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Journal de Nîmes Nº 8 The Made In Europe Issue

Autumn/Winter 2011/2012 The printed paper for Amsterdam's Finest Denim Store www.tenuedenimes.com -

In this issue:

Real Italian Craftsmanship from Travelteq German Basics by Merz b. Schwanen the British shoemaker Tim Little at Grenson FRENCH fishermen dressed by Armor Lux INSIDE Barcelona With Luis mendo's City report Europeans by Yamandu Roos

Printed issue € 4,- (NL)


Colophon

Contributing editors

Published by

Tenue de Nîmes

Editor in chief Menno van Meurs menno@tenuedenimes.com

Anneke Beerkens Ellen Bokkinga Jonathan Carroll April Jumelet Frances Levoleger Rene Mesman Luis Mendo Ana Navarro Yamandu Roos René Strolenberg Katrina Tan Didier Truffaut Thomas Tukker Ytje Veenstra Hugo Verweij Mathieu Vilasco Julie Wintrip

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Some Contributors 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 focuses on the future perspectives of Japanese youth aspiring to a career in fashion design. Anneke's book "ModeGoden," based on her previous research on Tokyo street fashion was published in April of this year. — Jonathan Carroll Jonathan Carroll is the author of seventeen books, the most recent of which is THE GHOST IN LOVE published in the US by Farrar Straus and Giroux. www.jonathancarroll.com — 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 Nîmes and a friendship was quickly struck up as he finally found people who were passionate about their jobs. Before

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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. — April Jumelet www.apriljumelet.com — Frances Levoleger Amsterdam-born Frances Levoleger knew from a young age fashion was her passion. Growing up surrounded by French Marie Claire and American Vogue her love for photography arose as she grew up. She studied fashion at The Rietveld Academy, moved to Paris after graduation and later moved on to Italy which only fuelled her love of fashion even more. France now lives in Amsterdam although she still likes to move around quite a bit and loves her profession as a stylist. "Its all about life." — 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.

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.

www.goodinc.nl www.thecityreporter.com

Ana Navarro Ana is a creative director, copywriter and scriptwriter who hails from Spain and lives in Barcelona. She enjoys nurturing her mind with all things related to communication, fashion, art and design. She is especially fond of Dutch and Northern European design. To put it plainly, she loves beautiful things. She's currently working on a beautiful personal project alongside friends of hers, which she hopes to be able to present to you very soon.

Rene Mesman Rene was born in Boskoop, Holland in 1969. he lives and works in Amsterdam. After studying economics and sociology, Rene worked as a marketing manager for Epitaph records and as a product manager at TUI (Holland International). He made a career change by switching to photography in 2001 and has worked as a full time photographer for ten years now. Rene focuses primarily on still lives and interiors, and is passionate about creating images and working with inspiring people. His clients range from Elle Decoration and Nike to Bijenkorf department store here in Amsterdam.

Katrina Tan Katrina is a former magazine editor and retail store owner, with a love for stories. Always wanting to know the why' s and how' s behind the art and the artist, she is now a creative consultant and founder of ARTIFACT and SAVANT. As such, her days are mainly spent perusing the Net and surveying the streets, sifting out the best in culture and design.

Julie Wintrip The Queen of Tarts has brought a little bit of England to Amsterdam baking wonderful cakes for all occasions. Specialised in designing and baking cakes, The Queen of Tarts will do her utmost to satisfy those sweet-tooths amongst you! Queen of Tarts can be found at Sint Jansstraat 61, Amsterdam.

www.renemesman.nl —

www.hugoverweij.com www.everydaylistening.com

www.queenoftarts.nl www.trueartifact.com www.wearesavant.com

— 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

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


Interview

Travelteq

P 42

Features

Merz b. Schwanen P 70

Interview

Shoes & Blues P6

Collaboration

Armor Lux P 12

Features

City report

P 38

Features

Europeans

P 54

Features

Denim - A never ending story P 24

The Craftsmen P 28

The 30's French Work Jacket P 32

Best Innovation P 36

Denim Portraits by Ytje P 48

Velo P 64

The Denim Demon Tribe P 74

— Culture

Safety First

P 20 General Inspiration

European Icons P 10

Double RL Store P 52

— Interview

10 questions to Jochem Leegstra P 61

Essentials P 69

— Column

A Roadrunner Moment P 19

— Food & Drink

Queen of Tarts P 68

— Collaboration

Converse & Tenue de Nîmes P 40

— Music

Laibach and the NSK P 60

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

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Tenue de NĂŽmes, the first denim store in the world to stock the iconic 32oz Naked & Famous jeans. Online soon at www.tenuedenimes.com


