Journal de Nîmes Nº 7

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Journal de NĂŽmes NÂş 7 the north american issue spring 2011 the online paper for A Denim inspired boutique for the printed issue visit -

in this issue:

all American Dust bowl Math club new haven The Blue in THE blue A cone denim story Minnesota nice And Red wing Shoes Amekaji

japanese americanization

online issue

colophon Editor in chief Menno van Meurs Creative Direction Joachim Baan - Anothercompany Graphic Design Joachim Baan & Sivert Bakkeng

Contributing editors John Barron Anneke Beerkens Sophie van Bentum Pablo Delfos Hiyoko Imai Luis Mendo Matthijs van Meurs René Strolenberg Thomas Tukker Hugo Verweij Milan Vermeulen Julie Wintrip

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Some Contributors John D. Barron Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, John has called Montreal home for the past 10 years. A fourth generation collector, passion has always motivated his choices in life. Having first cut his teeth as a collector when he was 13 years old, obsessing about vintage clothing and vintage Levi's jeans in particular, a professional career in the denim business was a natural choice, leading to involvement with renowned companies such as Acne, Nudie, and G-Star. A logical evolution from his existing interests, collecting and restoring vintage diving and military watches has been the focus of his passions for the past 8 years. This has resulted in the "resurrection" and rebirth of more than 100 rare and highly collectible watches from iconic brands such as Tudor, Blancpain, Omega, Heuer and Rolex, as well as numerous others. His current daily timepiece is his 1968 Tudor "small rose" Submariner (reference 7016/0), which he restored in order to one day pass on to his 5 year old son, Liam. — Anneke Beerkens cultural anthropologist Anneke Beerkens (1980) received a master's degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Amsterdam (with honors). She combines working as a junior teacher at UvA with her research at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo. This project 2

focuses on the future perspectives of Japanese youth aspiring to a career in fashion design. Anneke's book "ModeGoden," based on her former research on Tokyo street fashion will be published this April. — Sivert Bakkeng visual artist Born in Norway and formally educated in Graphic Design and Interactive Media at the Danish School of Design and most recently in Illustration at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht, a new found love for the Dutch helped Sivert decide to stay in The Netherlands, while he makes the transition from studies to work. Our *wunderkind* designer is used to life in the trenches, with a passion of competitive computer gaming, for which he writes and edits his own news site. He also has a background as a drill instructor in the Royal Guards of the Norwegian Army, where he was evaluated as being "100% above normal" (ed: or so he tells us). 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, 6 and this issue, as well as writing several articles, his own passion. He is now a freelance writer, contributing written pieces to at least one other magazine besides this one at the time of going to press. — 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. — 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 juries, teaches editorial design and gives lectures and workshops all over the world. — Marc Tumson Project Manager Born in Paris in 1980, and educated in Dublin, Ireland, where he to moved 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 his Finnish girlfriend. Marc is Project Manager and Business Architect in real life. His personal interests lie in rugby, cricket, (the Dutch style of) cycling, photography, design, fashion and food & drink. Marc also keeps a "digital scrapbook" of images that inspire and interest him, but which now has over 3,000 subscribers. He works on the Journal as a contributor as well as being our Production Manager, helping us to get everything off to the printers on time!

Hugo Verweij Sound artist Hugo Verweij is a sound and music designer, who is highly influenced by both the sounds and visual aesthetics that he finds in the world around him. 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 is a lecturer of sound design and music production as well as programme manager for the Creative Design for Inclusion programme at the Utrecht School of the Arts.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Dust bowL P 16

The New Haven Math Club P 44

Minnesota Nice

P 28

The Blue in the Blue P 12

Amekaji P 40

North American Icons P6

Mr Khaki P8

Unis P 26

Red Wing Shoe Company - the story of mohave leather military boots P 32

501 XX P 34

The Military Watch P 36

New York City - Between here and there P 38

The New Haven Math Club P 44

10 Questions to Topsy design P 50

Marquis Mills Converse P 52

B.A.E. III Expedition P 54

World Beard and Moustache Championships P 56

Food on Paper P 64

Banana Butterscotch Layer Cake P 67

Los Angeles Shopping P 68

Essentials - according to Rin Tanaka P 71

32 Years of Bad Religion P 72

The Classics & The Contemporary P 74

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011



— Intro —

As you read these first lines of the 7th issue of Journal de Nîmes, whetter in print or online, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you. Without your support this magazine would not be what we have made it today. Journal de Nîmes started as a medium to present ourselves and the denim store that we opened in November 2008. As a result of the huge amount of online readers and all the lovely feedback we received, we decided we had to take it to print in 2009. We are proud to announce that, at the time of writing Journal Nº6 - The Dutch Issue - passed 100,000 readers online and this number is still growing. On top of that, a highly exclusive selection of stores, such as J.Crew's Liquor Store in New York, have embraced our philosophy and will officially stock the Journal de Nîmes at the beginning of April this year. This quarter's theme is North America. For some time now we have the feeling that denim is returning home. After a decade of Japanese mastery we foresee that America will slowly regain its position: at the top of the blue world. In addition to this, our recent transatlantic trips have been a great source of inspiration, so much so that we somehow needed to share all the North American treasures we discovered with you. This issue captures the heart and soul of denim, in both a historical and contemporary way. Moreover, that this is the 7th Journal de Nîmes is testament to the true Americana that has dominated (in good and bad translations) the world of style for a year or two now. In this issue

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

we report about the world's most legendary denim mill, Cone Denim, and share with you a timeline of all the Levi's 501s that the White Oak mill has co-created. We will take you with us on our trips to New York City, Los Angeles and Minnesota to show you at least some of the wonderful "must-sees" of these cities and their surrounding hotspots.

Written by Menno van Meurs

Finally, we are dedicating this North American issue to all of the people in Japan. Not only because they have been the instigators of the movement we describe as 'Americana', but especially because we hope they will survive the consequences of the tragic events that have brought so much destruction to this beautiful nation. Our correspondent in Japan, Anneke Beerkens, filed the insightful article entitled 'Amekaji', in which she shares her anthropological view on the Japanese attraction to America and all things American. She had just finished her first letter from Japan when the earthquake hit the North East which made her home-town of Tokyo tremble. Thankfully, both she and our colleague Hiyoko Imai, who was on a visit home at the time, are both safe. We sincerely hope that their articles will further endorse the great island nation, and inspire you to support, or better, visit Japan soon. —


Regular inspirations / North American Icons

North American Icons

Rather than select them ourselves, for this issue we decided to ask the question "Who or what is your North American Icon?" to a diverse range of people whom we both like and respect - from a best-selling author to our favourite Japanese waiter/jazz musician. We hope you will enjoy their choices and if you haven't heard of some of our panel or their selections, that will you feel inspired to do a little research of your own!

Koya Abe Andy Spade

Abe is the owner of Noah Lewis' Record in Tokyo. A specialist American vinyl record store, Koya has musicians and DJs coming from all over the world to find rarities which only he sources and stocks.

"Ever since I discovered Interview Magazine in the late seventies I've been familiar with the name Glenn O'Brein. At the time I didn't exactly know even know what an editor at a magazine did, but I was fascinated by Andy Warhol and Interview magazine's design, writing, photography and illustration. As a 17 year old kid living in Arizona I'd discovered a whole new world.

Abe-san shares Robert Crumb, as being his North American icon. Crumb (b. 1943), is considered the father of the underground comix movement, and known to have cited psychotropic drugs as influencing him in developing his unique illustrative style. Abe-san tells us that "The man is most famous for his comic books and illustrations – often criticizing American mainstream culture, but he is also a music maniac. He is a big 78 r.p.m. vinyl collector and he was also the initiator and leader of a band named Cheap Suit Serenaders."

Six years later I found myself in NYC living in Soho and writing advertising copy. I continued to devour Interview each month and began to explore New York's art world and the people who inhabited it. As a copywriter I was always on the lookout for great advertising in magazines and on television. I was inspired especially by the ads done for Barneys New York and Calvin Klein. After some digging I found that Glenn was responsible for both the campaigns. It made sense. They didn't feel like ads, they felt like art or editorial found in Interview. A few years later I found myself judging an ad competition alongside Glenn. We shared ideas and soon I invited him to collaborate with me on an airline account I had won. He wrote and thought faster than anyone I'd ever worked with. His ideas were not forced and were always relevant to the world around him. He thought visually, never forgetting the power of the image. We became fast friends and went on to work together on his literary magazine at the time and he introduced me to his late night TV show, TV Party, and the film on his friend Basquiat. I just celebrated his birthday with him the other night with a small group of friends and look forward to him curating a show at my Gallery/Storefront Partners and Spade tentatively titled, "Salon de Refuseniks". It all makes sense now. Glenn is the only person I know who moves seamlessly through art, advertising, film, TV, happenings and commerce without ever sacrificing his integrity or artistic instinct. He erased the boundaries for me. For that I'll be forever grateful."

Jake Davis Born and raised in New York City and a NYU graduate, Davis is a renowned filmmaker, known for his music videos for today's biggest stars (Drake, Trey Songz, Wiz Khalifa) as well as his commercials for the world's coolest brands (Nike, Supreme, Woolrich). His original series Jake Davis Test Shots has revolutionized the use of art films in the fashion industry. He also curates one of the most influential style blogs out there. An icon and tastemaker, Davis inspires with his cutting edge films, inimitable personal style, and ubiquitous influence. "I would have to choose Andre Agassi" Jake tells us, "I've always been inspired by those that are tortured by the things that make them great. He was a natural rebel that almost resented how good he was at tennis. I think that defiant attitude was expressed not only in his aggressively dominant baseline game, but also in a refreshing breath of youthful style and energy. He brought colorful and working class punk rock to a culture previously dominated by white collars and cable-knit." 6

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Regular inspirations / North American Icons

Matsumura Hironori A waiter at New School, a Jazz and HipHop inspired café in the residential neighbourhood of Waseda, Tokyo. Matsumura-san plays saxophone with a big band that gig once or twice a month in Tokyo. He started playing sax because he thought it was an excellent way to get attention from girls but once he started to manage the instrument, he fell in love with it. It soon became more than just a "chick-magnet". "Once you play the saxophone, you automatically get to know America." For Hironori, thinking about America is thinking about music. His cites "black music" in general and tells us that his dreads are New-York-inspired – not "Bob Marley/Jamaica-inspired" he states emphatically – by passionate people such as trumpeter Roy Hargrove (studied at New School New York) and the legendary Basquiat. However, his main inspiration is Ray Charles. "He embodies America for me" says Matsumura-san, though it is hard for him to explain why: "it's an instinctive feeling. Although I don't understand his music language-wise, I feel the music. It touches me."

Ryan Willms Willms leads the Inventory brand - the magazine, shop and collaborative projects which stem from a genuine desire to create something meaningful. Born and raised in western Canada, Ryan has gained a unique perspective on the industry by combining an outsider's view, with an insider's knowledge. The launch of Inventory followed the huge impact of h(y)r collective - the online magazine he started in 2008. Ryan has also worked with the likes of Monocle, Stussy and Apartamento. Inventory magazine marked his first foray into print in 2009, while his dedication to the online publication and enthusiasm for retail continually drive the brand forward. Ryan has selected Charles Eames as his Icon: "Besides an impressive body of work, Charles' work was a product of great design driven by creative thinking, a unique aesthetic and functional use. His office became one of the creative hubs of the 40s, 50s and 60s, a place where numerous projects and products were conceived and developed that still influence and shape people's work today. He's one of the few designers to find the balance between design, quality, price while taking a real creative step forward. That impact on modern design is one of a kind and I personally love many of his products, from the fiberglass chairs, to the interesting use of wire bases to the leg braces he made for WWII soldiers. His aesthetic and developments were driven onward by Herman Miller and the other designers Charles worked with, the combination of timing, people and the end product is really special. Right down to his own house in California, Charles lived his work whether it was the films, exhibitions or furniture, and that's something I can relate to."

Alain de Botton Born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and now living in London, Alain de Botton is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a 'philosophy of everyday life.' His books have been bestsellers in 30 countries. Alain also started and helps to run a school in London called The School of Life, dedicated to a new vision of education, as well as the Living Architecture project which aims to make modern architecture more accessible and acceptable in everyday life. Alain's North American Icon is Dave Eggers. An American writer, editor, entrepreneur and activist, Eggers' is best known for his pioneering literacy project "826 Valencia". He also wrote the screenplay for Spike Jonze's film interpretation of the Maurice Sednak's "Where The Wild Things Are". "I love his combination of the theoretical and the practical, the way he manages to touch people not only by what he writes, but also by the enterprises that he sets up. He is gloriously quirky, nostalgic, avant-garde and irreverent" says de Botton. JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


Interview / Mr. Khaki


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Interview / Mr. Khaki

Mr. Khaki Howard Mutti-Mewse is the PR Manager for Dockers Europe, Middle East and Africa. We asked him to give us the low-down on that quintessential item of North American men's wardrobes – a pair of Khakis.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background. I began my career as a consultant for Eon Productions, the company behind the 'James Bond 007' empire, and became an authority on the golden era of Hollywood and English heritage brands, before moving to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences as a special adviser for their 70th and 75th anniversary programmes. After filing a documentary film called "I Used to be in Pictures" in which I interviewed the last of the silent screen stars in 2000, I moved into luxury lifestyle and fashion PR arena. As a freelance PR consultant, my clients have included Turner Classic Movies, Anouska Hempel Designs, Pal Zileri and The Crown Estate. I have been working with Levi Strauss & Co. since December 2007. In July 2010, I was promoted to the PR Manager for Dockers Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. How did you get involved with Dockers? Word of my passion for heritage brands reached from Brussels to London! I was originally brought in as a consultant for Dockers before moving to Levi's for the relaunch of the Levi's 501 jean in 2008, and back to Dockers in 2009. I have found my home in Dockers. Very little has been written about the history of Khaki in relation to denim. Khaki has a rich and almost untold story. What is your role at Dockers and what attracted you to the job? Dockers is still a small brand in Europe. However, that is gradually changing. My job is all about creating awareness for the Khaki category and ultimately showing guys 'How to Wear Khaki and Dockers'. Can you tell us a little about the provenance of Khaki - its origins and history? Attempts to design a camouflage dress for Imperial war uniforms for the British Empire were already in full swing during the middle part of the 18th Century, however, most of these were unsuccessful. Khaki would later break that mould. In 1844, missionaries in Mangalore, India, who knew very little about the weaving business, took the initiative and formed a textile factory employing a vast local task force. The looms of Basel Mission at Mangalore were not only pioneering with the introduction of the first handloom with a fly-shelter, but due to its master weaver, an Irishman by the name of John Haller, Khaki got its global recognition. Haller also invented new dyes and colour hues out of indigenous ingredients. The invention of Khaki dye is attributed to him. However, it was Sir Henry "Harry" Burnett Lumsden, who stationed in India in 1846, took the lead to dye his cotton pajamas with the plant extract, mazari, to create a uniform more suitable to warmer climates than the traditional heavy red felt. The tawny colour, similar to the region's saffron dust, helped JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

the clothing to blend in with the surroundings. Lumsden is therefore credited as the popularizer of military Khaki.

