The word is out. Zeedijk 60, the hub for all Dutch streetwear fanatics and a breeding place for young creatives, is closing its doors at the end of the month. We take a look at the changing cultural landscape of De Zeedijk, the oldest neighbourhood in Amsterdam. A place synonymous with community, streetwear, and a melting pot of cultural heritage and youth culture.
“De Zeedijk has a rich history, with both black pages and romantic stories. It has always been a meeting of cultures; the ‘original’ and new Amsterdammers. This is how China Town was created in the last 50 years, the Surinamese have played a major role too. It is now certainly the center of Dutch streetwear. This has started since Patta moved to the Zeedijk.” – The New Originals
In 2009, now renowned and internationally esteemed streetwear brand Patta opened a shop next to a hairdresser in the oldest street of Amsterdam. With the spiralling criminal activities that haunted De Zeedijk in the 80s, the neighbourhood remained weary of its new habitant but precipitously welcomed Patta, which transformed De Zeedijk into a place that oozes youth culture. With Patta laying the building blocks of one of the most fashion-oriented spots in Amsterdam, more brands followed. Stüssy, Comme des Garçons and The New Originals pulled even more attention to De Zeedijk.
The aforementioned TNO, now known as the kings of collab and a prominent brand within the Dutch streetwear scene, realised its first physical selling point Zeedijk 60, a multi-brand retail experience that they started with Bonne Suits and SUMIBU, in 2016. It’s hard to explain the influence these brand-owners have had over the general vibe and reputation of the street, but assured it brought over a new crowd of “cool” kids, as well as a regenerated interest in the neighbourhood in general. Now seen as much more than the touristic Red Light district, the new wave of streetwear denizens brought a whole new generation in contact with the cultural melting pot that De Zeedijk embraces. Six years later however, the store that put The New Originals on the map closes its doors.
“Zeedijk 60 stood for collaboration and unconventional entrepreneurship. The Amsterdam character and DNA flowed through the brands of Zeedijk 60, in all pieces, brands and art are made by Dutch/Amsterdam makers. It became an exhibition of local creativity. This ensured that young people had an “embassy” where they could meet. Interests were shared and exchanged. De Zeedijk has not been the same since this opening, a home in the center for young creative people.” – The New Originals
With one of the most prominent shops at De Zeedijk closing, a new wave of brands migrate to the neighbouring streets. TNO itself moved into their first Flagship Store at Zeedijk 59, and upcoming streetwear label Rezareez just opened its Flagship Store a few buildings down. In 2021, Lack of Guidance, an Amsterdam-based sport-streetwear brand with a cult following became part of the scene with a shop at Oudekerksplein 22. The Glamcult Store, another meeting hub for young creatives and brands, was established just a few months ago, and is located at the Dollebegijnensteeg 5A.
“All streetwear brands on Zeedijk are self-made, which serves as a huge inspiration for many of us. Mutual support has made this community what it is today. Rezareez aspires to be such an influence to more upcoming brands too in the future.” – Rezareez
As for the future of De Zeedijk, the groundworks have been laid and the utmost respect and love its housing shop owners have for the neighbourhood ensures that the intricate balance of heritage and reformation will be held in place.
“The Flagship store has given us the space to optimally present our brand experience. With the experience and investment in Zeedijk 60, we have contributed to the fertility and attractiveness of the Zeedijk, which is why it was a logical step for us to grow within the street. We see the future here, partly because of Zeedijk 60, our first own store. We want to keep the identity of our brand and the city connected, and so it is our wish to stay as we believe this is the place to do it. We like to see the street as it is now, a healthy mix of good restaurants, galleries, China Town, the Red Light district, and of course the fashion brands. It would be a pity if it were completely taken over by one of these, just a fashion audience is not a reflection of this vibrantly diverse neighbourhood.” – The New Originals
“De Zeedijk has something in its DNA. When you think of this street, so many different things pop into your mind. China Town, the Red Light District; it’s the culture embedded in its atmosphere, which is almost impossible to change in the near future. It’s a vibrant place that attracts all sorts of people. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of it!” – Rezareez