you will wander for hours in Evana’s vintage shop at Zwaanshals

Walk into a store and immediately forget about the time because you want to look at everything and try it on. It happened to us when we visited Hidden Youth at Zwaanshals. Owner and fashion designer Evana Kuik (33) has lovingly selected or made each item. “I want people to look for hidden gems here.”

We’re making Hidden Youth short when we say it’s a standard vintage store. Evana searches city and country(s) for her clothes, crockery, jewellery, glassware, prints and rare plants. “I just picked up drugs in London again.”

Everything sorted by color

As soon as we walk through the burgundy door, we are overwhelmed by all the colors and the full cupboards. We soon see that every corner has been thought through. The glasses and candlesticks are neatly sorted by color and style. The same applies to the vintage clothes in the racks on the wall.

“I choose each item and see the store as my collection. For that I roam in the Netherlands, but also London, Paris and Antwerp. I even adjust my travel plans on vacation!” Besides there being only one piece of everything, Evana gives many things a makeover. “I regularly dive behind the sewing machine to refurbish old pieces adaptso it is like new again. Used is much more than a dusty old sweater. I want people to walk through my store and think, huh? It’s not vintage, is it?”

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Autoimmune disease

You might know Evana from somewhere. The fashion designer has already made a name for himself with his label Evan Menswear and the Inconcept store on Coolsingel. But most people know Evana from the reality show LIVE! from The Rotterdam native was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease in 2017, and via LINDA she took viewers through her chemotherapy and stem cell transplant.

Evana has been making and designing at Zwaanshals since 2020, but in a different way than before. “It has always been my dream to be a fashion designer, but I thought it was an empty existence. I have also become much more aware of production. A new book collection for Amsterdam Fashion Week is fantastic, but you also participate in what is bad.”

The Rotterdammer sees Hidden Youth as a place where she can be creative again. “If I feel like something, I try it. So I just got a few myself fluffy made mirrors and I design all the candles and bunches of dried flowers. The rare plants in the white cabinet are one of my latest hobbies.”

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Hidden youth

Besides all the hidden gems, the name Hidden Youth has another meaning. Evana is committed to homeless youth with the shop and her foundation of the same name. “Part of my profit goes to this target group, and I would like to do more projects and collaborations in the future.”

For example, the Rotterdammer has organized ‘Warm Hart’ a number of times, an action with which she filled bags for the homeless in the city. “I want to give something back to the community that needs it. And my customers can participate in that by shopping.”

Paradise in the north

After our visit to Hidden Youth, we feel inspired. And let that be exactly Evana’s goal. “Selling a top without talking to a customer is not something I do. You won’t find any trash here either. I just want people to come to my paradise full of pearls, mine cave full of gems. To shop, but especially to get inspiration for your decor or clothing style.”

Hidden Youth is located at Zwaanshals 362 and is open three days a week: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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