5 Dutch and Belgian brands we LOVE

Essentiel Antwerp: Off-beat, chic

Essentiel Antwerp is the off-beat, chic blast of color you’ve been looking for. The brand runs size 34 – 44 in the women’s range. They also have a men’s range, but…. truth be told, it is nowhere near as cool as their women’s line. Time for a full disclosure: I own a hot pink pair of loafers, one bad ass white leather jacket, a sweater with Kermit the Frog, which just says “Frog You”, and finally my beloved Peanuts accordion skirt that I would frequently wear to my very corporate day job in the “before times”.

With eight stores in the Netherlands – two in Amsterdam – and 21 stores in Belgium, you’re never far from color.

  • Hartenstraat 8, 1016 CB (Jordaan)
  • Utrechtsestraat 145, 1017 VM (Center)

Pom (Piece of Mine) to bring home

Via Vai – the ‘go your way’ shoe

Via Vai is the shoe you wear if you got places to be, need to get there in a hurry, and need to look good doing it. Italian craftsmanship, but with the sensibility of the Dutch, Via Vai is one of our favorite go-to shoe brands. The brand, which is stocked in quite a few stores in the Jordaan is at a reasonable price point for leather-made shoes.

  • Fou de Shoe: Berenstraat 40, Amsterdam

Demure , elegance

Demure Amsterdam is a milliner based in Amsterdam. Founded in 2006 by Japanese milliner Yuki Isshiki the couture pieces can be found on the fashionable women of Amsterdam and in the magazines they are reading. Yuki prefers, whenever possible, to meet clients in her studio so that pieces can be tried on and fit adjusted… Sustainable materials are a top priority as is the overall aesthetic and design. The pieces are a similar prices point to other hat stores around Amsterdam.

  • Demure , Korte Marnixstraat 5, 1013HT (appointment suggested)

Scotch & soda

Evoking the playful spirit of Amsterdam, Scotch & Soda founded in 1985 as a menswear brand has come quite a long way in its history. While styles and design may have changed, staying true to classics is what has kept this company in business: think white shirts, workwear chinos, bomber jackets ( I have a rad one I bought in London and Carly has quite a few pieces), and seersucker. Scotch & Soda is a brand that want you to have fun with your clothes, to live a little and get outside of your comfort zone, and of course, it’s excellent for biking around the city.

There are four stand-alone stores conveniently located in Amsterdam – plus collections at De Bijenkorf. To find your nearest store, click here.

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