Interview with Daniëlle Cathari; Amsterdam’s finest young desinger

In the world of fashion, few are more up and coming than Daniëlle Cathari…

The young designer, still awaiting her graduation from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, has already seen her work featured at New York Fashion Week. What were you up to when you were still in school?

We had the chance to sit down with Daniëlle and pick her brains about her current range, one that incorporates some of that football and sport-inspired fashion that we can’t get enough of at LAF. We did so on set with another young Dutch talent, the singer Yade Lauren who wore Cathari’s amazing sporty range in our Sports issue. With Daniëlle we talked about the clothes, her soon-to-be graduation, New York, and, of course, her work with the iconic three stripes of adidas. Enjoy and if you don’t already know it, remember the name Daniëlle Cathari…

What inspired you to create this collection?

Daniëlle Cathari: The concept is about finding this balance between rational and emotional; I’ve made these opposites contrast each other in silhouette, styles and materials. I came up with this concept because previously I was ‘too’ rational. During and certainly after the process of this collection, I’m understanding how important it is to explore your feelings as a designer. Creativity should not limit you.

Is your collection for sale?

DC: Not just yet…

Why adidas and not any other sports brands (for example, Nike, Puma)?

DC: After doing a lot of research into sportswear, I went deeper into adidas and saw how iconic they have always been in street and sportswear. As well as that, I also think the 3 stripes of adidas are a great aesthetic. I wanted to make my own version of a tracksuit, but then get the semi-shiny fabric of old school adidas – but this substance was sought after everywhere! So, I decided to buy the vintage Adidas packages and break them up to get something new. 

Which designer inspires you most and why?

DC: That would be Grace (Wales Bonner) from London. Her way of thinking about fashion goes a step further; each collection is very conceptual and personal. Besides that, she is so good at creating the perfect cut and fit.

What are your dreams for the future?

DC: First, to graduate! And then to create a new collection for SS18. After that, I hope to create my own label and to do some networking and collaborations.

Describe your feelings when you saw your line at the New York Fashion Week? 

DC: I felt so happy at that time, haha! The showcase of my very first collection during Vfiles, NYFW is by far the best experience I’ve had so far. I learned a lot during what was a short, stressful but also very cool time and it’s also opened doors for me.

How is it that big artists like M.I.A. show interest in your collection?

DC: I definitely think it’s a nice compliment that artists are interested in my work. In any case, I really appreciate someone personally telling me that he or she thinks my work is nice.

Today, we see a lot of influence from sports and football culture in fashion. What effect does it have on your work?

DC: I’ve done gymnastics ever since I started at AMFI (Amsterdam Fashion Institute). For gymnastics, you need a lot of discipline and perseverance, which is actually very similar to working in the fashion industry as a designer! I like to use sporting elements in my designs because it has been a big part of my life, and also because sportswear shows comfort – for me, clothes have to be comfortable.