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HAARLEM – “Where are you from?” is always a very difficult question for me to answer. I am not born and raised anywhere in particular. I’ve lived in the city I was born in for 5 years and from then on me, my brother and, of course, my parents moved around the Netherlands. I guess this has taught me to always broaden my horizons. I find it very refreshing to keep on visiting different cities, this gives me tons of new inspiration and energy. My choice of studies took me to the city of Rotterdam, a -for Dutch terms- quite big and modern city in the province South-Holland. I was looking for a course that combined art-direction, words and media. Eventually I came across Advertising at the Willem de Kooning Art Academy, which provided me with the opportunity to do a 6 month student exchange to Barcelona, one of my favourite cities in the world.

Currently I am living in Haarlem, a cute city close to Amsterdam and the capital of the province North-Holland. Not the exciting metropole I was hoping for, but -luckily for me and my blog- a very photogenic city nonetheless. I still dream of moving to cities like Berlin, London or New York. I’ve never identified with being Dutch, I could be living anywhere. I’m a bit all over the place, just like my style I guess.

One thing about my style that has been obvious from a very young age is my love for shoes. You can never have enough crazy shoes. When I was little my parents let me choose my own shoes and I must admit I was very fashion savvy for my age. We would always go to the same shoe store and every time I chose the most attention grabbing pair on the shelf. I don’t think anyone around me really appreciated my crazy shoe choices as much as I did.

As I mentioned before I’ve lived in different cities and I’ve been on many city breaks. Since every city has its own style, this gave me a lot of different shoe styles to explore. The city of Rotterdam is well-known for its sneaker scene. Going to an art academy my fellow creative students had awesome pairs, which inspired me to build up the dopest collection around (or at least in my mind). A pair of easter-themed Adidas sneakers was the icing on the cake. During my exchange to Barcelona my ‘tennis shoes’ were frowned upon and I opted for sleek booties and -not something Spain is particularly known for- silver Dr. Martens.

Back in the Netherlands I moved back in with my parents (still living in the dull town I left unnamed before). Since we didn’t have a place to call our own, me and my boyfriend were looking for a place to move in together. I guess this revived my rebellious side, because suddenly I felt like wearing ridiculously tall shoes.

After me and my boyfriend got settled in Haarlem, I felt more grounded (literally as well as figuratively speaking). I guess I’m right back to where I started: I simply love crazy shoes; in any size, shape or colour. This leaves me with one question: what city and what shoe style will be next?

I hate to finish off with a cliff hanger, so I’m leaving you with a few clues: I booked a ticket to Berlin, planning on going to New York in autumn and my boyfriend’s mum is moving back to London soon, so I’m predicting a lot of English city breaks in the near future. I’ll make sure to bring back some shoevenirs!

Iris Dijkers – A Dash of Fash