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Press Release Launch

November 23rd 2018


The Hand, a new boutique purveyor of luxury footwear for men, will launch in Amsterdam on November 23rd 2018. The Hand sources iconic shoes of extraordinary quality, hand-made by the world’s leading craftspeople. Timeless designs that gain in beauty as they are worn in, and that will last a lifetime.

The Hand is unique in Amsterdam and in the Netherlands. It combines a centuries-old artisanal product in its most luxurious form, with a clear vision that is highly contemporary and perfectly aligned with a younger audience.

Founder Dennis van de Water guides his clients towards the right bespoke (i.e. made for your feet) and made-to-order (i.e. made for your taste) shoes. To boot, he has curated a ready-to-wear collection featuring formal as well as casual footwear. 

The Hand works with seven authentic makers, each representing a distinct heritage and philosophy within the art of shoemaking. Their common ground is that they create shoes with soul.

Gaziano & Girling (UK), Riccardo Freccia Bestetti (Italy), Mario Bemer (Italy) and Norman Vilalta (Spain) are all under exclusive representation by The Hand. Carlos Santos (Portugal) will be launching a new premium collection, available exclusively through The Hand. The premium lines by Edward Green (UK) and Santoni (Italy) are also available, which will already be more familiar to Dutch aficionados. The Hand also features exclusive handmade leather accessories, by leading artisans such as the Japanese brand Ganzo, which we are proud to be presenting for the first time in Europe. Natural shoe care products by Turms (Italy) are also available.

The Hand’s expertise is in the most premium category of men’s shoes. The price point of the ready-to-wear collection is between 500 and 1,500 euros. Made-to-order shoes, which are entirely tailor-made to the client’s personal requirements, start at 1,000 euros. The sky is the limit for bespoke options and a 5,000 euro budget is not unheard of. These choices attract a type of person willing to invest in sustainability and not easily tempted by fast fashion. Dennis van de Water: “Time, attention and love are the true essence of luxury. At The Hand, clients do not pay for the brand, but for the quality of the shoe. You can see the difference. And you can feel it, with every step you take.”

The business model is innovative as well. The Hand was founded with an online-first approach via, where you will find instant personal fitting advice. It also organizes temporary boutiques, “meet the maker” events, and personal fitting sessions with clients, at a time and place of their convenience, anywhere in the Netherlands or further afield. “We are fans of the forward-thinking approach of The Hand,” says Hilary Freeman, owner of Edward Green “it demonstrates a gutsy and original vision.” Luca Nardini, owner of Mario Bemer adds: “The Hand represents a fresh response to a changing retail landscape. Innovation is vital, and is something I seek every day in my own work as a shoemaker.” Dennis van de Water: “My clients’ time is hugely valuable and they want to find what they are looking for on the first try. I offer the kind of services and products that allow them to do just that.”



Press coffee moment: Friday November 23rd, 9.30am. Founder Dennis van de Water is available to show his collection and to give interviews. Double interviews with Dennis and specific shoemakers can also be arranged.

The Temporary Boutique is open from Friday November 23rd until Sunday November 25th, from 11.00am - 5.00pm at Bloemgracht 99 in Amsterdam. Various makers will be present on November 23rd and 24th, in addition to the team of The Hand.

On November 23rd we celebrate the official launch of with drinks from 5.00pm - 7.00pm (by invitation only).

Wednesday 12th December will see the first “meet-the-maker” event with Riccardo Freccia Bestetti, at Pulitzer Hotel Amsterdam.


Founder’s Story: Dennis van de Water 

Dennis van de Water’s (1979) passion for shoes was first awakened when he was still at university. To supplement his student loans, he worked on the shop floor of a top-end shoe shop. “I can still recall it like it was yesterday, when the doors would swing open and the smell of leather would fill my nostrils”.

After his law degree (Maastricht University) and Postgraduate studies in Management (Nyenrode Business University) Dennis developed a successful corporate career in the trade of international chemical commodities. His sense of style set him apart from his colleagues. He soon earned a reputation as “best dressed man in the industry”. Meanwhile he retained his love for shoes. So much so that he worked as a consultant for a luxury men’s shoe shop in Amsterdam.

Now the time has come to follow his heart. Building on a solid foundation for entrepreneurialism and an immeasurable depth of knowledge of top-end men’s shoes; the launch of The Hand represents the fulfilment of a long-held dream.



Dennis van de Water – - +31646963386