Journal de Nîmes Nº 6

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Journal de NĂŽmes NÂş 6 the DUTCH issue NOVEMBER 2010 the printed paper for A Denim inspired boutique -

in this issue:


tailored basics p4

Spyker Cars

A handcrafted sports car p 10

Genever Dutch courage p 22

The umbrealla a brief history p 27


The city map by Luis Mendo p 32

10 questions to Ad de hond p 36

The god shot Brandmeester's coffee p 38


by thomas tukker p 44

Architectual denim design the G-star history p 57

Contributors Olivier van der Hagen Copy writer While initially looking to continue his corporate career, Olivier did some soul searching and left the bank he had been working for. During his self-imposed sabbatical, he met his neighbors, Tenue de Nimes and a friendship was quickly struck up as he finally found people who were passionate about their jobs. Before long, he was editing the Journal de Nîmes no 3, 4 and this issue, as well as writing several articles, his own passion. He is now a free lance writer, contributing written pieces to at least one other magazine besides this one at the time of going to press.

Tenue de nîmes Luis Mendo graphic designer / illustrator Born in Salamanca in 1969, Luis has been a graphic designer for 14 years, mainly in The Netherlands. While in Spain, he designed newspapers for Argentina, Uruguay and Greece. In june 2005 he opened his own studio, GOOD Inc.® and was chosen among the "Top 10 best Art Directors in The Netherlands". In march 2009 he took a sabbatical break in Tokyo which changed his view on design and life forever. He writes regularly in blogs & magazines, is part of jury's, teaches editorial design and gives lectures and workshops all over the world.

Hugo Verweij Sound artist Hugo Verweij is a sound and music designer, strongly influenced by the sonic inspiration he finds in the world around him as well as in visual aesthetics. He creates sound and music for contemporary dance, installations, radio, interfaces and motion graphics. In designing new experiences he believes that what we hear is equally important as what we see. Hugo also is a lecturer of sound design and music production at the Utrecht School of the Arts. —

elandsgracht 60 1016 TX in Amsterdam the netherlands +31 (0) 20 320 40 12

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— — Hiyoko Imai illustrator Hiyoko Imai is a Tokyo-born illustrator and designer living in Amsterdam. Hiyoko loves to create things with her own hands. Her inspiration comes from cooking, balcony gardening, walking and dreaming. She favours craftsmanship and minimalistic design. — Retna Wooller Copy Writer Retna Wooller has contributed her words to every facet of the fashion world. From the tags that hang from clothes to stories written from the Paris catwalk. Having moved from her native Australia she now resides in Amsterdam, traveling, writing and in constant search of a fashion conscious city that sits on the bay of a good beach. — Jorn Bartlema Copy WRITER Jorn is owner of Everything Agency. As a creative generalist he works on brand direction, creative strategy, concept development, writing, teaching, coaching and more.

Marc Tumson Business Consultant/ Solutions Analyst Born in Paris in 1980, and educated in Dublin, Ireland, where he moved to when he was young, Marc studied Political Science at Trinity College Dublin. Throughout university Marc worked in the fashion industry, notably working for Cuan Hanly (formerly of Paul Smith, now at Jack Spade). He moved to Amsterdam in December 2009, with Finnish girlfriend, where they have settled with a Dutch dog called Reiko. Marc works as Business Consultant for an international IT services company, but his true passions lie in (the dutch style of) cycling, photography, design, fashion and food & drink.

Anneke Beerkens cultural anthropologist Anneke Beerkens (1980) received a degree in Cultural Anthropology (with Honours) from the University of Amsterdam, focusing on Japan, post-modern urban ritual, group formation, style and the body. Anneke works as a junior Iecturer at University of Amsterdam. She gives several lectures (amongst others at FOAM during the Amsterdam Fashion Week, at Wereldmuseum Rotterdam and at fashion academies) and had her own photo exhibition last year, based on her Tokyo fieldwork. Currently she is writing a book about her research in Japan and she will apply for a Ph.D. position based on a proposal featuring fashion and its role in expressing the self in postmodern urban societies.

— Jamie Milestone DESIGNER Having worked as a graphic designer for a number of years Jamie walked out of his job one day mid-brief. Frustrated with the design industry, he decided to concentrate on an idea that had been in the back of his mind since school. London Undercover launched a year later, going directly in store at Liberty, Beams and Selfridges. Having already designed umbrellas for the likes of Manolo Blahnik and Basso & Brooke, London Undercover continues to work with a number of brands in addition to its own range. —

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colophon Editor menno van meurs Creative Direction Joachim Baan - Anothercompany Copy director Olivier van der Hagen Contributing editors Hugo Verweij Luis Mendo Anneke Beerkens Jorn Bartlema Jamie Milestone Retna Mooller Marc Tumson Hiyoko Imai Eric Bernhardsson John Barron Tim Boelaars Published by Tenue de Nîmes Printed Modderman Drukwerk, Amsterdam ©2010


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

— Amsterdam — Menno van meurs

Ever since I was a child Amsterdam has been the city of magic to me. The first time I had the chance to visit the capital on my own was probably at the age of ten. I was invited by friends of my parents to attend the annual 'open house' of Ajax, at the former 'De Meer' stadium. After getting a signature from my Swedish hero Stefan Petterson I knew Amsterdam was the city to go to if I wanted to make my dreams come true. From that day on I spent every day I had off from school in the city. I fell in love with its energy and the unlimited possibilities that it seemed to offer. But there was more to Amsterdam. You would see the

most extravagant people walk by, but nobody even looked twice. It was as if you saw everybody thinking: "Be as you want to be, it is totally fine with me". I remember seeing the famous 'naked skater' crossing Dam square in his pink underwear and his headphones on. Nobody seemed to be bothered except a few tourists who did not seem to understand what was happening. I had to wait until I was twentytwo before I could call myself an Amsterdam citizen. I remember walking around, proud as one can be, feeling as if I'd come home. Our denim store Tenue de Nîmes

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

is a concept that naturally fits in this city because of its large and progressive vibe. Of course the fact that more than 2 million people live in and around the city allow us to run this international concept. Because we are grateful for everything that Amsterdam has brought us so far, it feels only right to celebrate our two year anniversary with a Dutchthemed Journal de Nîmes, focused on our capital. The main objective of this 6th Journal is to welcome you to our beloved city and to introduce you to its treasures. Furthermore this paper will introduce you to some of the most groundbreaking concepts to be found on Dutch soil.

In this issue we report on cycling, some of the best Amsterdam retail concepts and we searched for real Dutch concepts like Spyker cars and internationally adored night club Jimmy Woo. In addition to that, we scoured the city for the best Dutch denim. We met with MOOS tailored basics in Amsterdam to finally experience what a tailor made pair of denim feels like. And of course this issue would not have been the same without the Dutch master of denim Jos van Tilburg and the remarkable history of the G-star brand. We hope this Journal de Nîmes will help you discover the beauties of our home country and our beloved Amsterdam

in particular. From now on you will be able to follow Journal de Nîmes on a daily basis through our new website ( Our weblog address has been changed and it is now a part of our extended webpage. Next to that paper copies can be ordered at our web shop, that went live the minute this Journal de Nîmes hit the stores. We hope to welcome you online, or offline, soon. —


"The idea of other people in faraway countries making clothes for us, getting paid peanuts in return...I don't feel comfortable with that idea at all. In fact, I think it's kind of tasteless.” 4

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

— Old Skool Tailoring — text: Olivier van der Hagen photography: Koen Tossijn & Joachim Baan

Just after 3pm on a grey, windy Friday afternoon Joachim and I make our way to North-East Amsterdam, near the eastern docklands, and ring the doorbell of the man who is gaining reputation and momentum under his pseudonym Moos. He opens the cast-iron door that leads us into a gorgeous courtyard with scattered trees standing around and piles of fall-coloured leaves on the ground. A large, nondescript building looms over us. Appropriately, this used to be a primary school, Moos informs us. We walk towards the entrance, past a rectangular table with several plastic seats around it that serve as a somewhat depressing reminder of the glorious summer days when you would sit outside with friends and a few bottles till around midnight. We walk inside, and walk up three flights of stairs. Through the stripped down interior you can still imagine the kids running up and down the hallways. “This building is now pretty much a creative hub,” Moos explains. “Dozens of artists and other creative people work here, and use old classrooms as their studio's.” We enter the rented space through the kitchen, and beyond that lies a larger space, scattered with books, paintbrushes, tools and even a functioning loom. Moos shares the whole place with two friends and his brother. Their activities, which range from creating analogue light installations to painting, take up most of the space. Moos's “territory” however, is in the kitchen and is clearly marked by roll after roll of denim material, a fitting doll, fabric samples, color swatches, and scatterings of jeans buttons. On a work desk against the wall, a black MacBook is firmly placed between two heavy duty sewing machines. Joachim and I look around, impressed and delighted in equal measure by the feel of the place as Moos pours some delicious coffee from freshly ground beans. “The idea for Moos tailored jeans came to me in Buenos Aires, about three and a half years ago. I had decided I needed to get away for a while. When I was still at school, it was all about form, shapes. I never really believed in that. Or not as the be all and end all of fashion anyway.” To which Joachim adds: “ I agree with you. Form has pretty much evolved as far as it possibly can. It is hard to make something that looks deceptively straightforward.” Moos nods: “ It is fun to play with form, but really it says more about yourself than about the people for whom you make any garment.”

So, Moos literally distanced himself from his own world for a while before he realised he did want to “do something in fashion after all.” On his nononsense website he has listed several notions and concepts that he always keeps in mind. “Create something for the people around me” is one. “Like a chef, work with the best ingredients...combining different flavors to one perception” are two others. When asked about tailor-made jeans, he readily admits it's not a revolutionary idea. “No, it's not, but what drove me to it was the possibility to incorporate specific, high quality finishes in what used to be a laborer's item of clothing. I found this one guy with an awful looking website offering the same service the other day. He's based in India, and could have you sorted out for 80 Euro. So I don't think about whether what I do is unique or not." But, as he goes on, he is surprised at how well his enterprise is going. “Apparently people are excited about what I do. For me the biggest challenge was to figure out a way to do it all myself.” Moos says working the way he does, he's just a part of a movement that's growing in size and gathering momentum: more and more people are starting to make their own products, things that they strongly believe in, put together in a way that they believe in. And, he continues, sounding quite passionate now, “Part of the beauty of internet is that it allows these people to find and meet each other much quicker. It offers a level of support as well as an excellent way to share and exchange information. Whereas 15 years ago you would have needed a mentor or even a degree, there are much quicker ways today.” “So no collections, no brands, no manufacturing that's outsourced to a lowwage economy. Just me in my own workspace. The idea of other people in faraway countries making clothes for us, getting paid peanuts in return...I don't feel comfortable with that idea at all. In fact, I think it's kind of tasteless.” We let those words sink in a while, as we browse through the rolls of fabric that he pulls out to show us, as well as the jeans buttons that he makes himself (which he calls “the flowers on the jeans”). I change topic and ask him whether people coming to him for their perfect jeans have their own ideas that they want to see incorporated, or does he suggest things to them? “Well that really doesn't matter that much. You come and see me because you want a new pair of jeans and I will make it for you. Because I know how it's supposed to fit. Ideas may be exchanged and preferences can be discussed, sure. But I am going to make it, so if someone has very specific demands, I will only do it if I truly feel ok with that, and can envision it. If not, I won't. I couldn't go along with what a customer wanted if I secretly hated it.” We talk about future plans and ambitions, and he has a remarkable thing to say about Moos tailored basics. “Looking ahead, and planning..for me it's mostly an organic process, because I don't work according to a business plan. I just follow my instincts. I do have one specific goal, which is to create one whole outfit for a man and one for a woman. After that I'll probably shut Moos tailored basics down. I am also working on a T- shirt project, which is turning out to be a bit of a hassle, because it's such an iconic item, and I can't mess around with it too much, yet I do want to make it my own in some way. Besides, there are tons of different brands and shapes out there, but a proper, good fitting T shirt is still a rare commodity. As we wrap up the interview I think of a final question, which is whether he knew as a kid that creating his own items of clothing was what he'd want to do when he grew up? I am curious, because he got to where he is now via a series of detours and different jobs. “Well yeah, I did. And I do feel very comfortable where I am now. I am as curious as you are where I might end up, but what concerns me now is getting those outfits done. If I manage that, while being able to live off of it, be able to go out for dinner occasionally and enjoy some good wines from time to time...I'll be a happy man.” —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


“Like a chef, work with the best ingredients... combining different flavors to one perception”


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

The Sounds of the City Text: Hugo Verweij

Cycling through Amsterdam in the fall might well plant the seeds for the melody of a new song in an artist’s mind. Crossing the Vondelpark, a colorful leaves of fall set the mood. They sound crispy under your bike’s tires, creating an unpolished background noise while you pedal a little slower to get the rhythm right. The sounds of the concert you visited the night before still reverberate in you ears. They mingle with the inspiration from the colorful world around you. It makes you want to create new things.Make music, set those melodies free.


minutes and no more: a loud voice would count down "...5 ...4 ...3 ...2 ...1 ... Whaa whaa whaa whaaaaaa!!" SPINVIS

I. There's so many to choose from (Andrew Bird, Midlake, Motorpsycho) but my absolute favorite is Hanne Hukkelberg, I think it was in 2008. She had this awesome band and a bicycle on stage on which she played as well. She impressed me with her voice, and her intuitive, clear and playful music. The drummer added some fantastic electro beats and strange sound that gave that night an eerie feel. I feel blessed to have witnessed it. II. The most fun I had playing in Amsterdam was in Paradiso, where I also saw Hanne play. It is an old church, with fantastic stained glass windows and balconies. It has soooo much atmosphere! It was semi-seated so people were really relaxed and quiet (which is not common these days I'm afraid). Paradiso gave me carte blanche, so I invited a lot of musical friends to join me on stage, which was magical! Hopefully I'll be playing there again next year when my new album is out, who knows? HARTOG

I. In 2009 in the Concertgebouw singer-songwriter Teitur played together with the Holland Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Nico Muhly. The audience was seated on the stage, very close to the musicians. The concert was really special - honest, touching songs performed in an almost simple manner. During the concert a huge screen was showing "lost and found" youtube videos. Each song was inspired by these crazy funny, strange or sometimes just pointless amateur movies. II. In 2006 my very first show was at the Tricky Theater, a small boat near Central Station. The monthly showcase ‘Vlakspoeler’ was hosted by Merel Moistra, who gave tough love to beginning singer-songwriters, both mocking and supporting them. The hysterical show combined magic tricks, a pop quiz, insane jingles and beautiful songs. All artists got 15

To find out in which way Amsterdam inspired them musically, I asked Dutch artists two questions: I. What was the most inspiring concert your attended in Amsterdam? II. What was the nicest venue in Amsterdam you ever played yourself?

beautiful secret. Right before the show started the DJ played Nick Drake's River Man. The crowd fell silent, Joanna walked on and magic ensued. II. The best place I ever played in Amsterdam is the one I played most: café Sappho at the Vijzelstraat. For years this lesbian bar was the welcoming heart and soul of Amsterdam's underground folk scene. I'm glad it was sold before it got a chance to ruin itself by becoming an institution. LOTTE VAN DIJCK

I. I started going to concerts on a regular basis at age 16. It has to be hundreds by now. There were many memorable nights, most of them in Paradiso and the Melkweg. In the 1980's The Cure, The Smiths, Prince, Talking Heads. In the 1990's Blur, Basement Jaxx, Lee Perry. In this century Wilco, Belle and Sebastian, M.I.A. etcetera. Too many to choose from! I should go back to the beginning: 7 Januari 1977, the Sex Pistols in Paradiso. Musically it wasn't all that significant. But it was the best possible encouragement to start performing myself. They weren't unreachable Pop Gods. There was no light show. Just some boys like us getting on stage. Do-It-Yourself! II. From that time on I started playing in various bands. The first time I played in Amsterdam was in Paradiso’s small hall. I think it was 1978. My first (punk) band was called BlitzKrieg, later The Duds. By now I must have played in every large or small hall or theater in Amsterdam. I’ll spare you the wild anecdotes and juicy details. Last year I played in Artis’ Planetarium, together with trumpet player Hans Dagelet. Its dome has the most special acoustics. Above us staggering 3D images were projected and the electronic sounds, the echo’s, the whispering, it was all charged and meaningful.


I. Recently I listened to a concert by Calefax in the Muziekgebouw, with tears in my eyes. Beautiful arrangements for reed quintet from parts of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Das Wohltemperierte Klavier. It was as though during its composition Bach already anticipated on Calefax’s existence, many years later. It felt completely right and moving. Another impressive concert was Dayna Kurtz playing in Paradiso. A voice and a guitar: that’s all you need to set things in motion. Inconceivably strong and beautiful. II. The most special place I played in Amsterdam must be the big hall of the Concertgebouw. I was singing songs by Joni Mitchell during a tribute as part of the Holland Festival. To stand on such a giant stage, in front of a very quiet audience, it felt unreal and fantastic at the same time. Later on I did a lot of educational music projects with children in the same hall. It’s a place that’s very dear to me, where so many remarkable things have taken place.


