Robbie Baauw

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Bullying is the height of self-loathing and anger turned inside out. This couldn’t be more clear than in the case of Robbie, whose good looks, charm and comfort with himself made him the kid in grade school who had tomatoes thrown at him. He grew up in a sheltered, rural town in Holland where he unapologetically remembers dancing ballet and playing with dolls. I am struck by his loving nature when he says, without a trace of indignation, that he has never been ashamed in his life about anything. “I have done what I always wanted to do… I don’t think I was weird, I think they were dumb.” He eventually found his way to Amsterdam when he decided to ditch his graphic design degree after being told that he was the worst graphic designer in the world. It was in this urban environment that Robbie finally found his groove and his tribe when he met the people who would become his best friends, an extended network of kids from rural towns who had found a home in Amsterdam. He says, “they were the most amazing people with the most amazing style.” He started documenting the beginning of their adult lives together in the city by taking pictures. During this period, he says his own style was pushing it too far, a little too what he describes as “circus freak,” and out came the haters again, only this time instead of tomatoes, they spit at him. When I did this interview with Robbie, he was living in London and his clothes were no longer a plea for attention, but rather a representation of his minimal and raw good taste. The black leather jumpsuit and loden overcoat are the epitome of cutting edge elegance. In addition, Robbie has a great sense of proportion, with his fitted, cropped leather jackets and leggings peeking out from underneath trousers that he has cut into shorts. However, his eye for turning a worn and torn piece of knit fabric – that he found on the floor backstage at a fashion show- into a sweater that looks avant garde enough to break your bank account is brilliant. The moral of this story is that with so much positive energy and freedom of expression, Robbie will have the last laugh and will do so without having to resort to aggression towards others. His reportage photography of his peers is getting noticed for its unpolished and unfiltered reflection of contemporary fashion and it’s origins in the everyday people who create culture.

If you like Robbie, you may also enjoy Bradley Smith, Mack Dugan and Shayne Oliver.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=524313390 Åsa Copparstad

    I love, really love his style!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001113977228 S.f. Perrius

    Love the camel coat! And with leather pants! Yes.

  • futureeveryfreakingthing

    And he listens to Kylie Minogue! *thumbs up*

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=646890774 Suzanne Heerde

    He is the cutest thing! I talked to him once when he was working at that second hand store in amsterdam. Hope he finds what he’s looking for in London

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