Conveniently situated in the Jordaan, The New Label Project (TNLP) offers handmade clothes and unique accessories by emerging designers in a friendly, cozy setting. It all started about 2 years ago when Giulia, a fashion stylist and designer from Turin, realized her dream of having her own special store.
Here’s what she told us about fashion, Amsterdam and why TNLP is more than just a shop.
When did you first move to Amsterdam and why?
I first moved here in 2005, coming from a very busy and hectic life in Milan where I was working as a fashion stylist and shoe designer. With Amsterdam, it was love at first sight! It’s got the magic vibe of huge cities like London and New York, but at the same time it’s extremely relaxing and easy to live in. I originally came for love, then love vanished, and… I’m still here!
Do you enjoy living in Amsterdam? What are the things you miss most from Italy?
I really like it here, I have the feeling that there is a tiny place for everyone in Amsterdam. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, what you used to do and be… Here you can simply be and enjoy life.
I have some trouble finding space here, I would say that’s the thing I miss most from my beloved Italy: huge squares (in my town, Turin, we have the largest baroque square in Europe), big streets, big houses… The typical Dutch narrow streets are cute and nice, but sometimes I really feel like I can’t breathe enough. On the other hand, I have never been privileged to live in a city with such a beautiful park as Vondelpark: best place ever!
How long have you been involved with TNLP?
TNLP is about to celebrate its 2nd anniversary, and I can’t tell you how excited I am! It all started 2 years ago together with my love at the time: You know when you have this dream, being a pilot, a singer, or a ballerina… Well, I dreamt for years and years about having my own store where I could sell a bit of everything and make it a cozy place where people could come in and spend some time browsing around, finding inspiration and have a moment of pure cheerfulness. We go too fast in our daily life, so I find it important sometimes to just slow down, admire things and let the mind wonder around.
I studied fashion and textile in UK and always had a passion for making things by myself (it’s in my family blood). So this is how TNLP was born… Giving talented designers from all over the world the opportunity to be “boxed” in Amsterdam!
Tell us a few things about TNLP and the kind of items people can expect to find there.
TNLP’s motto is “creativity is connecting things”. This is exactly what I, together with my crew of designers, do every day: by displaying their handmade creations and offering them to customers, I create a bond between them. Inside every box you can find a small story about the brand or the designer. Each box has a different display and designers can customize it, making it their own little ‘shop inside the shop’.
At TNLP you can find all kind of jewelry, from silver/gold to rubber/silicon and gem stones. Then we have bags, clothes, knitted garments, and home accessories like pillows (the cat pillow is a big hit!), ceramic dishes, lamps and vases, together with some beautiful art pieces like photos of Amsterdam and various illustrations.
All this is surrounded by a very easy-going and relaxed atmosphere, some music and of course, being Italian, I’m always up for a chat!
TNLP also organizes workshops. What exactly do these involve?
Our workshops are called “learnshop” simply because this is exactly what you do when you join one: you learn a technique, you learn how to do something. And it is actually a lot of fun, both for the designer who will be a teacher for one day, and the customers who love to create things.
I remember the very first workshop a year and a half ago, where we had to make a house miniature by using felt, cotton, silk and cardboard. The result was so cute and everyone was so happy! We don’t want to teach something extremely complicated, but the idea is that you go home and make it again for your friends, as a gift or simply to decorate your house. And then we have jewel workshops, the most successful one being about polymer clay technique (we even use an oven inside the shop!).
You have met lot of young designers. What is your experience of working with them?
I feel extremely lucky and honored to work with all of them: they are young, talented and very easy to work with. At the base of our relation there is trust and respect for each other’s work, and of course lots of creativity and inspiration to make it a big success! I have designers that started with me almost 2 years ago, I see them pretty often and by now I consider them friends. I very much enjoy working with all of them, each one has got something special!
How do you find the Amsterdam fashion scene?
After having experienced London and Milan, I sometimes find it a bit too extreme. I refer only to the Amsterdam Fashion Week, so what you see on catwalks. What I love and admire the most is when designers create something extremely cool but still wearable. We all love a 4-meter-long dress with tons of studs, lace and feathers, but at the end of the day we still have to be able to breathe, move, walk and sit.
But if we’re talking about street style, how fashion really is on a daily basis… I just love it! Amsterdam is the greatest melting pot of styles, colors, and shapes; it’s very inspiring to walk around.
What is the thing you love most about your work?
I love waking up each and every day full of happiness and excitement about what the day at TNLP will bring! I also love to have people from all over the world visiting the store. Immediately after launching the shop, I remember meeting customers from Canada, Australia, Japan, UK, Brazil, people who shared with me a tiny part of their journey, their feelings about the city, about the shop… How cool is this? And of course I love the trustful collaboration I have with my designers. I feel extremely lucky to have all their beautiful creations here at TNLP.
The New Label Project
Rozengracht 75, 1016 LT Amsterdam