Written by Marc Tumson Photography by Dockers

In 1851, Lord Robertson, who visited the looms of Basel Mission, recommended in a letter to the newly instated Conservative Prime Minster, Edward SmithStanley, Earl of Derby that Khaki should be recommended for the British Army serving HM Queen Victoria and the British Empire. The British Army used Khaki uniforms for the Kaffir War in South Africa during that year. After the Sudan Wars and Afghan Campaign of 1878, the British Army adopted Khaki in 1884 as the official uniform. Khaki-colour dye was patented in 1884, and became popular with the Allied Forces during WWI and the US Army during WWII. During World War II, the US Army could not but help notice the disheveled appearance of its average 'G.I. Joe' in stark contrast to his British counterpart. In response to this, the government sought a comfortable, high quality cotton fabric that was durable, would not fade and, at the same time, provide a consistent look for uniforms - the search ended with Khaki. Khaki's made the transition to civilian life during the late 1940s/early 50s as young men returning home from the front line continued to wear them. The G.I bill allowed former soldiers to attend college, thus the popularity of Khaki in collegiate communities spread from campus to campus. 'Ivy League' style was born: pastel coloured polo shirts worn with Khaki pants and yachting shoes defined the look. Away from the college campus Khakis popularity remained, in many ways it was born out of necessity, as men adapted their Khaki fatigues as workwear. For example, during the late 1940s, with the boom of the Dude Ranch in America, where rich Easterners would get 'duded up' in expensive Western gear and be squired around by dude wranglers, out-of-work riders and former G.I's often none too thrilled to play-act a scripted role. The casual attire of the ranch was not only a large part of playing cowboy, but it was also a very effective way to break down social formalities. Only a decade later, Khaki became a fashion statement for East and West Coast style a throwback to the 'Ivy League' style of the 1950s. In 1964, a slim-fit stay-press Khaki pant was quoted by Esquire as 'The must have pant for guys this year'. From Elvis and Chuck Berry to Gore Vidal and teenage magazine heartthrobs 9

Interview / Mr. Khaki

Tab Hunter, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman - each took the fabric into the next decade, as did the US political establishment under John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. Even as fashion turned flamboyant in the 1960s, Khakis retained their image - epitomizing a free spirit with a comfortable, utilitarian, everyday attitude. Workwear has been experiencing a resurgence over recent years - Americana in particular. What distinguishes Khaki as different from other workwear fabrics? Khakis' simple and functional style and its industrial blue collar workwear heritage distinguish the cloth from other workwear fabrics. Unlike denim, Khaki heritage stems from the uniforms of the Great Wars. With their tough and robust durability, Khakis are the antithesis of 1950s workwear chic, which makes them particularly attractive to the modern trend-progressive consumer, who identify the everyday uniforms of the 1950s pump station attendant, car mechanic and factory foreman as their design style inspirations. Khakis are nostalgic. It is that simple. Khaki plays into the insatiable appetite for all things retro. There will always be hardcore of enthusiast for workwear, but as trends come and go, what is the lasting value of Khaki compared to other passing fashions? Their durability and their simplistic style. For example, the new Dockers Alpha Khaki is the first of a new generation of Khakis for the next generation of men; younger, fitter, more trend receptive. It's where jeans end and Khakis begin. At the top of their league, the Dockers Alpha Khaki is different from what has gone before. Its natural fit and fabrication is rooted in tradition and years of craft and design, yet their attitude is unequivocally modern. Some years back, there was a backlash against denim because it was so ubiquitous. Dockers came out and it seemed everyone had a pair. As a result they became the staple of the casual American male's wardrobe, matched with an Oxford Cloth Button Down and a navy blazer. What has changed? Dockers is still committed to leading the Khaki category. That will never change. A giant amongst Khaki pretenders, Dockers is dedicated to build on its craftsmanship and tradition to create essential wardrobe items meant to be worn, loved and which last a lifetime. From its origins, Dockers quickly became a symbol of American life, worn with pride and a youthful attitude. Somewhere along the line the brand might have suffered at the hands of its own success, since many younger consumers still associated Dockers with its heyday of 'Casual Friday's' and the 1990s (Dockers became the sportswear calling card of the decade). Fast forward two decades, and the brand is now stronger than ever. Dockers found an opportunity with the new trend for Khaki established in Scandinavia in 2008, to reintroduce the Khaki category in big, new and exciting way to a new, younger, more trendreceptive consumer with commitment, conviction and purpose. It gave men a new reason to buy; guys – your ordinary 'Joe' on the street – who wanted a Khaki pant which made them act, feel and look cool. As the Khaki pant leader, Dockers doesn't only make the best pants in the world, but produces a collection which answers the call to what real men want. Dockers is the master pantsman, highly skilled in the art of pantsmanship.

Where does the Made In The States range which Dockers recently released fit into all this? 'Made in the States' is Khakis at the highest level. This season it takes its inspiration from the ordinary heroes returning from WWII, guys who settled into civilian life with a stride in their step and a passion in their hearts. Men who defined their own 'American Dream' like the writer Jack Kerouac and the actor Steve McQueen. Dockers 'Made in the States' combines the timeless luxury of Khakis made from superior quality materials, handcrafted to perfection. It is all about taking classic styles and re-mastering them with a singular attention to detail. What's the future of Khaki - what kinds of things can we expect to see from Dockers brand in the coming seasons? Give us your best PR lowdown. Dockers will always be the best and most loved Khaki pant brand in the world. Dockers has created a Khaki pant portfolio for 2011 loaded with conviction and finished with character. Khaki pants that are unequivocally masculine and separate the men from the boys. Khakis built with purpose and built to last. Fits that stand tall and speak clearly to the modern male consumer. The Dockers Khaki pant portfolio is trimmer, leaner and meaner than ever before this season. It has re-mastered its slimmer fits and introduced its skinniest fit yet, including the uber-trendy Dockers Razor Fit ( …it lives up to its name) the Slouch Tapered fit and the re-mastered Dockers K-1 Khaki pant - inspired by great men and worn by great men. It is the ultimate military inspired Khaki pant with a strict pedigree of authenticity, only slimmer and more relevant in a range of finished styles. The Cargo pant range has also been extended, born in a military family but reworked for city life; it offers a more urban and therefore younger look and feel with a wider range of fits and fabrications. The Dockers Alpha Khaki is where jeans end and Khakis begin. Dominant and essentially masculine, it is Khakis at the top of their league. The Dockers Alpha Khaki is different from what has gone before. Its natural fit and fabrication is rooted in tradition and years of craft and design, yet their attitude is unequivocally modern. Finishes are built with character, earned by you and worn by you. Qualities which work harmoniously together; rigid, repaired, abraded and stained Khakis, built with character for men with character. The Dockers Alpha Khaki comes in three aged designs, one, five and nine years, for men who wants their pants to reflect their own lives. Khakis that are well worn and therefore well loved are key this season. What is your favourite story regarding Khaki? In 1942, The Hollywood Canteen was established. It was a vast and glamourfilled nightclub for G.I.s, located in the heart of tinsel town. Stars from every studio sacrificed any extra hours they could to help entertain soldiers who were temporarily in Los Angeles. Of those I have spoken to who entertained the troops (Patty Andrews, Margie Stewart, Joan Leslie, Noreen Nash, etc.), the one story which binds all their tales together is Khaki. How it united everyone present, from an 18 year old farm hand from Wisconsin who had never left home before to the Hollywood supernovas such as Bette Davis, Bob Hope, Betty Grable and Marlene Dietrich. No other cloth has that kind of legacy! —

Coming from a PR angle, is there something about Khaki that you rely on to get this message across, for example by comparison to the spread of knowledge about hand dyed selvedge denim which we have seen for jeans? Khakis are a symbol of American life. They are such a recognizable American classic; like Apple Pie, the Super Bowl and peanut butter, it is no wonder then that Dockers has, over time, earned the reputation as the definitive Khaki pant brand.


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Interview / Mr. Khaki

Margie Stewart is one of a bevy of actors I interviewed regarding Khakis history: "The proudest moment of my life was visiting G.I.s in the USA, in hospitals and camps, and for over two months with the ETO (Entertainment Troops Overseas) from June 8 1945 to VJ Day when I arrived back in Washington D.C. I travelled all over France, Belgium and England and visited Germany twice. I was the first person to enter Germany in civilian clothes (a Khaki suit made for me by Hollywood costumier Orry-Kelly). Over 94 million posters were produced with me wearing that suit and the slogan, 'Please Get There and Come Back'." — Margie Stewart (b.1919) JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Cone Mills

The blue within the blue

Cone Denim —120 Years Of Excellence In January 2011 Tenue de Nîmes was invited by Cone Denim to join them at the prestigious denim trade show Kingpins in New York, thanks to the efforts of our designer Adriana Galijasevic. Here the company showed their new collection amongst the finest denim producers around the globe such as Kurabo, Denim-Tech and Rampuya. We were curious to meet the people behind Cone Denim because the company is without a doubt the most successful denim production specialist in the world. For more than 120 years Cone Mills has been a bestseller in the denim industry. Until this day, jeans brands are keen on promoting their labels by telling their customers that the fabrics for their products have been produced by the classic company from Greensboro, North Carolina. A Cone Denim White Oak label became powerful marketing tool, a stamp of quality goods. Furthermore, it became a brand in and of itself. This is why we at Tenue de Nîmes wanted to get to know this old denim production company from the Southern States. We hoped to learn why Levi Strauss developed such a special relationship with Cone and why, 120 years after the first cotton mills rumbled, so many premium denim label are still trying to get their hands on a roll of dead stock fabric from North Carolina. We met up with Blake Gaines, Product Development Manager at Cone, and their VP New Product & Marketing Kara Nicholas and got a serious lesson in denim history.

Cotton and the South

Moses Cone

Ceaser Cone Written by Menno van Meurs Photography by This page: Cone Denim, an ITG Company Opposit page: 'Found Collection' Cone Denim, an ITG Company Photography by Christopher Glancy

During the American Industrial Revolution the Southern States became famous for their cotton production and by 1860 two thirds of the global cotton production came from that part of the USA. After the Civil War people dreamed of a 'New South' considering the vast possibilities of production in North Carolina. At that time two young sales men, named Moses and Caesar Cone, ran their father’s grocery business. Since money was scarce in those days, the brothers would sometimes get paid in cloth made by store and mill owners which they could then sell to other markets. This is how the Cone brothers got involved in the textile business and how they realized something had to change in their region. At that time over fifty mills were situated in the area and in 1891 the Cone brothers decided these textile plants needed somebody to represent them all as banker and distributor to market the products they were manufacturing to the rest of the world. This was to be the beginning of their legacy to the North American clothing industry.

Cone Mills

In 1893 Moses and Cesar Cone believed it was time to change their business model due to a lack of quality fabrics. Secondly, they faced trouble renewing the contracts with the various mills as they argued that if their cloths were really as good as they claimed, then they could earn more profit if they started selling the fabrics again themselves. This is why the brothers decided they would build two textile Mills of their own. One would make denim fabrics and the other would stick to flannels. However, due to ‘The Panic’ in 1893 and again in 1896 they were forced to focus on denim development. In conjunction with the production business Cone added a new chapter to the history the South when they opened a facility to finish cloth. This allowed the producers in the South to diversify and improve their semi-raw products. At the end of the nineteenth century denim was a fabric that was only produced in the North-East of the United States. Cone Mills foresaw that the industrialization would lead to an exponential growth in demand for denim. For this reason the company decided to try to evoke the Southern Mills to focus their business on denim. However, after only one of the mills dared to


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / Cone Mills

Big Winston Overall Made of Cone Deeptone Denim Circa 1940 (back)

Big Winston Overall Made of Cone Deeptone Denim Circa 1940 (front)

take the chance, they decided it was time to take steps on their own. In 1895 the company gave birth to Proximity Cotton Mills where they began weaving denim fabric a year later with 7500 spindles and 240 looms. To keep that many looms supplied with yarn the spinning machines were running night and day. During its 82 years of existence Proximity produced nothing but denim. By 1951 the plant had 1500 employees 61.632 spindles and 2085 looms producing 49.000.000 yards of denim per year. In 1978 the company decided to close the Proximity business and consolidate its denim operations in the White Oak and Cliffside plants.

White Oak

During the early 1900's the demand for denim grew further. It made the Cone brothers decide to build yet another plant close to Proximity. A huge White Oak tree of nearly 200 years old that measured four feet and two inches across the trunk became the symbol of this new project. History tells us that the oak was used as a meeting place for people who came to Greensboro from the surrounding areas. The tree would protect from sun and rain underneath its spreading branches. This would be where the brothers decided to build the largest denim factory ever. The White Oak plant began to exclusively produce denim in 1905, and continues to do so to this day. The white oak tree remained a symbol of its excellence long after it came down during a summer storm in 1930. After World War I the focus in denim production went from military materials to peacetime products. The entire business subsequently went through an adjustment. Cone added new fabrics to the portfolio such as chambrays, coverts, ticking and upholstery cloth to the existing list of products. Although Cone would develop many great new cloths to the business it was another denim breakthrough that would turn the jeans business upside down. Before 1936 denim's dirty and dusty looking qualities were considered to be inherent to the fabric. Cone's visionaries had a different opinion. In 1936 they produced the Cone Deeptone Denim that was more pleasing in terms of color, smoother in finish and much more attractive to post-war consumers. The new fabric modernized marketing as well. Levi Strauss was one of the first manufacturers who established ideas about brand identity and loyalty. Cone's close relationship with Levi's started in 1915 and continues to the present day. Cone produced the legendary XX fabric for Levi's that became of the brand’s most important icon next to the 501 jean.

World War II

During World War II the Cone Mills were quickly converted so they could produce fabrics for the war effort. Cone was making cloths they had never produced before for tents, camouflage clothing and other much needed fabrics. According to estimates seventy percent of the Southern clothing business was reserved for WWII support. Soon after the war the entire business changed again. During the fifties the invention of television began to influence youngsters who started to wear jeans as a fashion statement, rather than as functional workwear. With the emergence of Rock 'n' Roll an entire nation's social structure changed and Cone increased their business in dying, printing and finishing fabrics to match the demand.

Waist Overall with home-made watch pocket Circa 1940 (back)

Waist Overall with home-made watch pocket Circa 1940 (front)

that followed. Inventions like stretch-denim would take the current denim interpretations further and further away from the fabric that it all started with. Technological advancements sped up this process even more. The Mills were suddenly able to blend fabrics and continued to develop, in order to serve the growing casual and sportswear markets. The Cone Mills 20th Century is best described as one of excellence. This family business with the inspirational Cone brothers as major innovators, have always been ahead of time. When no one was thinking about jeans besides the Northern States, Cone was doing it better than anyone. Although nobody thought of life after raw workwear, Cone Mills developed it. When they concluded that the enormous denim demand would basically mean that they had to build a 24hr business and they needed motivated people to run it, Cone created an entire village with a private infrastructure and even its own baseball team. They would basically do anything for quality and diligence.


Although Cone Denim is not really the small denim factory that a lot of us might think it is, the mill is most certainly ‘the real McCoy’. The successes of a century are not just based on a great fabric and superior quality. Cone became the aorta of the denim industry because the company was able to be progressive and unconventional. On top of that, the company has proven to be flexible in times of war and economic crisis. They have been capable of taking risks when everybody said that the company was crazy. Lastly, Cone never lost faith in denim. Although the demand for the cloth changed and society changed dramatically, Cone was always ahead of the game with a new application of the evolving fabric. Denim is a fabric that dressed the 1900s and though the styles evolved in parallel with the developments of that ‘shortest of centuries’, it continues to be relevant today. In fact, it is interesting to observe how recent global economic circumstances have led consumers to seek out quality and tradition – Cone Mills represents something that can be trusted to endure. Although no one can deny that the brand has gained great fortune thanks to a century in which a true denim revolution occurred, Cone Denim became a success because of truly inspiring entrepreneurship. In our opinion Cone is denim and denim is Cone. To support this view we have asked for the opinion of one contemporary and one classic American denim brand to share their view of the iconic manufacturer. Our friends Victor Sandberg, Senior designer at Levi's XX and Tony Patella, Co-owner at Tellason were kind enough to share their thoughts. They represent two generations of denim evangelists from the United States that both incorporated vintage denim and its heritage into their 21st Century product lines. We asked them to explain their passion for the North Carolinian Cone brothers.

Post War America and Consumer Culture

In 1956, for the first time, demand for denim declined. The company decided to further develop their production of corduroy, twills and poplins. The interest in the contemporary side of denim would further grow during the decades JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Cone Mills

Why Cone? According to Victor Sandberg, Senior designer at Levi's XX Photography by Joachim Baan

Well, I believe it is fair to say that Levi's would not have been who they are today if this relationship with Cone had not existed. On the other hand Cone would not have been the company they are today without our relationship, or marriage. They have been producing our fabrics for the 501 since 1915. Of course they produced more than that for us but the most iconic production was the XX fabric which they produced exclusively for our 501. Their fabric is probably part of the secret as to why the 501 became such an iconic fit for us. Not only because it became the original pair of jeans but also because it survived through generations. White Oak is the heart beat of the denim industry - literally. When you stand outside the factory you can feel the ground moving. It is spectacular really. It is because at the first floor where they have the big wooden floor on which the special machines are producing our XX fabric, you hear this 'loom shutter'. It is like music. The whole floor is bouncing and this gives a unique character to the fabric that you can not replicate. The movement in the floor gives an irregularity to the fabric. So basically every yard is unique.

