The Designer

Iris Nijenhuis is an Amsterdam based fashion & product designer with a passion for experimental shapes and structures. Artisanal craftsmanship and innovative techniques go hand in hand in her work, which includes eye catching textile wearables and interior objects such as lampshades and wall panels. She has a penchant for old garments, utensils and furniture and when possible, she respectfully combines the old and the new.

During her graduation at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in 2011 she developed a collection of fabrics and unique pieces that emerged from broad research into the use of innovative techniques. She examined the potential of textiles and tried to give it constructive value, without the use of a sewing machine, stitches or glue. By experimenting with laser cutting, she developed a technique in which the fabric is cut into small puzzle pieces that form the basis of the design process. By connecting the puzzle pieces together manually, inspiring shapes and structures are created that can form various products.

After completing two fashion educations, where she developed both technical and conceptual skills, she decided that the corporate fashion industry wouldn´t provide enough gratification, meaning and freedom to her work. Therefore, she chose an independent path and dove deep into her newfound experimental technique in which she saw great potential for various applications. And maybe even more significant; working with this technique might seem complex, but the repetitive manual factor and soothing infinity it evokes, cleanses the (monkey)brain and can be very meditative. Busy hands, quiet mind!

For the project Te[ch]x(t)iles, part of the exhibiton ‘Couture Graphique’ (2013), she developed a unique dress made of around 1400 puzzle pieces, made from material from an old chesterfield armchair. The result was exhibited in MOTI Breda, De OBA, MUDAC Lausanne and CIRCL Amsterdam.
Because her technique is also suitable for more wearable applications, and her intrinsic motivation is to create accessible items for the public to enjoy, she devoted the following years to developing an innovative and joyful jewellery collection.
Her clientele ranges from eccentric and outspoken women who wear bold colourful statement pieces, to world conquering businesswomen who prefer a more subtle, but distinct style.
For museums she curates special selections for the museum shops, which often includes custom made limited editions to match the look and feel of upcoming exhibitions.

Seen in (museum) shops such as:

  • MOMA San Francisco (US)
  • National Gallery of Ireland (IE)
  • MAD Museum New York, LOOT | MAD about jewellery 2017 edition (US)
  • Natural History Museum of Denmark (DK)
  • TextielMuseum Tilburg (NL)
  • CODA Apeldoorn (NL)
  • Kunstmuseum Den Haag (NL)
  • Museum Beelden aan Zee (NL)
  • De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam (NL)
  • De Hermitage Amsterdam (NL)
  • &C Talent store Amsterdam CS (NL)
  • The Maker Store Amsterdam (NL)

Do-it-yourself Workshop

Iris Nijenhuis designs are mainly ready-to-wear but you can puzzle your own customized piece during her DIY-workshops in her atelier in Amsterdam. Combine your favorite colors in a cheerful bracelet, a pair of earrings or puzzle your own necklace in a unique shape. For bigger groups its also possible to organize a workshop on location.

Artist Portrait by:
Ella H. Photography
Stefanie Bledoeg

The Maker Minute

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