When fashion students attract attention with a graduation project, it usually concerns a collection. Martijn N., who graduated from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (Amfi) in 2012, did so with something no Dutch student had done before: he organized a fashion exhibition. Established Dutch names such as Frans Molenaar were linked to young talent. Moam was called the ambitious project, a portmanteau of fashion and Amsterdam. N. made it his brand name.
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An exhibition followed in 2013 in collaboration with photography museum Foam, Moam & Foam, again with a combination of well-known and upcoming names, and an exhibition in the Eye film museum. But Moam mainly put himself on the map with fashion. For ‘Moam collective’, recently graduated fashion designers were brought together who, coached by well-known fashion professionals, designed a collection that was shown in a large-scale show. Between 2013 and 2018, Moam gave four shows, one in Eye, one in the underpass of the Rijksmuseum.
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For the first time, fashion designers who had not been trained in the Netherlands also contributed to the fourth collection. World-famous Dutch fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin photographed top model Doutzen Kroes in 2013 wearing a scarf from the first Moam collection.
Smoked sausage shirts
As of 2013, Moam received a total of 230,000 euros in subsidy from various cultural funds. Large companies such as Zalando, Disney and Rabobank have joined Moam, a foundation since 2014 with N. as director. Moam made two collections for HEMA, one of which was promoted with a billboard campaign. The sweaters and T-shirts with a smoked sausage on them were especially a hit. From 2018, Moam also focused on visual arts, with exhibitions in the Concertgebouw, Paradiso and Artis, among others.
Rumors about sexually transgressive behavior by Martijn N. had been circulating in the Amsterdam gay scene for years, but in the summer of 2018 it influenced his work for Moam for the first time. N. was putting together an ambitious book for publishing house Mendo. A group of fashion professionals who personally knew victims of N., and who called themselves No (Mo)am, spoke with some of the more than a hundred people who would contribute to the photo book. Seven dropped out. After the board heard rumors from the Moam Foundation about transgressive behavior, it postponed the publication. Because no contact could be made with victims, the book was published at the beginning of 2019.
At the beginning of this year, when the board was informed of research that NRC on The watchword did to transgressive behavior by N., he was placed on non-active status. Projects with Disney and the Dutch Foundation for Literature were canceled – literature was the newest cultural area Moam focused on. Moam’s office was closed this summer. On Wednesday it was announced that the foundation will cease to exist.