The reason why I believe this has been such a strong and valuable relationship, for all these years, is (apart from the quality and consistency of Cone) based on our shared philanthropic sentiments. Levi Strauss and the Cone brothers have always helped the community. They were looking after the people that have been working for them. They owned the village everybody lived in. They built houses, schools and even created a local baseball team. The foundation of the companies has always been to be supportive to the locals. In addition to this there have always been great people working on both ends. The people at Cone have always been amazing and do not underestimate the amount of knowledge present within the company being a manufacturer for so many years. They have the tradition, they know the color, the shade, the weight, everything. That is why we at Levi's Vintage Clothing still use Cone White Oak fabric in ninety-five percent of our garments. Even if we manufacture certain styles in Japan or European countries we try to use as much American Cone fabrics as we can.

"It is actually about being able to see the blue within the blue."

The reason that we started working with Cone was that our mill, Amoskeag, was using natural indigo. You can imagine that it was very tough for them to control the shade and the coloring of the denim. This is something Cone Mills could control. There is a record in our archive that shows that in 1922 all the workers in the Amoskeag Mill were on strike. There was no denim supply for nine months. This is how we moved to Cone denim. That is when the 'Golden Handshake' between Levi's and Cone happened. This meant that from that point all the XX fabric would be exclusively made by Cone for Levi's. That handshake still exists. The biggest difference between the Amoskeag fabric and the Cone denim was that Cone used pure indigo not natural indigo. They replicated the fabric from Amoskeag into a more consistent cloth. That was the moment that all of our 501 XX fabric was to be made by the Cone White Oak factory. It is that same fabric that got the 'Red Selvage' in 1927 to identify it was Cone's XX fabric because obviously Cone was producing fabric for many other companies by that time.

I can spot a pair of Levi's from 200 meters. I can see if it is a 501 or not. That is how iconic it is. That is how iconic the fabric is. The beauty of denim is that it is not an exact science. You can't just replicate. It is part of the secret. It is a living fabric. Every yard you produce is different. That is why so many people in the business want to be like Cone and are inspired by their craftsmanship. Why do you think people in the business will always come back from an inspiration trip carrying some vintage 501 jeans in their backpacks? It is because the fabric lasts. They survive generations. It is because the high quality of the product. And you know what? The most beautiful pieces are the most basic vintage pairs, with their great shades and twisted legs. It is a very subtle kind of thing. To a lot of people this is probably the most basic kind of jeans one can think of. However if you take a close look at the rich and deep shade of indigo of the Cone fabric you will be amazed. It is so characteristic for the XX fabric. It is actually about being able to see the blue within the blue.

Nowadays White Oak has 29 machines left producing XX fabric. In the good old days they had over 2000 machines in the plant. You could stand in the middle of the weaving room without being able to see where it would end.


JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / Cone Mills

Collaboration I Tenue de Nîmes x Tellason

Why Cone? According to Tony Patella Tellason, San Francisco, CA When we started Tellason almost two years ago, it was a given that we would source 90+% of our fabric from Cone Mills. There are many reasons for this: our long-standing relationship with their sales and credit offices, our belief that they make some of the best selvage denim in the world and the fact that they make their fabric in the U.S. I was a partner in a denim company called Sutter's from 1993 to 2001 and we used Cone Mills fabric almost exclusively. Our brand was a young men's and Junior's brand that sold in stores such as Pacific Sunwear, Urban Outfitters and Zumiez and even though our retail prices were between $40-$50, we always made sure to use excellent fabric (obviously not selvage). Our production volumes were pretty high and we became a valuable trading partner with Cone and their sales office in San Francisco. As we do with Tellason, we also made sure to pay our invoices to Cone promptly and when it came time to buy fabric from Cone again (almost ten years later), the Credit Manager for Cone was the same guy I had a great relationship with in the 90s. His willingness to work with us has been instrumental in the evolution of our brand. We really appreciate the consistency of quality that Cone offers in their White Oak fabrics. The weaving, dyeing and finishing of their fabrics is excellent and the ability to buy a specific fabric month after month with little variation is important to us. Even though we do not launder our jeans, we still want very little shade variation within a given fabric as our jeans are stacked in shops at retail. Ostensibly, a pair of Tellasons using fabric XYZ that were cut and sewn in January should sit well next to a pair made of the same fabric in April. I also think Cone sanforizes their fabrics better than any other mill I've come across. Much of Cone's excellence can be traced back to their strong connection to Levi's. The House of Strauss has always been pushing the envelope with regard to denim fabric integrity and we're all benefiting from their persnicketiness. Beautiful selvage fabric is certainly produced in other parts of the world, principally Japan, but it is produced in other parts of the world! There is something that just feels right about making raw denim jeans in San Francisco using fabric made in Greensboro, North Carolina -- as it was 150 years ago. We believe that resonates well not only with people in America, but with denim consumers around the world. Cone also has a rich history of being an outstanding member of their community in Greensboro. As many mills and factories in the U.S. did a century ago, they built homes, schools, churches and other institutions that benefited their workers and in turn the entire region surrounding their mill. In those days, the mill or factory was more than just a place to work; it was a pillar of the community. We appreciate this spirit of community and wish such a dynamic was part of commerce today. —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Dust Bowl

Dust Bowl by Thomas Tukker

Photography by Tomas Tukker Styling by Sophie van Bentum Hair, Make-up by Vallerie Dobbe Assistant Photography Els Plokker Models Isa Mia at SPS Model Management Gerrit 16

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / Dust Bowl

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Dust Bowl


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / Dust Bowl

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Dust Bowl


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / Dust Bowl

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Dust Bowl


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / Dust Bowl

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Dust Bowl


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Reestraat 15 Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Interview / Unis

Unis Written by Sophie van Bentum Photography by Sophie van Bentum


Sophie van Bentum sits down with renowned NYC independent designer and retailer, UNIS, for a chat about her business, the state of the menswear market, and her inspirations. Why did you choose menswear? In 1994 the school was desperate to have menswear people. There were maybe 5 persons graduating on menswear. Fashion wasn't a huge deal like it is now. In the end I am a super practical person. I did menswear for very practical reasons. When I worked at DKNY I thought menswear was so boring. At DKNY I also did women's wear and then I realized women are fucking crazy. Menswear was so much more like a family. The mentality in menswear is very lifestyle driven, [but] in a more laidback way. I realized, going a way from it, how much I really appreciated and loved it. I first thought that to redesign a V-neck t-shirt was very boring, but now I know all the subtle things are so much more challenging. What is nice about menswear is that is doesn't change that much. Because I have had the store for 10 years I realize how sweet men are as costumers. Once they fall in love with something, they have to have it every season. That's what's so great about menswear the loyalty to your brand. You see so many more repeat customers. I have had this married man come in when I first started the business and a couple of years later he started coming in with his baby. When he came in, he said to me I am so glad you stuck around because 80% of my wardrobe is UNIS. When you meet customers like that, it gives you so many more reasons to exist as a brand. Sometimes you question your own brand. You walk around tradeshows and you ask yourself "Why am I here?" If you stick through and you are consistent as a menswear designer, and you

address quality issues and fit, and listen to what your customers' wants and needs, you can have a consistent business. What makes UNIS different? When I first started with UNIS, you either had really big brands or streetwear brands. For me I just thought: I don't want a logo on anything. UNIS is a fashion basics line. Fashion pieces that aren't too fashion forward. American guys are so much safer then the rest of the world. They are scared of fashion, so you have to be an approachable and friendly brand. I want a lot of guys to wear this clothing. You have these really cool dads come in sometimes and it is nice that in menswear, you can both dress the father and the son. Classic pieces are classic pieces. I try to pick out the best fabric I can possibly afford, really concentrate on the fit of the piece and make it a modern, classic and clean piece. There are a lot of challenges for small brands. How do small brands compete with the bigger brands like J.Crew? They are doing something that is trending right now, and that makes it is much harder to compete. First it bothered me, but now it just pushes me to do something more different and special. I appreciate that the larger brands are bringing more fashion to a lot more American guys and that is a good thing. Our online business is growing. It is so crazy how fast everything is changing online. I actually think there is a possibility that our online store will be bigger and faster than our retail store. However it is really amazing for me to visually have a store, but with an online store you can just reach so many more people. Men, for example, who don't have a cool store in their town. All these guys can

just go online and be as cool as the guys in New York, Paris and Amsterdam, and they can study fashion on the internet. That is the big difference between men and women. Women follow trends in a different way, men read up and study fashion. They study the details and the history of a brand. Personally I love scanning things but I don't go into depth about a brand. Those are the things guys do and that all helps our online business. They are nerdy and quite that way. I am going to do a collaboration with Inventory. We are going to do a version of my now famous Gio chino. For Inventory we are going to do that same silhouette in a corduroy fabric. I think what is really nice about doing collaborations is that you are meeting people and becoming friends with them. You just sit at a dinner table and all of a sudden say: "Hey why don't we do something together?" That's how it happened with the Inventory guys and that's what makes it more personal. I'm also going to do a series of installations in the store. I have a surf brand called Lightning Bolt that is going to do an installation in the store. It will be fun for me to kind of constantly turn things around and add different feelings to the store. What magazines or blogs inspire you? Magazines like Inventory, however I also really like home and cooking magazines. It sounds really cheesy but if you travel a lot you pick up many different magazines. I love to cook. I think the blog jjjjound is amazing. He has got such amazing taste. However a lot of blogs get a little boring.

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Interview / Unis

"Because I have had the store for 10 years I realize how sweet men are as costumers" What is your signatures dish? I do an amazing roasted chicken and [a] vegetarian lasagne. I also love eating other people's meals because it inspires you to cook differently every time you taste somebody else's food. It's a really great way to get to know people. It is fun sitting around a table and not having to worry about the bill at the end of a meal. What do you love about New York? You walk outside and everything is so intense and that keeps you on your toes. This is the city of seriously ambitious people. Everybody comes here to be somebody and work really hard. This is a very aggressive city to live in, but it's also a really cultural city. Even for me as a minority, I feel the most comfortable here. I can walk around and nobody stares at me. No one would ever look at me like I'm a weird immigrant. That is because everybody is an immigrant here. All of those cultural things in general are great in New York. The way you can eat more cheaply here then any other city in the world. It is why people eat out so much or do take out. I love a lot of walking cities. I love Amsterdam and Paris for that reason, because you can really see the people and that is what makes it special. What would be the perfect day in New York for you? Ideally I would wake up, have my cup of coffee and go for a run on one of the bridges, and then work really hard so I can go out to dinner at 8. I always look forward to going out to dinner and having a glass of wine or two. Having a really nice meal with friends is the big treat at the end of a day. I used to work until midnight, but I don't do that any more. That is why I moved everything here domestically. I don't want to travel to China and

Italy every 6 weeks. When you travel that much and you don't have a social life you start resenting work and I don't want to resent work because this is what I love to do. Everything is manufactured now in LA and New York. I can go hiking in LA in the morning. It is really important when you have a small business that you try to work out a lifestyle for yourself. The important thing is knowing the kind of lifestyle you want and making it one of your own. Then you will be a happier person. How do you see the future? One of the things I am struggling with at the moment is the price points. It is so expensive to manufacture here, so I have to start explore things in Europe again. In order for the brand to grow more, some of the price points have to go lower. I am going to concentrate on our website and online store and really try to grow that business. I'm going to renovate the store. Also I am going to start buying other products for the store so that I can give my customer an all around experience.

like an American chino, but if you put it on it looks dressier than it is. It fits and looks sharper on the body. I was the first one to offer this proportion in a chino. A lot of guys who started wearing them thought they were so much more comfortable than jeans. Also guys can wear more colours in chinos and have more fun with their bottoms. A chino goes with everything. It now challenges me to think in what I can do next for a guy. They say for menswear if you have successful bottoms wear it is huge. Once a guy falls in love with that fit he will come is back to buy more. Men need to feel safe and once they trust you as a designer they come back. That's what so sweet about being in menswear. It is like being in a weird relationship with your customer. Once they trust you they really come back to you. I just have to gain the trust of all the men in this country. —

What are you working on now? After the chino, I am trying to find the next proportion shaped pants that a guy would like to own in his closet. Also now I'm working on some really beautiful Italian suiting. Why do you think your chino is so popular at this moment? When I started creating the chino in my head, I thought there has got to be an alternative to denim, and at the time I was in Italy when I first designed the pants. In Italy they already wore chinos. I was slightly influenced by it. I just did my version of it. The chino I designed is a very dressy chino. On the rack it looks really casual and more

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Minnesota Nice

Written by Matthijs van Meurs Photography by Joachim Baan

1. Duluth Pack 2. Northern Water Smokehaus 3. Vintage boutiques

Minnesota Nice

Last June we were invited to Minnesota to pay a visit to the Red Wing Shoe factory and tannery. We decided that Joachim and I would go for 5 days, filling our schedule with road trips, tours, meetings and antique hunting. Full of enthusiasm we planned our week ahead, almost forgetting the country is not as small as The Netherlands. Quickly we realised that our plans would have us travelling around the USA for a year. After scaling back our plans to the incredibly cool and important, we got off the plane in St. Paul in the evening. We wasted no time and rented a car with a big trunk and begin our journey North in the direction of Duluth. This is were we received a tour of the Duluth Pack factory. This old wooden building houses a small devoted team, who are responsible for crafting a collection of canvas packs intended for hiking and canoeing. Duluth Pack have been doing this since 1882, and we were honoured to witness the whole production process. Afterwards we explored the area for antique shops, which are called 'junk shops' by the locals - one man's trash is definitely another man's treasure. Here we scored our first vintage tools, flags and other objects for the interior of the Red Wing Shoes Amsterdam. We did not mind the terrible weather one bit because we had the feeling we were treasure hunting in the 50s and 60s. On our second day we drove South East through the country side. We wanted to experience the rural Mid West and it lived up to its name. What else do you need besides a big car, good company, sunshine and two live CDs of Charlie Parr? The roads were long, straight and we saw all manner of landscapes. Joachim and I switched positions so he could take pictures from the passenger seat as we cruised through forests, hill sides and corn fields. We stopped at a road side bar for an authentic American burger. Here we were flattered by the locals interest of these crazy people from Amsterdam. We stopped multiple times that day to fulfil our photography mission, as well as for some more antique hunting in the small town of Stillwater. By now we had already found two vintage flags, a shoe care bucket and lots of other cool pieces. We even saw a small black bear! In the evening we arrived at the city of Red Wing. We checked into the St. James Hotel which is owned by Red Wing Shoes. The


hotel still breathes that early 19th Century character. For us the most important visit of this trip was to the factory and tannery. We had clear objectives for our two man team: Joachim was to be the photographer and I was to be the writer. I ended up with a full twenty five pages in my Midori notebook. We learned about the production process through all the different stages. Possibly the most interesting thing we learned, is the length of time that some of the employees had been working for "the Shoe". It is not unusual for someone to have worked there for more than 30 years. The pride, loyalty and craftsmanship here were the most inspiring discoveries we made on this visit. Also the age of some of the machinery was incredible. It is sometimes hard to imagine that sewing machines, some patented in 1893, have not met their successors yet.

The S.B. Foot Tannery is older than Red Wing Shoes itself. In the early days they also made shoes however soon they would only focus on the tanning business. In the eighties Red Wing Shoes bought the tannery. We were welcomed by the typical smell of the tanning process. Most of the machines are sourced from Italy, because this is the best equipment available. A lot of them had to be altered in order to be able to process the thick leather needed for work boots. The leather hides arrive here from St. Paul light blue in color, already dehaired and chrome tanned. After sorting and shaving, the leather is colored, dyed, oiled, waxed, dried and finished to the requirements of a specific type of leather shoe. The S.B. Foot Tannery not only produces for Red Wing Shoes, but also for some divisions of the US military and other premium boot companies. Our first experience of Minnesota was great. The people are laid back, welcoming, interested and we know of no better place to drive in traffic. "Minnesota Nice" is a well known expression and this is the most fitting way we can think of to describe both our trip, as well as the many wonderful people we met during our week in the Mid West. —

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JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / Minnesota Nice 3


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Minnesota Nice

1. Red Wing Shoes factory 2. S.B. Foot Tannery






JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / Minnesota Nice


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / Red Wing Shoe Company

Red Wing Shoe Company

the Story of...