I. The greatest concert I ever saw in Amsterdam must have been Joanna Newsom at the Melkweg. I remember the anticipation. When I see other Joanna fans it feels like we share a

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

at the “Muziekgebouw aan het IJ”. I had a lump in my throat from the beginning till the end. I could almost see the air vibrating and the collective energy of this large group of people making music together made me feel hopeful. II. My most special concert in Amsterdam was definitely my EP presentation at de Nieuwe Anita. I performed the songs with some of my musician friends who played on the EP, which was a lot of fun. I didn’t expect it to be so well attended, so at the last minute we carried a Marimba and my concert harp from the café down to the basement where there's a nice stage with movie seats and a balcony. It was a great performance and it felt a bit like a birthday, celebrating the birth of these new songs.

I. The most recent inspiring concert I saw was Efterklang “Performing Parades” with the Metropole Orchestra


I. A concert of legendary Miriam Makeba in Paradiso! My mom and I always used to listen to her songs and got to see her perform just three days before her death...We could see she was in pain but still she had fire in her eyes, this woman was one of a kind and got the crowd dancing in this old church! II. In a boathouse on the Amsterdam canals. My band just fitted in the boats living room where the owner even had a fireplace! We could see the Dutch canal through the little round windows... They made Dutch cheese and tea, everybody seemed to be happy! DAAN HOFMAN

I. Two years ago I saw Arno play in Paradiso. It was loud, energetic, but also melancholic and funny. Arno has a huge presence on stage. He seems rash, but knows exactly what he’s doing. In his music he combines rock and chanson in a very natural way. I really felt like writing new songs myself when I saw him play, which is always a good sign. II. That absolutely must be Het Perron in the Jordaan. It’s a small theater, the size of a large living room, and it looks a bit like a small night club with art deco ornaments. It seats no more than fifty people. There’s an old grand piano which almost takes up the whole stage. In Het Perron comedians, singers and musicians often try out new work, and the audience is very close to the artist. That’s why I like playing there.

I. Recently Ry Cooder played in Carré. This true guitar master brought the concert back to its essence: music. Without any show elements he played a top level show for three hours straight, and because he didn’t do anything other than just play very well, it almost felt like you were visiting him at home. For a moment he transformed Carré into his living room, in which the whole audience listened breathlessly. II. I played a concert at Stukafest 2009 in Amsterdam. My CD had just been released and I had already played in many venues with my band. For this festival we unplugged everything and played an all acoustic set in a room no bigger than 8 square meters. This small setting greatly enhanced the intensity of the concert, which really made the music sound right. — 7


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Libertine-Libertine text: Menno van Meurs / Anothersomething photography: Sacha Maric & Tom Gottelier for Libertine-Libertine

About a year ago we got an e-mail from Rasmus Bak, one of the founders of LibertineLibertine, asking us if he and his partner Peter could come to The Netherlands to tell us about their new mission. I had barely finished reading his e-mail before I felt a certain kinship. Driven by a vision, strong beliefs in the good and of course a healthy amount of passion, Peter and Rasmus met us in our Tenue de Nîmes store early in 2009. Rene and I fell for their passionate Libertine-Libertine story. In the first cold months of 2009 Libertine-Libertine was founded by Pernille Schwarz, Peter Much and Rasmus Bak. Their motivation was to create a brand that would celebrate the extraordinary in every day life. Born from their shared creative minds, the brand became all about a combination of the aesthetics found in music, art, literature and contemporary culture. Every Libertine-Libertine collection consists of the basic needs for men and women. Each season the brand works from a strong core of basic styles that are complemented by more outspoken designs. Libertine- Libertine is all about elementary designs, seasonal items and a new take on classics. Designer Pernille Schwarz creates a men's line based on effortless style with a masculine expression. For women we like to think she took the opposite direction: beauty and femininity are the two words that strongly describe her designs. Their current winter campaign was done in collaboration with the very talented photographer and artist Sacha Maric and Tom Gottelier. The project has been under development since autumn 2009 when the first sketches came to life. The ambition was to show passion and determination in a playful universe with a second theme on the side: how to make easy tasks hard for your self. Tenue de Nîmes will continue collaborating with their Danish friends from LibertineLibertine this year. After the successful release of their Hobo denim shirt, they will release an actual denim chino and ditto jacket during Spring 2011. To be continued. —

The word 'Libertine' seems to be a strong metaphor for the Libertine-Libertine brand philosophy: A soul who is free from the restraint of social norms and religious morals. One who lives life with no restrictions.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Spyker Cars text: Hugo Verweij photography: Joachim Baan & Spyker Cars

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010




If you think of countries with a strong heritage in automobile manufacturing, the Netherlands is probably not the first one that comes to mind. We can’t compete with England, Germany or Italy in terms of quantity, but there is this one particular brand of sports car the whole world knows about, especially since they acquired Saab Automobile in February 2010. Of course, this company is Spyker Cars. The original Spyker Cars was founded in 1880 by Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker, who built luxurious coaches at that time. For marketing purposes on the international market the Spijker brothers replaced the ‘ij’ in their name with a ‘y’. In 1898 they were asked to build a coach for the Royal family. The Golden Carriage was the result, and we can still see queen Beatrix ride it every year on Prince's Day.

In the year 2000, Victor Muller and Maarten de Bruijn were looking at the sports car market, and felt the urge to create something new and unique. If you buy a top level sports car you do not want to find out the buttons on your dashboard are actually made by another manufacturer. Every single detail has to be thoroughly taken care of. To create a car like this, hand built and made of only premium materials, they brought the Spyker brand back to life.

For their first motor cars Spyker used a Benz engine. Their cars were innovative in many ways: it was the first car with a six-cylinder engine, and the first ever car to have four wheel drive was not a Land Rover, but that same Spyker racer. In 1907 a Spyker car was one of the very first motor cars to arrive in China, for the start of the Peking-to-Paris race. The race, covering nearly 15,000 kilometers went through countries without roads or road maps. The drivers followed telegraph poles, and to make sure the racers would not get stranded, camels carrying fuel left Peking to set up at stations along the route. One can only imagine the looks on the faces of the inhabitants of remote parts of Asia and Russia who had never seen a motorized vehicle before. Then the Great War erupted in 1914, and demand for motor cars declined. In order to stay alive, Spyker merged with the Dutch Aircraft Factory and started producing planes and plane engines, and elements from the designs of the planes also made it into the design of the cars. The company slogan was “Nulla tenaci invia est via”, which translates into “For the tenacious no road is impassible”. This slogan is still in use today. Take a look at a Spyker’s beautifully designed exhaust and you will find it engraved in there. Spyker went bankrupt in 1925. The cars turned out to be too exclusive for the market at that time, and producing them was very labor intensive and thus very expensive. Moreover, the creators of the company were highly focused on engineering and not so much on marketing.


A Spyker car is unlike any car you have ever seen before. The first thing you notice is its bold appearance. It is a serious piece of work, nothing to make fun of. The bodywork is made up of large pieces, to show as few seams as possible. Upon closer inspection you see all the little details on the car. The pedal box, the shiny exposed gear lever mechanism, the engraved Spyker slogan, you can tell it is created with an eye for perfection. Get closer still and you’ll feel the cold steel of the side mirrors - no plastic here. You will hardly find any carbon or plastic at all on these cars. They are made of aluminum, stainless steel and high quality leather for the interior. Spyker wants to create a multi-sensory experience, from hearing the distinct sound of the eight cylinder engine to smelling the leather of the interior. Spyker Cars’ racing and aviation heritage can be found in many parts of their cars. From the switches on the dashboard, which look like those of a plane cockpit, to the look of the wheels, which resemble the turbine blades of a jet engine. Another thing that sets a Spyker apart from other sports cars is the absence of electronics and driving aids. If you want to drive this car, you have to do it yourself. There is no computer to help you, and as much as government regulations allow, they want to keep it that way. If you make a mistake, it is your fault, not the car’s. While they bought Saab last February, a year earlier Spyker introduced their own new model, the C8 Aileron, which is longer and wider than the ones they built before. Production for this car will be moved to Coventry, England, where there is still a lot of craftsmanship to be found and skilled people who are used to working with high quality materials in low volumes. Production of the C8 Aileron will probably only be between 150 and 250 cars per year. It is clear a Spyker is not for everyone, and their customers are sports car connoisseurs who like to have the very best available. They can choose to buy a Spyker in stead of a second yacht, or a third villa. And when they do, they can have their car customized the way they want, a set of Luis Vuitton suitcases that precisely fit the car’s trunk, and even a Chronoswiss watch with a crown that matches the design of the handmade steel switches on their car’s dashboard. —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


text: Olivier van der hagen photography: Joachim Baan



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Roy: Flavours. This is the first book we published ourselves, and collaborated on with Ueli Signer, Florian Seyd, two master florists, and photographer Jeannine Govaers. We have tried to capture all the beauty of nature, in the home as well as in the garden.. We believe we succeeded!

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Joeri: Definitely Babeth, by Babeth (Elizabeth) Djian, the French fashion editor, who first stepped into the spotlights as editor of Jill magazine. For several reasons: it offers the very best in photography The book just looks extremely nice and it makes sense, from a typography point of view.


What is it about bookstores that makes people feel inspired, or keen to look for a book they have always wanted to read but never got round to? Perhaps that any collection of artistic work just evokes those feelings. A personal “click” with that work helps tremendously, but the beauty in bookstores is is that they can cater to any taste. I for one, love going into any bookstore in sight, because even if it looks dingy, there's no telling what I might find inside. You might say I've learnt not to judge a bookstore by its cover. As I stepped inside Mendo bookstore, for a minute I confused intimidation with being impressed. The dark walls, the subtle spotlights and the big, open books on display on the knee-high display tables may look somewhat posh from the outside, but once you're inside, and you start browsing, the interior soon feels like a haven. Mendo's selection is aimed towards special editions on topics such as architecture, interior design, photography, advertising and fashion. “Our love for these types of books basically grew out of our professional activities”, Joost, one of the three owners of Mendo Bookstore, explains. “We used to be an advertising agency, but then started the bookstore alongside it. This was about eight years ago. Then at some point we decided to integrate the agency into the bookstore, so what you're standing in the middle of now, is not just a bookstore, but a graphic design/advertising agency as well.” He goes on to explain that to them it just made the most sense to surround themselves with the things that inspire them. I catch myself smiling as I listen. It's a clever move which, typically, is characterised by its simplicity. “We deliberately focused on areas such as photography, design, architecture and so on, and not on art. Art seemed too broad a concept plus we can never be fully up to date with what we could display or sell on art. We carry a limited selection, and we aim to keep it that way. It just keeps things easier – for us but also for customers. You can come in, browse and walk around for a while and be reminded of what we have on offer.” 16

Another thing Joost says that makes the store stand out is the oversized books. More often than not these are limited editions, frequently signed and even numbered. “It is details such as those that truly make them special for us to be able to display and sell them, but also for the customer to see them among the other special items we have on offer. So they really add to our already eclectic collection.”

And that's not even taking into consideration the vibe of the place. Soft, lounge-y music plays in the background. Never intrusive, but quite calming. The dark walls too, and the seats, help with making it a comfortable place to spend time perusing books, gathering inspiration from anything that catches the eye. I am told, with a small glint of pride visible in Joost's eyes, that the store was designed by renowned interior architects Concrete. Responsible for such feats as Amsterdam's Supperclub and Mazzo restaurant to name just two, these gentlemen figured that a bookstore should be built with books the way a normal house is built with bricks. “So what they did”, Joost explains, “is that they lined the walls with black, square casings and filled them with around two thousand fully black books, with actual black pages in them. Sort of like a modular system. These fake books can be taken out, or rearranged, to display the real books that Mendo sells.” Simple? Relatively. Easy? Well, perhaps. Ingenious and extremely cool to look at? You bet. When I ask how they get their hands on so many special and frequently limited, editions, the explanation is straightforward. “Just a lot of searching, both online and offline. And a lot of publishers now know where to find us. So we are usually one of the first to hear about upcoming special publications.” One of the reasons publishers know where, and how, to reach Mendo is because, after a mere 8 years of being in business, the store was recently listed as one of the 200 most beautiful stores. World-wide, that is. And they steadily built a reputation for themselves. They do not advertise, they let the people come to them. Or, as Joost puts it: “We let people discover the store themselves. They love to find new places. And when they do, and like it, they will tell their friends. And that's how word of us got around,” he says with a modest smile. “ You know what it is? For us, the book is the hero. The spotlight is on our product. We believe in what we do and what we sell, and we simply love beauty and being inspired. That comes from within and you radiate that. So we do not act like salesmen. That just will not work. People may walk in, look around and leave, feeling this is a crappy place. Fine, we're not going to change their minds. It's a shame they feel that way, but we would never try to shove Mendo down their throats just for the sake of selling a book.” —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

— The Mayor of Amsterdam. In search of new Chucks. — Tenue de Nîmes X Keith White Soon...

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


text: Matthijs van Meurs photography: Joachim Baan

Red Wing Shoes


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

The 877, nicknamed "Irish Setter", is one of my favorite Red Wing Shoes. It was originally designed as a hunting shoe for the Irish Setter sub-brand in the 50's. Defined as a "sport boot" it found its way from the grassy prairies and fields onto the construction sites and oil rigs. No wonder because it can withstand harsh conditions and still be comfortable to wear. One of the typical features of the 877 is the Oro-iginal leather. If I did not like variation, I would buy all my boots in this color. It is full grain, oil-tanned and water-repellent. Because of the oil tanning you can feel it has a slightly greasy feel to it. The color is said to match that of the Irish Setter dog's fur. It is patented and the Red Wing's S.B. Foot Tannery only supplies Red Wing Shoes. It ages beautifully and needs little maintenance. For this reason we chose this type of leather for the fitting benches in the Red Wing Shoes Amsterdam store. Another feat is the crepe wedge outsole with Traction Tred. This outsole is one of the details Red Wing Shoes is famous for. It's white and it is said that the original outsole was black and that a color change was demanded by housewives who wanted to see if their husbands' shoes were clean when they entered the house. Myth or fact, it is a great story. Fact is that it gives you a lot of traction while still keeping most of the dirt on the ground and not stuck under your shoes.

Second on my list is the 9014. This magic number refers to a 6 inch black round-toe boot. According to Red Wing Shoes itself it is "harkening back to a time when a gentleman wore functional footwear with a touch of class." The 9014 is part of the Beckman collection, which is named after the founder of the brand. Charles H. Beckman patrolled the streets of Red Wing as part of his daily routine. He wore boots of course but he had a status to match. That is why he preferred boots that excelled in functionality and durability, but could be polished for a dressed appearance. This combination of style and functionality is what we love. The Beckman features the premium Featherstone leather. Different from the more recognizable Red Wing Shoes models, it has a leather outsole with rubber traction underneath. Take a look up close and you will notice the curve that forms the back of the shoe. It follows the shape of your foot from the heel to the ankle. Another detail to keep an eye out for is the black flat lace that completely changes the style : from that of a construction worker to that of a senior manager's. Both the leather and outsole are a bit harder to break in, but after a few weeks it fits like a glove. The Beckmans come in four colors, which make your choice harder, because they are all wannahaves. This quote of Henry Ford expresses my personal preference: "Any color - so long as it's black".

In the store we also carry the 879 (Hawthorne Muleskinner) and the 8120 (Java Muleskinner) editions. A prairie boot - another definition of this style - is something you should come and try out. You will make us both happy.

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


Time flies when you are having fun. We have been open for 3 months now. An increasing number of people know where to find us in the 9 streets. Of course the collection is getting good response, but also the interior is one of the crowd pleasers. The mixture of elements that creates this distinct Americana feeling within the Amsterdam store receives very positive comments. We try to provide people with products that meet their demand for good leather shoes, bags and accessories. The whole collection is built around a story of leather, canvas, durability and comfort. These elements combined with a good sense of style, a huge amount of enthusiasm and eagerness to learn more is our way of providing you with something we found lacking in our city. At the store we invest effort and attention in getting you in the right pair of shoes. The first important thing is the size. Usually we try one size down from you regular size. This does depend a bit on the shape of your foot. The right size keeps you from slipping around your heel and gives you enough space around the toe area. We regularly measure your feet to make sure.


