In my ideal world, I would only wear leopard prints. Stars, glitter and leopard, that’s what you’ll mostly see on me. My daughter is three-and-a-half years old and she’s got a crate stuffed to the brim with the most extravagant clothes and accessories. When I come home from work, the first thing we do is open that crate and start dressing up.
There’s no city as beautiful as Amsterdam. Even the outskirts of the city are better looking than in other countries. What I find really cool is that the city is so small. You can walk everywhere, it’s almost like a museum. Everyday, I walk home along the Keizers canal and everyday again I acknowledge its beauty.
“During a holiday in the South of France ten years ago, my girlfriend ran away with one of my best friends. Broken hearted I returned to Amsterdam and was walking around purposeless around the Waterlooplein, where I lived at the time. In that condition, I bumped into an old operation lamp. I took the thing home and unleashed all my frustrations in working the object. That’s how my first series of lamps originated.”
Starting and running a club is a challenge. The moment I started this project, I had a bag of experience in the hospitality industry and I was co-owner of my own Bar Swych. But running a bar is a whole different story. My alarm went off at 11 in the morning, then I’d go for a croissant and a coffee and after that I opened my doors and guests would start coming in.
Esmée: ‘My mom grew up in Amsterdam, amongts the hookers in the Redlight District. When she was eighteen, she got married and left for London with her husband, because her parents wanted to move to another part of Holland and she didn’t want to come with them. After London, she wanted to return to Amsterdam, but for my father she moved to an eastern part of Holland. That’s where I grew up.
Let Them Call Me Names
I’m from the North of Holland and from an early age on I started to develop in a different way than other people from my age around there. I dressed and acted peculiar. Others confronted me with my – in their eyes – odd behaviour. In the end, you find douchebags everywhere, but I do notice that people from Amsterdam can handle a lot more. This is a beautiful, tolerant city that makes me feel I’m home.
‘My whole life I’ve dressed different than other people. As a child, I always acted more extreme than others. Went to school in a dress. And if another kid fell, I would dramatically throw myself to the ground as well. That was so weird that the other kids thought: better not make jokes about this one.’
‘I don’t know what I want to do at the moment – work-wise, that is. That uncertainty is new to me, ‘cause I never had any doubts concerning work. From a young age on I knew I wanted to study law, so I did. Tax law. But when I worked for a big Dutch tax and consultancy firm for a few months, I found out that the work itself didn’t interest me that much. So now I’m not sure. But I’m not feeling insecure about it, I’ll just start some place and will find my way from there.’