MOHAVE LEATHER MILITARY BOOTS Written by Wytse Hylkema and David Coggins Photography by Thomas Tukker

We think we know Red Wing Shoes quite well by now, however more stories keep popping up. What can one expect from a company that is over a century old? Red Wing Shoes was founded as a producer of work boots for the rigors of farmers and hunters, but is one of the purveyors for the U.S. army. However, for those not serving in the US military, these shoes are in more easily available than one might think. We took a look at the connection between Red Wing Shoes and the US Army. Red Wing Shoes, founded in 1905, has existed through two World Wars. In both, they supplied its army with the necessary footwear to withstand the rigors of the combat-field. Throughout this peridod, the company was led by J.R. Sweasy, grandfather of Bill Sweasy, the owner of Red Wing Shoes today. World War I presented J.R. Sweasy with challenges on many fronts. Losing 32

men from the factory who went off to serve their country at war, meant he needed to fill the gaps with a female workforce. At the same time, production was extended by an extra product coming off the line; army shoes. The army shoe was built over the regulation Munson US Army Last, which was designed to ‘fit all feet’, with its broad and roomy forepart. The Munson Last was renowned for its comfort. Since ex-servicemen appreciated their merits, they continued to demand the six inch trench army style shoes and so they were kept on the market well after the war was over. For many years they were known as the ‘Pershing’ no. 1088. They stayed on the production line until 1965. After 11 years without growth, during The Great Depression of the 30s, World War II created the economic boom the company needed to revive its fortunes. As the United States geared up its defense expenditure, J.R. Sweasy was once more contracted to build combat boots for the government. The payJOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / Red Wing Shoe Company

off was immediate as sales figures increased by almost half in one year. Red Wing Shoes maintained this task until victory and delivered steady work for the people of Red Wing, Minnesota. During this time, Red Wing produced 239 different sizes and widths of shoes. They had to make all paratroopers’ boots big sizes, since paratroopers jumping needed to wear a lot of heavy socks, so that when they landed, they could be well cushioned. Since this time, the US Army has been a constant client of Red Wing Shoes. Currently, the company provides leathers for some specific army models. The US government is very exacting about whom they partner with to manufacture their equipment. First of all, each and every single piece must be produced in the USA (as they fear sabotage). The leathers all come from the S.B. Foot tannery, a full subsidiary of Red Wing Shoes since 1986, which was founded in Red Wing Minnesota in 1872. These high-end leathers must meet several requirements to be sure they meet top-standard. The name Mohave is derived from the Mohave desert, located in Southeast California. It is known as a desert of extremes. The desert undergoes four distinct seasons; winter months bring temperature below -18°C, whereas in summer temperatures can reach up to 54°C. Furthermore, this area is dominated by mountains, alternated with valleys and basins. Logically, to withstand this area, a boot would need excellent water resistance, strength and climate control. This is what S.B. Foot, with over 130 years of experience is capable of creating. The Mohave leather is waterproof suede leather, made from American cattle hides. JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

These leathers are suede, though not the type of suede you would find in ordinary shoes. Where normally, suede leathers are split in half which creates two pieces of rough surface, Mohave is un-split suede leather. The key difference is the raw material. It is stronger and more durable primarily because it is thicker in weight and in hide substance. The suede we see on this leather is actually the inside of the cow. The high degree of breathability is created precisely because it is unfinished leather—meaning there is no pigment or surface additives that could potentially “clog up” the leather, rendering it less breathable. As a final challenge, S.B. Foot is challenged to meet the color requirements of the US Army. These are very difficult to achieve, because suede leathers can and will vary significantly, on top of which there are limitations to what can be done to minimize color variation. S.B. Foot, however, consistently produces Mohave that meet the stringent requirements of the army. Initially, this Mohave leather was applied to army boots only. Originally, the US Army used ’Sand’ Mohave for operation Desert Storm, twenty years ago. Right now, there are two more colors. The "sage" and "olive" colors were developed after 9/11. The only reason being, that the other divisions of military - Navy and Air Force - wanted their own colors. Before this, their boots were all black. One must say, Red Wing Shoe has once again shown their excellence in combining beautiful aesthetics with functional workwear. In fact, the leathers are so appealing, Red Wing decided to use them in their heritage line as well. Thus, we may even spot some military leathers from the US in the streets of Amsterdam. — 33

Timeline / Levi's XX

There is one jean that started it all. It remains one of the greatest exports that the US has ever gifted to the world. Here, Tenue de Nîmes pays tribute to the legendary Levi Strauss 501 and plots its development over time.

Text and photography by Levi's XX


501 XX

1890: 501 Jean

1915: 501 Jean

1922: 501 Jean

1933: 501 Jean

The 1890 501 jean was the first style created after the rivet patent expired that same year. This meant that other companies could start to copy Levi's famous patent riveted overalls, which had been made only by LS&CO. since 1873. To answer the coming competition, LS&CO. printed the inside pocket bag with language and information about the strength and originality of the XX overalls. 1890 was the year that the 501 number was first assigned to the famous pants – likely done because the company no longer had and exclusive on patented clothing, and also because there was a good-sized line of clothing by this time. It was easier for retailers to order their products by number, rather than by a simple description, as had been done in the past. Any product made with the highest quality materials was given a lot number beginning with 5: 501 for the overall, 506 for the jacket, etc. Still made wit X 9 oz. denim from the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, the 501 was at the head of the class.

The story of Cone denim began in 1891, when brothers Moses and Ceasar founded Cone Export and Commission Company. By 1905 they established a mill that would become renowned for setting the standard for quality denim. Cone Denim's White Oak mill, named after a 200 year old tree on its grounds, continues to craft the most authentic denim for over a century. Regarded as a stronghold of textile history, White Oak remains an integral resource for its archives and an endless inspiration. In 1915, Cone was approached by LS&CO as a supplier, beginning a long term commitment to one another. In the 1920's, Cone started individualizing LS&CO's denim with Red Selvedge, which is still synonymous with Levi's denim. By 1922, LS&CO exclusively obtained all of its high quality denim from white Oak, Nearly 100 years later, we are still unearthing archival detail about fabrics we developed trough our history with Cone. This jean is a celebration, replicating the combination of Cone fabric and fit from 1915. It carries the secret of a 95 year history within its warp and weft.

In keeping with LS&Co.'s effort to make each era's 501 relevant to the period, 1922 marks the year when belt loops were first used. Belts began appearing on fine clothing soon after World War I and eventually became important to younger workingmen as well.

A pair of jeans from 1933 had belt loops, but still had the cinch and suspender buttons, offering a variety of ways the pant could be worn. Some owners wore their jeans with a belt. They cut off the cinch right at the rivet, and snipped of the suspender buttons, choosing to wear their jeans not like the older generation with suspenders. Men became more prevalent as the 1930s wore on, and some Levi brand retailers even kept a big pair of scissors at the cash desk to cut the cinch off for their customers.

DESIGN DETAILS: 9oz Plain Selvedge Denim (12oz after wash) 1 back pocket with exposed rivets Cinch Suspender buttons Two Horse leather patch Crotch Rivet Single needle Arcuate Pocket bag print

DESIGN DETAILS: Cone Mills 9oz Plain Selvedge Denim (12oz after wash) 2 back pockets with exposed rivets Cinch Suspender buttons Two Horse leather patch Crotch rivet Single needle Arcuate

Although belt loops were added, the suspender buttons remained till 1937 and the cinch till 1942. The 1922 501 offered the best of both worlds: maintaining the cinch and using suspenders, or eliminating both and wearing a belt. Younger guys cut off the cinch in order to wear a belt while more traditional users kept the cinch and wore suspenders. Retaining both ways of wearing jeans ensured that more people could be persuaded to try Levi's jeans, many for the first time. Around 1915 LS&Co. started hanging a small paper label from one of the suspender buttons on the waist overalls. This label, which was carried over into the early 1920s, advertised the fact that LS&Co. had won prizes at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Hidden under the leather patch, but v not visible until it began to shrink with age, is a tiny, white cloth label printed with a blue eagle and the letter "NRA". This was the National Recovery Act logo, which Levi Strauss & CO. was allowed to use because the company abided by the labor rules of President Franklin Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration during the Depression years of the 1930s.

DESIGN DETAILS: Cone Mills 10oz Red Selvedge Denim (12oz after wash) 2 back pocket rivets Belt loops, cinch & suspender buttons Two Horse leather patch Crotch rivet NRA (National Recovery Act) label Single needle Arcuate

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Timeline / Levi's XX

1944: 501 Jean (WWII)

1947: 501

1954: 501Z

1955: 501 Jean

1966: 501 Jean

Everything changed during World War II. The United States government told all clothing manufacturers that they had to remove a certain amount of metal, fabric and thread from their garments in order to conserve the raw materials for the war effort. Levi Strauss & Co. did what they could to help. Off came the watch pocket rivets, the crotch rivet and the cinch and it's two rivets (which eliminated both fabric and metal).

The 1947 501 jean is a kind of hybrid, harboring attributes from the 1930s and World War II, combined with and eye to the coming Baby Boom years. That is, it was a jean that embodied both a storied past and a bright future.

In the mid 1950's Levi Strauss & Co. started selling the 501 jeans on America's east coast for the first time (the western states had been the only sales territory since the jeans came out in 1873). Many folks had already been introduced to the jeans at dude ranches, but to some, this button fly work pant was something they had never encountered. In order to make potential consumers comfortable with the company's products, LS&CO. introduced a zipper version of the button fly ShrinkTo-Fit jeans in 1954: the 501Z. It had everything longtime wearers loved: the silhouette, the tough but flexible fabrics, rivets, etc. Retailers carried both the 501 and its zippered brother, the 501Z jeans, and everyone got the pair that worked best for them. The 501Z jeans had many fans. It was given the new number 502 in 1967 and remained in the line until 1976, when the preshrunk jean outshone it in popularity. However, when it first came out, LS&CO. received a letter from an oldtimer somewhere in the west who wasn't too thrilled with the innovation. The actual letter has disappeared, but company legend has it that the writer said; "Why the heck did you put a zipper in your jeans? It's like peeing into the jaws of an alligator."

The 1955 501 jeans have a quintessential 1950's shape, with more "anti-fit" in the seat area and a slightly fuller cut around the leg, they have a boxier silhouette. The first 501 jeans to bear the leather-like Two Horse label, the Levi's capital "E" red Tab, zinc button fly and copper rivets remained standard issue. Like it's predecessor from 1947, the 1955 501 jeans had beltloops as the only method of waist adjustment, hidden rivets on the back pocket and zinc buttons on the fly.

The 1966 501 jean represents a snapshot in time. This style – bar tack instead of rivets, big "E" red Tab – only existed from 1966 to 1971, just a blink of the eye in a very long life of the first blue jean.

Buttons became standard issue during the war, and featured a laurel leaf design. Sometimes the buttons were branded; sometimes the waistband had the laurel leaf and the fly buttons are plain. The only explanation is that delivery of sundries was hit and miss during the war years and we sometimes had to just use what they had to hand. There was one rationing rule that was a little harder to bear: the order to remove the Arcuate stitching, because it was considered decorative and in other terms meant that it didn't have a function. Well, LS & CO. thought it did: it was one of the prime identifiers of the classic 501 jeans. Rather than lose this important design LS & CO. worked out a system to paint the Arcuate stitching on every pair of 501 jeans that came out of the factory. The paint eventually washed off but having that stitching visible when buying the jeans was the important thing. DESIGN DETAILS: Cone Mills 12oz Red Selvedge Denim (14oz after wash) 2 back pockets with covered rivets "E" red Tab. Two Horse leather patch Painted Arcuate Pocket bag material varied during warime

When World War II ended and raw materials were available again, Levi Strauss & Co. leaped back into heavy production to meet the growing post-war demand: slimmer fitting, with no extra details like the cinch or suspender buttons, this was a jean that was ready to rock and roll. The watch pocket rivets came back after their wartime hiatus. And the Arcuate was stitched on the back pockets again, after being applied with paint during war's duration. But it came back in a different form: thanks to new, double needle technology, the famed double arching stitch was now uniform in size and design, no longer subject to the skill of the individual sewing machine operator and her single needle machine. The red tab with it's capital "E" had never gone away, thanks to its status as a trademark. And the red selvedge, 12oz. Cone Mills denim was still the bedrock of the jean, as it had been for nearly two decades.

The Levi's RED TAB label changed to say LEVI'S on both sides of the device.

When the back pocket rivets were covered in 1937, everyone thought that would solve the furniture-scratching problem. But those rivets were tougher than they looked, and after a few years of hard wear they just wore right through the denim, scratching things up again. By 1966 technology had caught up with history and it was possible to bartack the pockets so that they were as sturdy as they had been in their workwear days. In 1971, the name LEVI'S on the double-sided red Tab would change to read Levi's, making the 501 of the late 1960's the only ones with covered rivets and a big "E" Tab. Which means that a guy who hitchhiked his way to San Francisco in early 1967 and brought a pair of 501 jeans to wear during the Summer of Love was not only experiencing a oncein-a-lifetime event, but was wearing a unique pair of jeans; a pair which would change again when Woodstock was just a memory.

By the end of the 1940' Levi's jeans were being sold across the U.S., aimed at the new, emerging middle class. The 1947 501 was the jean of a new generation. DESIGN DETAILS: Cone Mills 12oz Red Selvedge Denim (14oz after wash) 2 backpockets with covered rivets "E" red tab Two Horse leather patch. Double needle stitched Arcuate Watch pocket rivets returned after the war No crotch rivet

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

DESIGN DETAILS: Cone Mills 12oz Red Selvage Denim (14oz after wash) Zip fly 2 back pockets with covered rivets Two Horse leather patch "E" red Tab Double needle Arcuate

DESIGN DETAILS: Cone Mills 12oz Red Selvage denim (14oz after wash) 2 backpockets with covered rivets Two Horse leather-like patch Double sided "E" red Tab Double needle arcuate

DESIGN DETAILS Cone Mills 12oz Red Selvedge denim (14oz after wash) 2 back pocket with bar tacks instead of rivets Tow Horse leather-like patch Double sided "E" red Tab


Regular inspirations / The Military Watch

Written by John Barron

The Military Watch Our resident vintage watch connoisseur, John Baron, leads us through the history of the U.S. military watch, from it's beginnings, up to the Vietnam War.

U.S. Military Issued Dive wristwatches 1940's - 1970's

Submersible Divers watches

U.S. Navy BuShips "Canteen" Divers Watch

Time is one of the most revolutionary concepts ever employed by mankind. It is without doubt one of the most essential tools for the basic functions of our day to day lives.

While most standard wristwatches being used during WWI and WWII were often somewhat water resistant, the requirement for military use of submersible, or diving watches, did not occur until the 1930s when the Italian Navy began its search for a truly waterproof divers wristwatch which would be used by its newly developed "frogmen" teams of combat divers, in order to time their dives allowing them to know how much air was left in their tanks.

The Elgin manufactured Navy BuShips divers watch, often referred to as the "Canteen" watch, was the US navy's first focused attempt to produce a purpose built divers' watch. It is easily recognized by its enormous (relative to the small 32mm case size) screw-down cap which was attached to the case with a small chain. The cap was used to protect the setting crown and waterproof the case. The "Canteen" watch was first developed in the 1950s for the newly formed UDT teams that were operating in the South Pacific at the time. Acting as clearance divers, they would patrol the shorelines in search of explosives and mines which they would dispose of. The watch allowed them to time their dives without a fear of equipment failure because of water leakage. Its case was basically a beefed up A-11 case with a hand winding Elgin movement, and large luminous hands and dial. These would have had markings on the dial, sometimes blacked out in stealth-like effect, designating USN and BuShips and USN or USN BuShips on the back of the case. While there was no specific mil-spec issued regarding the design of these canteen style dive watches, they corresponded with specifications 18W8(SHIPS) issued on Jan 15, 1947, and were used throughout the Korean War, until the late 1950s, when the design was phased out.

While many people tell the time using their iPhones, Blackberries, or whatever other modern time keeping device they use day to day, some 'old fashioned' types, like myself, are accustomed to the ritual of wearing a wristwatch to be able to tell the time. Whatever method you use, consider for a moment how many times a day you find yourself casually glancing towards your timepiece of choice, when we need to know: Exactly what time is it? I'm pretty sure it's fairly often. Now imagine you are an active member of your respective country's military forces - a pilot, a diver or a trooper on foot patrol in whatever theatre of operations you are stationed - acting as part of an effective tactical unit, ready to execute your orders and responsibilities to your fullest capacity when commanded to do so. Chances are you're going to need something to let you what the time it is. Prior to World War I, wristwatches were considered a woman's fashion accessory, so they were not used by soldiers, who were more often found using pocket watches to tell the time. However, the convenience of having your timepiece located on the wrist, where it is easily accessed, was compelling and during World War I watches began to appear on the wrists of the various military forces involved in the conflict. At first, some were pocket-watches which were converted to allow a strap to be used to attach it to the soldier's wrist, while some were wrist watches modified by adding screens or bars over the crystal to protect it from impact and damage.