All Red Wing Shoes need to be broken in. Some models are easier than others. This depends on the type of leather, the material of the outsole and the way the outsole is attached to the upper. A rubber outsole for instance will break in easier than a leather outsole. Do not be scared of buying tough shoes. What you try on is a premium leather product, which was originally designed as a work shoe. It needs to be able to take a beating, to last long and people need to stand on them for long periods of time. Does this seem

like a list of unwanted characteristics? May be, but the good news is that, usually within about ten days, Red Wing Shoes get comfortable. The leather gets more supple and the layer of cork between the leather insole and the outsole will adjust to the shape of your feet. Breaking in your shoes ensures you can enjoy them for a long time. This is the ideal way to combine comfort with durability. If you have no experience with this kind of shoe then take your time trying on a pair. Have a cup of coffee with us while keeping the Red Wings on. You can feel the difference within ten minutes. The leather will become more supple and will start stretching a bit. Take your time, because you are going to enjoy your Red Wing Shoes for a long, long time. Follow our journey to source all things we love on our blog "A Swan's Wing Dyed in Red". This periodical is updated almost every day. A mixture of boots, denim, motorcycles, photography and art are the subjects related to our store and the heritage of the Red Wing Shoes brand. Before long you will also be able to visit us online. This online environment we call the website is a great virtual symbol of what we stand for as a shop. The great design by Joachim Baan at Anothercompany will feature good products, as well as interesting stories with a very distinct look and feel and much more. This will ensure we will be able to keep up with the ever-growing demand for our services beyond our borders. —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

COLUMN — Eric Bernhardsson

STAY PUNK don’t give a f——— and care too much To paraphrase Ira Glass: everything wants to be mediocre. It takes such a f*#%ing act of will not to be. Being mediocre gives a sense of belonging and security. After all, almost everyone else is just like you. Mediocrity is the reason why people still believe in politics and turn up to vote every 48th full moon or so. For more of the same you can also join a Facebook group dedicated to a cause. Mediocrity lets you stay the same while doing nothing but still showing you care on the most superficial of levels. Of course, things will always remain the same this way. That is why people are needed who care enough to do things that set them apart. For these are the people who changed everything to the way they are today, and yet we take it for granted. But caring to this extent is hard and can come at a large cost, on both professional as well as on personal level. You can always spot a pioneer by the arrows in his back. By doing something first, trying to change things in whatever way, you make yourself a target for those who wish everything remained in status quo, forgetting that this same had never been if nothing ever changed. Being mediocre ensures you’ll have a safe spot at the top of the Bell curve, but is it necessarily better than being one of those bellends with their ludicrous new ideas? Within the context of the apparel industry I’ll bring up two examples of companies who care about things that go way beyond their bottom lines. Cotton of the Carolinas is a network of cotton farmers, ginners, spinners, sewers and knitters and more, all based in North Carolina. Their products are made from start to finish in this very state and all parts of the process are open to the customer: you can call, email or even visit the people who took part in making your C.o.t.C. t-shirt. The real merit of their way of manufacturing is not the local production but that transparency ensures everything is done under sound conditions and that pay for workers is fair. Being that everything is produced in the U.S., the question of labor conditions is admittedly not as relevant as in other parts of the world. But look at what happens when we take away transparency and care completely: a global high-street fashion brand states on its Orwellianly named Corporate Responsibility section of their website that they’re aware that since they don’t own the factories in which their garments are produced they cannot control working conditions there. Instead they have a code of conduct for its suppliers and allegedly audit each factory once or several times every year. For those who’ve seen one or more of the many documentary films investigating how these policies work in the real world it’s clear that this web page reads ‘we know what’s needed to make a difference but we simply don’t care to’. Obviously, the solution to the re-occurring problems at their factories is direct ownership and through it better control, so why don’t they take this necessary step? It’s organizations like these that have the capacity to change the direction of almost everything but no capacity to care about doing so. Instead their intent for their workers seems to be to stay down. This same manufacturer has, during the past year, been shown to source cotton from plantations where forced child labor has been found to exist, as well as producing garments in a Bangladesh factory where 21 people died in a fire because of useless fire safety equipment and locked factory gates. A factory that had been audited only months before. Even worse, a similar incident had already taken place in the same company’s subcontractor’s factory in the same country nine years earlier. In some ways it’s true that nothing ever changes. Knights Apparel is another apparel manufacturer whose strategy is probably the opposite of profit maximizing, while still remaining an economically sustainable company and not a charity. In its factory in the small village of Alta Gracia in the Dominican Republic they too are setting a new standard for manufacturing. The factory was bought from a Korean sportswear manufacturer who decided to abandon it since it felt that labor costs had gotten exceedingly high and moved its production elsewhere. Knigths Apparel did over the factory and improved not only the equipment, facilities and working conditions but also increased the wage, three-fold. The employees have since enjoyed a much welcome raise to about US $500 per month, up from $138. It obviously meant a big increase in the local standard of living as well as being able to provide the children with an education.

' whatever you want, try everything and pursue any idea that seems childish, juvenile or unrealistic. At the very least, care enough to support those who do.'

What these companies are doing is only possible because they care immensely – too much according to most -- and don’t fear being at the end of the curve. The price the Cotton of the Carolinas members pay is higher costs and a lower volume of sales. Knights Apparel have stated that they will absorb the lower margins of the products made in their experimental factory. Another example of what lack of care can do is shown by another ‘value’ retailer, one of the world’s largest companies in fact. It is right now blocking an attempt to instate a minimum wage of 35 cents an hour in the factory where it makes its organic jeans. There, the minimum wage is 11.5 cents an hour, with senior workers making 17 cents per hour. Each worker must make ten pairs an hour, meaning the labor cost for producing a pair of jeans there is 1.7 cents. This is how ‘organic’ jeans can be such a great value at $8 but come with costs other than environmental or economical ones. The t-shirts made at the Alta Gracia factory come at about the same premium price as those from Adidas or Nike, US $18, but which of these has the highest value should be obvious. The danger with growing up and out of idealism is that you might adapt to the false standards and truths of adulthood, such as 'the standard' is golden, straying is for dogs and doing meaningless work for large companies that don’t care. But life is just a mess, full of tall children, who've grown stupider, less alert and resilient, and nobody really knows anything. Be a standard deviator - do whatever you want, try everything and pursue any idea that seems childish, juvenile or unrealistic. At the very least, care enough to support those who do. Why not make each and every one of your Christmas gifts this year a meaningful one instead of a last-minute thought? —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


Genever text: Jorn Bartlema photography: ...,staat & Lucas Bols

'It was given this nickname by the English, who attributed the incredible endurance and strength of the Dutch navy to the shots of genever given on board of the battle ships.' Mexico has tequila, Greece has ouzo, Cuba has rum and Scotland, well, has scotch of course. Every culture has its own drink. Some are a globally enjoyed treat, owned and produced by multinationals, others are a local speciality, enhancing the unique touristic experience on holiday. One of those drinks has been around for almost 350 years. It was the precursor of what we know today as gin: a globally acclaimed product in the 19th century, that became a local custom in tribal Africa and was partly responsible for the rise of the cocktail: the Dutch local spirit genever. But strangely, whereas rum, tequila, whisky and other spirits are served in every corner of the world, genever, with such a long, rich and influential history, is not as widely available. Of course in the Netherlands everybody is familiar with genever. But even here in its native country, its story is largely unknown. This has not always been the case. There was a time when genever was one of the most sought after spirits in the US and poured in many nations around the globe. That all changed with the two World Wars and the American prohibition. The first half of the 20th century almost took genever of the global map. Not much happened for the next sixty years, but since 2008, things are looking up again for the malty Dutch delicacy. Bols Genever, made by Dutch company Lucas Bols according to its original recipe from 1820, is conquering hearts and taste buds again all around the world.

The recipe of The Original Collins 2 oz Bols Genever 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1/2 oz rich simple syrup (one part sugar to two parts water) Combine the ingredients in a shaker or mixing glass with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over crushed ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Genever is a Dutch white spirit made from malt wine, juniper berries and botanicals, such as aniseed, ginger, hops, angelica, liquorice, and many others. Malt wine is the core of genever, and distilled from three different grains: wheat, rye and corn. Genever is a product category on its own and is protected since 2008, meaning it has the equivalent of a French Appellation D'origine Contrôlée. This puts it on a par with champagne, cognac and Scottish single-malt whisky and means genever can only be made in Holland and a few nearby areas, from high-quality ingredients. The history of genever goes back to the 13th century, when an extract of juniper berries was used for medicinal purposes. However, it was not until the second half of the 17th century that distillery families like Bols began to create a genever for recreational consumption. Its popularity grew fast and it didn't take long before genever was taken on board the fleet of the East Indian Company and shipped around the world. During the European Thirty Years War, genever became known as 'Dutch Courage'. It was given this nickname by the English, who attributed the incredible endurance and strength of the Dutch navy to the shots of genever given on board of the battle ships. After the war, William III, also known as William of Orange, became king of England. He created tax rules and regulations to favor the import of Dutch products, such as genever. In an attempt to make a bit of cash themselves, the English tried to copy the 'Dutch Courage', resulting in what we know today as gin.

small distillery called 't Lootsje in the centre of Amsterdam, creating liquors and experimenting with different tastes and ingredients. When the East Indian Company began the import of exotic herbs and spices, it offered Bols many ingredients to create a huge portfolio. At one point Bols offered over 300 different liquors. In 1664 Lucas Bols started the production of genever. The art of distilling was handed down from generation to generation, until the company created a revolutionary, improved genever recipe in 1820. This recipe contained a much higher quality alcohol, made from a malt wine. The result was a full-bodied spirit with rich aromas and a malty character. A few years later, it was exported to the United States and 'Genever from Holland' became a desired product, known for its quality. Import figures show that in peak periods, the genever import was six times the size of English gin import. In those days, genever was also referred to as Holland Gin, while in both taste and production process it has more similarities with a single malt whisky. Because of its good quality, Bols' genever became a popular ingredient in a new American phenomenon: the cocktail. Bartending developed into a serious business and the world’s first celebrity bartender soon emerged: Mr. Jeremiah “Jerry” P. Thomas, nicknamed “The Professor”. He travelled the US giving shows and popularising the cocktail. In 1862 Jerry Thomas wrote the world’s first cocktail and bartending book, ‘The Bar-tender’s Guide or How To Mix Drinks’. It was the first time cocktail recipes were collected in print. In Jerry Thomas’ book we find that genever is one of only four basic cocktail spirits, the others being brandy, rum and whisky. According to his book, the majority of gin cocktails, until now mistakenly made with gin, originally were served with genever. With the re-emerging of classic cocktail culture today, bartenders are looking for ingredients to recreate the original cocktails as they were meant to taste, like The Original Collins. To answer this trend, Lucas Bols dove into its archives, all the way to 1820, and found the original recipe of its successful genever from the 19th century. In 2008 Lucas Bols reintroduced Bols Genever, presented in a smoked glass bottle based on the shape of the 19th century clay jugs. The new Bols Genever, carefully crafted according to the original recipe from 1820, offers bartenders the authentic taste of genever, and enables them to serve the true classics from the early days of the cocktail. Since its introduction, Bols Genever has won several awards and nominations, such as the Best Cocktail Initiative of 2008 by Drinks International, and is being rediscovered by professional bartenders in the US, UK and other countries around the world as an essential cocktail ingredient. The Dutch local spirit is set for a global revival, rejoining other local spirits that made it to worldwide stardom, such as rum or tequila, on the back bar once and for all. — Visit House of Bols ( at the Museum Square in Amsterdam to learn more about Bols Genever and the history of cocktails.

Genever producer Lucas Bols is one of the oldest distillery brands in the world that still exists today. It was founded in 1575, when the Bols family opened a 22

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

In passing the bar, I heard the usual interrogatory at the bar-keeper:

"Have you got any good gin, sir?" "Yes, sir, Hollands." "Well, mix me a cocktail - I want to wet up." — 1833, J.E. Alexander, Transatlantic Sketches

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


text: Menno van Meurs photography: Joachim Baan



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

L'oeuvre By Kilian - Straight to Heaven As a child Kilian Hennessy used to spend a lot of time in Cognac because his family has a long history in cognac production. They were pioneers in all things luxury. His grandfather started the LVMH Group and it did not take Kilian very long to decide he wanted to continue this tradition. In his search for the universal language of human beings and gods, Hennessy wrote an essay on the semantics of scents. That is how he first entered the world of perfumes. 'Part des Anges' is a phenomenon that they used to know at Hennesy as the percentage that evaporates mysteriously in the basements of the Cognac stockrooms as an offering to the Gods. Kilian was convinced that angels would sneak in there to enjoy the magic aroma's. All his perfumes remind you of alcohol, sugar and the wood of cognac barrels. 'Straight to Heaven by Kilian' is a combination of leitmotiv rum, Caribbean nuts and a deep patchouli. The mystery of the particular perfume is enriched by a note of nutmeg, cedar and Brazilian rosewood. All the fragrances are presented in an ominous black box with a ditto bottle and a lock. Nobody will be able to touch the aspergillum that refers to black magic without the permission of the owner. This brand is pure mystery and the user will subsequently be, too.

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Byredo Bibliotheque scented candle An aroma can provide a strong association with a certain moment in time. Whether it is the dusty library of your primary school, or the fresh lilies that were always on the table of your grandparents' home: every scent by Byredo is based on one of Ben Gorham's memories, the founder of this Swedish cosmetics brand. Bibliotheque is created by the famous nose Jerome Epinette with a top of peach and prune, a heart of peony and rose and a basis of leather, patchouli and vanilla. These candles have around 60 burning hours and need only a few minutes to actually change the space it is put in.


Our senses guide us through our lives. Every day we are exposed to thousands of stimulations without even noticing. Stimulations that make our brain decide whether something is right or not. A lot of these considerations happen subconsciously, but sometimes the thing you see, hear, taste or smell is so intense that time seems to stand still for a moment. An aroma is proven to be a strong element in the way people react. In his book Buyology (2008) Martin Lindström proves that smell stands out from the other four in that it actually affects our behavior before our brain gets the chance to think. One of the most powerful examples I could think of that underlines the power of smell on peoples minds is Gramercy park Hotel in New York. The hotel, named after the last private park in New York, asked the exclusive cosmetics brand Le Labo to develop a custom scent to cpmplement the tastefully designed rooms and suites of their accommodation. And for some reason this particular element is the aspect that people remember best after staying in the hotel. This phenomenon is supported by the numerous times that people set foot in our Amsterdam store and said out loud: "It smells like Gramercy Park Hotel in here". What is so extraordinary about this reaction? The fact that the smell of a scented candle was chosen with such precision that it was powerful enough to let somebody experience the charm of the hotel all over again by the simple act of inhaling a fragrance. It made the clients instantly relive the sensory experience of the hotel before they were actually aware of it.


Due to these surprising events in our store we became really interested in exclusive aroma's and the way they affect us. When it comes to exclusive labels and products the place to be in Amsterdam is Skins. Since the beginning of this decade, the company has devoted itself to finding exclusive cosmetics that have a unique place of origin. When they started, Skins carried 10 different brands. After ten years this grew to more than 70 respected labels like: dyptique, Le Labo, Creed and By Kilian. After entering their Amsterdam store for the first time I was sure: this is what heaven must smell like. Just earthy aroma's like wood, leather, patchouli, Rose – a world away from the chemical sensations that overwhelm you when entering a commercial cosmetics store in the city. Quite an accomplishment (and a lovely contrast) when you know the store was built on the premises of an old, stinky butchery in the characteristic 9 streets area of our capital. Skins is the kind of store where you can spend hours and not realise it. The combination of their experienced and competent staff next to their welcoming treatment and of course their mind-blowing assortment most definitely make Skins one of our favorite pit-stops of Amsterdam. Hopefully we will be able to realize the ultimate Tenue de Nîmes denim aroma with our friends soon. So when somebody enters Gramercy Park Hotel next time he or she will be caught by an intense sensory recollection of jeans and that crazy denim store Tenue de Nîmes in Amsterdam in particular. To be continued. —


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

A Brief History of the Umbrella text: Jamie Milestone photography: Joachim Baan Illustration: Hiyoko Imai

The umbrella has a huge history dating back thousands of years. In the last half century, it's lost much of it is substance and sophistication as millions of plain, bad quality umbrellas are rolled out and sold on street corners for tuppence. In turn, the umbrella is commonly seen as a disposable, last-minute purchase to be temporarily owned until it's either lost or broken. The well known shops & brands that have continued to supply quality, classic umbrellas fail however, in pushing their items any further in today's market. London Undercover was created with the aim of bringing the umbrella back to life, giving it a modern context whilst maintaining it is traditional framework and references to the past. It's this mix of old and new that's at the core of the brand; it's important to look back in order to move forward.

