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Organizing a Fashion Week involves many different fashion experts who excel in each of their disciplines, from director to designer. Those interested in working in the fashion industry can meet professionals right here on FashionWeekWeb and learn more about the Fashion Week business. With this interview series, FashionUnited looks behind the catwalk to introduce those who bring great fashion events to life around the globe. We recently chatted with Mandy to learn more about her role during Amsterdam Fashion Week.
Mandy, you are working at Amsterdam Fashion Week, can you tell us a little bit about the event?
At Amsterdam Fashion Week local top design talent is showcasing their collections and there is also a great platform for upcoming design talent. The event attracts the cream of the international scene while also reaching out to the general public. The Netherlands is such a great origin for talented designers and this needs to be celebrated and cherished. And Amsterdam Fashion Week is doing exactly that. For example with the fashion show of Ronald van der Kemp this last edition and with providing a real opportunity to young design talents to showcase their collections in the Lichting fashion show.
This September edition, fashion shows were spread across Amsterdam, from the Moco Museum Garden, to the Nieuwe Kerk and Capital C. Each location was carefully matched with the concepts of the fashion shows, creating a fantastic experience for the audience. What I also love about Amsterdam Fashion Week is that it blends in fashion with other inspiring artistic sides that Amsterdam has to offer, like photography, art and design. In my opinion, this really elevates the overall feeling of connectedness of the city to the event, making it a cultural treasure.
Please tell us about your role at Amsterdam Fashion Week.
The Style School ByDanie is requested by Amsterdam Fashion Week to deliver dressers backstage to support the design teams with the fashion shows. The dressing team assists with clothing fittings of the models, preparing the outfits for the runway and dressing the models for rehearsals and the fashion shows.
On behalf of Style School ByDanie it is my role to support Amsterdam Fashion Week in planning and execution of the dressing for the fashion shows, coordinating and instructing the dressers so they know exactly what to do backstage, communicating with the design team and making sure that the design teams feel supported by the dressers so they can focus on delivering the fashion show as they envisioned it and making it a success.
What do you like most about your job?
I really love the creative process and the collaboration with all the different parties that goes on backstage. At Amsterdam Fashion Week every day is different and being able to provide creative ‘on the spot’ solutions is what really makes it exciting. Also seeing the design team’s appreciation for the work and support our team has put in is amazing. As a team we have broad experience with fashion shows and our dressers are able to handle any situation that occurs. We can easily blend in with the design team. The dressers are able to provide trust and confidence to the design team during the hectic spur of the show. This requires specific training of our dressers which we, including myself, provide continuously at Style School ByDanie. The feeling of delivering a fabulous fashion show together is great!
What is your professional background? How did you become the Dresser Coordinator of Style School ByDanie at Amsterdam Fashion Week?
I am a personal and fashion stylist, graduated with the Style School ByDanie myself a couple of years ago. As a fashion entrepreneur I take on fashion projects like these at Amsterdam Fashion Week, I style for magazines and fashion brands and I exploit my own personal styling and coaching business “Ayna”. Furthermore, I am an educator at Style School ByDanie, where I was also requested to take on this role at Amsterdam Fashion Week.
Part of the mission of Style School ByDanie is that their students and graduates experience how the fashion business really works and provide them the opportunity to actually work on the fashion floors. The collaboration with Amsterdam Fashion Week is a great opportunity to show how exciting the fashion business can really be.
Did you always want to work for a fashion event like the Amsterdam Fashion Week?
O yes! Since I can remember, I followed the international fashion weeks and I remember going through all the fashion magazines starting from a young age. I enjoy the total creative process of a fashion show. And I love the esthetics of it. The detail that goes into creating each and every look, including the model selection. And then seeing the designer’s vision with the clothing coming alive during the fashion show. The hectic and excitement of delivering a fashion show is an amazing dynamic. It is different with each fashion show. Amsterdam Fashion Week is a dream for fashion lovers and creatives.
What is your advice for those who want to pursue a career in fashion?
Mostly: to know your own capabilities, never stop looking for opportunities and never give up. Also in order to really understand the fashion industry I believe you should emerge yourself in different parts of it. The fashion industry has so many different layers. If you want to be in fashion don’t overthink things. Just take action and experience for yourself. Personally, I believe that having a fashion education and having good network connections in fashion, like with Style School ByDanie, gives rise to immense opportunities in the industry. They have several options varying from an education to become an Allround Stylist to shorter period courses, which can both be easily combined with a job. It can kickstart your career, help you build portfolio and build up a sustainable network in the industry. And of course then you have the opportunity to work with us at Amsterdam Fashion Week!
Many thanks for your time!
Photos: The copyright for all photos in this article belongs to Amsterdam Fashion Week.
● Mandy Schleipfenbauer (headshot) – Photocredits “Alexia van der Meijden Photography”
● Mandy Schleipfenbauer with Model from Duran Lantink fashion show – Photocredits “Style School ByDanie”
● Group picture dressers of Style School ByDanie together with Danie Bles – Photocredits “Team Peter Stigter”
● Dresser of the Style School ByDanie with Models at Natan show – Photocredits “Team Peter Stigter”
● Group picture dressers Style School ByDanie – Photocredits “Style School ByDanie”