The effectiveness of the Italian frogmen unit, due in part to the use of Officine Panerai developed Rolex Oyster cased dive watches, led the way to the widespread development of frogman teams by most of the world's largest military powers, including the German Kriegsmarine, the French Marine Nationale, and eventually the U.S. Navy's Naval Combat Demolition Teams (who would later would be referred to as UDT, Underwater Demolition Teams, upon their deployment to the Pacific theatre near the end of WWII). In fact The U.S. Navy's UDT teams would become so effective that many of their members would eventually become founding members of the first Navy S.E.A.L. teams when they were be formed in the late 1960s, which are today considered among the world's most highly skilled amphibious combat units. As a result of the exceptional situations the UDTs, then the Navy S.E.A.L. teams, found themselves in, it was clear that they required the development of more effective and reliable, task specific equipment, which would result in the creation of some of the most significant and, eventually, the most sought after and collectable timepieces in U.S. military history.

While it is not exactly clear when the first U.S. military wristwatch procurement occurred, large scale purchasing of wrist watches by the U.S. military began with the buildup to their eventual involvement in World War II. Initially the requirements of the watches were quite basic, so a simple, functional utilitarian design which optimized legibility was deemed necessary. Eventually, the U.S. military began to establish a set of standard military specifications which every wristwatch issued would adhere to. The initial mil-spec design used by the U.S. military in this period was referred to as the Type A-11 (pic# A-11). This was produced in large quantities by the U.S. based companies Bulova, Elgin and Waltham for use by the US Army and Air Force as well as the British R.A.F., from 1941 until at least 1945. Its basic design would become the foundation from which the majority of the milspec designs established for issued watches would be based.


JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Regular inspirations / The Military Watch

Tornek Rayville TR-900

The U.S. Navy Benrus Type I & II Dive Watch

With the introduction of what would become the basis for the modern diving watch in 1954, Rolex, with its Submariner model, and Blancpain with its Fifty Fathom Model, set a new standard for what the requirements of a combat diver watch would be in order to effectively function in its intended field of operations. Both watches were considerably larger than the standard wrist watches, (BP - 41mm wide, and Rolex - 36mm wide) and now featured a new innovation of a rotating bezel which featured numerals at specific locations so when turned, they helped keep track of exactly how long the diver could remain under water more accurately.

Introduced at the beginning of the 1970s as the next generation of utilitarian U.S. mil-spec diver's watch, the Benrus Type I & Type II Dive Watches, produced to military specification MIL-W-50717, were issued to Navy S.E.A.L.s and other special forces from the mid-1970s forward. Produced by the American company Benrus, after the U.S. Navy went back to commissioning procurement from US based manufacturers for its watches, the Benrus Type I and Type II utilized the cutting edge of what was available to watch manufacturers at the time. Its case size and general aesthetic appearance are reminiscent of the Rolex Submariner, with a highly legible, but sterile black dial, ladder style hands and a new monocoque style 'front loader' case, where the 2 piece waterproof case are put in a 'press' in order to seal these pieces permanently. The movement and dial and hands are then dropped into the case, the crystal and bezel then seal the movement inside the case, which is sealed with a secure screw down crown. The watches featured a 'Hacking' 17 jewel automatic ETA movement, useful for synchronizing the time with other watches and divers. The case back contained full mil-spec markings, with the rest of the watch being totally sterile. During the final years of the Vietnam conflict, members of UDT-SEAL, Green Berets, and Special Forces were issued the two Benrus models and these amazing durable and accurate watches successfully accompanied their owners on continuous reconnaissance and behind-the-line operations conducted in the hot and steamy jungles of Vietnam.

While the French Marine National almost immediately adopted the Blancpain for active duty upon its introduction into the market, used by their elite Nageurs de Combat force, the US Navy divers continued to still use the awkward canteen style watches until 1957, when it was ready to replace the antiquated canteen watch with a new, modern design. Navy designers came up with drawings for a large diameter dive watch heavily inspired by the new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms model, also featuring a rotating bezel and an acrylic, luminous bezel insert. The watch was much larger at 1 5/8 inches (41.3 mm) in width. But the U.S. Navy's watch was designed to be much stronger than the Fifty Fathoms - thicker and with a larger crown for easier use in the field. Featuring a hand-wind mechanical movement, rather than a more modern self-winding movement, found in both the Rolex and the Blancpain, the new submersible watch design was given the specification MIL-SHIPS-W-2181.

In conclusion, the allure of military issued watches for collectors is undeniable. There is no arguing the rugged beauty these watches project, or the utilitarian purism they represent. Exactly why collectors are prepared to pay, sometimes, unbelievable premium prices for these "tool" watches is perennial debate. Is it because great design most often stands the test of time, or is it because of the significant they played in world, and horologic history? Or could it possibly be the fact that they are some of the purest examples of function determining form with regard to industrial design? Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain, these watches were built to last and to function without failing their intended users and the mere fact that many of these watches are still functioning today, often in the hands of coveting collectors, and even sometimes still in use by their original owners, proves that they have, in fact, passed the test of time. —

At this time American military procurement practices logically favored American watch companies, so the Navy entered into a development agreement with the Bulova Watch Company to produce prototypes of the new MIL-SHIPS-W-2181 watches. After a number of years of development, testing began. However, in order to truly understand what was required, the tests were also performed using a Rolex Submariner model, an Enicar Sherpa dive watch (a now defunct Swiss brand), and a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, in order to better compare the branded watches performance with the still under development MIL-SHIPS-W-2181 watch. In the end the Bulova prototypes did not pass the USN tests, and the company lost interest in the contact. Instead, the US distributor for Blancpain watches, Allen V. Tornek, pursued the commission, and eventually arranged to have Blancpain produce a new watch to the exact specifications of the modified mil-spec design, now referred to as MIL-W-22176A, which now required features such as an automatic movement, a better hand design as well as the use of higher quality luminous material to be used on hands and dial. The resulting watch, issued to the US Navy divers, and Force Recon Marine units, in numbers totaling approximately 1000 units, was now known as the TR900 Tornek Rayville (referring to Mr. Tornek, and the corporate owners of the Blancpain brand, Rayville SA). Today the TR900 has become one of the most important, coveted and valuable military issued watches of all time.

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


City Reports by Luis Mendo — March 2011 — &


Between here and there

"If you make it here, you can make it anywhere." Judging from what they tell me, Frank must be right. Due to some schedule issues, this time I am making the report from here, and not going there, but fear not: the Tenue de Nîmes team where in NYC this January and came back with a lot of great places and photos, which, added to my personal memories from former trips, should give you a decent view of the Big Apple. Enjoy while you are there. Or here. Oh, well… everywhere.

From Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Ave.

High Line park An old train track converted into an elevated park. A wonderful place to wander, sit down and relax.

3 400 Bleecker Street

the Bookmarc store Marc Jacobs has a bookstore, and they carry a good selection of art books, along with a wide merchandised stationary line. I love the bags, mimicking the classic The Catcher in the Rye Penguin cover.

2 29th Broadway

The ACE hotel With a lovely Stumptown coffee shop in the ground floor, the Ace Hotel is based in the landmarked Gilsey House, which is a former grand hotel (1872-1911), the first to offer telephone service to guests. It was noted for its bar made of silver dollars, and was a favorite of Diamond Jim Brady and Oscar Wilde. It's still a beautiful sight to see.

another Luis Mendo ×


118 Orchard Street

sol moscot Having made and sold spectacles for more than 100 years, these folks know what you should use to better see the world around you.


235 West Broadway

90 Orchard Street

J.Crew LIQUOR STORE In an old Tribeca tavern dating from 1825 the fine people of J.Crew have built this great store, keeping the spirit of the old bar intact.


Earnest Sewn A small shop at the corner of Orchard and Broome street with an emphasis on their denim line. On one of the corners you will find Denise Porcaro, AKA The Flower Girl, a New Yorker who makes the best flower bouquets and arrangements for all your blooming needs.



2 Bond Street

C'H'C'M' With a minimalist, almost stark approach, this shop lets the items speak for themselves. Imported brands from all over the world, difficult to find elsewhere in the US, fill the shop floor. The items, when taken individually, vary dramatically on an aesthetic level. However, when paired together, they feel unified.

226 Elizabeth Street

Unis Made for the contemporary downtown man, UNIS clothing evokes classic American sportswear. Their Nolita store is clean and minimal, and was not long ago re-decorated.


20 15 Prince Street

The Quality Mending Co. This vintage store is owned by an Irishman, Oliver, who came to New York 22 years ago on holidays and never left. Working in a Sushi Shop, Oliver was serving a Japanese guy who showed interest in his Levi's jeans of which he ended up buying right off him for $250. Since then he's sourcing his product from Carolina, Florida, Jersey, Seattle and Brooklyn.

6 351 West Broadway (between Broome and Grand St)

What goes around comes around A very interesting mix between high-end women's and men's vintage and contemporary brands. There's something for everyone on their shelves.

And some more off the walk


Next to the proposed walk in the above lines, there are a couple of places you definitely should check out, if you get the chance.

80 Spring 9 BALTHAZAR Looking for a place in Soho to have breakfast or lunch? Always full, expect to have difficulties getting a red banquette, but the service is impeccable.

The Diner

85 Broadway (Berry Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn;

Exactly as a diner should be: with a familiar atmosphere and paper tablecloths. Diner is shaggy, improvisatory and cheeky. This is America, but it's also Brooklyn at its best.



14 99 Prince Street

J.Crew men's sHOP J.Crew has eight Manhattan locations, all filled with stylish, comfortable fashion. Behind the beautifully curated window of this one, expect to find a selection of carefully chosen Americana: Stephen Shore photo books, Esquire magazines from the 70s but vintage locks as well! They even have a small, but interesting, suit section tucked away in one of the corners too.

Barber&shop 8 Rivington Street Restaurant 191 Chrystie St




114 Kenmare (between Kenmare & Lafayette)



10 11


13 20

12 18

56 Greene Street

jack spade Imagine the secret room of a culture and adventure lover and that's only a little of what you will find in this store. Trophy cases line the walls displaying a collage of images. At the center, a beat-up sofa, an oriental rug held together by duct tape and a homemade military-style table with a vintage globe. Everything in the store is for sale, except the artwork on the walls.

14 16

To the 5 Boroughs The Beastie Boys

La esquina Go to La Esquina to get real Mexican food and drinks. They feature 3 different spaces in the same location: Get lunch to go at the Taquería (8.00 to 14.00). Full lunch, brunch, and dinner menu can be enjoyed in the Café, and the Brasserie & bar serves dinner menu in the basement, with bar 16 and cocktail lounge, where you can enjoy 35 Wooster Street different tequilas and cocktails. The drawing center This SoHo museum is the only nonprofit exhibition space in the United States to focus exclusively on the exhibition of drawings. As a drawing lover as myself, this is of course a must see. I have heard Quentin Blake is trying to set up another institution like this in the UK.



Artist Matteo Pericoli draws Tom Wolfe, Tony Kushner, Nora Ephron, Stephen Colbert, Richard Meier, Oliver Sacks, Mario Batali, David Byrne, and others' views.

FREEMANS These guys seem to have everything: First you can get a haircut, then a fresh new outfit from head to toe and close it off with a nice dinner. Treat yourself to some Freemans. 13


4 92 Thompson Street (between Prince and Spring streets)

Silver Lining Opticians This shop opened in 2007 by a spectacles collector and lover. They stock new and vintage eyeglass and sunglass frames from hard-to-find brands like Kame Man Nen from Japan, Lafont from Paris or Oliver Goldsmith from London. Expect to find exceptional glasses like leather-wrapped Ray Bans, old authentic vintage tortoise-shell frames (now illegal), or the same sunglasses worn by Elvis.


35 Wooster Street


rubirosa Little Italy being a big tourist trap, this place is an exception. Part pizza parlor, part fine dining. Very good.

11 31 Prince Street Double RL in nolita The racks of this member of the Ralph Lauren family are stuffed with vintage flannel shirts, skillfully wrinkled blouses and cowboy boots. The Marlboro man would be a regular.

Smith & Butler

225 Smith Street, Brooklyn

Not a book but The Boys have always represented the spirit of the city for me and this CD couldn't be left out here. This album is a homage to their hometown and breathes love.

New York Line by line From Broadway to the Battery Get yourself this coffee table book and see the city through the eyes of this great artist: Robinson.

New York, Life in the big city by Will Eisner

Eisner (creator of The Spirit) was an impressed observer of everything going on in his city, but the stories he tells in this book give life to those sights. Indispensable.

City secrets New York


235 Mulberry Street between Spring & Prince

Because most of you have already seen all films and TV shows located in the city, I decided to do a selection of my favorite NY books:

The City Out My Window — 63 Views on New York


tenue de Nîmes city report

Reading NY

In the words of GQ magazine: "Probably the only store in Brooklyn you can walk out of with a handmade Billykirk belt, a locally-crafted Hill-Side tie, and a vintage Moto Guzzi motorcycle (...) a store founded for James Dean kind of guy." What else can we say?

10ft. Single 285 N 6th St Brooklyn, NY 11211

A huge place. You can get lost and burn hours in this store finding treasures, and there are loads of those to be found. They stock a well curated selection of flannels, vintage military and workwear.

KIOSk Sweets from Iceland, Christmas lights, Japanese can openers, a Klosterfrau nerve and body tonic from Germany... It used to be just a webstore selling stuff from all over the world, and now they have a store in NY.

THE reason why I started doing the Reports was reading of this book. Told by New Yorkers, where to go, what to do. The best guide you will ever find.

I lego NY Christoph Niemann

Designer and illustrator Christoph Niemann, a regular in The New York Times pages, pays homage to his hometown in a minimalistic Lego kind of way. Genius.

CULTURE / Amekaji

アメカジ Amekaji

Written by Anneke Beerkens Photography by Anneke Beerkens

Editor's Note Our correspondent filed this report from Tokyo just days before the earthquake struck the islands of Japan. Thankfully she is safe in Kyoto at the time of going to print. Our thoughts remain with her and all those effected by this tragedy.


Our Japan correspondent – Anneke Beerkens – trawls the streets of Tokyo to try to understand Japan's attraction to America and all things American. Evisu, Tokyo: A fast and cheerful version of Count Basie's "Jumpin' at the Woodside" accompanies me while I go through the tiles of original vintage workers' uniforms. "What a great store, are you the owner?" "No, my boss is in the USA right now." Harajuku, Tokyo: authentic 1920s American football shoulder pads are part of the interior of a vintage clothing store. "This place is cool! Where do you get all the clothes and other objects from?" "Well, as we speak our buying team is in LA at the Rose Bowl Flea Market." Shibuya, Tokyo: Clarence Gatemouth Brown's "I was born in Louisiana" welcomes me as I enter a store. The scent of old clothes, the music, the wooden floors and Americana make me forget I am in Tokyo. In Tokyo! "It's weird huh, that it's much easier to find stores selling vintage American workwear in Japan than in the United States? It's really difficult there," a perfectly dressed boy behind the counter comments. Weird it is. What is this interest in classic American workwear about? Why the obsession with wearing worn-in vintage industrial clothing? What is the attractive power of the (old) West? Why in particularly is this all happening in Japan?