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

— London Undercover, Tenue de Nîmes and Hiyoko Imai have combined their creative talents in a small but distinguished collaboration that has yielded the perfect umbrella, which will complement your Tenue de Nîmes outfit beautifully. A very limited number of umbrellas is availabe at Tenue de Nîmes and at London Undercover. —

The umbrella really began life as a Parasol for protection against the sun rather than the rain. The first visual reference we have, comes from carved artworks found in the Ancient cities of Nineveh (Iraq), Persepolis (Iran) and Thebes (Egypt). Numerous images were found of men protecting their king from the sun with parasols. They were a symbol of importance and regularly seen in pictorial carvings, at times above the heads of the gods. Although parasols were always displayed open, there are signs to suggest they were made to open and close. The shape was very similar to those today and often made with tassels around the edge and embellished on top with a flower or other decorative piece. The canvas was often made of palm-leaves or coloured feathers. There's written evidence in an Ancient book of Chinese ceremonies of a 28 rib collapsible umbrella being attached to a ceremonial carriage around 2400 years ago. This Chinese design later made its way to Korea and Japan. In ancient Greece, the parasol also had a religious significance: paintings regularly revealed female priests being shaded from the sun. It was here that the parasol became heavily associated with women, becoming somewhat of an accessory for ladies of fashion, partly down to their decorative nature and virgin white color. From Greece the Parasol passed to Rome, still commonly used by women but many men were more than happy to shade themselves from the scorching heat, introducing skin and leather as a canvas to their Umbracululm. Although The Romans would regularly cover their auditoriums with giant awnings when rain started mid performance, they had not applied this thinking to Parasols. This was most likely down to their cost and decorative nature, which was becoming as lavish as their clothing with the use of gold, silver & silk. Subjecting it to the rain was not an option. Not ones to tone things down, the Romans opted out, or perhaps the idea failed to cross their minds. The parasol eventually travelled west - still a symbol of distinction, the trend of servant carrying continued and was used by Catholic popes and bishops. It wasn't until the 18th Century that the people of Europe became aware of

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

this peculiar accessory. In Italy, as the influence of the church declined, the parasol was yet again to become a fashionable accessory for women. The trend caught on very, very quickly and soon travelled north. It was the French who added waterproof fabric to protect from the rain and soon every chic Parisian was sporting one. British Major General James Wolfe wrote home from Paris in 1752 about the parapluie, asking why on earth the English were not using them. There was however, one Englishman who was. Jonas Hanway was a former merchant traveller who had spent much of his life travelling and setting up a number of hospitals and charities in his later life. Hanway was an eccentric and very much in the public eye. He was the first Londoner to parade the streets with an umbrella, much to the dismay of others. The local coachmen whose business boomed when transporting people in the rain were not impressed and afraid the trend might catch on and put them out of business. Hanway was abused and laughed at by the public but refused to give in. Standing proud, he continued to promote the umbrella and eventually London took note. The umbrellas at this point had frames made of wood or whalebone (as used in corsets) but they were expensive and hard to fold in the rain. In 1852, Samuel Fox, a wire manufacturer (not of Fox Umbrellas) invented the 'Paragon' umbrella frame. This was a U shape collection of ribs made with string steel. The frame was extremely strong and provided the perfect solution and the basis for the modern umbrella. The collaboration with Tenue de Nîmes applies this same classic frame to a design of old and new. The cotton flower illustration by Hiyoko not only tells its own story but echoes the decorative nature of age old parasols. It's this attention to detail combined with one of our more modern materials (denim) that makes this such a truly special piece. Made in France, the home of denim and the waterproof umbrella, this inspired accessory has come together with the effort of people from different places in the world, something that as you can see, is rather significant. —


- Royal RepubliqSomething's royal in the state of Denmark Text: Olivier van der Hagen photography: joachim baan

I meet Nicolas Kjaer, founder and CEO of Royal Republiq, at Royal Republiq HQ, which is situated exactly one floor up from Tenue de Nîmes' showroom in another of Amsterdam's creative hubs. The lovely smell of leather greets me as I step inside. The second greeting coming my way is from Nicolas himself: a tall, blond, smiling man. He shows me around the Republiq's space which is divided exactly in half – one part is the office, one part forms the showroom. They're separated by an improvised wall that, on the showroom side, serves as a long display and showcases part of Royal Republiq's range of products: bags, shoes and accessories. Dozens of these items are littered around the edges of this part of the room. In the midst of all this stands a long table, at which Nicolas and I sit down to discuss all things RR. I am curious to find out how the company name was coined, so this seems as good a topic as any to start. Little do I know, Nicolas is a great conversationalist and I see a spark in his eyes as he sets out his background, his ideas, goals and aspirations. He keeps expanding on his answers, so my role as interviewer is reduced to that of prompter. I am more than ok with it, as it sure beats mono-syllabic, clipped answers. I find myself riveted by what he has to say. Nicolas, tell me about your company name – how did you think of it and what does it represent? "'Royal Republiq' relates to Denmark primarily, as well as to my 'aims of life' - the values that we adhere to (more on that later - ed.). I was brought up in a small community in the Danish countryside. Old fashioned family values ruled supreme there. As a kid, these values become part of your roots, even though they can be too restrictive, what with social control and all. The “Royal” part refers to being proud of who you are, and where you came from. When I lived in that small village though, I have to say I couldn't wait to get away and broaden my horizons. I wanted to find the opportunities of the world. And that's what the 'Republiq' part refers to: don't trash where you come from. Find the values you're proud of and add to them through your experiences and freshly gained insights, that are so personal. That will give you the basis to pursue your dreams.” As I consider those notions, Nicolas continues: “ The plan was to make RR a leather concept brand. But we didn't do it upside down as most new brands would do it. By that I mean building everything around their concept and then position themselves in the market. We didn't have the finances to do that. So we needed to start earning right away. And then take a next step. We did it step by step.” You said you started RR selling leather belts. So that was step 1. It seems like such a random, unusual item to start off with, if you don't mind me saying. How did that come about? “About 7 years ago, back in Denmark, I quit my job, in logistics. I had an ambition when I was a kid to get into architecture, was fascinated by anything to do with design, but in the end couldn't face the prospect of 5 additional years of school. So I applied to universities and shipping companies. On the flip of a coin I decided which direction I would go in..” And let fate decide? “Exactly. I ended up in shipping. Amsterdam came a while after that. I had another albeit short career in furniture design, but learned a lot. I figured if I can do this, I can use these skills in a different way too. Leather reminded me of the quality you find in high-end furniture, in smaller pieces. One of my clients at that time asked me if I could handle production for leather belts for them. With my logistics and shipping background, where problem-solving is essential, I went for it. I asked to get a few weeks time and went to work. I found a factory, made the first belts for them and was delighted to have found an opportunity to put my design ambitions to use after all. People started buying the belts and I saw an opportunity to expand on this small, early success.” The Royal Republiq's website talks about the fascination, respect and passion for leathers in all shapes, forms and sizes as the “backbone and soul of Royal Republiq” because it is a long lasting natural material that ages nicely. I am reminded of this as Nic tells me more, but before I can ask him to expand on that, he's off again: “So with the money we generated from the belts, we reinvested it in the company and started designing a few bags. That went quite well. It was a bit of trial and error along the way, but then our production partner became more committed, more involved, so that made it easier for us. We're a product brand so we're focused on creating as strong a product as possible, for a good price, and then find good retail partners, like Tenue de Nîmes for instance, as we really share a connection. Royal Republiq believed it had a product that they could perform well with, and more importantly: it fits in with their concept. We have the same values of how to do business and how to treat products.”


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

As said, Tenue de Nîmes and Royal Republiq both have an office and showroom in the same building on the Prins Hendrikkade here in Amsterdam. As Nicolas pauses, I jump right in and ask him about another similarity between the two brands: Both you and Tenue de Nîmes have prospered, even after Royal Republiq took a severe knock from the credit crisis and ensuing recession, and Tenue de Nîmes managed to launch their business at the height of said crisis. How do you view that? Is it the strength of your products, for example? "Yes, and that ties into our philosophy. We are always looking for people who understand quality... who understand the difference between shit and Chanel. If they do, they will be successful with our products. If they don't and just look at numbers and statistics, it will never work, there can never be that connection between you and the product.” From RR's specific standpoint, everyone involved is now focusing on what they know best. Which was hard at first, because people are afraid to let go. "I was afraid to let go of the big business. But you can benefit. You just need to have faith. It's about long-term. Think beyond the horizon. Do I believe and trust the people around me? This is the very core of RR. It's what we're about.” We sit and smile in silence for a bit. I look around at the dozens of products. All of a sudden I am reminded of what he mentioned at the start – the aims of life. So I bring it up and ask him to explain what they are, exactly. “I had a lot of ideas,” Nicolas says, “and needed a way to get my ideas across. To seek the best way of realising them, shall we say. So I sat down one evening with my girlfriend, discussing what's important to me. What are my values? We put it down in a manifest-type document called Aims of Life. And now they're engraved in this. (Shows me a thin leather bracelet from RR which has these words in it). These words represent the values of RR. It's very simple yet powerful. It speaks to everyone and everyone can take what they want from it – interpret it in their own way. I look at it more as an encouragement for whatever people want to do. In that regard RR became a tool of communication. That's why the products we sell, high level quality, should last long, make you feel good instead of being a quick thrill that'll be discarded after a few days.” I read on the RR site that there is a certain Japan-vibe infused in the RR concept. How, exactly? "I made a trip through Asia a few years back with my girlfriend. We went to Seoul, Hong Kong, and ended up in Tokyo. Each place was fantastic, we had truly amazing experiences everywhere, but Tokyo was like stepping into a parallel universe. Even more so than Seoul. It's just the truly unique way of how the people there go about everything. Here in the West, products are all fairly homogenised, quite recognisable, variations on a common way of doing things.. quite often, if not nearly completely, borrowed from how the USA goes about it, because they are hugely influential in so many ways. But in Japan, they just seem to go about their own way completely. They may recognise the outside influences, but still opt to do things their own way, and that blew my mind. My frame of reference was just shot to pieces..utterly useless there! (laughs). Even the way people behave themselves in the street. Such an exhibition of mutual respect and tolerance. Despite the place being so densely populated. Talk about values and traditions and that place fascinates me for those two concepts alone. And the care they take in the quality of products is quite astounding. Plus the way they treat you, so polite.” Hearing him talk about these places, with such passion and enthusiasm makes me want to go. It'll probably take a few more interviews before I can pull that off, but I'll happily settle for some more of Nicolas's anecdotes. Much to my surprise I find we've arrived at my final question. Looking ahead to the next 5 years or so. Any plans, ambitions in particular? “Quite concrete: clearly continue what we're doing: to build on the brand and the reputation that we're creating. Those are the main things.We want to take RR viral, because word of mouth is an important contributor, but we want to increase our online presence, link ourselves to places like Tenue de Nîmes, surrounding ourselves with like-minded people more, and put our products in stores with the right product mix and attitude towards them- plus of course always improving, evolving our products. We want to be respected as a strong shoe brand.” —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

'We are always looking for people who understand quality..who understand the difference between shit and Chanel.' 31


The Soft atlas of amsterdam Jan Rothuizen is an artist I really like. He very much loves to go around town and describe, write, and draw about the city he visits. He did a great job on Amsterdam and if you read a bit of Dutch, you should get this book. In just a color or two, with just drawings and texts, he describes the whole city in amazing detail.

Amsterdam is a fan —

Whenever I have visitors and want to explain to them how the city works, I try to make them think of it as if it were a fan upside down. Central Station in the north is the hinge, and the edge is the south of the city.

Size does matter

Getting lost Honestly, for those of you used to big cities, Amsterdam might feel like a joke. It’s really small and manageable. You will easily and quickly find your way through it and getting lost is actually difficult. Still, Amsterdam is more than the center. There’s an interesting office district around the Arena Stadium and the World Trade Center, as well as a north part just the other side of the water behind CS that you must see, preferably by bike.

The essentials

Restaurant (Chic French-style cuisine)

LE HOLLANDAIS It’s wonderful to have neighbours like Le Hollandais. You can eat very well here and for a great price, since they are just outside center of town. Not suitable for vegetarians. Amsteldijk 42 »

FILM — Cult Videotheek

Those cult films you want to see while it’s cold outside: from erotic to horror, from unknown Japanese to the latest (imported) season of Dexter.. Amstel 47 (near Stopera) »

another Luis Mendo ×

{ With the invalua


Gabriel Rolt A couple of meters away from the Tenue de Nîmes shop you have this great gallery. Nothing better to dress your soul after having dressed your body. Elandsgracht 34 »

Photography Museum

BOOKS — Athenaeum & American Book Center

The Spui is probably the nicest square in town. Along with these two great book (and magazine!) shops and the wonderful flower stall (see right), there’s the Binnenhof hidden gardens, and dangerously placed street art by Lawrence Weiner on the ground — “Translation from one language into another”. Watch out for the Waterstone’s shop for cheap pockets too. Spui » and


DENHAM Feeling incredibly special for Amsterdam, this jeans shop and the stuff they sell are worth checking out. Prinsengracht 495 »

FOAM As a photography lover you cannot miss this place for the best exhibitions, the well assorted bookshop, and yes, the café downstairs. From documentary to fashion, from contemporary to historic, you will find your love here. Keizersgracht 609 »

COMICS — Lambiek

Lambiek was the very first comic book shop in Europe and if it weren’t for the fire that ravaged it sometime in the 00’s, it would still be in the same place. At least they didn’t change streets. Lambiek is next to Hans Brinker Hotel (where you should never ever sleep). Get the best comic books and comics related knowledge of the city here. The employees are great: the older the clerk, the more fun you will have if you talk to them. Kerkstraat 132 » 32

When the sun shines

AMSTELVELD If you head south from the Rembrandtplein, do it walking off the Thorbeckeplein and keep walking until you get to the last place in the city where you can play a soccer match with friends and enjoy a beer afterwards. Between the Kerkstraat and the Prinsengracht JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Hotel and monument

AmrÂth Hotel Amsterdam Although I have never slept here, I recommend you drop by the Amrath hotel even for just a little visit to enjoy the iron works, the glassworks, and the atmosphere of this old building that feels as if it came out of a Batman movie. Prins Hendrikkade 108 »


Lady day This is an institution in the world of vintage and used clothing. For 30 years it has been a favorite destination and meeting place for the local fashion lovers, stylists, and designers. Here you will find a sweet mix of old and new, classic and trendy. Hartenstraat 9


College hotel My absolute favorite if you are to spend a night or two. Five stars for the price of three, this place is actually a school and the staff are being trained so they always do their best. Roelof Hartstraat 1 »

Perfume and soap

SKINS Go here to fetch that perfume or cosmetic you can’t find elsewhere. Walking in the place is an experience of cleanness and beauty for your sense of smell. Runstraat 11 »


Toscanini Your Italian food needs are very well covered in this institution. Lindengracht 75 »



Cocktail bar

HARRY’S BAR Expect the real thing behind the bar: waiters dressed in uniform (a rarity in Amsterdam!) who know how to make a cocktail correctly. Spuistraat 285 »

Posthumus winkel Since 1865 they’ve been making and selling office and company stamps and various stationery items. The shop in itself is a joy. Sint Luciënsteeg 23-25 »

De koffie salon When you want a perfect capuccino, and I mean PERFECT, you must avoid the Coffee Companies, Starbucks, and any Dutch “bruin” café as they serve nothing like what you will get at De Koffie Salon. Flavia or Denise will make you the best of the best. Utrechtsestraat 130 »

Coffee shop

× tenue de Nîmes city report

Croissants from Maroc

MEDITERRANÉE If leaving CS on the west side, you must walk through the lovely shopping street Haarlemmerstraat. At the very end, you can find the cinema The Movies (where you can have a dinner + film arrangement every day) and opposite is Bakkerij Mediterranée, with the best croissants in the city. Haarlemmerdijk 184

able help of Angela Shetler }

Coffee company waterlooplein Although the coffee could improve greatly, this Coffee Company location is a good place to work, check your mail (wi-fi password is in your receipt), or chat with a friend in a very Amsterdam-like decor. Waterlooplein 129 »

Japan in Amsterdam


Nes Optiek For those of us with sight problems. The most exclusive glasses are in this shop. Nes Optiek » Grimburgwal 3

Senpachi & zen Senpachi is the place you visit for their handmade ramen (only at lunchtime) and their perfect Japanese atmosphere. Wielingenstraat 16 » Zen is a family-run small restaurant (eetcafé) where the sushi and the donburi make me come back every month. Frans Halsstraat 38

Sandwiches and traiteur

Loekie The best sandwiches. With the nicest staff. Period. Utrechtsestraat 57 »


patta Patta is Surinamese slang for shoes. They carry many brands of footwear and skategear, including Parra’s clothes line Rockwell Clothing. Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 142 »

One dish fits all restaurant

COUSCOUS CLUB This beautiful place only serves 3 kinds of couscous: vegetarian, (Véget), with sausages (Maison), or with sausages and meat (Royale). Homemade cakes for dessert. Ceintuurbaan 346 »

The real Dutch café

CAFÉ KROM A bar as a bar used to be: waiters wearing white shirts and ties, and able to pour the perfect beer for you. We call it “the David Lynch” place. Go see why and bring some coins for the jukebox. Utrechtsestraat 76

Clothes and gear for the rough ones

Relax — This is amsterdam.

Red wing - amsterdam store Displayed together with steel, antique glass, coal, and dark concrete walls, the garments made for the rough life feel at home here. Reestraat 15-hs »

I’ve lived here for many years and have never heard of someone near me being mugged or attacked. Nothing bad will happen to you here. Just make sure your bike is well locked when you leave it behind.

