We had the good fortune of connecting with Daisy Van der Veen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daisy, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Reflecting back to the current shows we decided that something very important was missing. The shows are amazing however the representation during those shows are most likely Caucasian, tall and slim. Our world knows so many different cultures and people and this does not reflect back during these big events. A change is much needed and therefore we started our foundation to provide a platform for all kinds of beauty and for people with a disability.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
By organizing an annual event, our foundation wants to break through the “standard” image of (ideal) beauty. Together with the team and sponsors we can create awareness and provide a platform for all kinds of talent. The road is not easy as at first not everybody believes the vision and we had to fight for our place in this business. In the beginning you may meet people who seem to have your best interest at heart but as we grow further in this industry it is not always what it seems. Eventually you get past it but the road was long, intense and very emotional. With the support of the right people and the determination to make a change we believe to have overcome many obstacles still to this day. We are not there yet where we want to be but we strongly believe in our values and are hereby committed to be the iconic fashion event for all kinds of talent.
Diversity in the fashion industry has grown exponentially in recent years, with a stronger focus on the
representation of people of colour, plus size models and a range of sexual orientations and gender expressions.
With this in mind, we think it is important to cultivate this growing change in the Fashion Industry, and make
Diversity Fashion Week not only diverse but inclusive – allowing all types of models to express themselves and offer
a platform for all talents. This is why we are organizing our event, to allow all people of all races, shapes
and sizes to feel supported, as we seek to break through an industry full of stereotypes.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The beautiful canals of Amsterdam ofcourse, the great museums we have here but also outside of Amsterdam there is plenty to see.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Ofcourse we can not do this alone, Sensemielja Letitia Sumter founder and owner has set this foundation up. Together with our trusted partners we are striving for a more inclusive runway. We are partners with Kelly Sue from the Sue Warriors foundation, Cem from FAB UK in England, Aidarkhan Kaliyev from Kazakhstan, Jerry Luxenburg international event manager, Sandra Kaczkurkin from World Fashion Media News and so much more partners national and internationally. We believe in teamwork and are honored to work with such amazing people all over the world.
Marzenka Kwintera, Janus van den Eijnden, Marcel Schwab, Cornelis Blokbergen, Mike Pasarella