Amsterdam offers a unique experience, both for visitors and for the many many people who, every year, decide to move here in order to enjoy the picturesque life by the canals and the exciting work opportunities that this amazing city can provide. For a long time, the city has been superficially labelled by a vast majority as the European capital of sin because of its easy access to weed and its characteristic brothels. But finally, in the last few years, it is once again gaining the more-than-deserved title of art city (the number of museums and art galleries is more or less ten times higher than the one of coffee shops), cultural city (Amsterdam has some of the best universities in the world) and, believe it or not, fashion city.

This last point might come as a surprise but, if you take a closer look at the city and its culture, it is in fact extremely unsurprising: the Netherlands have a historical tradition in arts and crafts, fusing artisanal manufacturing with artistic research. In Amsterdam there are several incredibly creative fashion academies where creativity is highly encouraged. Fashion here is strictly connected to art and most of both the local and the international brands sold in Amsterdam feature an artistic twist. But the Dutch are also practical people, whether it comes to buying everyday denim, a raincoat that will keep them biking all through the –very long– cold season, or a fancy dress to wear for important occasions, you can be sure that they will not settle down for anything: even if their wardrobes are unlikely to be crammed, they are probably filled with top quality garments. To prove our case, here is a small list of the best fashion boutiques you can find in Amsterdam.


Possibly one of the most exclusive boutiques in (and out) of town. Located in the beautiful Cornelis Schuytstraat (very close to the museums), this small but fascinating shop offers womenswear and menswear featuring some of the most interesting contemporary brands. From some of the famous Antwerp designers such as Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester and Haider Ackermann, to the all-time French beauties such as Isabel Marant, Balenciaga and Balmain. It is the kind of boutique you would expect to find in the Marais or in Manhattan, and even there it would stand out as something special. However, more than the brands themselves, what really makes this shop unique is the accurate selection of the items: whether it is a lace skirt from Sacai, a dress by Rick Owens, a pair of pants by Boris Bidjam Saberi, a coat by AAlto or an Rta t-shirt, all clothes are handpicked to contribute to the strong, unique concept of the shop which mixes basics with statement pieces focusing on an urban, cool, contemporary, and ageless look.

Van Ravenstein

Located in the shopping area of the very central Keizersgracht, this historic boutique is definitely something of its own. It features a mixture of the very best from the Antwerp six (such as Dries Van Noten and Walter Van Beirendonck), high-end brands like Loewe and Junya Watanabe, and a number of top contemporary designers such as J.W. Anderson, Vetements, Kolor, and Paul Harnden Shoemakers. With this kind of selection you’d imagine the shop to be explosive, clashy, and full of those kinds of outfits that we see on the catwalks and quickly label as unwearable. But this is not the case: true to its Dutch background, Van Ravenstein remains sensible and calm, proving that there is no such thing as an unwearable garment and that it really is just a matter of style. Here, in an elegant and soft atmosphere, you will find gentlewomen shopping for the latest from Paris and fashion lovers checking out in real life what they see in magazines.

By Amfi

As we previously said, Amsterdam has a lot of fashion schools, but it is probably one of the only cities where one of the fashion schools –The Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI for short)– has a boutique of its own. By Amfi sells and showcases a selection of works from students and teachers. The shop itself changes its visual display every few weeks and a group of second year students curates the layout focusing every time on a different concept. Amfi also has its very own fashion brand, Individuals, a high-end Dutch women brand entirely managed by third and fourth year students, which acts as a platform for their creativity and allows them to experience the demand of the fashion industry. Individuals is, naturally, sold at By Amfi but that is not its only retailer. In addition to all this, Amfi also has its fashion magazine, where everything –from the definition of the editorial cut to the fashion shootings– is done by students and, of course, it is another one of the exclusive objects you can find at By Amfi.


“It only takes a fifth of a second to fall in love. When a person falls in love, chemicals are released in the brain creating euphoria similar to the experience of cocaine. The brain then affects the heart and the stomach, which is why we feel as if love gives us butterflies.” This is how the owners of Cottoncake like to introduce their shop, a cosy concept store in De Pijp – the artistic upcoming district of Amsterdam. Cottoncake is pretty much like its name: sweet and adorable. It is indeed a tribute to love, the kind of love that you experience when you are travelling, you have left everything behind, and you are open to new, stunning beauties. It is the kind of shop where you buy a meaningful gift to a friend or the perfect item for yourself, the one that becomes your signature garment. The shop sells clothes interiors, art and delicate jewellery. Some of the brands you can find here are Monocrafft, Sita Murt, Samsoe & Samsoe, and By1oak – but Cottoncake’s own label is also launching. Cottoncake is also a café, because the love for good food is just as important as the one for art and beauty, and when food is lovingly prepared, it truly becomes special and valuable.