Flower stall

‘T lievertje Get the most beautiful flowers here. Do not even think of going in the Kalverstraat. Nothing to find there. Spui in the corner with the Kalverstraat

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Design books

MENDO Half design agency, half bookshop. Very well stocked. The name comes from adding ‘men’ to ‘do’: nothing to do with me. Berenstraat 11 »


A fine selection of taste by Foodware photography: joachim baan



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010






1. Belvoir Fruit Farms, Elderflower Cordial, Fresh flowers, fresh lemons & no preservations 2. Pipers Crisps, West Country Cheddar / Onion & Sea Salt and Indian Black Pepper, Made by Farmers, Hand Cooked in Lincolnshire 3. Émietté de Thon, À l'Huile d'Olive, Vierge extra / À la Tomate


4. Tony's Chocolonely, Blauw 72% Cacao / Rood


5. Thoïonade, Mousse de thon aux olives et aux câpres, La belle-illoise 6. Peppersmith, Chewing Gum, Fine English Peppermint with Natural Chicle Gum 7. Lovechock, 100% Raw chocolate Goji/Orange 9




8. Émietté de Thon, À la Marie-Galante 9. Dr Stuart's, Echinecea & Cherry/ Chamomile & Manuka Honey 10. Belvoir Fruit Farms, Blood Orange & Manderin Pressé 11. Kent & Fraser, Citroen Boter Sprits



12. Zaabär, Chocolat Noir, Cannelle de Ceylan / Thym du Lavandou, Belgian Chocolate with Spices 13. Simply Hibi, Organic Hibiscus Drink, Rich in Anti-Oxidants 14. Sardines, À l'Huile d'Olive et au Citron

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


10 Questions to Ad de Hond text: menno van meurs photography: joachim baan

1. Would you please introduce yourself, and tell us all about your background? I have worked in the fashion business for twenty years. I started off at Mexx when I was twenty and was involved in marketing and PR and supporting the international sales of the brand. But after some time I realized it was not really my kind of brand and decided to move on. Nike had asked me if I was able to help them out expanding their operations in Europe, by setting up Nike stores here. So at first I asked them how an international business student with 5 languages could possibly be of use with something like opening Nike flagship stores. But they showed faith in me and they trusted my expertise and experience. I could have never expected I would stay there for 16 years. I started with the bottom line of what a Nike shop should be about. After that we designed shop-in-shop concepts and we basically investigated the Nike retail atmosphere – what it was supposed to be. I formed a team that really made things happen in that period. But in everything I do I need some creativity so by the time the project grew I was able to strictly focus on the creative side of Nike retail. So I became their Retail Design Manager. I was responsible for Nike town concepts and retail in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. After six months I became their Design director. By that time Nike took its first steps towards lifestyle and they needed a Brand Design director for Nike Sportswear. I did that for nearly 8 years. It concerns everything related to product design. So that means all trade shows like Bread & Butter, Pitti, shops - literally everything that concerns the lifestyle side of the brand. It was a great time. I learned a lot and I was able to see a lot of the world. Then eventually Nike asked me if I would consider a move to product. So the last two years of my career at Nike I was Global Creative director of Nike sportswear. 2. What is it that you do for Denham and how did you end up working there? Well nearly two years ago Nike was going through an enormous reorganization and I had the choice to move to Portland (Global Nike H.Q. - ed.) and in the end I decided I did not want to go. So I quit. For nearly 6 months I did some private projects and after that Denham crossed my path and they asked me if I could come and work for them. I had known Jason (Denham, ed.) for some time because we were neighbors. So I asked them what they wanted from me, because at the end of the day I was Creative Director and Denham already had one with Jason himself. I became their Brand Director with retail, sales, PR and marketing as my major areas of focus. In terms of retail I am responsible for all the retail designs. Our last stores in London and Tokyo are good examples of my assignment at Denham. But I have to emphasize here 36

that we are a very small team and together with Jason Denham and Liam Major (tops designer) we move along every new project. We use our own designs with antique finds. My job is to put everything in place, to make sure the right people work at the store and the best selection of our products is presented in the stores. The beauty of working in such a small and inspiring team is that you never do something on your own. 3. Did you have a feeling with the brand from day 1? I've known Jason for a long time now and I have always followed what he does. I knew what he was able to do with denim and how passionate he is, so that was very tempting to become a part of. But you have to understand that initially I was meant to set up a private business. But the feeling I got at Denham was so extremely inspiring, such an energetic and young team - it was hard to resist. Besides the brand I was a big fan of Liam's private projects like ***. I was so impressed by his design philosophy and I found out that his thoughts were identical to my beliefs. He is always into detail, it's all about real tailoring and choosing the right materials and colors to do it. I said to myself if I got to work with such a great team I would be crazy to refuse it. 4. Where does you love for denim come from? I started working at a shop at the age of fifteen, which also marks the moment I started to collect denim. It was the time that the 501 made its comeback. From that moment on, jeans has always been a kind of extension of myself, although it would take me years before I started working with it again. To be honest I knew more about jeans when I worked at Nike than about sneakers in general. Because I grew up with Levi's in the 80's I have a never fading connection with the brand. It has always been one of my favorite brands to wear. 5. How many jeans do you have and what is your favorite pair? As a jeans collector it will not surprise anyone I have around 70 pairs in my closet. But I always wear the same pair for some time. Sometimes though I get some old jeans from the top of the shelf and be nostalgic for a day. And of course, just like you do, I ask my tailor to customize one, every once and a while. 17 cm on the bottom and sharp it is (laughs). I guess that's another example of combining old with new. You create your own updated style. I suppose this proves that I sometimes miss nostalgic details, true craftsmanship in contemporary design. There seemed to be less rubbish for sale in the past. Luckily some small brands have embraced the old fashioned kind of quality standards again. JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

I don't really have a favorite pair though. If I had to, I would name three. First a nice vintage 501 from the fifties because it is more tapered than its counterparts. I really like my 501's to be worn. I bought my first pair at a shop that was called America Today (not to be mixed up with the big chain store, ed.) who would only stock the real McCoy at Waterlooplein. They were the first to stock original American 501's for 80 guilders. I would take the train from Zeeland to Amsterdam to get myself a new pair. In that same time I would travel to Paris to buy vintage Levi's pieces. That is how I managed to get my hands on my first pairs of Levi's Big E's. Next to my Levi's I would have to say a nicely worn-in A.P.C. jeans is something that really pleases me. And lastly, a pair of jeans from our own line the 'Great Slim': a lovely kind of denim because it has a rather classic pattern, combined with a nice slim leg. This pair is best in a raw virgin Japanese selvage. Virgin means rigid here. Make it beautiful yourself. A concept that I really appreciate is the 'Butler' program by APC in which they let people wear-in their jeans and give them the opportunity to resell it again in the shop. By doing this, people who like to wear rigid are only able to buy a new pair at half price and people who do not have the patience to wear a rigid pair for so many months can buy a vintage (washed, repaired & ironed) pair. 6. We really admire your taste for the right products and you always appear immaculately dressed. How would you describe your style? Let's start by saying that I simply enjoy beautiful things and quality. It pleases me to combine old with new. I like to believe that I am a fan of classics and that can include modern classics as well. I am not particularly interested in fashion. It is so temporary. Especially now that I'm getting a little older I appreciate things that tend to last. 7. What does style mean to you and where do you shop? That is an easy question. I like Antwerp a lot. And I really enjoy spending time in London, shopping in Tokyo and since not too long ago I really like New York again. If you asked me what these cities have, in comparison to Amsterdam. I would say: choice. And of course there is a certain kind of style for sale in every single city. But people copy a lot off of each other you see. So most of the things you see in Tokyo are based on, or taken from strictly American or European icons. But in these cities there's just so much to see. That is very different in Amsterdam. It is impossible to shop here for an entire day. I am done in an hour. I visit a couple of stores and that is it. Next to that cities like JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Tokyo really add something new. The Japanese have such a powerful kind of taste in terms of quality, detailing and style. One of the nicest aspects of the big cities is the number of interesting people that you see walking around. There is so much to see. For some reason it intrigues me a lot more to see what the people of large cities wear, than how the shops look where they buy their products. Again the secret is in the actual combination of different things. 8. You travel the world. What is your favorite city to be left alone in for a couple of days so you can spend some time in the best stores around? That would be most definitely Amsterdam because of its liveability. I consider this city as a large suburb of London or New York. That quality level is available here. There is something casual to this city. Amsterdam has the charm of a village but the possibilities of a city. But you will always be able to get on your bike or take a nice walk and still be able to get somewhere. Nothing is to difficult here, it isn't pretentious in any way. And I like that about it. 9. What would be your favorite retail stop in Amsterdam? It will always be a nice combination of a few. You guys at Tenue de Nîmes have a great store were I can easily find the stuff I like and I believe Denham obviously unites a lot of my passions as well. But next to that I would really shop for second hand stuff in Amsterdam. Lady Day is one of the best vintage stores in the world. They have a certain level of taste that is really unique in the world. That is the environment in which I find things. And let's not forget the Amsterdam Watch Company. It's never a challenge to find my way in there (laughs). I love watches. But for instance for shoes it is a lot harder to succeed apart from the shops that I just mentioned. 10. If you would ever leave Amsterdam, where would you like to grow old? Outside of Amsterdam? That is a hard one for me. I believe when one gets older he will need more and more entertainment. Or at least I do. I think my need for that will only increase so I would probably move to a larger city like Paris for its culture or New York because of its character. I would never survive in a small village or the countryside. I am afraid I would get bored in no time. But I still believe I will become old in Amsterdam. —



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

The God Shot Some call it the God Shot: the perfect espresso, better than anything you ever drank before. If it is anything less than that, it is not worth the title. How do you make one? Well, you need proper tools, a well practiced hand and above all, some high quality, freshly roasted coffee beans. Make sure it’s ground right, as too coarse will result in a cup of weak dish water and too fine will result in bitter, over-extracted coffee. Put the right amount of pressure on it with the tamper, and let the espresso machine work its magic. It should take about 25 to 30 seconds for your brew to be extracted. On top of your espresso should be a nice layer of light brown crema. Is the result not exactly what you expected? Then try again… If you are searching for the perfect cup of coffee, Brandmeester’s is a good place to start. We were invited to visit their coffee roasting house in Boesingheliede to learn more about the roasting process. Brandmeester’s - Dutch for ‘chief roaster’ - was founded in 1994 by Lammert Brouwers. He came up with the idea for the company when he was working in the U.S. and saw an emerging culture around high quality coffee. Knowing that in the Netherlands we consume large amounts of coffee every day, he saw a business opportunity. Amsterdam was the right place to start this adventure, and it turned out he was right. Seemingly more and more people became aware of the fact that there is something beyond their daily dose of ‘roodmerk’ drip coffee from the supermarket. Brandmeester’s now have stores in Amsterdam, Haarlem and Utrecht, where you can find your favorite espresso mélange, chocolate and tea, but also a proper machine to practice your barista skills on. Peter Vink, a true coffee professor at Brandmeester’s, reveals some of the secrets behind getting the perfect roast, some interesting facts you probably are not aware of while sipping your cappuccino in the morning: Coffee is a natural product, and as with wine, one year might be a very good year for a coffee farmer while another year is not, and even the moment of picking influences the taste of the final product. Most of the time each of the cherry-like coffee berries holds two beans. In some berries you will find three or only one bean - a so-called ‘pea berry’. While there are basically two varieties of coffee, Arabica and Robusta, Brandmeester’s ‘singles’ and espresso mélanges only consist of the refined and superior tasting Arabica beans from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and many other countries. The higher the altitude of the coffee trees, the lower the quantity they produce and higher the quality of the beans. To guarantee this quality, none of their machines is allowed to even touch a Robusta bean. Organic coffee beans are usually a bit smaller, as they are grown without the use of chemical fertilizer. In a country like Ethiopia this kind of fertilizer is hardly ever used, so beans from Ethiopia are smaller than those from Kenya for instance. A part of Brandmeester’s coffee assortment is 100% certified organic. These beans are stored in a separate room, at a certain distance from the rest of the beans, and to make sure they do not get mixed up with the other beans after being roasted, they are kept in a different kind of barrel. When it’s time to roast a batch, sixty kilo’s of fresh green beans enter the roaster where they are heated to 210 degrees Celsius. Now it’s all about the right timing. Unlike a big factory where everything is computer automated, at Brandmeester’s it’s the chief roaster who is in charge, and every now and then during the roasting process he takes a sample of the beans to smell them, until they reach the perfect state. Then, from the 60 kilos that entered the roaster, 50 kilos of hot beans come out, that need to cool down. The remaining weight is lost in the process in the form of moisture and husk. If we could we would share the smell of the freshly roasted beans coming out of the roaster with you. This is what you want your espresso to taste like! If you buy your favorite coffee in the store, you can have it ground at the right coarseness for your espresso machine, but Brandmeester’s staff will advise you it is best to buy beans. And for a superior cup of coffee, make sure you do not give oxygen a chance to get to your coffee, as it will become stale in no time. The beans should be ground right before the brewing process. — JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010




JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

“The work we do is serious, but we don’t take fashion seriously,”

Lady Day TEXT: Retna Wooller PHOTOgraphy: joachim baan

Good retro clothing stores are hard to come by these days. Almost like the clothes themselves, ‘retro’ is a term now bandied about to describe anything more than six months old. However every European city has at least one potent retro store. One filled with pieces hand-picked from around the globe, washed, preened and put on display for a loving buyer to come and find one fine day. In Amsterdam, that store would be Lady Day - owned and run by an enchanting couple who love what they do as much as each other. Marijke Bijkerk and Bernard Brouwer began their first hunt for vintage finds in either 1972 or 1974 (they have never been able to agree), when they would take their car to flea markets and find film, theatre and retro clothing from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. They would bring bags of clothing home, wash and darn them to sell on at markets around Amsterdam. “The work we do is serious, but we don’t take fashion seriously,” explained Bijkerk from behind the store counter. “What makes the store successful is that there is a crew of people here that is passionate about what they do, and they are as much a part of the image as we are, and the clothes we sell.” With one of the most successful fashion businesses in the city, serving the likes of Viktor & Rolf or the design team from Chanel, the duo now travel through Belgium, France,

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Eastern Europe and the US to pick up the best in retro eveningwear, tailoring, outerwear, footwear and knits. Never having regrets when it comes to selling clothes on, Bijkerk loves the idea that she makes someone happy by selling them a piece of history. “We love seeing someone leave the store satisfied, you don’t get that when you sell something online. Internet selling is not for me because you sell things and send them out and then you miss out on meeting the person who bought it.” Bernard takes pride in being able to size a man up suit wise from the moment he walks in the store. “I can guess a gentleman’s measurements just by taking a look at him,” he said. “Both myself and Marijke also have a fair idea of what people are after just by what they are wearing.” Hard wearing and full of history, retro clothing has quality that just isn’t found today. “Locally produced goods just isn’t something that happens today. Back then, clothes found in Paris were made in Paris. Clothes in Berlin, were made in a factory in Berlin. People took pride in what their city produced,” said Bijkerk. Manufacturing isn’t what it used to be, but for now we can be satisfied that Amsterdam possibly houses the best of locally produced retro fashion, at Lady Day. —



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Mokum — by Thomas Tukker

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010



JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


according to Malvin Wix

We at Tenue de Nîmes do not believe anyone needs particular brands and logo's to define him or herself, or to have them make statements on their behalf. That does not mean we do not acknowledge that we all have particular brands with which we identify, or even feel a kinship with. In particular specific items of clothing that we will always pack, whether we're off to Paris for a day or two, or taking a longer break in Bali. We like to characterize these as TdN essentials. Think of my favorite slup-yarn 1930s T shirt by Levi's Vintage, or a pair of vintage label Momotaro jeans, and blue Chuck Taylor's. I could not imagine taking a trip anywhere without these simple treasures. For Journal de Nîmes we are writing a recurring column about our friends' essentials, people who inspire us. Below is the first list of elementary items according to Malvin Wix a.k.a DJ Wix, coowner at Precinct 5. Denim Up untill we opened our store last year, in december 2009, I strictly wore unwashed Levi's 501's or A.P.C. New standards.Now I dedicate myself every day to my Denham/ Precinct 5 Collusion collabs called the 495's. Unwashed, rugged and built to last. T shirt That's a difficult one. Like my jeans I don't really believe in overpriced

the best trashed anyway. SockS Before I knew anything I wore strictly white socks. 2,3 or 4 packs as long as they where white. I tried out the classics and some other brands but now I only wear Happy Socks. Watch I wear a vintage Omega Speedmaster. I really fell in love with this watch and model. Its not too big , not too flashy - just right for me. Once I was able to afford one I did not hesitate.

tees or jeans. I have a couple of favorites but at the end of the day I always come back to my old Stussy tees. Basic, yet outspoken. A tee is the best canvas to express and transcend attitude. Stussy does them the best. Shirt I recently started to wear shirts. Tees is what I wear the most. Now I wear Gitman vintage. A staple since the 70's. If it ain't broken don't fix it. Sweater Easy. I wear any fall/winter edition Supreme sweater I can get my hands on. Supreme sweaters are famous for their durability. I still have my first ones I bought in 1996 and they're in perfect condition. Supreme sweaters are the best thing next to American made Champion sweaters but with a better fit and updated colors.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Jacket At the moment I wear the Nike M65 Zizo black on black fall winter 010 edition. I believe every man should own one of these jackets at least once in his life time, just like his granddad. The original M65 field jacket The Zizo is a modern day version of an iconic classic updated to modern day standards and is a must-have for every man. An uncompromising style execution if you ask me. It has nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with innovation and sports yet you can wear it everyday. You either love it or hate it. Suit I dont really own one simply because by the time I could afford a suit, friends spoiled me with 5 bespoke suits as a gift. An old friend once gave me 3 Ozwald Boateng semi-bespoke

suits when I was 25. A couple of years later Spice PR hooked me up with a Dutch bespoke suit company who made me a custom-made tuxedo. And two years after that the Dutch denim company Blue Blood made me a bespoke denim suit. I find it hard now to go to any store and buy a suit from the rack. Hopefully one day I will be fortunate enough to make an appointment at Ozwald Boateng and really own one I paid for. Footwear That would have to be the all white Converse Chuck Taylor Cons. These came out I think 3 years ago. The best kept secret at that time if you ask me. They looked way to inline to become a hit at the time. You could only get them at stores with a premium skateboard account. I wish I'd bought 5 pairs. I bought 2 but I trashed them already. Mind you, Chuck Taylors look

Perfume Until my mid twenties I wore Zwitsal Baby creme as perfume. Later I upgraded to Baby Grace from Pure Grace. Now I use Ambrette 9 from Le Labo. I feel it is time to stop the baby inspired perfume thing. I'm too old for that stuff now. Travel bag I have a couple for different travel occasions. I use a Supreme duffelbag, Victorinox suit bag or my 30 liter Northface duffel bag. Stationery I use anything I can get my hands on. I don't discriminate when it comes to stationery. —


