On Sunday June 18, 14:00-15:30 State of Fashion presented a talk in collaboration with Museum Arnhem as part of the exhibition Between Borders – migration, power and boundless imagination.

During this interactive talk, moderator Branko Popovic explored with Denzel Veerkamp, Loïs Brandsen and Kalkidan Hoex how union is reflected in their work. How will the union of cultures, backgrounds and perspectives bring about change in fashion? In addition to the (fashion) makers speaking, their work was activated and presented in a unique way.

In the year leading up to the next Biennale in 2024, we are developing new chapters of the online program formerly known as This is an Intervention‘This is an Intervention’ under the new name ‘Perspectives on…’. With this program at Museum Arnhem, we will launch the first chapter with the theme Unions.


photo Laura Knipsael

Branko Popovic

Project and program developer, practitioner and curator within the field of (fashion)design and performing arts. Branko was born in former Yugoslavia in 1983, due to war he and his family migrated to the Netherlands. Eventually settled in Maastricht, where he also completed a fashion design course at Maastricht Academy of Arts in 2005.

Branko is co-founder and artistic director of FASHIONCLASH foundation, an interdisciplinary showcase and development platform for fashion and fashion culture with whom he has developed more than 200 projects and events from various countries in Europe to China and South Africa. One of the most known projects is the annual FASHIONCLASH Festival that will take place in Maastricht for the 15th time this November.

He is a founding co-initiator of Taskforce Fashion coalition and Culture.Fashion network, the value driven fashion and textile network in the Netherlands. In addition, he is a member of the advisory committee and chair of Design grant at Creative Industries Fund NL, current member of the jury of the Dutch Design Awards and member of the advisory committee for the Council for Culture for the Dutch Ministry of Culture, Education and Science.

Portrait Denzel Veerkamp

Denzel Veerkamp

Denzel Veerkamp (1996) graduated at the Willem de Kooning Academy as a fashion designer in 2022 and immediately made an impression with his collection ‘The Rebound Parley’ (2022). The collection is a translation of a critical view on his experience as a mixed person of color in a post-colonial Netherlands, alongside a manifestation against the destructive fashion industry. As a protest the collection is made fully from post-consumer textiles, in collaboration with Leger des Heils (Salvation Army).

In his work Veerkamp embraces the cultural heritage handed down through many generations of Surinamese. This by learning, together with underexposed experts, how classic Afro-Surinamese clothing is made.

Portrait Loïs Brandsen

Loïs Brandsen

Where do I belong? That is the question Loïs Brandsen researched for her graduation work for the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. To answer this question, she delved into her family archives. Her grandfather had a half Indonesian mother and a Dutch father. He came to the Netherlands at a young age. For Loïs, the Dutch and Indonesian cultures feel like a constant clash, but also very familiar. However, she has the feeling of never really belonging. The search for her different cultural identities, helped her define who she is. She recognized her cultural background and understood how the Dutch and Indonesian cultures are woven into her family blood.

The search for both cultures also prompted Lois to further explore the meaning of home, as a private, safe, comfortable place with which we feel connected. To this end, she incorporates into her collection all kinds of traditions and rituals that belong to a home, such as hanging the laundry, and typical objects that for her belong to a home, such as a warm blanket.

Portrait Kalkidan Hoex

Kalkidan Hoex

Ethiopian Kalkidan Hoex (b. 1993) was adopted by her Dutch parents at the age of 2. Her adoption causes her to always feel like she is living between two worlds. In both worlds, she does not feel fully rooted. Until she realized there is a third world, a shadow world in which she moves. This third world is an unreal place where there is room for a culture that does not belong anywhere and where there is room for her own experiences and language. She uses that place to understand her own reality, shape it and feel she can take root. Kalkidan shows in her work how different worlds keep changing constantly.

Kalkidan Hoex is the initiator of TheNEWtribe; a jewelry brand that is rooted in the representation of black culture. The brand explores the meaning of identity by referencing to goods that carry symbolical meaning, like comic books and independent illustrations. Hoex’s jewelry makes a statement that speaks to its audience, pushes educational boundaries, empowers and represents. Hoex’s jewelry makes a statement that speaks to its audience, pushes educational boundaries, empowers and represents.

Photos Juliana Garcia Bello
Photos Juliana Garcia Bello


Britney Lindo’s Perspective on Unions

For the talk Perspectives on Unions in collaboration with Museum Arnhem, Loïs Brandsen has asked spoken word artist Britney Lindo to write a text in response to her collection ‘Blanket’. During the performance Britney wore an outfit from the collection.

Loïs Brandsen’s Perspective on Unions

“For my graduation collection ‘Blanket’ I looked at the question ‘Where do I belong’? It became a search for the different cultural identities uniting in her. It helped her understand who she is and where she comes from.

Kalkidan Hoex’s Perspective on Unions

Adopted from Ethiopia and raised in the Netherlands, Kalkidan Hoex has always felt like living in between two different worlds. Kalkidan explores the intricacies of her identity and relates to others through her jewellery and other interdisciplinary artworks.

Reflections #4: Hidhir Badaruddin

Conversations around gender neutral fashion are often discussed as a trend and seen as a novelty in fashion. The ability to express one’s self on their own terms without being guarded or controlled into other people’s ideas and beliefs of what a man or woman should be. Surpassing gender norms and fashion is not just a trend that is made popular by fast fashion, but rather a continuous resistance by trans and gender variant identities.

Denzel Veerkamp’s Perspective on Unions

For the Perspectives on Unions talk in collaboration with Museum Arnhem, Denzel Veerkamp created a short film that brings together his background and working methods.