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

CULTURE / Amekaji

World War II

"We lost the war, you know." The first couple of times I heard Japanese twentysomethings saying this I was surprised. How can this relatively distant event in history – the experiences of their grandparents or even great-grandparents – still play such an important role in their daily lives? Moreover, how can this be an explanation for the attraction to American fashion? The more I heard the comment, the more I started to realize that the association of Japan's defeat by the United States and the attraction to things American may not be as strange as it first appears. Fashion, as with other "everyday things and luxury objects," played an important role in this interesting turn of America from archenemy to role model. After Japan's surrender, the devastated country was occupied by the Allied Powers, mainly the United States (1945-1952), and the modernizing project that the country had itself already initiated, took a different route than before. The occupier's agenda was on reviving the shattered Japan, but more importantly, on molding Japan into a pro-American democratic state. Public life, infrastructure, the political and educational system were to be transformed in a way that suited the American idea of civilization and modernity. After the occupation, America was no longer in charge, but to this day, the so-called security treaty allows US forces to keep military bases in Japan. No doubt these seven years of occupation and its aftermath established the general foundation for Japan's focus on America. However, the everyday life of the Japanese also became "Americanized" on a whole different level: through objects and images. American soldiers drove by in fancy cars and went to bars listening to blues, jazz and a brand new genre of music: rock & roll. Foreign couples in Western clothing walked by holding hands – something not done in Japan – and went shopping in so-called PX stores (general stores or department stores for U.S. military overseas). Japanese companies started manufacturing Western furniture and appliances, encouraged and financially supported by the American government that wanted to be sure that its military servicemen overseas could keep their American living standards and lifestyles. Slowly but surely American popular culture seeped into the lives of Japanese. Being surrounded by these images and material aspects of American culture turned out to be very effective in getting Japan's gaze turned towards the United States. Even if these things were only to be looked at from a distance. Still recovering from the mental blow of losing the war and experiencing the hardship of post-bellum times, the only thing Japanese people could do was dream of a different life, a life represented by the nearest "other" that surrounded their lives: the "American other". Particularly Japan's youth was aspiring to everything the Americans fancied and featured. The fact that Japan lost the war, which immeasurably effected the nation's collective sense of self, could not outweigh the attraction of all that American beauty and luxury: the power of images and objects. Dreaming about the American life was in a way an indication of Japan's resilience: the willingness to look towards the future and to create its own "dream," a "Japanese American dream."

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


Japan started its modernizing project in the Meiji Period (1868) when it – after being relatively isolated for about 200 years – opened its doors to "things and ideas foreign". Foreign influences and expertise in industry, technology and education were widely adopted to build a modern Japan. In terms of fashion this meant an enormous change: traditional dress was still to be seen in the streets, but "Western" clothing and hairstyles dominated the streetscape. Not without criticism. Particularly in the 1920s, young Japanese women who dressed in Western style and took on "western attitudes," so called moga's (modern girls - モダンガール), caused public consternation. People began to openly discuss topics such as modesty and the dangers of foreign influences. After 1952, when Japan became independent again, there was no way back. It started recovering from all the distresses of the post-war period and "the American life" was no longer just something to look at, but something you could actually take part in, or consume. In the sixties and seventies, Western style furniture – unusual in the typical Japanese household – televisions, big refrigerators, music and movies were available for an increasing number of Japanese. On my way to find people who could help me explaining the AmericanJapanese riddle, I happened to come across a signpost indicating: "Vintage records from USA". I went upstairs and walked into the smallest record store I have been in - and the most full. Brimming with 78, 45 and 33 r.p.m vinyl's of rock & roll, doowop, jazz and r&b, the first five minutes I couldn't do anything but gawk. I met Abe, the owner of the store, and Bo, a friend and American vinyl freak. The two, both born in the early seventies, explained to me that American culture was almost their own culture. "It was America all over the place, you can say we are America's 51st state," Abe said with a smile. "The fact that our youth nowadays is actually breathing amekaji, is something that feels quite natural to us". "American Casual," in Japanese abbreviated into amekaji (アメカジ), became the desired fashion and lifestyle. The concept of amekaji includes everything "American" from sneakers to Western boots, from dungarees to oversized t-shirts. In the sixties, amekaji more particularly referred to the "Ivy" look that was made popular in Japan by Kensuke Ishizu, designer and founder of VAN. Rin Tanaka, one of the world's most famous American vintage collectors and writer of the magnificent "My Freedamn!" series also experienced the amekaji influence during his own youth. Growing up in the seventies and eighties in Yokohama, the city with one of the biggest American naval basis, he was exposed to American fashion at a very young age and kept running with it. Still too expensive, he dreamt about having the same Levi's jeans as the Americans living in his neighborhood. While amekaji is used for everything from the land of dreams, I think Rin Tanaka would agree with me that the number one icon of amekaji is a pair of 'good ol' jeans'.


CULTURE / Amekaji

"Whether it be in food, clothing, friendships or our inner selves, most of us are looking for originality and meaning - a search for authenticity"


JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

CULTURE / Amekaji

No one-way ticket

I now understood some of the reasons for the attraction to everything American in Japan. "Don't forget about all the Americans who find it trendy to have a kanji-tattoo (Japanese – originally Chinese – character). Everything 'the other' has is cool," Abe said before I left his record store. To really get a decent understanding of what is going on in Japan, we have to acknowledge that the attraction of 'the other' is nothing new, nothing strange, nor is it anything specifically Japanese. Everywhere around the world you can see the play of 'romanticizing' what is unknown. People, no matter when or where, always exoticize 'the other'. Whether 'the other' is a barely dressed Polynesian dancer with flowers in her hair or a Sámi of North Nordic states, wrapped in layers of deer skin, we have the tendency to feel attracted to it. So what about the Americans in Japan? The area where My Freedamn! godfather Rin Tanaka grew up is famous for one of Japan's biggest souvenir hits of the past. American soldiers at the Yakasuka Naval Base were wearing satin or silk American baseball jackets, so Japanese people in the area started to manufacture these jackets to earn a living. They experimented with embroidering traditional oriental figures on the jackets and before long it became the most popular garment for American servicemen to bring home. The Sukajan (an abbreviation of Yakasuka Jumper - スカジャン) became widely known as 'the souvenir jacket'. As a present from a relative, or as a proof of being a'Japan Veteran,' Americans proudly showed off the embroidered dragons, eagles and tigers on their 'traditional American jackets'. Knowing all this, how cool would it be to find yourself an authentic 1950s souvenir jacket that was handmade by a Japanese lady in the shades of an American base in Japan? Looking at the rest of Asia these days, you see a similar process of Japanification. Everything Japanese is considered to be cool and trendy. Youngsters from Taiwan, Korea or China save money to go on a shopping trip to Tokyo. Japan is their dream, their future. The 'other' attracts. The nearest 'other' is the one you attach yourself to. For Korea this other is Japan, for Japan it's America.

The current day

But then, what about today's trend of vintage American clothing that seems to be particularly big in Japan? What about buying a jacket full of paint splashes, spots of rust, cracks and holes? And what about wearing your past enemy's army pants? "Imagine how many people have been wearing these pants," Bunya, a 29 years old store assistant says. "The more the better. It is so cool that original working wear now become fashionable. Because the clothes are originally designed for the army or for construction work, the style is tough and useful. It makes me feel strong wearing it." The vintage trend is big in Japan, but we see that tendency everywhere around the globe. Whether it be in food, clothing, friendships or our inner selves, most of us are looking for originality and meaning - a search for authenticity. This desire to know the provenance of the objects we surround ourselves with is a typical sign of today's overwhelming and confusing post-industrial times in which we easily get lost. Think about one of your friends who is into macrobiotic cooking, your mother who already reached the early eighteenth century in tracing back your family genealogy. Think of yourself wearing your favorite pair of Red Wing Shoes or Rin Tanaka who organizes "Inspiration", a yearly event in California where thousands of vintage fashion enthusiasts gather. All these instances are about looking for a sense of history and authenticity. Tracing back the roots of denims, chino pants and sports wear, America is important for all vintage lovers. "If we want to go back to the earliest and original everyday clothing, we eventually get back to American military and construction workerwear. That is why we love the cool army and rough jeans style nowadays." JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Bunya confirms my idea about the more global "heritage trend": "our love for American vintage is actually more about vintage than about America. We Japanese don't have our own history in fashion except for traditional kimono dress. Western clothing is relatively new here. We don't want to wear old kimono's so if we want to wear vintage, we have to go to foreign countries to buy it." Bunya is right. Coming from a completely different clothing tradition, Japan has always relied heavily on foreign influences in fashion. He explains that fashion from Europe is as welcome as everything from the United States, but Europe is simply further away and more expensive. "In California we know where to go and we can easily find what we want in a short period of time."

Japanese authenticity

What about the reason why it is so popular here, in Japan? Again, I have to start with undermining our tendency to make it "something specifically Japanese" to be obsessed with things from the outside or to imitate foreign styles. Abe tries to make clear that while my topic for this article is very interesting, I should not overestimate the "Americanization" of Japanese youth. "America has become such a part of ourselves, that it is almost Japanese, you see? On the other hand, Japanese youngsters are very much aware of their own tradition and background. Maybe even more than American kids." America never left Japan, both physically and ideologically. However, Japan always managed to retain its own cultural identity, no matter how much it got inspired by foreign ideas and values. The country does more than just absorbing and imitating its big brother. Think of the perfectly manufactured Evisu jeans that tailor Hidehiko Yamane started out of frustration of not finding the perfect pair of vintage jeans. And all the Japanese denim brands that make unique new clothes with the original American flavor of the old days – for example Big John, Edwin, Momotaro and Iron Heart. If these were nothing but imitations, they wouldn't be such big hits in the West as they are these days. The Japanese are not just simply consuming America, they appropriate things in their very own way. Yuki, one of the first amekaji boys I met on my expedition, told me with very precisely chosen words: "these old American clothes remind me of our own old days, the Japanese old days. It is of a similar kind of beauty." Curiously I continued asking about this idea of Japanese aesthetics. "In Japan we try to see beauty in things torn apart, in things asymmetrical and imperfect. An old Japanese garden is always full of moss and with Japanese calligraphy you can always see the ink going into the little nerves of the paper. It's not perfect, but that is beauty. Old indigo jeans that are faded because of sun and water and jackets with a history because of little imperfections give me the same feeling of natural beauty." The association Yuki makes with his own Japanese heritage, makes the American worn fashion beautiful in his eyes. Even more, by easily fitting the old jeans into his own aesthetic tradition, he makes the clothes Japanese. While the Japanese could only dream of things American from the fifties on, they could consume them in the sixties, seventies and eighties. Lately they are at the point of transforming it into something Japanese, no matter how American it is. The boys I met are the most perfect translations of the America of the past. Japanese in their perfection. By getting the raw material from overseas, appropriating it with adding their own specific cultural flavor, they deliver a finished material that is completely Japanese. The American dream is no longer manufactured in the United States of America. Welcome to the 21st century, welcome to Japan. —


brand FEATURES / The New Haven Math Club


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Brand FEATURES / The New Haven Math Club

The New Haven Math Club By GANT Rugger

They are in the top percentile of their class. They are the ones who did not have to use a sports scholarship to get in. They are confident enough to go with what they feel is cool, not just follow fads. Just like Einstein, they believe life is better spent not trying to figure out what to wear. They keep it simple. They took their dad's old hand-me-down shirts from his time at Yale; he picked them up at the bookstore. This is a uniform for the brotherhood of the smart and casual: tidewater length trousers, bare feet in a pair of 'Chucks' or brogues. This everlasting style is part 1950s and part 1960s. The cord sports coat that works equally well for the perfect night out. Items such as these do not require changing when day turns into night. Colors are a nod to the colder season that is yet to come. Saturated tones of red wine, hazelnuts, blueberries and cream. It all sounds good enough to eat. —

Written by Menno van Meurs Photography by Joachim Baan

Models: Bas, Bob & Kay at Name Models Styling: Anna Sokolowska at Angelique Hoorn Visagie/Grooming: Mylene Janssen at Angelique Hoorn Location: Teylers Museum Haarlem

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


brand FEATURES / The New Haven Math Club


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Brand FEATURES / The New Haven Math Club

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


brand FEATURES / The New Haven Math Club


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Brand FEATURES / The New Haven Math Club

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


Interview / 10 Questions

10 Questions to Topsy Design

As true vintage aficionados, whenever we visit a city, we cannot resist researching the vintage shopping possibilities before we leave. When Joachim was in Los Angeles last summer, the vintage offering literally dazzled him. Visiting the Rosebowl Flea Market was the straw that broke the camel's back. He called me on the phone that day telling me he bought nothing - but I mean really not one thing. When I asked him why, he explained it was just too much. The minute he set foot on the hallowed vintage sourcing ground he was so overwhelmed by the enormous amount of vintage gorgeousness that he experienced "Collectors Block".

Written by Menno van Meurs Photography by Joachim Baan

Luckily for us he met stylists Jared Frank and Samantha Jacober from Topsy Design who were able to demonstrate what it is all about. Based in LA the couple owns a beautifully curated online vintage store. In addition, the duo also specializes in interior decoration, production design and did we mention that they are experts in photography and video as well? Reason enough for us to ask them to answer our "10 questions" for this North American issue of the Journal de Nîmes. Could you introduce yourself and tell us something about your backgrounds? My fiancée, Sam Jacober and I moved to Los Angeles two years ago and started Topsy Design, as a multidisciplinary creative company. As Topsy we prop and wardrobe style fashion shoots, production design and costume films and music videos, and interior decorate residences. We also have an online lifestyle store, Topsy Vintage. On top of all that, Sam is an actress and has two features set to come out next year. I am also a director, currently in preproduction on a short film. The idea is that instead of having a day job and a creative job, we just decided to have seven creative jobs. It means a lot more work, but we don't do anything we don't believe in. How did you two meet? Was it love, or vintage, at first? At first it wasn't love or vintage, just fun. Even though we're homebodies now, we were New York party kids seven years ago. Sam was dating a friend of mine and we all used to go out drinking together. When my friend left town, Sam and I kept hanging out. We were sophomores in college, so our personal style wasn't nearly as developed. I think Sam was wearing something sparkly and I probably had on something equally silly. However, we were both really


good dancers. I think that's how I got her to notice me - on the dance floor. The vintage really started once we moved in together. In New York rents are expensive, so even though we'd only dated a short time, we jumped the gun and Sam moved into my place. That's when the vintage shopping really began. Since we were broke, vintage made the most sense. I'd search Craigslist and we'd load up my parents car during trips to Sam's home in Pennsylvania. At the time, metrosexuality was really big in New York and in general everything was getting slick and cleaned up. Our personal style started as a reaction against that. We began looking for authentic, simple, useful things. Your activities as Topsy Design are very diverse. What is it that you do and how is vintage intertwined in all of that? Vintage is the inspiration for all of our design work. I hate it when sets or households look like they were designed that day for the shoot. I want my work to look lived in and to have a history. That fourth dimension is what separates our work from most of our peers. We are interior decorating a house right now, and the most important thing to us is that the owner can claim what we've done as his own. I want it to look like he collected his furniture over a lifetime. With our creative styling the same thing goes. I want people to really believe in the world they see before them and using old things is the best way to do that. Also, we really feel that a lot has been lost due to globalization and industrialization. The quality and honesty of vintage can't be matched. You moved from Brooklyn to L.A. What made you decide to leave New York and head West? We really didn't think it through. Sam's manager said move to LA and we did. In retrospect, there were a lot of things we should have considered first, but throughout our relationship Samantha and I have jumped first and looked later. Should Los Angeles be considered the vintage capital of North America? Los Angeles is a much less stylish city than New York. Now for a buyer that can be a good thing. New York and anywhere easily accessible to it is a dead zone for deals. Someone has always gotten there first. We used to find tons of things in Eastern Pennsylvania and now it's even hard to find things around there. Due to the Rose Bowl, Long Beach Flea, and PCC, Los Angeles has the best flea markets of any major city that I've been to. This makes it a wonderful JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Interview / 10 Questions

place to be a buyer. I wouldn't necessarily call it the vintage capital though because even though it's a great place to buy it's a bad place to sell. Most of our sales are to the East Coast or international. When we do sell on the West Coast it's generally to people in the Pacific Northwest. Because LA has a sunny climate and a relaxed atmosphere it's hard to sell people on winter wear or formal attire. Also, LA isn't a city that cares too much about clothes. LA is a company town and the way to impress is to make movies. In New York no one cares what you do that much. There are many different industries and the way you set yourself apart at night is by dressing well. In LA, people care about the movie you're working on, not the clothes you wear. Do you source all your relics nationally, or do you go abroad too? Our style is very American and we generally source most things here. The biggest obstacle is cost, both for our and the object's transportation. If we ever expanded the store, shopping abroad could make sense but at this time we don't have the storage space or the shipping budget to support it. We at Tenue de Nîmes have a passion for denim. How would you describe your relation to this (vintage) American cloth? I'm wearing jeans right now, but I leave denim to the experts. The strength of Topsy is that we're not really experts at anything and don't obsess too much about any one thing. Experts can justify liking or paying a lot for the strangest things because they are rare, or original, or important. By staying broadly educated amateurs, we never learn enough to con ourselves into attaching too much importance into any one thing. What is your favorite retail stop in Los Angeles? My favorite retail stop (this month) is Obsolete in Venice. I can't afford anything but I love looking. Ray, the owner, does a great job of combining worn simple antiques, oddball collectibles, and new art. The interior is constantly changing and every time I walk in there it's a magical experience.

those things, we always find something too good too pass up. It's the items that you don't go looking for, but which find you, that generally really end up making a project. Also, if you keep your eyes open flea markets and antique shops are windows into the past. By trying to understand each thing we see, we learn about the history of design. Can you describe a day in the life of Topsy Design? Every day is different but they all start with tea. The other constant is a computer. At least a couple hours (if not the whole day) is spent in front of it. To take a break we like to hike. LA is a great city for hiking. On Sundays we shop. Otherwise it all depends on the project we're working on and where we are at with it. A few times a week Sam goes on an audition and I try to write a little bit everyday. If you would pick any other city in the world as your next destination, where would you go? For Sam, the answer wouldn't be a city. She is incredibly inspired by and connected to nature. If we ever moved, she'd want to move to the country (any country's). We have a dream of buying an old summer camp, decorating all the bunks and turning them into different cottages that we could sell or rent. The idea is that while we worked, we'd also get to spend a couple years in the country. For me the most important thing is work. I have dreams of moving to a country that actually supports the arts or one where the commercial work isn't so crass. I look at all the great stuff coming from a place like Sweden and I wonder what it would be like to move there. In the end, until someone calls up with a job offer, we're gonna stay right here. I'm sure sooner or later, a country, or perhaps the country, will come calling. —

When you search for vintage pieces do you follow a certain structure? Or do you find treasures at random? We generally have a couple projects we're working on. So before we go searching we'll think about upcoming shoots or the house we're decorating. Sometimes we'll make a list of items we want. But while we're searching for JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


Timeline / Marquis Mills Converse

Marquis Mills Converse Written by Menno van Meurs Photography by Converse

At the turn of the 20th century, Marquis Mills Converse was in his late thirties. He was a well respected manager at a footwear manufacturing company where he had been learning the trade since he was twenty one years old. Marquis was one of the first to see how sports captivated the imagination of young men and women and made them eager to make their mark on the world. He foresaw that sports were the metaphor for the American Dream. Sports allowed any individual, regardless of his or her social status, the chance to realize their potential and become a star. All that was required was athletic ability, a skillful mind and the right equipment of course.