Mr. Woo TEXT: Menno van Meurs Portrait photography: joachim baan Interior photography: ...,staat

During the 90's Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands were caught by house music and all the endless chemicals that appeared alongside this new type of music. Around 1993 hardcore and mellow house went their own ways in the Netherlands and clubs in Amsterdam were influenced by a diversity of musical tribes from Detroit en New York. But the 21st century brought a new vibe to Amsterdam. New scenes took hold of a city and new philosophies filled the gaps that once felt so big that it would be impossible for someone to fill them. One of the people that explicitly gave Amsterdam its new destiny was Casper Reinders: the owner of internationally respected establishments like BoCinq and Jimmy Woo. The entrepreneur recently reinvented his club Jimmy Woo and changed the entire atmosphere of the famous club near Leidseplein. Reason enough for Tenue de Nîmes to have a talk with him about clubbing, LA rock, his love for vintage relics and boxing gloves by Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis, and Mike Tyson. We meet Reinders in his house on one of the characteristic canels of Amsterdam. The apartment is located in a former bank. The steel gate that once prevented anyone from entering has been retained. It seems a very appropriate place for him to display his exceptional relics from all over the world. His home feels like a small museum because, although his finds are so eclectic, ranging from stuffed animals to an antique opium table and small metal air planes that soldiers used to receive after their service, it all seems to be connected somehow. The space feels like the office of a pirate chief who travelled the world for half of his life and decided to stock a single treasure of each and every destination he saw in his life. Hard to match really. One of Reinders' major goals when he started his International Club Jimmy Woo was his desire to bring actual quality into night life. No more obscure parties in hollow rooms without any form of comfort nor style. In the opinion of Reinders Amsterdam was in need of a top-notch club environment with an unlimited quality standard. A club that would attract the rich and famous. Amsterdam needed another mystery. "I know the lack of quality is considered to be cool as well, but for me it isn't. There are places where people would pee in their draught beers to add another edge to it. That is not my kind of cool when you talk about the right night club. When I started Jimmy Woo the first thing I accomplished was to get the best available sound system in the world. An associate of mine introduced me to Function One. For me the starting point of any successful club would have to be the quality of sound of the music. Unbelievable that such a critical feature of a club suffers from such bad economizations. Sound is the engine of any night club. There was no way we could ever afford to have it though, it was so bloody expensive. But I just had to have the best, so we decided to show them our passion and claimed we would love to become their European showroom. I called the guy in England and he turned out to be some kind of sound hippy. I invited him to come to the Netherlands to show him my dream. It was pure passion shared with him in an empty building. At the end of the day he agreed to a collaboration and suddenly Jimmy Woo was the club with the best sound system in the country and there we were in the top ten of the world." Jimmy Woo has seen the emergence of many young promising DJ's that would die to get a spot in the legendary DJ booth. The Woo has been the ultimate hangout for a young and trendy crowd ever since the club opened its doors. "The funny thing is that we aim for a really small percentage of the people that actually live in and around Amsterdam. I believe that I am generous when I say that our club is only suitable for 20 percent of the market. It is impossible to serve everybody. You can't make everybody happy. I don't want to be a mainstream club. I'd much rather do an outspoken gay night by the name of 'F** Pop Queer' or Italo Disco - a night based on Italian 80's disco. The music is challenging but the vibe in the club on those nights is unbelievable." 50

Casper Reinders is member of a select number of clubs around the world that get calls from managers of the rich and famous on a weekly basis. This international endorsement makes the Jimmy Woo unique in the Netherlands. There is no club in our country that has such a rich and famous, but yet rebellious kind of edge to it. And there is another unique aspect about it: Their entire timetable during the weekend is filled with their own productions. In my opinion a real night club does its own line-up and concepts. If you manage to rent your space every weekend it is extraordinary as well, but you're not a club if you ask me." It will not surprise anybody Reinders finds an open door in cosmopolitan cities like New York, Moscow or Bejing because of his reputation. Due to this international network the Jimmy Woo is almost a standard pit- stop for people from abroad when they pay a visit to The Netherlands. But there is more to Reinders that has helped Jimmy Woo maintain a constant level of quality. Reinders is, unlike a lot of his competitors, a teetotalist. He never gets high on his own supply. "I need to be in a constant state of concentration. I need to be able to react to what happens. People forget this business is like any other business. At the end of the day it is really hard work for a little bit of pleasure. It is about leading by example you know". Your entrepreneurship started off in Haarlem - what made you decide to go to Amsterdam after? "Well, actually I was already living in Amsterdam but I started a business in Haarlem. I disliked it there though, and I missed the big city. It was quite boring to be honest. I just needed to come back to Amsterdam. Not a really exciting reason I am afraid." And Casper came back with a mission. He always had an eye out for something new, a unique concept that would change something in the city. One of the first major achievements was the Noah, a lounge bar that had a noodle bar. "This was a time in which 'lounging' did not exist yet. People thought I was going mad to think people would actually consider laying down while they were eating. Secondly, nobody was familiar with noodles in such a setting. People came from all over the country because they heard about the concept. Famous people ate in our bar every single week and the rumor about this crazy kind of food spread rapidly. I guess we did disappoint some people in the bar, when they had just driven 200 miles and were then made to wait for 2 hours on a table and then actually see how small the space was. They thought the restaurant was enormous. Nobody would have ever thought dining in a 'lounge' setting would succeed. It was presumed to be impossible to get people to eat like that. I got interviewed by numerous international media because they all wanted to know what lounging was. There I was with my 'pancake face' on BBC, ZDF, and BRT. In that period the richest people around, the hookers from the red light district and the players from Ajax where waiting for a table for three hours - for a plate of noodles. Unbelievable isn't it? " These remarkable moments in the Reinders' career symbolize his pertinence and his vision. Always in search of something remarkable. He is a man that likes to think the opposite. "What do you expect me to do? Do market research? But what if nobody ever heard of the concept? Or the product? I mean, I may sound funny, but I don't want to be liked by everybody. But its really not like I like to think I know it all. Believe it or not but every Friday I feel excited again. I question myself every single week if the people will come again. That means that I love what I do. Every single week creates a new challenge for me. "

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

"There are places where people would pee in their draft beers to add another edge to it. That is not my kind of cool when you talk about the right night club."

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


Amsterdam seems the only city that is really known for its nightlife internationally. Would you be able to explain why? Obviously there are a lot of dubious aspects to this city, like mushrooms, red light districts and weed that will attract a lot of people from abroad. But let's focus on the beautiful things like the fact that you will find very few cities with such sensational architecture. It is bizarre really, I live at the epicentre of the city but I never get tired of the beautiful buildings that surround me. Secondly I believe we have a unique amount of world famous museums. As far as my business is concerned Amsterdam provides a very diverse range of clubs, music venues and restaurants that can serve a large, global audience. Quite impressive for such a small city like Amsterdam. Add to that the 'free' state of mind of its inhabitants. Ever seen the guy with the mini skirt and high heels walking through the Kalverstraat (biggest shopping street in the city - ed.)? He walks around with little beads up his backside. Now , the funny thing is that not one single local will ever pay attention to it. If you wish to be like that and you love it when people look at you, it is all good. I don't give a damn. That is our city, our Amsterdam: known for its tolerance and creativity." What is your connection with New Amsterdam (Or: New York, as some people insist on calling it - ed.)? "New York has always been my second home. I believe I have been to New York 80, maybe 90 times. I love big cities. My parents lived there for a long time and my father ran a business there. So we had a house there for twenty years. My relationship with the city is so intense that I have been considering to start a Jimmy Woo there, but for various reasons I decided not too." What is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to running a top quality bar like Jimmy Woo? "People underestimate the fact that running such a business is a specialty. Like we discussed, I do not do drugs, nor drink alcohol, which allows me to be in my club every single night to monitor the business. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they give priority to the wrong things: They want to hang out with models or movie stars and they want a private table in their own place. They drink champagne with famous people and live the life of a rock star. I would rather sell that table. It is very simple, this business is an awful lot of work for the return on investment you get. It is not much different from an ordinary bookstore. There is nothing fancy about it. I believe that people who do not take this business very seriously will eventually perish because of the consequences of their own fairytale. I have a beautiful, but very complicated business." The Jimmy Woo is considered one of the most successful clubs Amsterdam ever had. What made you want to change it any way? "I believe I can say we have been the most popular club of Amsterdam for the past 7 years. But there have been some mistakes in the last two years as well. Although business-wise it was nothing but prosperity, I felt we were not very progressive any more. I had a baby and built a new restaurant (BoCinq – ed.) recently and those opportunities took away some of my focus on certain matters. That was the reason that I woke up in December last year and thought we had to change some aspects of the club drastically. Once such a belief gets stuck in my head I will change it all: the interior, the events and even my staff - whatever is necessary to come back at this magic level where I think we should be at. So although 2008 en 2009 where my most successful years ever, in terms of the overall experience I felt it was not. Crazy? Well, maybe. But I felt it was not the way I wanted to do it. So I changed everything dramatically. After six weeks of uncertainty I knew I made the right move. It is so important to redefine yourself every once in a while. I need a constant landing of young, innovative and energetic people in my establishment. And change makes that happen."

"I found my belongings literally all over the word. Take the boxing gloves that are presented in the closet of the Jimmy for Ali, Lewis and Tyson. Those are unique objects that I found and they were originally displayed in my house. But I needed more stuff to showcase in the club so I decided to exhibit them there. Every single piece is a relic that somehow tells a story, features something unique. That is why I collect vintage pieces whether they be watches, skulls or vintage Ray Bans. I am not sensitive to fashion you see. I always wear a black T-shirt on blue jeans by PRPS. I wore them before anyone knew about it in a small shop in Soho called Union. I didn't have a single clue about what it was." Can you tell us more about how your sometimes inimitable state-of-mind can confound people? "My desire to change does not mean that I never offend people. For a lot of my competitors it seems hard to understand what I do. Because your clientele might be attached to the way things are, or because they just don't have a single clue why I would design things the way I do. A good example is a new restaurant that I am building in the Reguliersdwarsstraat (famous street in Amsterdam, known for its multitude of gay bars ed.). The restaurant will be called Lion Noir and will be located in a former garden house. It is a very authentic location, with a classic atmosphere and a classical French kitchen. But the interior will become a true adventure with camouflage walls, peacocks attached to it and 17th century carpets that we cut into pieces. We combine such things with glass bells with mushrooms from 1910 and a metal skeleton of a Boa Constrictor. These things will not make it the most obvious choice of restaurant of the city. We will really re-write some of the holy rules applied to this business. I like to use unusual colors, sensitive materials, real objects of art - I believe I have a different eye on the business. How many people just open a Vitra look book and decide what the interior of their 'concept' should look like? I am not interested in building a fancy place. I would like to create progress. One should only do what he or she believes in. You need to be able to identify yourself with something you create. So basically I don't give a damn about what people want. I know this might sound arrogant, but I create a demand. That is what progress is about. You do something that feels right. I'd rather have a less successful business to be able do what I like. The more people tell me something is impossible, the more joy it gives me to prove that they are wrong. The fact that I started to re-design Jimmy Woo made a lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration from. I think that is such a silly question. I mean, it's not that I don't understand, but come on! You get inspired by living a life. Isn't inspiration simply in books you read or in watching National Geographic? Of course I get inspired by trips to vintage markets in Paris, but that is because I do it so often I learned to keep an eye out for the right things. You meet people that learn about your wants and desires. That gets you in touch with merchants, artists and other collectors that might have something for you too. Suddenly it becomes a global network of people that begin to smile as soon as I enter their store. My favourite piece is a metal army jet that was for sale for €500,- in an antique store. But this was back when I had just started Jimmy, so I could not spend that kind of money at all. But a year after it was still there and then I decided I just had to buy it. Years after that I was searching the net for a similar object and accidentally found the exact same one for €1500,-. That gives me joy, you know, although I would never sell it. The funny thing is that I am not really attached to the stuff I collect. I might sound odd but if its gone, its gone. At the end of the day you realize it is all not that important. —

The new Jimmy Woo interior emphasizes Reinders' passion for vintage relics. It shows a lot about who he is. 52

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

COLUMN — john barron

The Tudor Submariner Why is it that collectors always seem to covet old antiquated objects that have most likely been made obsolete through technology and/or product development? Is it the status that can be achieved by its ownership? Is it the historical significance of the item that justifies the interest in it? Or is it simply the value that one man will place on something he covets? While all of these are significant factors, I personally believe collecting first and foremost starts with the passion a collector has for his or her chosen focus of interest. My collecting niche was established relatively early in life when I first laid eyes on a collection of vintage watches (although when I first ogled them in the 80's they weren't old enough to be considered vintage). I remember being shown the collection of a friend of my father's. The black dial diving watch in particular stood out, with its heavy chunky steel bracelet, carrying the Tudor name as well as an image of what I would later recognize as a 5-petalled Tudor Rose elegantly printed across the dial. I remember how substantial it seemed when I attached it to my wrist. I also recall my father instructing me to be extremely careful with it and not to drop or damage it, as well as my father's friend reassuring both my father and I that there wasn't much damage I could possibly do to this spectacular chunk of metal in my hands, short of whacking it with a hammer.... Right then, I knew: I was hooked. I love watches. The name of the brand stuck with me for years, and when I was first afforded the opportunity to upgrade from my ubiquitous Japanese digital sports watch, I decided vintage was the route I would take...and Tudor was the brand I would look for. So the hunt for, and subsequent history lesson of, my rose dial vintage Tudor Submariner Oyster Prince was on. The Tudor brand was officially Launched in Geneva in 1946 as Montres Tudor SA, by Hans Wilsdorf, the founder and director of Montres Rolex SA. The Tudor brand was envisioned as a more affordable version of Rolex, to be aimed at a wider target group, but maintained the same perception of quality as Wildorf's beloved Rolex brand. It was named in honor of the British Royal Family and their long reign over the Kingdom of England, the country where Wildorf had lauched Rolex in 1908. Wildorf was renowned for his use of innovative marketing concepts, and believed for some time that there was a significant opportunity for a second collection of wristwatches which could be sold alongside Rolex - to compliment, rather than compete with, the already established brand. The Tudor brand was able to take advantage of similar design and engineering characteristics, as well as the technological innovations Rolex had become famous for (such as the waterproof oyster case, patented screwdown crown design and self-winding movements which were cutting edge at the time), but would be able to target a wider potential consumer by using secondary suppliers for some of the more expensive components found in their Rolex counterparts. Unfortunately, with the dominant success of Rolex in the high end Swiss wrist watch market, Tudor had trouble stepping out of the shadow of its more successful older sibling, often being viewed by Rolex loyalists as an inferior, lesser brand. It did however find its own niche eventually, allowing the brand to move forward and flourish.

some extreme (working on mines and on roads), others recreational (riding a motorcycle, or playing golf) but always depicting the brand in situations where reliability and functionality were essential, suggesting the consumer could trust Tudor as a brand. By 1952, the reputation Tudor was gaining led the British Royal Navy to commission 30 Tudor Oyster Prince models (a self-winding water resistant semi sport watch) for use as the time keeping instrument of choice for the British Scientific Expedition to Greenland. This cemented Tudor's reputation as a so-called "tool" watch, a reliable instrument, to be used as a precision tool. This was also Tudor's first involvement in a military procurement transaction, which foreshadowed a significant chapter in the future of the brand. After the success of the Tudor Oyster Prince in the British Polar expeditions, Tudor began to explore the possibility of becoming a supplier of wristwatches to various global military forces. At the launch of the ubiquitous and revolutionary Rolex Submariner model at the Basel watch fair in the spring of 1954, the next chapter of Tudor's evolution fell into place. That same year, Tudor begun collaborating with The French Navy developing and testing a number of Tudor branded "submersible" watches that would be used by the newly formed "les nageurs de combat de la Marine Nationale", or Navy combat divers or frogmen, as they were also known. The French had started a dedicated program where these frogmen would be fully trained in all forms of underwater combat, and to do so, precision time measurement instruments were essential. But as with most military procurement exercises, minimizing cost was a key factor. Where Rolex took itself out of the running due to high costs, Tudor stepped up and integrated the technical advancements of the Submariner product line into the Tudor collection, giving birth to the first Tudor Submariner Oyster Prince, reference 7922. Its technical specs were almost identical to that of the Rolex Submariner, including the patented oyster case, screw down crown and a rotating bezel with clearly marked time measurement markers representing 60 minutes. These watches were tested to 100m water resistance, and were run through a battery of harsh field tests by the French Navy swimmers who were determined to make sure that these watches were first and foremost reliable instruments. While the 7922 Tudor submariner was produced mainly for development purposes, and subsequently in small numbers, the watches mostly exceeded all expectations. The test was a success, and the Tudor Submariner was born. As a collectors brand, Tudor has sometimes been overshadowed by the sometimes ridiculous values achieved in the Vintage Rolex collectors community (Steve McQueen's personal Rolex Submariner 5512 achieved a record setting price of $234,000 at auction, during the height of the global financial crisis no less). But for myself, and those who desire a time-tested, well worn, beautifully designed piece of horological history, (at a fraction of the price of its big brother) Tudor is a brand that resonates, and with values still within our stratosphere, you won't be afraid to take your pride and joy out of the bank vault and wear it as you wish. I know my son can't wait to get his hands on mine, but I think he'll have to wait a few more years before he does!! —

One of the many factors that contributed to that success for Tudor was its newly conceived advertising and marketing campaign, which was published in various national newspapers and monthly journals that were read by Tudor's targeted demographic. The ads depicted men wearing Tudor watches in various conditions, JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


Dutch Cycle Culture? Think again!

