Holland’s Finest

We are very grateful for everyone who had a share within the very first Our Current Obsession as without them we couldn’t have realized it. Having introduced the main collaborator GERTRUD & GEORGE, some of the artists involved (with more to come), and ,The World of Black’ in our space has been extended long and wide onto the online Our Current Obsessions environment, now it is time to give a proper insight into the other partners with which we’ve created the core of the extraordinary black selection of products for sale in our space on the Schippersgracht in Amsterdam. As these stores offer only the finest in their particular specialty we’ve named them Holland’s Finest, to which we owe a sincere debt of gratitude and feel honored to have collaborated with.

The first of these fine stores is an old friend whose path has crossed ours some years ago: Skins Cosmetics. The premium cosmetics store, with 10 locations around the Netherlands, brings an unique and exclusive selection of skincare, perfumes and makeup of only the finest and most sought after products from all around the world. As Joachim created their identity- and brand design in 2012, it somewhat of a full circle to actually collaborate on the base of their incredible products within Our Current Obessions. The selection one finds at OCO Nº 1 – NOIR are the Apocalyptic Candle by BYREDO, the resurrection aromatique hand wash by Aesop, the Carnal Flower Beurre Exquis by Frederic Malle, and finally the extraordinary black BAIES scented candle by Diptyque.

The second of Holland’s Finest is another store which we’ve been following for a long time, seeing them grow from an online store founded in 2010, to opening their beautiful store in Amsterdam-West at the beginning of this year: Miscellaneous. With the new Amsterdam store, Miscellaneous will have an even stronger focus on the office and study, presenting their exquisite range of products that entails everything within the realm of the work-life balance, all very elegant and delicate, without losing touch with pragmatism. We are extremely happy to offer a fine selection consisting of: Roberu’s Camera Strap, Wrist Strap and Iphone Case; of our all time favorite Kaweco the Classic Sport AL and the new Special 2C pencil; Postalco’s Pen Case, Legal Envelope, Business Card Holder, and two sizes of their Snap Pad; some masking tape; and finally the classic Traveller’s Notebook of Midori which we’ve been lovingly using for many years ourselves.

We continue with another clear example of the finest store within their field: MENDO, the candy store for book aficionados. Both online and offline MENDO shows extraordinary dedication to sharing their love for beautiful books. From the enormous amount of books that (still) are being published every year, they curate only the greatest books in categories: fashion, photography, architecture, interior, traveling, food and graphic design. Next to their beautiful store in Amsterdam MENDO has several shop-in-shops, among which are the ones in CitizenM hotels in London and the recently opened hotel in New York City. The selection offered at Our Current Obsessions consists of some fine books with a focus on black (and white): epic book Tom Ford, Palm Angels, the regular edition of mind blowing book Genesis, The Little Black Jacket, Sumo, and finally the super inspirational Monocle Guide to Good Business, which you can read all about here.

Ofcourse, if we’re talking about only the finest stores in The Netherlands, Tenue de Nîmes needs to be included. For the people who follow us there is little to say about our store what they don’t know. Founded on the basic principles of quality, function and simplicity that are rooted in the history of jeans, our stores have since then evolved into places where we sell what we like to describe as ‘The Good Things in Life’. We decided to select some of the extraordinary products by niche fragrance house, based in the South of France: Mad et Len, of which one finds the scented candles ‚Black Afghan’, ‚Humus’ and ‚Cuir de Russie’, the Pot-Pourri with the scent ‚Figure Noir’ and the ‚Humus’ cologne at NOIR. Also included in our selection of Black are the incredible Mazama pottery in a dark charcoal.

Another fine store from the capital of the Netherlands with which we partnered for NOIR is Mobilia Woonstudio. The store located in the city centre of Amsterdam is richly outfitted with over 140 design labels making a visit an highly inspirational experience to begin with, and next to the retail end Mobilia also houses a interior design branch who can pick up the whole design proces when needed. We are very happy to have selected some extraordinary products via Mobilia: Tom Dixon’s Cast Mini Jack doorstop and Cast Factory money box; Vitra’s Eames House Bird and the incredible Black LCW; and finally some amazing lightning by Flos, among which is the stunning Luminator.

Being obsessed with chocolate, as pure as possible, we couldn’t not include the best chocolate store of The Netherlands, and quite possibly beyond. Chocolátl is a specialty retail chocolate shop which was opened in December 2010 by American couple Erik and Leslie. They see their shop as a kind of chocolate gallery through which they promote and make high quality chocolate from around the world available in their Amsterdam shop. Together with Erik we created the ‚Fade to Black’ special edition box, starting at 70% cacao and with the four following stages slowly moving towards a chocolate of 100% pure cacao, Fade To Black presents a rich palette of tastes giving a worthy overview of what fine chocolate makers have to offer. And it is not just the mere cacao percentages which will give you five different experiences, every chocolate has its origins in a different country, making the tasting a little journey all over the globe.

And last, but definitely not least, the only store located outside Amsterdam, in the city of The Hague: Azami Optiek. Owner Bijan Azami has 33 years of experience in optics, with the last 12 years at Azami Opticians. Working with the motto: “the more a frame is in harmony with the outside and the inside of the client, the more radiant he or she is,” one feels the sincere passion Bijan has for his craft. All frames sold at Azami are either custom made or selected to accentuate the contours of your face to perfection with designs that powerfully express inner and outer beauty. We we lucky enough to include three different glasses produced by Berlin-based optics innovator Mykita for different collaborators: Romain Kremer, the ‚welding’ glasses for Bernhard Willhelm and finally Mykita’s own Mylon model created through fascinating selective laser sintering techniques.

If you are looking for only the finest in cosmetics, stationary, books, the good things in life, interior, chocolate and optics: these are the only stores you will need to visit.

Photography by Benjamin van Witsen.

Our Current Obsessions Nº 1 – NOIR is coming to an end rather soon, so make sure to visit Holland’s Finest when around Amsterdam and The Hague when it has closed (or even both when in time).