The first time we met was in my former store on the canals of Amsterdam. Nikè came to try on black leather Chanel trousers, a vintage piece with CC-logo stitching on the back pockets and golden zippers. Her husband Guy had spotted the shop on one of his many walks through the city and told her to pay a visit. What caught me right away was not her tall and blond supermodel appearance, but the uncommon warm and calm presence around her. She didn't buy the trousers, because the fit wasn't perfect, but we vaguely stayed in touch.
One day she posted a picture on Instagram of herself together with her 83-year old neighbour and friend Lucie, both fabulously dressed. Then I recognized in her what I am searching for in women to picture my KERN1-jackets on. Something real. A person with character and her own style, developed over the years by listening to who she is and understanding what suits her.
I asked Nikè to let me picture her and she agreed. To talk things through we met in a quiet and elegant hotel, hidden in the midst of Amsterdam, a place where Nikè feels at home. The casual way she combined her wool yellow vintage sweater of the Amsterdam based thrift shop Laura Dols with her monogrammed Goyard cross-body bag and beige Totême trenchcoat that day, confirmed my thoughts of her being the right woman to picture the vintage Chanel jackets on. Casually thrown over her own outfits.
Nikè surrounds herself with carefully collected items that she loves and that will stand the test of time. And as a creative director she knows where to get the good stuff. Her husband is a property developer who buys, renovates and fully decorates canalside buildings in the most elegant way possible. Nikè invited me to take the pictures in a project they have been working on for three years (she is responsible for the marketing and communications of The Collective Studio and also has a say in the design and interior process) and the result is a luxurious, yet understated chic and personal space with the highest level of eye for details. A well-balanced project that feels like a mix between a calming Moroccan riad and classic cityhome, right in the heart of Amsterdam. With its rounded walls, organic shapes, subdued color tones, mix of design furniture and rare objects, the space created the perfect backdrop for our photoshoot, which took place last week.
I brought my jackets, Nikè brought her clothes and accessories. She jumped into a white vintage Levi's and combined it with the white bomber jacket with colorful print that just got in, a collectors piece that I searched for a long time. Guided by the pace of the environment she and Guy created in the apartments, we started shooting. Nikè played her favorite music and moved organically through the building. She wrapped herself around an antique vase and danced around barefeet in the second outfit, a black little cardigan with white flowers and pearl buttons with flared pants. The result is a series of pictures I am proud of, created by two women who followed their creative connection. Thank you Nikè.