TEXT: Marc Tumson photography: Menno van Meurs One of the most iconic images which springs to mind when thinking of all things Dutch is the bicycle. Not just any type of bicycle either, but rather classic heritage of the Omafiets, Opafiets and Bakfiets – or Gandma, Grandpa and Box bicycles. What strikes you the most as you amble around the capital Amsterdam is the sheer omnipresence of these traditional designs. While a “cycle-chic” trend sweeps the planet from Beijing to Buenos Aires, I set out with this in mind: what was Dutch cycle culture? Personally, I’m a bit of a fan of cycling – not just the type that Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong get paid for – but cycling as a way of getting around from A to B…sometimes taking in a nice diversion via X, Y and Z as well. In fact I own 3 bicyles – a Finnish ‘Jopo’ and two Dutch double cross-bar transport bicycles. There is a quality of emotion that cycling a traditional bicycle at non-sweat inducing speeds brings, which I would never swap for being stuck in morning traffic and looking for a parking spot behind the wheel of a depreciating metal box on wheels. It’s one of the (many) reasons I made the move to Amsterdam – to indulge my love for cycling by canals with a great big smile on my face. However, I never really considered why Amsterdam was cycling nirvana for people like me. I decided to set out in search of someone who could help me find the answers I was looking for – and hit gold on two-wheels. Marc van Woudenberg keeps the Dutch cycling blog – – while Henry Cutler is the founder and owner of WorkCycles. These two ‘rollers’ know what they are talking about. They live for this stuff. I met them at the WorkCycles workshop and store in the Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam. Henry and Marc are friends ever since Henry built Marc’s ‘Fr8 Cross-frame’ bicycle to order a few years back. We sit around the table between the store at the front and the workshop at the back. We sip coffee while customers come in to pick up their new or serviced bicycles. The noise of hand54

soldering buzzes in the background as WorkCycles’ employees work on the next batch of custom hand made Dutch city and transport bikes. In this atmosphere it doesn’t take long for the conversation to begin. “…it’s just like Americans, when they came over here and they say ‘How can those mothers not have helmets on their kids?’. What I’m trying to show is a return to where we came from, but not many people know where that is any more. If you cut away all that bullshit it’s a very simple concept. It’s not that difficult. It’s just accommodated. It’s a choice, if it’s not accommodated, well, it’s no wonder there’s so much aggression abroad – it’s always us versus them, it’s never ‘and’, it’s never inclusive. That ‘share the road concept’ is completely bogus. It implies that one owns the road and you let the other share it, while the highway code will tell you that one mode of transportation is dominant in essence. Just accommodate it and strip away that bullshit. That’s what I’m trying to do – show it (cycling in Amsterdam) the way it is. I don’t want to make it more beautiful than it is. I’m just trying to create something beautiful out of normal scenes” Marc tells me. I have to admit that looking through Amsterdamize. com you get a real sense of the romantic image that many people have of Amsterdam as a city that is constantly moving, but never faster than the fastest bicycle. Yet, in other countries in Western Europe we have seen the tabloid photographs of politicians on bicycles with helmets and high-vis vests, looking riot police men dressed for urban warfare in a bid to increase their ‘green credentials’ – heaven forbid that one of them should ever answer their mobile phone while cycling or their ability to run a country could be thrown into question! Is that not so Mr. Cameron? So, why has the bicycle as an every day means of transport been so successful in The Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular? Why has it been so accommodated? Wasn’t there always a cycle culture in this city? “Let’s not call it that!” says Henry, “it’s a place where people ride bikes. Just like

other people in other countries use washing machines, or drive cars”. “Is it because it is so flat?” I offer naïvely. “Oh, that’s the worst! That’s something I fight relentlessly…it’s such a cop out. Like those people who say ‘I want to cycle to work, but there are no showers at the office’, well sure, if you’re going to ride like Lance!” chimes in Marc. “In all fairness” says Henry “this place is ideal for cycling. The distances are short. The Netherlands never really adopted the commuting model. People tend to live close to their work, even if they don’t they live in a town and get around their home town by bicycle.” We discuss the fact that whether in large cities like Amsterdam or small towns, transportation policy accommodates the bicycle. It’s integrated. Bicycles can be brought on the trains and metro. There are bicycle paths to and from the major stations and bus terminals with parking – albeit inadequate for the demand – available for cyclists. But still, why is this the case here and not in other countries. If you go back to the first half of the last century, before the motorcar became popular in the Western world, you can find photographic evidence that the bicycle was every bit as popular then as it is now. However, it wasn’t much different anywhere else in those days. Why did the bicycle persist here? According to Marc “It was just convenience. ‘A’, Amsterdam’s grid hasn’t changed all that much through the years, and ‘B’ it might have something to do with the no-nonsense demeanor of many Dutch – the Calvinist pragmatic heritage of this country.” Henry adds “Plus, this country was poor. That didn’t change until the late 60s”. Still: why, even in the affluence of the post war years, did the Dutch love affair with cycling endure? It didn’t. “After the war, cycling went down from 55% nationally to 10% in the late 60s” Marc tell me. The car was promoted, accidents went up and a movement started which developed into the National Bicycle Plan to promote the bicycle as a means of safe, cheap and democratic means of transportation. That’s perhaps my favorite thing about cycling in Amsterdam JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

"I don’t want to make it more beautiful than it is. I’m just trying to create something beautiful out of normal scenes."

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

and The Netherlands. In a car you're faceless – you are Mr Volkswagen, Mr Audi or Mr Volvo. On a bicycle, everyone sees you, and you see everyone else. It allows for a form of communication that is not possible in a car. Couples hold hands as they cycle, friends can stop in the street and chat as they pass one another, Henry tells us of how he sees the same parents every morning as he drops off his child at the crèche and how they can afford to stop on the street or footpath and greet one another – none of which would happen if all these people were not on bicycles. There’s a flexibility to life when you have a bicycle. You see a street you haven’t been down before – now’s your chance. You're heading home when a friend calls you to ask if you want to meet for a beer – why not? Just turn around in the street and go the other way. “If you are in car, with a commute to do, you have to think about the traffic, and where you would park” opines Henry. One of the results of this is that stores, bars, restaurants continue to thrive in areas where in other cities they have been driven to the wall by car friendly hyper-markets on the edges of urban centers. Moreover, it seems that people in The Netherlands like that flexibility that cycling offers - why wouldn’t they? That’s why the country supports pro-bicycle policy. Sure, events like the oil crisis in the 1970s might have given it a little push, but people who grew up with this wanted to hold to it. “So, is that what Dutch cycle culture is as opposed to any sort of cycle-chic? Is that why people opt for the traditional style of Dutch bicycle rather than some multi-suspension all terrain bike?” Henry answers “Take a typical Wednesday morning for me. I only have one way to do it. I get my son up, I leave the house, bring him to the crèche and come to work. I wouldn’t even know how to do that with another means of transportation in this city. I could do with buses, or trams, or even rent a ‘Green Wheels’ (Amsterdam ‘Zip Car’), but it’s unfathomable. Unless there’s a blizzard, then we’ll walk, or he’s not going to school and I’m not coming here.

I’m not special that way.” So what are the challenges to cycling in Amsterdam and The Netherlands? Surely, there must be something that could be done better to keep fostering bicycle use. If cycling in this city is a question of pragmatism, what are the pragmatic solutions that are being offered to the problems that are the result of so many people cycling? What about bicycle parking? Isn’t it a problem that people can just park their bicycles anywhere? What better solutions are on offer? Marc and Henry have some opinions. Some areas just don’t have enough parking. The Dutch code dictates apartment buildings should be allocated bicycle parking, so there should be a more systematic way of taking over car parking spaces. There’s a lot of wasted parking space. They should be clearing out ‘orphaned bikes’ more quickly yet still in a fair way. There are around 45,000 orphaned bikes cleared out every year. They really need to tackle that issue better. People treat their bikes as disposable items, or better still: they use their old ‘wrecked’ bicycle as an anchor to lock their current bike to, in order to prevent theft. However, Henry says that people could do a lot to be more considerate. “If you park and rest your bike against a bike that has a child seat, I have no patience for you. When it happens to me, and I have my baby in my arms, I just clear those bikes out and put them in a pile. If the racks were cleared out of orphans, that wouldn’t be an issue.” You don’t need to reinvent the parking mechanism itself either – the most simple ‘stables’ are the best according to Henry and Marc, you can lock any shape bike to it. In some areas where there is wasted space “just paint a box” says Marc “people will put their bikes there. Put in more neat parking. That’s the Dutch way.” A common problem in The Netherlands is lack of space. How does the bicycle compete with the car for parking spaces when politicians are pandering to the electorate with more and cheaper parking? There is a market for quality, handmade bicycles like the ones 55

"There’s always a market for a well designed, quality product with good service – it may not be a huge market. There’s always someone willing to pay a little bit more to get a lot more."

Henry Cutler is the founder and owner of WorkCycles, Lijnbaansgracht 32B-Hs (on the corner of the Goudsbloemstraat), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Marc van Woudenberg is “an Amsterdam native who won’t take his city and its cycling extravaganza for granted anymore.” He is author of the “100% Lycra-Free”, that Henry and his employees produce. In The Netherlands, sure there is. But now, with the wave of cycle-chic blogs, articles in fashion magazines and newspapers – even KLM (the Dutch national air carrier) had an article in their October magazine about the increase of Dutch bicycle sales in New York City – surely there is an increase in demand for the real deal and Dutch bicycle manufacturers are prospering despite these troubled economic times? “They’re just caricatures...they’re the gesture of a Dutch bicycle. They wouldn’t last 6 months over here with the amount of use they would get” explains Henry “That’s the difference between bicycles and cars. It’s about utility. A BMW and Nissan will give you the same utility. Not so with a bicycle. You can buy a crappy bike and have to replace it every 2 years, or get a good one and maintain it for less cost than replacing a cheap one all the time and hold onto that bike. However, aside from the Dutch bike industry, people who sell bikes are in it to capitalize on a trend. You shouldn’t think of the bike industry as analogous to the car industry, or the tractor industry. You should think of it as analogous to the ‘Six Minutes Abs’ industry. They have never understood selling the bicycle as a utility…not since the 50s or 60s. Now they are recognizing the styles that are selling, but they are not recognizing what's behind it, or what is important there. They put carriers on there with a little sticker that says ‘Maximum Load 3 Kilograms’.” That’s the difference with manufacturers like Henry. There is a quality and heritage to the work that is grounded in utility. However, he wants to keep away from the idealistic marketing that plays on ‘provenance and proximity’. “What people do enjoy” says Henry, “is coming here and talking to the guy who started the company out of dissatisfaction with the state of the bike industry, who started the company out of love for the Dutch style of cycling. They want to talk to the guy who designs the bicycles. They actually sit and explain their frustrations with the last four bicycles they’ve owned. I can smile and we can 56

have a nice conversation about what needs to be done. They see the guys back here, a bunch of smart guys enjoying how to fix things and keep bikes on the road. They see the guys welding. It’s professional on the one hand, but always a little messy and obviously in use. It’s transparent and people like what they see thanks to the transparency. People don’t get sold to, here. It’s not what we do. You could call it a weakness, but on the heart level it works really well.” “He’s not selling models” adds Marc. I argue that it's why people probably have a greater attachment to a WorkCycles bike, the same way that people will go to the farmer’s market to meet the person who is producing the cheese, or the bread. The same way that people shop at Tenue de Nîmes for that pair of hand woven selvage denims. The charm and success of what the folks at WorkCycles are doing is that you are at the source, rather than when some of the other Dutch manufacturers bring out something inspired by the latest thing that Henry and his crew have done. Henry doesn’t claim to have invented anything new though. “I just did a little research and brought back what was forgotten” he tells us. “We design and build bikes on a basic simple principle that I’m pretty sure will always be maintained. There’s always a market for a well designed, quality product with good service – it may not be a huge market. There’s always someone willing to pay a little bit more to get a lot more.” So what’s the future for the kind of cycling that Marc and Henry promote? Can they withstand the cycle-chic fad? Henry’s answer above tells us that it can, but there is an interesting development to which I am surprised by Henry’s reactionthe ‘fixie’ craze. “I was making fixies for guys in Paolo Alto, California, twenty years ago. I like fixies. They are enjoying their toys. There’s a lot of silly stuff within the trend, but those folks who really are into the bicycle, will be WorkCycle customers in a few years time. They get a more serious job, and they’ll have kids in a few years, because they love cycling and still want to

keep doing it. They won’t want to go out and buy some terrible hybrid BSO (Bicycle Shaped Object). They won’t trade their NJS approved tricked out Japanese import for that. They’ll seek out some beautiful handmade Dutch bike.” It seems that it’s not about cycle culture. It’s just that people want to ride bikes. —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

— From contemporary work wear to architectural denim design — TEXT: Menno van Meurs During my time with Mode D'emploi, at that time the jeans capital of Holland, G-Star had already started to become a Dutch legend. It was about ten years after they started in 1989 that we felt that the company had something indestructible. The guys working for the company were like rock stars. Whenever they entered the store all the young blokes were dumbfounded. They were dressed in 'raw denim', something highly unusual in a market that was saturated by washed denim. For a lot of you, G-Star may be the giant that is about to become the biggest denim label in the world, but what very little of us will remember is that GapStar, as the brand was previously called, started out as a one-man-company on a mission, with four goals to reach its success. First of all, the Dutch label wanted to create an authentic denim by using high quality cotton from crops in the US and Europe. They used these cottons because they are said to be the whitest. The brand also wanted to incorporate detailing like hollowed out buttons (this is an authentic detail dating back to WWII when metal was scarce and in order to stretch the use of metals, they started hollowing them out). Other details include tobacco-stitching, rivets and synch backs. Secondly G-Star searched for ways to innovate in terms of fabrics and washings but mostly in design. The brand was set out to design tomorrow's classics. Thirdly, it was all about consistency and dividing risk; it would never be just the denim store taking all the risk because he had to finance all of his denim stock. Lastly, G-Star revolved around building relationships. They started a dialogue with their retailers in which they asked them to help optimize the collection and the denims in particular. It not only made the product a perfect market match, but it gave the stores the confidence that the product was an actual extension of the company itself. Because so few people really know about the fascinating story behind the Dutch king of denim we felt it would be interesting to pull back the curtain on the little-known side of the brand. In this Dutch issue we present a historic overview of the evolution of this one-of-a-kind Dutch denim label. It shows the highlights of the brand over the past two decades and it gives you a unique inside peek into one of the largest denim companies around the globe.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010



One of the most admirable aspects of the brand is that they were one of the first to acknowledge the true roots of denim: work wear. From day one in 1989, all the contemporary designs were made with the original work wear in mind, but put into a contemporary context.



Pierre Morisset joined the company in this year and still is one of the driving forces behind the brand. As a true denim engineer, Morisset believed denim should always be authentic, but innovative at the same time. Pierre was a stone-washing guru that ran a few extraordinary retail concepts in the south of Holland before he joined the company. Up until today Pierre Morisset is one of the icons that personify the global success of the brand.


In this year (we were both 13 years old) G-Star made our favorite denim style ever: the U.S. Lumber. It was only a few years later that Rene, Matthijs and I got our hands on our first pair at Mode D'emploi. The jeans were known for its waistband buttons (for suspenders), a deep crotch, a cinch back, large back pockets and a relaxed leg that was tapered down. After nearly 18 years this is still the style that we like to wear every day, even though G-Star real icon was not yet born at that point.


Inspired by traditional carpenters pants, the 'Worker' was translated into denim: traditionally built to resist tough labor and frequent, long wear. The design was known for its double layered knee protection with a gap stitched in the bottom of the panel to make it easier to insert extra stuffing. The Seafarer was another remarkable achievement that year. The pants were inspired by authentic sailor twill pants, yet translated into a jean. It distinctly featured lower inserted front pockets that sat below the pea coats worn by sailors and protected cold hands when sailors needed to stand at attention. Another clear sailor pant detail was the slightly flared leg that made sure that if a sailor went overboard he could easily get his pants off in the water.


While Pierre Morisset was sitting in a cafĂŠ in France he saw a man in the rain stepping off his motorbike wearing tight leather biker pants. Pierre noticed the way the leather pant stuck to the driver's legs and it seemed to have moulded to his riding position. That actual moment in time was his inspiration to create his ultimate masterpiece: The G-Star Elwood. It would be the first pair of ergonomic three dimensional jeans ever designed. The success of this denim style not only unlocked a global demand for the brand (with over 10 million jeans sold so far), but it was also the start of a distinctive signature that would characterize the company ever since: A 3-dimensional view on denim design.

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


In the shadow of the Elwood another iconic jean found its origin in 1997. The U.S. First was an American classic that featured everything any denim aficionado would search for. The U.S First was based on traditional 5-pocket denim design, made from the finest, blended ring-spun yarn.


A remarkable chapter in the development of Dutch denim design was the birth of the A-Crotch. The design had an unusual O-shape and no out seam. The jeans were known for their characteristic embroidery on the back pockets.


This was the year in which the company started collaborating with the world famous industrial designer Marc Newson on a number of mainline and two limited-edition clothing collections that fused high-tech materials with casual designs.


