Dutch designers subvert the current view on the Black man in fashion exhibition ‘Shifting The Narrative’

In collaboration with OSCAM, OHIM celebrates artists redefining the Black man in fashion in the new exhibition “Shifting The Narrative”. The multidisciplinary fashion platform challenges the current beauty image and gathers new work from designers that are at the forefront of Black representation in fashion.


We know OHIM best as the creative mind behind fashion editorials focused on celebrating the underexposed. With the creation of the concept for its first exhibition, founder Noukhey Forster brings his vision to a new medium. ‘Shifting the Narrative’ aims to showcase male fragility and wishes to reshape the definition of masculinity. Creating an alternative identity without veiling one’s authenticity. This results in visuals where rough is juxtaposed with gentle, where butch and tender find common ground and rebellious fashion is combined with sleek silhouettes.

With a line-up of designers we were fortunate to showcase on the AFW official schedule throughout the years, ‘Shifting The Narratives’ breaks ground by bringing together a generation of creatives whom are shaping the leading narrative in the Dutch fashion landscape. Alongside CRUÈL, The New Originals, Denzel Veerkamp, Filling Pieces and Patta x Bodil Ouédraogo, the exhibition will also display work of Paris Fashion Week frequenter and renown Dutch design house BOTTER.

New creations bring to light the vision of a multitude of creatives including Lichting 2022 finalist Denzel Veerkamp, who channels his view on Black men in fashion through the use of his experience as a mixed person of color in a post-colonial Netherlands: “For me, breaking taboos and stereotypes surrounding “Black man” identity is more important than ever. I still have to deal with a lot of preconceived notions, such as that it would not be ‘masculine’ to be emphatically involved in fashion, as I do not fit within the prevailing image of a Black straight man. It pains me to see that a kind of “homophobic curse” thus prevents us from expressing ourselves. That is why I think it is important to portray the Black man in my work through an Afrofuturistic lens and thus sketch an alternative future.”

The New Originals, well-known for its “think outside-the-box” approach and encouraging diversity, will focus on tackling beauty standards surrounding people of colour. “In recent years, we have seen the world increasingly focus on inclusion and diversity. We realise that beauty ideals are often restrictive and not everyone gets the same opportunities to express themselves. This can be especially challenging for people of colour, as they are confronted with stereotypes and prejudices that affect their identity and dignity. We believe that true beauty comes from the strength and uniqueness of each individual and we strive to reflect that in our clothing and collaborations.”

Photographer: Almicheal Fraay

Together with OHIM, OSCAM (Open Space Contemporary Art Museum) launched its brand-new exhibition on the 12th of March at its location in Amsterdam Zuidoost. Shifting the Narrative will be on view until June 8th.


Amsterdamse Poort
Bijlmerplein 110-111
1102 DB Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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