This page: Malden Warehouse Opposit page: 1917 Allstar





In 1908 Marquis founded the Converse Rubber Shoe Company to supply the day's sporting shoes.

Only a year later (in 1918) Marquis made his next big move by recruiting a young basketball player, salesman and the game's first ever player endorser, Chuck Taylor.

Two year later the Harlem Renaissance was founded. Sometimes known as New York Rens, they barnstormed around the country until 1949, compiling a win-loss record of 2318-381, reshaping basketball into something closer to the fast-paced game we know today, and winning the first World's Championship in 1939. They wore Converse.

In the 1930's Chuck Taylor's signature is added to the All Star ankle patch, marking what has been referred to as the first-ever basketball shoes. Chuck himself begins his 35-year tour across the country.

His vision took a quantum leap in 1917 when he introduced the first performance basketball shoes, the All Star.


Charles 'Chuck' Taylor joins Converse with some ideas for All Star improvement in 1921. In that year the Converse Basketball Yearbook was developed and Taylor would teach basketball at North Carolina State.

1939 - The first NCAA championship game held with both teams playing in Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers.

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Timeline / Marquis Mills Converse






During World War II Converse shifts production to support the war effort, designing the A6 Flying Boot - worn by the entire U.S. Army Air Corp. Chuck Taylor sneakers were worn for basic training.

The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merge to form the NBA. In 1949 virtually every player is wearing All Star Sneakers.

In 1962 Converse develops a low cut version of the All Star sneaker, the 'Oxford'. The shoe soon became the choice of both pro players and those who were looking for a laid back, West Coast vibe.

In 1969 Chuck Taylor entered basketball's Naismith Hall of Fame. With his ambassadorship of the sport in high regard Taylor earned nicknames like 'Mr. Basketball' and 'The Ambassador of Basketball'.

Throughout the 20th century Chuck Taylor All Star shoes, popularly known as 'Chucks', have transcended generational, cultural and social-economic boundaries. It has evolved beyond performance into a typical American youth symbol. Today, 'Chucks' have resonated across generations and are embedded in society. After nearly a century the soul of Chuck Taylor lives on in the Natural Indigo All Stars by Tenue de Nîmes. This limited edition will be a testament to the unofficial marriage between the iconic shoe and denim. More info will follow shortly. —

1966 is the year in which the All Star shoe becomes available in 7 colors in addition to the traditional black and white colors.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURES / B.A.E. III Expedition

B.A.E. III Expedition Written by Menno van Meurs Photography by Woolrich This Fall Woolrich John Rich & Bros. will release a special collection based on garments from the early 20th century. The collection, by the name of BAE III, is inspired by the US Naval Antarctic Expedition from 1939-1941. The expedition was led by Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, an officer in the Navy and arctic explorer, famed for making the first flight to the North Pole. The expedition of 1939 was the first to be sponsored by the US government. Woolrich Woolen Mills was chosen as the official supplier of woolen items for the trip. The supply included blankets, shirts, pants and coats. Made up of 14 special styles, this B.A.E. III collection Woolrich is a tribute to the expedition. All the garments directly refer to the equipment of the brave men who had signed on for the journey. The designs and details are taken directly from the old patterns and archival images from the B.A.E. III. All the clothing worn during the expedition has been a source of inspiration for this limited collection that will be released in July 2011. However, the collection may not been seen as a reproduction. The collection consists of the iconic garments put in a contemporary context with the classic details and functionality held in high regard. Historical Fabric One of the key fabrics in this collection is the reproduction of the 'Byrd Cloth'. This 100% cotton fabric which was developed in the 1930's is a type of 'American Ventile' which means that it is naturally water repellent and windproof due to the yarn and weaving. This exclusive Naval expedition line will be available during Fall / Winter 2011 at Tenue de Nîmes and Red Wing Shoes in Amsterdam.

Inspired by Admiral Byrd's flight jacket, this version is designed in Italian leather with a removable shearling collar and a removable padded melton lining. The result is a 3 season flight jacket that will last another century. Reproductions of the original Talon zippers are used throughout.

Inspired by the original cottonfaced cold weather garments worn by Admiral Byrd and his team, the shell fabric of the Anorak is made from Byrd Cloth which is naturally wind proof and water resistant. The Anorak has a side zip opening and is filled with the highest quality goose down for maximum warmth and lightness. The Hood is lined with a wool-cashmere mix bearing the insignia of the B.A.E. III collection and trimmed with coyote fur. Reproductions of the original Talon zippers used throughout.




JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURES / B.A.E. III Expedition

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURE / Milan Vermeulen

World Beard and Moustache Championships Dutch photographer Milan Vermeulen traveled all the way up to Anchorage, Alaska to document the World Beard and Moustache Championships on May 23, 2009. In this North American Issue we share a preview of his work. Tenue de Nîmes' Art Director Joachim Baan will release a book with Vermeulen later this year. The oversized publication will consist of black and white images of the championships and all the hilarities that surrounded it.

by Milan Vermeulen


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURE / Milan Vermeulen

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURE / Milan Vermeulen


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURE / Milan Vermeulen

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURE / Milan Vermeulen


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURE / Milan Vermeulen

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


FEATURE / Milan Vermeulen


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

FEATURE / Milan Vermeulen

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


food & drink / Hiyoko's Food Journal

the flower

granny smith

as american as apple pie


the tree

the seeds

the origin of apple

tarte tartin

the big apple

apple rabbit

bean's apple cider

sembikiya apple

ceuillete aux pommes à la cannelle

apple chicken sandwich

apple crumble

fuji apple

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

food & drink / Hiyoko's Food Journal

Food on Paper


THE SEEDS The center of the apple contains five carpels arranged in a five-point star, each carpel containing one to three seeds. Seeds can be grown into an apple tree only through a laborious process. Seeds themselves are mildly poisonous to humans and can be used to deter birds. Fun fact » The apple seeds are one of Michel Bras' (*** Michelin chef) favorite foods. THE FLOWER The apple flower begins to blossom in spring, from budding flowers. The flowers are adorably colored: white at the bottom fading into light pink towards the top. THE TREE It takes 6 - 7 years for traditional apple trees to produce edible fruits once a year. Apple trees love lots of sun and so har-vesting begins after summer, early fall. Legend » Issac Newton's "Universal Law of Gravitation" occured to him under an apple tree.

THE ORIGIN OF THE APPLE The wild apple, Malus Sieversii, originates from Kazakhstan. In 1833 Carl Friedrich von Ledebour, a German naturalist, was the first to document them while traveling through the Altai Mountains. GRANNY SMITH Granny Smith was named after Maria Ann Smith, in Australia, 1868 as she seeded this species by chance. Granny Smith is perfect for cooking as they hold their color better than other apples, as well as their texture. FUJI APPLE My favorite apple. Abundant sweetness and crispy texture. Fuji Apple comes from Fujisaki, Aomoti prefecture, Japan where it was developed in 1939. It is a cross between two American Apples: Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Genet. TARTE TATIN In 1898 the Tarte Tatin was accidentally created by Stéphanie Tatin. This French tart was born when she overcooked the apples in butter and sugar and then quickly turned it upside-down to rescue the pie. Her guests love it and became her signature dish. Definitely a happy accident.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

THE BIG APPLE "Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat. - I love this. - New York was his town, and it always would be ..." - Isaac Davis / Woody Allen, opening line from Manhattan. AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE This is a common saying in the United States, meaning "Typically American". American apple pie recipes date back from the 18th century and it has been a longlasting popular dessert in the United States. APPLE RABBIT Sliced apple, with the peel cut-in and put up as rabbit ears. In Japan you'll find this often in kids' bento box. Fun with fruits, ideal for picky eaters. BEAN'S APPLE CIDER I would love to taste before I die. "It burns in your throat, boils in your stomach, and tastes almost exactly like pure melted gold." - Mr. Fox from Fantastic Mr. Fox.

SEMBIKIYA APPLE Top quality fruits are much appreciated gifts in Japanese culture. Sembikiya is THE store to go to. A Sun Fuji Apple could cost over 1,000 yen (± 9 euro) per piece. feuillete aux pommes à la cannelle The most delicate Apple Danish to be found in Tokyo, at L'atelier de Joel Robuchon. Thinly sliced apples are placed beautifully in red, and green alternately. Equally precious as delicious afternoon snack.

Written by Hiyoko Imai Illustration by Hiyoko Imai

Editor's Note Our contributor filed this arrticle from Tokyo just days before the earthquake struck the islands of Japan. Thankfully she has made it back safe to Amsterdam shortly after the disaster. Our thoughts remain with her family and friends in Japan and all those effected by this tragedy.

APPLE CHICKEN SANDWICH An easy to make, light & tasty sandwich. A Granny Smith is the perfect apple for this. Key ingredients » Steamed chicken breast, Granny Smith, celery, parsley, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and yoghurt. APPLE CRUMBLE The mixed textures and the sour& sweetness of different kind of apples make a yummy apple crumble. Do not forget - eat with good quality vanilla ice cream! Key ingredients » Three kind of apples, some pear, cinnamon, white raisins and home-made crumble. —


Comic / Crazy Canadian Denimheads


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Food & Drink / Queen of Tarts

Banana Butterscotch Layer Cake Julie Wintrip runs Amsterdam bakers "Queen of Tarts" who supply Tenue de Nîmes with delicious baked treats. For this issue Julie has unearthed this wonderful American classic for your pleasure.

Ingredients For the icing/filling: 150g caster sugar 65ml cold water 250ml cream 170g cream cheese at room temperature 1 or 2 bananas 50g pecan nuts For the cake layers (to make 2 layers): 225g unsalted butter, very soft 125g light brown sugar 100g white sugar 4 large egss 225g self raising flour 2-4 large spoonfuls of cream 2 x 20cm baking tins, greased and lined with baking paper

Written by Julie Wintrip Photography by Joachim Baan Preheat the oven to 190°C and begin making the icing. It's better to do this first since you need to make the caramel and then let it cool. Over a low heat dissolve the sugar in the cold water, remembering not to stir at all as it will crystallize if you do. When it seems dissolved, turn up the heat and boil until it turns a dark golden colour. This will probably take 10-15 mins. Don't worry if it burns - that's fine - but don't let it get too dark in colour. When you've reached this stage, take the pan off the heat and slowly whisk in half the cream (125ml). Leave it to cool and then put it in the fridge until you need it. Don't lick the boiling hot caramel spoon or you'll burn your tongue, don't even put your finger on it to taste a bit! Caramel is VERY hot (I write from experience!). The easiest way to make the cakes is to put everything in a mixer and blend. To make the mixture by hand first cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour between each egg.

ready when a cake tester or skewer comes out clean, and the tops are golden. Leave in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out and leave on the rack until completely cooled. Now begin assembling your cake. Pour the thoroughly cooled caramel into a measuring jug to come up to the 50ml mark. Beat the cream cheese until softened and smooth, then add the caramel and beat gently to combine. Adding less cream cheese will make it runnier. In a separate bowl whisk the remaining 125ml cream to soft peaks, and slice the banana. Put one cake on a plate or cake stand. Using a rubber spatula or ordinary knife spread half the cream and then half the caramel icing over the top of the waiting cake, and add a few slices of banana. Place the other cake on top. Do the same again with the cream and icing, adding some pecans to the top too. Roughly drizzle the remaining dark caramel over the top with a teaspoon. Put the kettle on, sit back and enjoy! —

Stir in the cream at the end. The mixture should be slightly liquid but not runny. Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for about 25 minutes. They are

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


Regular inspirations / LA Shopping

Los Angeles Shopping Written by Menno van Meurs Photography: Double RL on Melrose by Ralph Lauren Mister Freedom by Joachim Baan Rising Sun & Co. by Joachim Baan

Double RL on Melrose Ralph Lauren's Double RL flagship store felt like the perfect location to apply for bankruptcy. Literally every item within the walls of this iconic retail space was worth a try. The store features a broad selection of timeless Double RL products such as selvage denims, washed chinos, oxford and chambray shirts, jersey knits and basic T-shirts. In addition the store carries seasonal style-stories that make you step into the world of Bonnie & Clyde, 1930's Mid-West farmers or 19th Century nautical expeditions. The store shows Double RL is not about fashion, instead the line is a modern tribute to Vintage style.


JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Regular inspirations / LA Shopping

Mister Freedom Before we met with Christoph Loiron, we had been warned that the Mister Freedom store in Los Angeles would take a week to unravel. The store is a dazzling, curated mix of vintage, Mister Freedom products and a combination of the two. Somehow the mix felt totally natural. The immense garage space in which Loiron is based becomes more and more intense the further you venture into it. The space is raw enough to easily serve as the a Hells Angels headquarters. This is the kind of store that can only exist in either Japan or the States. As we walked through the space, we couldn't help but think that the space possesses an atmosphere that would be worth a movie. Thankfully it's in Hollywood.

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011


Regular inspirations / LA Shopping

Rising Sun & Co. In between our experiences at Mister Freedom and Double RL, we had the good fortune to visit the Rising Sun store. The store has large façade with wonderfully characteristic windows. The store's interior is entirely based on what an early 1900s shopping experience would have been like. Everything within the walls of the store has been personally created by owner, Mike Hodis. As he explains: "Reason takes you only to a certain point, out there passion will take over". All the goods within the shop reveal that passion. Whether it is the custom price tags, the fine selection of Buddy Lee dolls or the impressive selection of sewing machines that would be any tailors wet dream - Rising Sun is a true Mecca of denim and well crafted garments. —


JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

General inspirations / Essentials

Photography by Nick Clements


according to Rin Tanaka Mr. Rin Tanaka, vintage collector, publisher of My Freedamn! books and Editorial photographer

Denim I used to wear vintage Levi's XX or 517 (Boot Cut), but they are worn out. I would like to buy them again, but they are very expensive nowadays. So I am mostly wearing new jeans (the best fits for me are 'made in Japan' Jeans like Flat Head's Bellbottoms types) Also I like new Levi's, RRL etc. I wear Jeans everyday. I'm a very heavy user, so I can't mind if they are vintage or not nowadays. T-shirt I also wear T-shirts everyday. As a rock music lover, I am selecting concert t-shirts I bought at the event! I probably have over 300 (new and vintage) t-shirts in my closets, because I am living in sunny Southern California.

