Denzel Veerkamp
graduate of Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam

The rebound Parley

Denzel Veerkamp, born and raised in Amsterdam with a Surinamese father and Dutch mother, graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam in 2022. After finishing his internship at Duran Lantink, he continued to work with him and was a creative eye in several projects, including a show in Amsterdam Fashion Week. He is interested in deeper levels of socio-psychological analysis having grown up as a mixed person of color in the Netherlands. Translating this into his work is his way of freeing his mind from the white gaze it has been presented to. Expressing his emotions through critical examination, textile changes and a healthy dose of irony are characteristic of his overall work and graduation collection. The techniques of collage, blending and literal mimicry are design approaches that keep recurring, as they have become the most powerful tools for him to open conversations and break taboos. By connecting scientific research and design, he hopes to make an impactful progressive contribution to the fashion landscape.

His graduation collection ‘The rebound Parley’, is a translation of his critical view on his experience as a mixed person of color in a post-colonial Netherlands, alongside a manifestation against the destructive fashion industry. This concept initially came to life during his minor in Cultural Diversity. There he was introduced to the literature that ultimately formed the foundation of my collection. Intimate and intriguing cultural analyses triggered him to review his own existence and experiences, as a Black man growing up in the Netherlands, on a deeper level.

To protest the privileged perception of how textiles are being valorized in the West, the collection is made fully from post-consumer textiles, in collaboration with Leger des Heils (Salvation Army). As a statement he deconstructed the clothes by use of a ruler, mimicking the often ‘forgotten’ historical event of the Berlin Conference of 1884, where the continent of Africa was divided amongst European imperialist powers.