Two years ago, Giorgio started his own footwear brand. He loves the city’s beating heart and took us to his favorite shops and the places that inspire him.
“We started the day at Central station; my point of arrival when I’ve been abroad for a while. At the station I always feel that I’m back in Amsterdam. It inspires me to see all these different nationalities walking by. I use this in my own brand. Inside the station, I often drop by Lil’ Amsterdam and then walk onto Zeedijk, where I visit some of the smaller shops. There are many brands here that speak a culture. I also like having some lunch on Zeedijk. For example at Lil Saigon or Sichuan. There’s a comics bookstore on this street, Henk, which I like to visit as well. I’m secretly a super nerd and love manga and anime. The images tell a story – it inspires me a lot.
On the Nieuwe Hoogstraat is a fabric shop where I like to look around for materials I could possibly use. I have my own footwear brand called New Offsprings, based on my own outlook on life. Because I have many different nationalities, I never felt related to any one particular type. I am Javanese-Surinamese, mixed with Portuguese-Guyanese en a tiny bit of South-American Indian. I’ve always felt like an outcast, but also realised that there are more people who feel this way. I made my own flag, which symbolizes empowerment through clothing. It’s a way for me to celebrate that we are all unique.
I design the shoes myself and my brother helps me with the technical aspects. He looks at what’s possible and what’s not and decides how the materials can be used as efficiently as possible, so that we minimize our waste. My girlfriend does the storytelling and branding and is responsible for the way we communicate the brand. We produce the shoes in Portugal.
At the moment we predominantly sell online, but our goal for 2020 is to be sold in shops. We think it’s important for our audience; they want to feel the materials and see how the shoes fit. That’s something we need to cater for. Our customers are mainly Gen Z; we connect through a love of hip-hop culture and awareness. It can be challenging because this generation gets a lot of information, switches constantly between topics and is constantly looking for the next new thing.
What I find amazing about Amsterdam, is that it’s such a vibrant small city. You can eat Turkish food, but also Morroccan, Indian, Cantonese, Japanese and Korean; the diversity is huge. When I want to eat something special, I go to Orontes in de Pijp. I also love Ramen and very much like Ramen Kingdom for this. De Bakkerswinkel in de Warmoesstraat is also great for scones and pastries, and the Korean food at Seoul Food on Kinkerstraat I also recommend. I love discovering new hotspots; this always feels like an achievement. What I like even better is that the bigger brands from Amsterdam are putting this city more and more on the map, making it a real metropolis.”