Footwear When I stay in California, I wear Rainbow (beach) Sandals, located near my office. Also I have been wearing Vans shoes at my photoshoots. When I fly out, I wear Italian dress shoes. Italian leather shoes are very sexy! Socks I love 50s style designs - like argyle designs but 'naked' is better in my regular beach life. Watch My favorite is [my] 1972 Rolex Submariner which my wife gifted to me when we got married in 1997. Also the 1968 Omega Seamaster.

Shirt When I go back to Japan, I often wear dress shirts at business meetings. My favorites are blue-striped ones, especially custom-made ones which fit perfectly to me!

Perfume I am not a big fan of perfumes, but I often buy them at duty free shops when I travel out to international. Ralph Lauren's 'Safari' and BVLGARI are my favorites.

Sweater I have many too, especially I love cashmere ones, because they are light weight, but warm.

Travel bag Rimowa is the best, because very light, but cool!

Jacket Mostly leather jackets by Langlitz Leathers and Robert Warner. Suit I love British designs in 'Mod' styles; I have some bespoke suits made in Tokyo if I have a budget of over $2000.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Stationery I love to stop by Itoya in Ginza (Tokyo, Japan). Probably they are best stationery store in the world, but European ones have very lovely things, especially made in France! I don't like Staples. —


music / 32 Years of Bad Religion

Written by Hugo Verweij Photography by Pablo Delfos

Teenage Memories

Hardcore or Hollywood?

More than anything, listening to music can bring me back to a moment or a situation from the past. I used to live a fair distance from my high school, and oftentimes I cycled two hours a day, to and from school. Hearing my favorite artists, combined with the calming green of the forest I had to cross, was one of the things that made these daily trips pleasant. Guitar riffs pouring into my ears while the cold morning air bit my cheeks. The rattling of the drums seemed to synchronize with the trees flashing by. I could almost measure my pace, while linking phrases of the songs to the locations I passed.

You could say that whatever the trend, a band like Bad Religion keeps punk rock alive over the years. But how did it all start?

At the time I had a different relationship with my music collection than I have nowadays. While I can now choose from an unlimited amount of albums on Spotify, back then I used to own my music. I spent a lot of hard earned cash on those plastic discs, and listened to them over and over again. I read the included booklets cover to cover, including all the credits, even though I did not know a single one of the names. It was a bit later in my metal-infused teenage years that a friend pointed out Bad Religion to me. I never really liked punk rock, I found it too simplistic, too happy even. But something struck me about the sound of this band, and listening to the compilation All Ages I immediately had a pretty good overview of their work up until then. So now, whenever I play the songs of their albums from the late 90's, my mind projects the world I saw back then, including myself wearing a patched army jacket, pedaling away, my long hair in the wind, singing along to the songs on my Sony Disc-man.

During the so-called 'second wave of punk' in the late 1970's California became a hotspot for punk music, with bands like The Avengers, The Dils and Negative Trend. The music was simple: bare musical structures, but loud and energetic, with lyrics criticizing politics and a general anti-establishment sentiment. Any kid who could afford a guitar and was willing to learn a few chords could start a punk band. As we can conclude, if we listen to some of the recordings made during that time - like Germicide by The Germs, this sometimes resulted in horrible music, whereby the singer seemed blissfully unaware of what the rest of the band was doing. In the documentary 'The Decline of Western Civilization' that focuses on the Los Angeles punk scene around 1980, The Germs' manager Nicole Panter tells us the band didn't know how to play their instruments in the beginning: "They did things to kind of camouflage that, Darby (Crash, the singer) would smear peanut butter all over him, he dived through broken glass, he'd break glasses on his head...". So, well, there was some room for improvement. The hardcore punks in Southern California were anti-intellectual, violent, and their music was raw and basic. The punks from the city of Los Angeles sometimes referred to as Hollywood punks - were more fashion conscious, and did not like the aggression and simplicity of hardcore punk. Reason enough for a rivalry between these two groups. It was hardcore which dominated the LA punk scene from that moment, however, and hardcore bands like Henry Rollins' Black Flag later influenced metal bands like Slayer and Metallica. Over the years the sound evolved and punk saw a big revival during the 1990's, with bands like The Offspring, Green Day and Blink 182. Still Californian punk rock, but far removed from the out-of-control aggressiveness of the hardcore style that gained The Germs their notoriety.


JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

music / 32 Years of Bad Religion

Bad Religion

A Punk Rock Professor

So what has Bad Religion been doing all those years? As it turns out, they've continued producing and releasing albums, staying true to their original style and, interestingly, getting a PhD (well, at least their frontman Greg Graffin did). Influenced by punk acts like The Ramones, Black Flag and The Sex Pistols, the band was founded in 1979 by Graffin (vocals), Brett Gurewitz (guitars who would later found independent punk label Epitaph), Jay Bentley (bass) and Jay Ziskrout (drums). Yes, the band is still going strong, after 32 years and counting – a remarkable achievement for any band, anywhere. Over the course of these 3 decades, band members have come and gone, but their current line-up consists of all the original members except for Jay Ziskrout. Apart from pure punk rock Bad Religion were also influenced by the more melodic side of pop music. During their early years things didn't go all that smoothly. Their full length debut album How Could Hell Be Any Worse? saw the light of day in 1982, but the progressive-rock-influenced Into The Unknown (1983, now a collectors item), was largely ignored by their punk fans. In the meantime, Gurewitz had to check into rehab for his drug problem, and the band split up temporarily.

Now what is it that sets Bad Religion apart from other punk bands for me? In part it's the harmonies of the vocals, soothing the listener's ears. Unlike many other punk rock singers, Greg Graffin knows how to carry a tune, and his voice creates a good contrast with the sound of electric guitars. Another thing that stands out is their use of language. Graffin has a lot to say, and his vocabulary is sophisticated. And when he translates his thoughts into words on paper, he knows how to fit those lyrics to the structure of a song like a craftsman. Politics and the state of the world are a major influence and inspire him to keep making music and spread his message. The album The Empire Strikes First for instance, was written with the explicit idea in mind "to get Bush out of office".

It took them a few years, but the band returned to their punk roots and made a smashing comeback with their third album Suffer in 1988, which to this day is often cited as being the most influential punk album of all times. From that moment on their popularity and album sales grew. To this day they have released fifteen studio albums, most of them on Gurewitz' Epitaph Records. Bad Religion has been an influence for many younger bands like NOFX, The Offspring and Rise Against.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

Greg Graffin is not only spreading his words when he is on stage with Bad Religion. He is also a lecturer in life science and palaeontology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and he has a doctorate in zoology from Cornell University. Last year he published a book: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God. So you could say, he knows how to stay inspired. Although the Bad Religion logo - the so called 'cross buster', a cross with a red stripe over it - and the title of his book might suggest he is an atheist Graffin does not consider himself as such. He does not want to be part of a social movement that defines itself by what it does not believe in. He likes to call himself a naturalist: a person who observes, looking for evidence. The bi-annual release of a new Bad Religion album was a stable factor during my late teenage years. And while my musical interests drifted from strong metal towards somewhat more sophisticated sounds, I kept coming back to them every two years. Luckily their style didn't change a lot. It may be the only band whose new album I wanted to sound like the previous one. Last September they released their newest album The Dissent of Man. —


CULTURE / Books, Movies & Music

The Classics written by olivier van der Hagen & marc Tumson



A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway Originally published in 1964, three years after he took his own life, this book was the first of Hemingways's to come out posthumously, and beautifully and gracefully describes his time in Paris in the 1920s. It documents his apprenticeship there, amongst a circle of fellow American expatriate writers, in an honest and poignant way that evokes feelings of nostalgia and manages to completely draw the reader into his world of uncomplicated happiness and romance as an American émigré in Europe. To Kill a Mockingbird Haper Lee This book caused quite a stir when it was published in 1960, when racial tensions were high, as it focuses on the story of a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman. The words and phrasing of the book belie the serious subject: it has a gentleness to it, and even a certain humour, that make this such an incredible read, which was underlined by its instant success, winning a Pullitzer Prize. Over the years, the book came to be considered a classic of American literature. Bizarrely this remains Harper Lee's sole published novel. The Fountainhead Ayn Rand Ayn Rand could high five J.K. Rowling for sheer persistance, as both were initially rejected by over a dozen publishers. That just goes to show you what perseverance can do. And that very concept is also one of the major themes of this book. Eventually, The Fountainhead was published in 1943. It describes the lives and careers of a young, ambitious architect, his professional rival, a prominent architecture critic and the publisher of a tabloid newspaper. It is a compelling story of a man with strong convictions, battling and overcoming odds no matter what the cost. A must read. On the Road Jack Kerouac A prominent figure of the Beat generation, Kerouac used autobiographical stories and anecdotes to create a wildly inspiring, authentic and heartfelt story about his numerous roadtrips across North America. Sources of inspiration vary from poetry, jazz, and drug experiences. It spawned more than one generation of contemporary American fiction. Kerouac himself used to say he wrote the novel over the course of three weeks, typing on a 120ft roll of teletype paper, in an effort to create "The Great American Novel". Read this, and you will be itching to take a roadtrip to feel that sense of adventure and freedom. Don't say we didn't warn you.


Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger These days perhaps best known for its supposed inspiration of serial killers and the urban legend saying every time it is checked out of a library, the FBI is informed, this novel appealed, and still does, to millions of people for the way it describes refusal of conformation or at least the protagonist's desire to do so, rebellion, alienation and an indifferent world. Salinger's subsequent choice to live as a recluse when his reputation started to wane, only served to make him a cult figure, as well as make Catcher an icon of cult literature.

Casablanca Michael Curtiz Even decidedly non-movie buffs are quite likely to name Casablanca when they're asked to name a true Hollywood classic picture. Part of the charm of this true classic is that it never aspired to become one. As the story goes, everyone involved in this production was convinced it was just another of a batch of movies that Hollywood produced in 1942. Which is odd considering the cast and writers were all well established with solid reputations and performances under their respective belts. As far as pigeonholes go, this movie would best be categorized as a romantic drama. Set against the backdrop of World War II, Humphrey Bogart, who up until that point had mostly played bad guys, turned a proverbial corner in The Maltese Falcon (iconically dressed in a fedora and stylish trenchcoat) and continued this change of character in Casablanca. Bogart plays Rick, an exiled American freedom fighter, who falls for a former lover whom he must help escape from the Moroccan city. The acting, the story and the backdrop of Casablanca in wartime all contribute significantly to the overall mood, and make this a movie worth watching any night of the year. Fistful of Dollars (Per un Pugno di dollari) Sergio Leone This movie was the first installment of what became known as 'the dollar trilogy' (the other two being For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly) and was released in 1964 in Italy, and three years later in the USA.There is a remarkable trifecta at work within this trilogy – within this very movie even: the combined forces of Clint Eastwood, Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. Since it was produced by Italians, this movie along with many others, became their own sub-genre, that became known as "Spaghetti Westerns". As in all Westerns, funnily enough, no matter how gruffy the characters, their teeth were always, immaculately white. To Clint's credit, we hardly get to see his, as he chews on cigarillo's throughout the movie. In this movie, Clint is the epitome of cool as the squinty-eyed gunslinger, only known as "Man with No Name" who at first glance seems the type of guy that would not hesitate to kill if it earned him a decent meal. The story revolves around him riding into a town that is torn apart by two rival families. Impossible as it would be to take sides, The Man with No Name starts playing the two families against each other. Fistful of Dollars is an unofficial remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, which itself drew inspiration from earlier westerns. Kurosawa's Seven Samurai which was released in 1954 would influence The Magnificent Seven, that came out in the USA in 1960.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

CULTURE / Books, Movies & Music

The Contemporary written by Hugo verweij

MUSIC Apocalypse Now Francis Ford Coppola A few words immediately spring to mind here: epic, is one...madness, troubled, chaotic, Brando and classic are a few more. A special documentary called "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse" sheds light on what exactly made the production of this 1979 classic so mad(dening), troubled, and chaotic. The basic plot of this movie – based on Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" - sees one special ops officer, played by Martin Sheen, track down another, presumed rogue, special ops officer, played by Marlon Brando. Sheen is a troubled, heavily drinking soldier (and as such one of the very first leading men to play the role of the flawed, tragic "hero", which decades later really took off with James Bond losing his charm and wit, various superheroes with troubled private lives or even more severe Achilles' heels and so on). Unforgettable is the scene in which Robert Duvall's Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore launches an attack with helicopters on a Vietcong-occupied area of beach that they will need to get through on their mission. As the helicopters fly over, firing missiles and bullets at various targets on the ground, the deafening roar of the propellers are drowned out by Richard Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries'. Equally unforgettable are Sheen's and Brando's performances, not to mention the tragic and horrific battle scenes. Pulp Fiction Quentin Tarantino Here, for the first time, we can finally reveal what's in the suitcase that John Travolta's Vincent, and Samuel Jackson's Jules, are ordered to retrieve from three small-time, wannabe criminals. Actually, no we can't but here's hoping! People with suggestions or the definitive answer may send a postcard to the editors of this magazine and be in with a chance of winning our eternal gratitude. So there is one story paraphrased very briefly. There are three more and all four are intertwined throughout the movie, sometimes crossing paths with each other. The other three involve a scamming boxer, a gangster's wife, and a couple that rob a diner. Tarantino's style of storytelling was may be not quite revolutionary when it first came out in 1994, but it was close. It not only reinvigorated filmmakers' creativity in the way they tell their stories, it also reinvigorated, nay, revived, Travolta's, Willis' and Jackson's career, to name but a few. With an impossibly cool soundtrack, razor sharp pop-culture drenched dialogue, excellent performances from a giant ensemble cast, this movie is truly a milestone in American cinema. But odds are you know that already. Let us just urge you then to go watch it again and still find new things you hadn't spotted before. Taxi Driver Martin Scorcese A good example of a movie that's often been quoted without people actually realizing it is this movie they're actually quoting. The scene in question of course is a Mohawksporting, shirtless De Niro looking at himself in a mirror in his apartment, with a gun in a self-made contraption that allows him to draw the gun very quickly. He talks to himself in the mirror as if he's confronting someone who shot him a dirty look: "You talking' to me?'", while drawing the gun and pointing it at the mirror, looking ready to pull the trigger. The movie came out in 1976, and is set in New York City, pretty much at that same time – or at least right after the Vietnam War. De Niro is disillusioned, former Marine Travis Bickle who keeps up appearances as a decent, hardworking man to his parents, but rides his taxi around the city at night, and spends his days in seedy bars and porn theaters. He begins to turn violent after a date with a beautiful woman does not go as planned and we follow him as he sinks further and further into an allconsuming rage and disgust with the world, briefly and tentatively relieved by 14 year old Jodie Foster (in her first movie role), a child prostitute. Raw, gritty, pure, intense cinema.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 7 the north american issue, spring 2011

The Dissent of Man Bad Religion This is the soundtrack to play while reading my 32 Years of Bad Religion article. These Californian punk rockers are still going strong after 32 years. The main thing you will notice while listening to a few of their albums in a row is how modern production methods changed their sound from quite thin and sharp to full and hi-fi. The second half of the album is slightly slower paced, but the energy, the guitar solos an the soothing vocal harmonies are all present. I can't imagine they will ever stop.

Eskmo Eskmo Cloudlight is the surprisingly refreshing opener on the latest offering from San Francisco-based Brendan Angelides, aka Eskmo. We are treated to a palette of carefully crafted electronic sounds. Processed field recordings are well balanced with synthetic basslines, and most of the beats are nice and crispy, I almost want to eat them. If this sounds good to you, check out his collaboration with Amon Tobin under the name Eskamon for more tasty sonic goodness.

The Courage of Others Midlake If you see them play live you might be surprised by these bearded men playing the flute, but their beautiful, dark, melancholic melodies may well make their way into your heart to never leave again. The soothing vocals cover you like a warm blanket and the electric guitar never gets rough enough to wake you from your daydream. The Courage of Others, the third album of these moody Texans, is the perfect soundtrack to a wintery sunday afternoon, and my personal favorite of 2010. Cervantine A Hawk and a Hacksaw The first time I heard an album of A Hawk and a Hacksaw - The Way the Wind Blows (2006) - I loved the melancholy of those Eastern European melodies and the overall sound of it. Who would have guessed they are from New Mexico? They just released Cervantine, their fifth album, and while this time most of the songs are more energetic and a bit faster, this project was once again produced with that 'live' feel that caught my ears earlier. —


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