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Amsterdam and London have a lot in common. Both symbols of modern Europe, known throughout the world for their rich cultural heritage and open-minded citizens, the two cities have a long history together.

Each city has its unique qualities as well. In 2019, London is a bustling almost-mega-city soundtracked by traffic and constant construction. Meanwhile, Amsterdam is its peaceful neighbour across the sea, its canals and convoluted streets encouraging a slightly calmer pace of life.

For their new joint campaign two Amsterdam powerhouses, hip-hop festival Appelsap and eyewear brand Ace & Tate, have brought together one artist from each city. The campaign celebrates London and Amsterdam’s shared heritage and highlights the unique perspective that comes with being a resident of each city. Rising firebrand Flohio reps the relentless pace of London with her thousand-bars-per-minute flow, while neo-soul star RIMON provides a soothing dose of the bliss and poise of Amsterdam’s streets and waterways.

© Nick van Tiem

Born in Lagos but firmly a Londoner, Flohio has blazed a path through the crowded worlds of grime and British rap. Still relatively early in her career, she’s set a standard in the city that few can match. Her ability to shut down any stage she sets foot on is well established.

RIMON meanwhile is modern Amsterdam through and through. Having lived in Eritrea and Germany before settling in the city, she’s helping to pioneer a new wave of musical talent in Amsterdam. Her voice evokes the serenity of the city, and her DIY approach to releases and strong collaborative ethic embodies everything that’s exciting about Amsterdam’s modern music scene.

This summer, Ace & Tate and Appelsap launch two new styles of sunglasses, the Apra and Tafa7a (meaning apple in Surinamese and Arabic). To create the new styles, the Ace & Tate design team encapsulated the spirit of the festival with these two exclusive sunnies in an Appelsap colourway. Apra channels 90s sport-chic while serving a strong rimless cat-eye. Its urban style rests in the heart of the cool kids. Meanwhile, Tafa7a embodies strong angles and brings a masculine touch to the duo. The bold aesthetic nods to the sporty essence of its partner.

© Nick van Tiem

Fronted by Flohio and RIMON, the new campaign aims to highlight what makes both Amsterdam and London unique while celebrating the similarities between the cities. “London’s scene is constantly moving. There’s a new topic/artist every day,” Flohio enthuses of her hometown. “Catch up or get left out.”

“Amsterdam is very calm in my eyes,” says RIMON, “but you can dive into the busy part very easily so, it’s the best of both worlds in my opinion; a very balanced energy! The people and the calming vibe is something that has a positive effect on creating freely and not having to deal with a lot of pressure and expectations.”

The Appelsap X Ace & Tate collection is available from 18 July, watch the new campaign film starring Flohio and Rimon below.

Photography: Nick van Tiem
Styling: Lisa Anne Stuyfzand
Director: Rogier Smalhout