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Purpose Casts: Isha van Dijk

The Dutch instagram model discusses anime, cyberbullying, underground spots in Amsterdam and beyond

The interview and photo series of Dutch instagram model Isha van Dijk took place between one of the highest mountain top villas in the boujee European party hub of Mykonos, Greece and the acclaimed beach restaurant Principote.

We arrived in Mykonos to a villa with scoring panoramic views of the island and a house half filled with friendly strangers. That's the Mykonos way so it seems. Strangers and familiar faces crammed together with excitement for a long and blurry couple of days. One of those strangers that became a fast friend happened to be a Dutch model and influencer by the name of Isha van Dijk. As the trip unraveled and we experienced the beautiful deadly sins of the Island, we got to chat about a variety of different topics, spanning from her love of music and anime, to her passionate thoughts about cyberbullying that has taken a new form in the digitally addicted youth culture, her new anime inspired fashion brand that launched this summer called illicit gear, and beyond.

In between we enjoyed an unspeakable amount of rosé at some of the finest restaurants and clubs on the island, house music that would blow the ears off you're average elephant, and late night escapades to sunrise after parties that we mischievously snuck into.

The photos and the interview can be found below.


First things first... how did you get to this point?

Well.. honestly it took years to get to that 100k (follower) mark through posting things I like, cause honestly I only post content I like. I don’t want to copy anyone. I get inspired by certain things, but I always try to make it my own. I really just post my own style. I think when you hit that 100k mark you either grow really fast or just stay there. And that’s what happened. I grew. I’m almost at 300,000 now.

Is there anyone who mentored you along the way?

There's not really one person specifically that mentored me. To be honest, I did everything myself. I have friends around me who really support me but they do different things- my best friends are not influencers.

How was your life different before? What has changed you the most?

I was in school. I wasn’t doing this. I didn’t have a plan for the rest of my life. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Traveling is a thing that changed my life. It changed me as a person. It taught me a lot about myself. And its really important to get to know yourself.

How often do you travel?

The question is really how often do I not travel. I love to travel and not stay in one place for too long because you see so many different people- they all act differently and think differently and its so interesting to get to know (these) places and people.

And what's your favorite place you've been?

My favorite place I’ve been to is definitely Tokyo because of the culture. Because everything is so different. The way they speak. The way they dress. They just dress a certain way and don’t seem to care what other people think. I really like that. Everybody has their own style. And they’re just hardworking and honest people. And that’s really cool.

What weren't you prepared for?

What I wasn’t prepared for was the hate. There’s a lot of hate. People envy you. And they’re jealous. And people want you to do well but they don’t want you to do better than they do. And that’s one thing I wasn’t prepared for. Because people can backstab you- they will be nice to your face, but behind you’re back they will say so much shit.

Is this an issue you want to address or try to change?

Definitely. One issue in my community is definitely social media and how young people, ages 10-15, say so much shit to people, to classmates, to influencers, etc. that they would never say in real life. Cyberbullying. It's really a thing. Because in real life they know they can’t go up to someone and just bully them. That’s not okay. But what parents don’t teach them (their kids) is that you can’t say that through the internet. They just think there is no filter. They just think they’re not real people over the internet. But they are. And its so big. And it effects so many people.

How can you make a difference in this topic (cyberbullying)?

I want to try to change this is by using my platform to talk and advocate about this topic. Actually this Friday I will be doing a talk show where I will be talking about this. It's a dutch talkshow called Rumag (click here for Rumag Instagram). I hope people will understand it more and will understand that it effects people. People on Instagram will say that you chose this. No! I don’t choose to be hated. I mean, why would you hate on people through the internet. You don’t even know them. You only see pictures and you think something about them. So yeah, I definitely want to help educate people to think about it. To have more empathy. Empathy is a rare feature these days.

I agree. Empathy is one of the most underrated and hardest to find qualities right now.But that's dope. We can't wait to see the interview. On another note, you love anime right?

Yeah, I’ve been watching anime since I was four years old. It’s something people wouldn’t really know about me.

What don't people understand about anime?

I don’t think people understand about anime is the culture. It's the culture they don’t get. It’s one part of the Japanese culture that I find so cool, and its beautiful how they make it. I just like it. That’s it.

Which anime shows/movies did you grow up watching?

All the studio ghibli movies- My favorite was Spirited Away. And Wolves Rain.

What interests you the most right now?

Clothing. Definitely. Designing my own clothing is something that really inspires me. I really like to do it and design things that I would wear. And I hope other people would like to wear it as well and it can make people feel some kind of way about themselves. That’s really cool. It really intrigues me.

You've been working really hard on your clothing brand, Illicit Gear, which is very much inspired by anime and Japanese culture. Is that the one thing you've been focusing on?

Well I want to do more with my photography too of course. But yeah I want to grow my brand which I am spending a lot of time on to help grow. I designed the clothes, I made the website, etc. I’m actually dropping my second collection in a month, maybe less. And for that I shoot pictures myself. I really love doing that.

What other fashion brands or photographers do you love right now?

Photography: Holly Parker (instagram)

You love music. What are you listening to right now?

Yes I definitely do love music. Right now I really enjoy listening to future bass, EDM, and also hiphop, but at this point I really like electronic music more.

Whats the next festival you're going to?

Probably Elrow- its more like funky techno. It's really fun.

You're Dutch obviously. What are your favorite underground spots in Amsterdam?

In Amsterdam, there’s one specific spot that I really like called Pllek. During summer days you can hang out, its like a little beach. Yeah, its cute. Its really underground, only people from Amsterdam go and there are not too many tourists.

We have another spot that’s a summer hang out called Waterkant. It’s a really fun place as well to go to.

What do the next three months look like for you?

The next three months for me are probably going to be very flexible. I haven’t planned anything yet, but that could change any minute. Tomorrow I could be like let's go to Bali and I will stay there for a while- working there and creating stuff. But also right now in the Netherlands I’m kinda busy doing this photography and brand stuff. I really like doing that as well. But when the climate hits below 10 degrees celsius, I will probably head out to Asia. I really want to go back to Tokyo. I would LOVE to go to Seoul fashion week, in Korea. That’s like a dream for me. But I’m not sure if it will happen any time soon. But yeah, that’s about it. Just staying busy, staying creative, and doing my thing.

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