The convergence of fashion and design is no new story, although it tends to be the purview of Italian houses (Armani, Missoni, and Bulgari, for example), with the Americans (Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren) a close second. So bully that the Dutch are staking a claim to the scene. Otto Nan and Suzanne Oxenaar, the duo behind Amsterdam’s Hotel the Exchange, call their third foray into the hospitality business a “fashion hotel.” But this effort—located in the Damrak section of the city, and accompanied by a restaurant (Stock) and contemporary-design shop (Options!)—is a showplace for both established and nascent Dutch design. The Hotel features 61 one- to five-star rooms “dressed” as if they were catwalks models, with inspiration coming from sources as divergent as denim jackets, Marie Antoinette’s panniers, wallflowers, and Frida Khalo’s wardrobe. One-of-a-kind textiles are used throughout, a result of a partnership Nan and Oxenaar forged with eight students and alumni of Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI), who in turn worked with local studio Ina Matt in cooperation with the Dutch Textile Museum (Textielmuseum) to create these fabrics.
The rooms themselves feature a treasure-trove of pieces by a who’s who of the contemporary-design scene, from Ed Annink and Claudy Jongstra to Ineke Hans and Konstantin Grcic. The hotel also worked with Royal Mosa to create two custom lines of tiles used throughout. Dutch architectural firm Onswerk oversaw the combining of the hotel’s three buildings, adding transparent panels to allow hotel visitors to peer between floors and retail and restaurant spaces. (All photos by Mirjam Bleeker.)