Reminiscing with AFW street style photographer Olivia Witmond

Amsterdam Fashion Week Edition 2023 overflowed with a vibrant blend of cool kids and fashion aficionados, rendering the task of crafting a street style selection a formidable challenge for a solitary observer. To navigate this stylish maze, we sat down with Olivia Witmond, the official street style photographer of this edition and a cool kid herself, to guide us through her treasure trove of snapshots and share her fondest memories of Amsterdam Fashion Week.


How long have you been a photographer for?
If taking pictures at the age of 10 with the most child-friendly compact camera you can find counts, then I would say my photography career started 15 years ago. It might sound cliché, but I feel like I have always been involved with photography subconsciously. About five years ago, I bought my first beginner SLR camera and that’s when my first jobs started coming in.

What’s your signature as a photographer?
I’m actually a huge fan of analogue photography. The beautiful colours of analogue images simply can’t be achieved in any digital way. Unfortunately, analogue photography is not entirely my thing. I’ve noticed that I’m too curious and prefer to go through my images the minute after I shot them. As a result, I have managed to create an analogue style in recent years, whilst shooting digitally. My go-to lens is often a wide-angle lens to make my images more interesting and outstanding. I also always have a 50mm lens with me.

Editorial or street style? Why?
That’s such a tough decision to make. They’re actually two completely different things. My focus at the moment is editorial work, mainly because it allows me to work together with inspiring creatives and it gives me more options and freedom to produce something super cool. I also think street style photography is great, but it’s definitely more of a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of photography style. I especially enjoy other people’s creativity and I cheer for everyone who is confident in their fashion choices. Ultimately, I reside with editorial photography, but with street style photography as a comfortable second option.

Olivia at AFW 2023
What was your general approach as the street style photographer of AFW 2023?

Secretly, I am extremely allergic to the moments when you’re amongst the auras of 100 different photographers at fashion week to ultimately photograph the same person/look. Sometimes you have to get the shot but I of course I don’t prefer it.  Because Amsterdam Fashion Week is still up and coming and operates on a smaller scale, this was luckily not the case. We had a permanent photography team where everyone had their own significant photography role. This meant that I occasionally only had to deal with an external photographer who also happened to be present on location, and I had the freedom to take my time and shoot a more personal image. According to my own preferences, I always find it important to have contact with the person in front of my lens. Because of this, I think it is best if the person also looks into the lens to create an even greater connection. This, together with my wide-angle shots, is my signature photography style.

What was your favourite street style crowd?
The MARTAN street style crowd was definitely my favourite. Because I was on a tight schedule, I arrived on the scene a bit late as I came straight out of the Lissa Brandon event. The moment I jumped out of the taxi I was in a tunnel vision mode trying to absorb all the cool looks around me, right up until the start of the show. There was a super chill atmosphere and everyone knew each other so it was quite friendly. This also resulted in a nice mix of single portraits and group street style photos. The versatility in outfits was also really apparent here, ranging from casual jerseys to the most avant-garde looks.

What was your favourite street style fit? Why?
I captured a 10/10 look at the afterparty of Amsterdam Fashion Week x Atelier Reservé. The enormous suit ensemble in combination with the hat, jewellery and boots really elevated this look to the next level. For me personally, this was the sickest outfit I’ve seen in ages.

What was your favourite show?
The Ruben Jurriën and Lichting 2023 shows were by far the best presentations for me. I was so delighted by the entire collection of Lichting 2022 winner Ruben Jurriën and I loved his model casting. I also met him briefly before the show and in my opinion his personality totally matched the collection. I think the message he holds “’my brand is about openness and is for everyone” is fantastic. In addition, all his items are adjustable in size which is such a brilliant way to reinforce inclusivity. I also really liked the new gen designers. I think it is important to, in a world where established creatives hold so much power, make room for other talented designers and to give them the spotlight they deserve.

Which show, in your opinion, had the most iconic front row?
This was definitely the one at the Atelier Reservé show for me. Their front row was a good mix of people from all sides of the industry. From friends to press and general supporters of the brand that in my opinion felt very connected to the label and the people behind it. It was great to see! The diversity in style and outfits was also very inspiring to me.

What’s your holy grail street style snap of this AFW edition?
Coming back to Lissa Brandon’s event; This was 100% a shot I took there. The energy in this image in combination with her outfit is everything I am searching for in a good street style picture.

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