Unique internship for Designers

Photographer: Rebekka Mell

During the fashion exhibition, Our Lord in the Attic Museum will also temporarily house the young fashion brand CRUÈL, founded by William Ampofo. Because many MBO students are unable to find an internship, the museum decided to join forces with fashion designer Ampofo and the ROC of Amsterdam. Three students of the MBO Fashion Design program started their internship on 1 March. Heleen Vink is a teacher of Textiles and Art & Culture at the ROC Amsterdam and tells more about this special collaboration:

How did the collaboration between the museum, ROC Amsterdam and William Ampofo come about?
“The education department of Our Lord in the Attic Museum approached us with the question whether it was possible to set up a temporary fashion studio for MBO students. They said that there would be a fashion exhibition in the museum with historical dresses from the 19th century. We thought that was such a great idea that the ball started rolling pretty quickly after that. William Ampofo is a former student of our study program and soon after graduating he had his own fashion brand. That is an enormous source of inspiration for young people who want to become designers. It was therefore a logical choice to involve him in this idea. In the end, all parties were enthusiastic and the students were eager. We are very proud that we finally succeeded.”

That sounds like it didn’t all go smoothly…
The idea of the fashion studio as an internship was born more than a year ago. Meanwhile, we have been dealing with a pandemic and uncertainty about subsidies. Every time there was doubt whether it would work. It is therefore all the more beautiful that the studio is now standing despite all the obstacles.”

Does this collaboration taste like more to you?
Yes. In fact, we have already expanded the cooperation. Because not only the three students who are currently doing an internship in the fashion studio benefit from this partnership. Together with William and a number of other stakeholders, we have also developed workshops in the museum for all other ROC fashion courses and prospective students. This gives them an introduction and realistic introduction to the profession.”

What is special about this internship studio, besides the collaboration?
“It is special that this internship is offered for MBO students. Many organizations and museums often offer internships for HBO and university students. MBO is often forgotten and is even looked down upon a bit. That is not right. They are hard workers and it is good that attention is paid to the MBO student in this way.”

What do you like most about Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder?
I think it’s great that the museum focuses so much on tolerance. That’s important, especially in fashion. I also think the location of the museum, in the oldest part of Amsterdam, is very special. I teach Arts & Culture, which includes fashion history. This museum fits in really nicely with its history. Finally, I would also like to mention the people of the education team. They have been so enthusiastic about this project from the start. That has certainly been an important factor in its success.”

Photographer: Rebekka Mell

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