With the birth of the Arc Pant the company basically reinvented itself. The design is closely linked to architecture. The pant features a low-crotch and straight-hip, with an asymmetric tapered leg that 'turns' around the human legs, thanks to twisted side seams and inseams. This way the pant follows the natural shape of the leg.


Earlier this year the brand launched its RAW Essentials program. Using 'no compromise' denim, trimmings, washings and craftsmanship the line will appeal to the true denim lover. Selvedge denim from the best Japanese mills is individually hand-finished and washed in the finest Italian laundries.

Thanks to a single man from The Netherlands the future of denim will be all about architectural craftsmanship. —

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


The New Wave

TEXT: Menno van Meurs Photography: Yarn Unit


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

Dutch knitwear label Yarn Unit will finally launch their menswear line this winter. Tenue de Nîmes will host an event in January that welcomes the men's collection into the stores. Yarn Unit was founded in 2006 by Jan Everard Wiggelinkhuizen. The brand started off with women's knitwear and took the 'yarn' as a metaphor for all its designs. The brand became known for its ability to add character to all its woven garments, all of which are made from the best yarns (mostly Italian) available. Each new collection is derived from the previous one, yet they all retain the core elements of Yarn Unit, which give them the trademark Yarn Unit look. The expansion into menswear feels like a natural step in the evolution of the brand. When we laid eyes on the first samples of the menswear collection earlier this year, we could not help but think: why they did not do this sooner? The men's collection is designed by Stephane Barbier and is a tribute to 'The New Wave' in international cinema in the 1950's (literally: La Nouvelle Vague" - ed.). Inspired and nurtured by young film-makers around the globe, this movement produced and presented movies in a raw and realistic light. Male characters were depicted with new complexity: machos could be vulnerable, and jocks could be secretly troubled souls. This dichotomy is the cornerstone of the Yarn Unit 'man philosophy': a line of high quality jerseys and knits that transcends stereotypes and proposes a contemporary wardrobe for men who feel, breathe and live the 21st century. Their first men's collection will include 35 pieces that all deserve a place in a man's standard wardrobe: chunky sweaters, loose t-shirts, comfortable knits and terry pants are just a few of those. Yarn Unit men will be launched internationally in January 2011 at Tenue de Nîmes in Amsterdam. — JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010


Dutch Icons What to do when you’re Dutch, your colleague Marc is Irish but he is living a pretty Dutch life (dog, bike, starting conversations by talking about the weather) and the two of you are to write an article on typical Dutch treasures. Boring. Not sexy. Enough of herring, stroopwafels, the brown café, soccer. But the Journal de Nimes Dutch Issue without these traditional treasures is not Dutch. Agreed. On a rainy Saturday in autumn – how Dutch do you want it? – off we set cycling around Amsterdam in search of the people behind these Dutch treasures. Because it is these men and women that we never dwell upon. It is their passion that makes the products authentic, it is their stories that keep alive and spice up traditions, it is their lives that we want to know…and taste. So this is a snapshot of the life of the icons behind the iconic products.

TEXT: Marc Tumson & Anneke Beerkens Illustration: Tim Boelaars at Anothercompany


Stroopwafel Love Thinking of stroopwafels (the traditional Dutch ‘syrup waffle’) means thinking of the cute market stall at the Albert Cuyp market with redwhite checked curtains. Ruud Joinking started baking stroopwafels 31 years ago, a decision he made out of the blue after having worked as a system advisor for years. He wanted to experience life to the fullest, to be around people in a vibrant environment, to sell a product that would always be loved. His stroopwafel had to be really good, regardless of the price of the ingredients. After a deliberate process of inventing the best stroopwafel ever, he never changed the recipe again. And the future of his empire is already set: Ruud’s son is getting involved to ensure that the business continues on. People from all over the world and with different backgrounds come to his stall. A wooden box on the counter serves as a self-service till. Customers throw in their money and take out their change. “Sometimes,” Ruud tells, “I turn around at the moment people take their change, just to let them know that I trust them. I want people to get along well, particularly in these tough times we are going through. I want my stroopwafels to have a unifying function. Here people come and go with a smile on their face.” No wonder, because the biggest smile is on Ruud’s own face. It didn’t take us long to figure out why: a few weeks ago, Ruud married his lovely wife Maayke who is standing next to him, carefully telling customers to keep the hot dripping delicacy straight. The romance started when Ruud made a heart-shaped stroopwafel for her. With love, as usual. Who wouldn’t fall for that? As a Journal de Nimes reporter who wants to experience the authentic feelings of her collocutors as deeply as possible, I sought Maayke’s approval and felt over the moon while leaving the stall with my very own hot, sweet, heart-shaped stroopwafel.…However, the euphoria didn’t last long because I had to break my heart in two to share it with Marc. What a rude awakening. Well, I guess only a few have the luck to experience real stroopwafel love. Ruud en Maayke Joinking Albert Cuypstraat market stall number 134, Amsterdam

Grandma’s apple pie Go to Winkel at Noordermarkt and you will encounter a long line that sometimes ends at the corner of the street. Something is definitely worth waiting for here! I’ve always thought it must be an army of old ladies that are baking the Winkel apple pies which appear hot and steamy at the bar, get cut, put on plates and disappear within 5 minutes after arrival only for the next pies to show up. Marc and I are invited into Winkel’s kitchen in the basement. Timo Beets, the – young – chef cook, immediately sets our preconceived notions of old grannies telling stories while peeling the apples and kneading the dough, straight. Peeling and cutting the apples they do themselves, the dough is prepared by a bakery in the neighbourhood (with the original Winkel recipe) and baking is done by a small group of people. The real “apple pie mother”, however, is Fatima who is there five days a week to take care of the process. Each day, she uses 60 kilograms of apples to bake 48 pies. On busy days – at Saturdays and Mondays when the organic or textile market is to be found at Noordermarkt – more than 80 pies are consumed. The secret? Timo doesn’t really know. The pies are good, that’s for sure. They are pure and “rough”, not perfect in form or size. They are always fresh. The Dutch apples taste different every season and there is no sugar in the apple mixture -just in the dough- which is always crispy on the outside. “In fact there is nothing really special about the pie.” Maybe that is what is special: it’s just the way your grandmother would bake it. The real secret, the recipe, stays a secret: even the bakers have to sign a contract in which they promise to keep their mouth shut and not to bake any pies within a radius of 10 kilometres from Winkel. Even though we now know there is no bevy of lovely grey ladies in the basement, we can still taste the passion and the authenticity of the product. Even one of the apple peeling boys stated that his grandmother couldn’t make a better pie - it saves me from having to mention that even my grandmother gets outshined by Winkel’s apple pie.

Dutch French Fries, glasses and Aikido Every Amsterdam street corner has his own frietkraam or French fries stall. But not every street corner has crispy, golden fries that have been made for decades with conviction and dedication, like Wil Gaanstra’s. Wil’s frietkraam has existed since 1956. An institute, Wil calls his stall, because people stop by for a good cornet of fries and tell him that their grandfathers took them to this fried potato paradise when they were little. And it is true, one customer after another stops by: “Hello Graanstra, how is life?”, and to us: “I’ve known Wil since we were kids” or “I cannot even remember how long I’ve come here for fries”. Wil, with his open expression, humor and striking glasses, started 21 years ago and learned the craft from his father, also named Wil. Since the beginning they have only used fresh cut potatoes (until recently he cut the potatoes with a hand operated ‘grid’, but he now uses a fancy machine). Wil clearly enjoys the social aspect of his job. The interaction with his customers is what he finds important. He chats with all kinds of people, and knowing at least one sentence in their native language: French, English, Italian, Surinamese and even Japanese. But of course, the fries need to be perfect. “I only sell fries that I myself like. I still like to eat my own fries.” It is not so hard to make good fries according to Wil. You just need good potatoes and fresh and clean oil. That is the most important. His suppliers know that Wil always wants the best potatoes, that quality is prioritized over price. Wil gets frustrated talking about good restaurants that do not even make their own fries. “It is the same with house wine. Why should a house wine be tasteless, only because it has to be cheap?” Going to Wil’s stall is an adventure: before you know you are wearing his glasses, he is wearing yours and you’re talking about the philosophy of Aikido (the Japanese martial art). Indeed, Wil is an institution. His fries taste heavenly and talking to him adds more than any mayonnaise can. Wil Graanstra’s Frites Westermarkt across from 11, Amsterdam

Winkel 43 Noordermarkt 43, Amsterdam

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

New Traditions “A customer is a customer, not a number.” Ten years ago John Haasnoot started his herring stall in Amsterdam and you will find him in his stall every single day. After finishing training at a commercial agricultural college, John started his career in flower sales. Flowers! Were the flowers too sweet, too fragrant, too colourful? John didn’t like it and started his fish stall. Good for us! He always tastes his own herring to guarantee the quality and knows most of his customers by name and preferences: home made fish salad, kibbeling or lovely fresh herring. His quality, service and personal touch are his trademarks, John states. Asking John why he loves working in the Vishuisje, he tells us that he grew up in Katwijk, a small town but with a large fishing community. He started working in his uncle’s fish store at age 15, but his is not a traditional family of fishermen. He just started the tradition himself. He doesn’t have a partner, he doesn’t have any kids, so there is no successor for his business. John is not worried about the future of his little seafood paradise, about keeping the tradition alive. Looking at John, listening to his stories and tasting his mackerel salad with pickles, while Marc goes Dutch by sampling the delicious herring with onions, I can only think that new traditions are as good as old ones. The thing with tradition is that it has to feel real, that it has to taste authentic, and that the blush on someone’s cheek has to be a blush of passion. Like John’s blush. By taking another bite of John’s delightful fish salad I wonder: why worry about the future and maintaining traditions? And by the way, flowers are highly overrated. Vishuisje Herengracht Bridge Utrechtsestraat – Herengracht, Amsterdam (temporarily at bridge Utrechtsestraat – Keizersgracht)

Royal Sweethearts Since 1937 Zwarte Gerrit (Black Gerrit) pours us a cup of coffee while we talk about the history of brown café Rooie Nelis in the heart of the Jordaan. “Only my moustache and eyebrows are still black, but I’ll stay Zwarte Gerrit forever.” His parents in law, Rooie Nelis and Rooie Sien (Red Nelis and Red Sien, so named after their red hair) opened the café 73 years ago, in 1937, with a 700 Guilder (300 Euro) loan from the brewery. You can sense the eventful history of the place in every corner and on every spot of the walls. Pictures, newspapers, paintings – almost black because of the years of tobacco smoke – cups, and even Sien’s old plaster of Paris arm cast, complete with hole in her hand as to still be able to work in the café. You can come here evening after evening, and still discover new items after years. A painting of Rooie Nelis and Rooie Sien, as well as one of loved ones that got killed during the second world war, have the most prominent place in the café. Gerrit and his wife Blonde Sien (so named because of her blonde hair), both in their eighties, have been together for 54 years and are still working in the café on a daily basis. After Rooie Nelis (50 years ago) and Rooie Sien (20 years ago) passed away, Gerrit and Sien became the icons of the café. Little Blonde Sien was ten years old when her parents opened the pub. From the very first day, Sien has known how to pour a beer, and was to be found behind the bar every single day. A wooden box on the floor helped her to reach the copper tap that is still in use. Gerrit used to stop by Rooie Nelis when he was a little boy to get his older brother out of the pub, and that is how he got to know Sien. The café is famous for its “real Jordaan-ese customers”, but people from the United States, Great Britain or Norway know how to find the place. Gerrit and Sien think it is the fact that they talk to everyone that makes them so popular. Customers come back if you welcome them and talk to them after all. “Attention is the key”, Zwarte Gerrit tells us,“no matter whether you’re a hardworking plumber or the Dutch majesty herself.” Indeed Queen Beatrix has been there four times. Pictures of the young Beatrix’s first visit and a framed thank you letter on the wall, written after the Queen had received Blonde Sien’s autobiography, bear witness to the bond they have with the Dutch royal family. Take your time here, look around and chat with other customers. Maybe you’re lucky to meet Zwarte Gerrit and Blonde Sien. Warning: this place is addictive.

Soccer Spirit Time seems to stand still in one of the first sporting goods stores in Amsterdam, Smit-Cruyff at the Elandsgracht. The scent of leather and the wooden display shelves that greet you when you enter haven’t changed since the store opened its doors. Mr. Smit, a shoemaker, and Johan Cruyff – speaking of icons – were the owners of the store until 1998. Johan Cruyff started this soccer Walhalla at the age of 18. He already excelled at Ajax, so soon after the store opened its doors, his soccer career obviously became his priority. Brother Henny Cruyff took over the daily business at Smit-Cruyff. Rob van der Straeten started working at Smit-Cruyff as an intern at the end of the 1970s and never left the place after that. As the owner of the shop he wants the place to stay authentic, even nostalgic. Bunches of leather soccer shoes with wooden studs hang in the middle of the store. Touching them makes you wonder how running was ever possible on these boots – for that is what they really are, not shoes, but boots – not to mention scoring. Although Mr. Smit was the first to introduce plastic studs on soccer boots – he made these shoes for Ajax – Rob still maintains parts of the tradition. He is a convinced adherent of leather shoes and resists the trend of colorful plastic. “You can buy soccer shoes everywhere these days, but we try to sell products you cannot get elsewhere. Most of our shoes are made of black leather. Plastic doesn’t bring protection, doesn’t ventilate and doesn’t shape to your feet. Our shoes give you optimal control.” The relationship with Ajax is manifest in the store: pictures, newspapers, products and stories of soccer players like Brian Roy and Gerald Vanenburg who came here to buy cotton shirts. “Yesterday Bennie Muller visited the store with his grandson to tell him that granddad bought his first pair of soccer boots here.” The memory is kept alive. The store started selling its own brand soccer shoes and even famous Dutch soccer players with sponsorship contracts from bigger more well known brands couldn’t play without these. Completely black, soft leather – the perfect fit. The shoemaker that was still part of the shop was busy cutting white Adidas, Quick or Nike stripes to stick onto the shoes. The Monday morning paper showed hilarious pictures of sliding soccer stars with “Adidas shoes” with soles that gave away the true nature of the shoes. How I would have loved to see the shoemaker cutting and stitching logos to put on Gerald Vanenburgs “Le Coq Sportifs”.

Café Rooie Nelis Laurierstraat 101, Amsterdam

Smit-Cruyff Elandsgracht 98, Amsterdam

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010

The Genie Behind the Bottle Imagine yourself walking around Amsterdam in the 1700s. The area right behind the Dam square is full of obscure dancing halls, brothels and bars. In a small alley, you'll find one of the best hidden treasures of Amsterdam. Wynand Fockink, a spirits and liqueur distillery, liquor store and tasting room, opened its doors in 1679. Being married to a wine trader’s widow, Wynand Fockink used his wife’s trade network and exported the distilled products to France, Germany, Austria and other places. A family business from the beginning, Wynand Fockink became one of the biggest distilleries in the Netherlands. After the war, this unique complex was taken over by another distillery and sadly in 1988 even the tasting room closed its doors. In the 1990s, Jan Galesloot discovered the location that was a“squat house” and used as living space and bike storage. His idea was to bring back Wynand Fockink’s heritage and to make honest, pure products. Equally important was the idea of the process behind them. Jan wanted to create more awareness of the production processes and tastes of different products. “People lose their ability to taste and forget where products come from; that a fish is not a square block that you buy in a supermarket.” With a background in mathematics and physics, working as a teacher for a while and later in project management during the IT-heydays, starting a distillery was a surprising career move. What was supposed to be a project of two or three years, became his life: Jan never left the place. About ten years later, Paul started at Wynand Fockink as Jan’s partner in crime. How he learned the craft? Paul used to work as a chemical analyst, teacher and joiner, but always had a passion for tastes. He just started experimenting and learned by trial and error. “Development of taste is not something you can learn, you just have to experiment, taste, smell, try and combine.” Tradition is the essence of the whole project. Grain is the basic ingredient for typical Dutch beverages like beer and jenever. The Wynand Fockink jenever can be called an authentic Dutch product that consists of organic ingredients like the typical Dutch rye that give it a distinctive flavor. The Wynand Fockink liqueurs, however, are Dutch in a different way. They have a tradition that goes back to the Dutch Golden Age. Ships full of herbs and spices, used for medicinal purposes, came to Amsterdam. Adding sugar to the herbs was the perfect way to preserve the treasures. The liqueur that – by accident – originated from this process was drunk as a stylish and symbolic beverage at that time. To this day, Wynand Fockink still uses herbs and bottles from companies that started

at the Amsterdam Nieuwmarkt and Geldersekade (the trade centre during the golden age), so the old trade networks are still interlinked and continue to exist to this very day. Jan and Paul get their inspiration from the people that visit the distillery, from old recipes and cook books. “Recipes from 200 years ago really inspire us, but we have to remember that taste develops and changes through time. It is our challenge to reinvent the recipes into 2010 flavors.” While tradition is their main goal, Jan and Paul are master inventors of new flavors. Stroopwafel, boterbabbelaar or apple pie liqueur, you name it, they have it. The old bottles with over a hundred different kinds of herbs, traditional machines, beautiful barrels and antique cash register: go here to get inspired by Jan and Paul as they keep up the wonderful esprit! Wynand Fockink Pijlsteeg 31 & 43, Amsterdam —


The new Tenue de Nîmes webshop, Online this December —


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 6 the Dutch issue, November 2010