Interview with Martijn Nekoui
MOAM Amsterdam is a Netherlands based creative agency connecting young talent with iconic professionals & brands. MOAM works with tomorrows top designers, artists and models, and gives them not only a platform for their work but a network of experts in the creative industry to support them on their career journey to success.
Matijn Nekoui is the Founder and CEO of MOAM, and strives to develop the talent he works with. The humble entrepreneur has gained much attention from his achievements and contribution to the fashion industry, he recently featured in the Forbes 30’ Under 30 in Europe. Outside of MOAM, he’s a gifted columnist in the appendix PS of Het Parool, called Jong Amsterdam.
Hi Martijn, what do you hope to achieve with MOAM?
What I really want to achieve with MOAM is that I want to give as many young talents an audience and a platform as possible. I don’t care if it’s a model, a designer, photographer or illustrator, for me the biggest achievement is if those talented people can get an audience and a network through MOAM. In the last four years we really worked 90% in the Netherlands, but last year we also did some projects abroad, so for me, what I want to achieve with MOAM in the nearby future is to give an international platform and network for those talents, and to show how many talented people we have in the Netherlands.
Older artists have been tutoring younger generations throughout history. Do you see MOAM’s approach as a continuation of that tradition, or something else?
I think at this moment everyone is so individual, and it's all about social media and themselves. I think people can achieve more with teamwork with collaborating. One of the main key points with MOAM is collaborating and that you can achieve more when you are willing to listen and help each other out. Of course in history, there has been a lot of tutoring and a lot of making connections with the old and younger generations but I think for us MOAM is indeed a continuation of that tradition where you can see the older generation has so much experience and knowledge, they know a lot. I think its very valuable to give that knowledge, even the little tips, to the younger generation so they can learn from and grow from it. For me, one of the biggest achievements from MOAM because talent development is so important and if you can be couched by the established names in the creative industry, who has 25 -50 years of experience, I think this is very valuable to this generation.
Whether as a curator or as a columnist, you’ve consistently shown an interest in multiple mediums. What factors make a certain medium the ideal choice for a certain creative idea? Does it matter?
What I think is super interesting these days is the little fight between online and offline, as a columnist for a Dutch newspaper, there is a column on young creative talents. It's really cool to see their names printed. Its black and white…literally! On the other hand, if you have an online event or article, a lot of people can see it, in their own time, whenever and wherever you want. I think both can be very interesting, and both can really help each other out. As long as it gives an audience to the talents at MOAM we like to work with both. I don’t have a real favourite. But if it’s real, and you can touch it like in a newspaper, it gives me more joy because then I can show it to my mom and she’s really happy with it as well.
What direction is Dutch haute couture moving in at the moment? Do you see MOAM as a part of that movement?
Of course, Dutch haute couture is not as big as Paris, Malan, or New York, but we have a lot of talented and good fashion designers. I think they have a really good combination of them being true to themselves and they really want to achieve something. But at the same time, they are very conceptual and have a broad interest in art. That’s something for the young talent too because they are so willing to show themselves, network and build their own careers and work 24/7 and that’s something we see with the people we work with. The talents that we worked with 5 years ago are now showing in Paris, they are now presenting in New York. It very good to see that the movement is going international and I don’t know if MOAM is apart of that movement, but I think the talent did it themselves because they are the talent. But I hope MOAM helped them with their career, or at least that’s something we really want to achieve for them.
You’re one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Europe. What would be your best advice for other people who hope to make the cut next year?
I was very surprised and honoured that I was in the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Europe, and I never excepted it because MOAM is a still a graduation project and something that I do on a daily basis with a lot of joy. We have a lot of laughter here at the studio, but I think if you really want to achieve something then you just have to do it. Just go for it, and work for it. If you want it then fuck everything else, and go for your goals. If you didn’t try it, then you will never know. That something I always tell people. If you really want to do it, then just fucking do it.
Considering the fact that people tend to change and move on all the time, how can a collective like MOAM sustain a certain identity in the medium- or long-term?
One of the things like we really like of MOAM is the fastness of fashion. Its changing all the time and so fast. That’s something we like to do in our projects and in my own collective. Every year we have new designers, new concepts, new partners and new creative freedom. Its always about that time, and if you look back at it the collections we’re really a timeframe of that period because the first collection of 2014 was about sports and couture, and a clash between them. Which was something that was going on in fashion at that moment. A year later the collection was based on refugees and that was a big topic in the news in Europe. Last year it was all about collaborating and working together as one multidisciplinary. I always find it interesting to look back at the collection and see that they were not only about fashion and art but also about that time. For me, its really about that MOAM isn’t about fashion but about now, and MOAM is about the future.