crockery and toys. ‘My house was filled with all this vintage stuff and then I ran out of room and decided to set up a shop,’ explains owner Iris Klein. She stresses that this pink-walled boutique is an experience that goes beyond shopping. ‘I want people to pop in, sit down for a cup of tea, have a chat and maybe find something special that they will treasure.’

Unicorn Boutique, Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 1, 1015 RX Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 626 2953

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