NOTE FROM THE EDITORS

— Intro —

Written by Menno van Meurs When we started Tenue de Nîmes we felt the concept should capture something European. We are proud of our little continent and the lovely products and concepts that it unites. After last season's North American issue that captured most of our favorite people and brands from across the Atlantic we felt is was time to do something more local, more patriotic. We are fortunate to be surrounded by the most iconic European brands and mills that have been seriously suffering from the Asian revival that started a decade ago. Iconic brands like Grenson and Armor Lux exemplify everything we love about European craftsmanship. They still have their local factories in Rushden and Quimper where their factory workers make the same things they made a century ago. It were these factories where Breton stripes started their Hollywood revival and the British Shoe making Society began conquering the world. But because less and less people seem to be aware of these local heroes we at Tenue de Nîmes believed it was time to show what these brands do differently, and more importantly why they have survived a century and are still going strong. When we started our denim store in 2008 we created a Journal to share our basic principles on denim and style. Journal de Nîmes Nº0 introduced the world to our denim shop in Amsterdam's Jordaan area, at the Elandsgracht. This online and offline magazine allowed us to reach a global audience and gained admirers from all over the world. But Tenue de Nîmes would not be the concept we have become if we didn't look ahead. Without giving too much away, we hereby announce that this Journal de Nîmes will be the last issue in this format. We have been secretly working on a project that will 'end' this cycle and will start a

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

new one right after. The new journal will be available more often, can be read interactively and will share the Tenue de Nîmes passion in a more web-friendly way. But before we actually kick off this exciting new chapter we will unite all the lovely stuff we have gathered over the years to make it into a special Journal de Nîmes book issue. This Journal de Nîmes Nº8 (our ninth publication) is also a tribute to the 'Best Innovation' retail award Tenue de Nîmes won this year. Especially because this magazine was one of the major reasons the jury fell in love with our Tenue de Nîmes store. The 25 members of the 'ING Retail Jaarprijs' jury believe Tenue de Nîmes shows how traditional retail laws can be applied to the challenges of the 'New World'. They admired the crossover between traditional and new media and our real life experiences. The jury believed Tenue de Nîmes is a true heaven for 'jeans believers' from all over the world, whether they are from Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo or New York. The members honored our fan base because of to our 'new media' efforts and special editions with brands like Converse, Momotaro and Big John. According to the jury Tenue de Nîmes is a purposeful journey of young, curious and innovative entrepreneurs towards 'new shopping' in a 'new world' in which customers are fans and business is done well. For now we hope you will enjoy this digital or printed issue a little extra. Until soon. —

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Interview / Shoes & Blues

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JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


Interview / Shoes & Blues

Shoes & Blues — An interview with Tim Little, Creative Director at British shoemaker Grenson.

Interview by Menno van Meurs Photography by Grenson (Portrait) and Tenue de Nîmes (Product)

Tell us about yourself and your background. I'm originally from Nottingham (not Northampton) and my Dad was a lace maker. Nottingham lace is famous but the industry has nearly died out there. He had a factory and I spent my holidays working in it, doing the manual jobs. My favorite job was inspecting the lace in the quality control department, I always loved the touch and feel of the product and loved the idea that the factory could go for days without making a single fault. Factories were in my blood as my Grandfather had started it and I always loved walking around it with him, inspecting the work. After University I came down to London and got a job in advertising working on clients such as Harrods, Porsche, Timberland and so on. Our agency specialised in quality brands and I never forget first visiting the Porsche factory and seeing the women hand stitching the convertible roofs for the 911's. I asked the lead designer at the time what made a Porsche special as every car maker could make a fast car these days. He said that if you judged a Japanese car on each and every point it would get 8 out of 10 for everything, but if you judged a Porsche, it would get 7 for some things and 10 for others. This is what gives the car its character. I then went to work in New York for two years and lived in Manhattan. I worked for Citibank which was dull but showed me big business at work. The meetings were all on the 44th floor of a skyscraper and I spent a lot of time daydreaming and staring out of the window. When I came back to London, I pitched for the Adidas global account and although we were a small agency in London, we won it. For the next four years I ran the account and had the time of my life. Adidas had lost the young market to Nike and Reebok and needed help fighting back. I worked 12 hours a day and flew all over the world, visiting everything from the World Cup Final to the Bolletieri tennis academy in Florida. This was my dream job and it was here that I really fell in love with shoes. I left in 1996 to open my shop in The Kings Road, which is still exactly the same today and has the Grenson showroom above. How did you get involved with Grenson? I had a call in 2004 from a guy called Christian Purslow who had recently taken over the business from his father. He wanted me to run it and turn it around as the business was slowly dying. He worked in the City and said he was happy to give me carte blanche to manage it however I wanted. It was a big decision that took me 3 months to make. What is your role at Grenson and what aspects attracted you to it specifically? For 3 years I was the CEO and Creative Director but in 2010 I bought the business from Christian when he became Managing Director of Liverpool Football Club. Although I am the owner I still prefer the title "Creative Director" as I have designed every shoe for the last 5 years and only this season I finally have a designer to help me. I have loved Grenson since I got my first pair in my early 20's and I remember the brand always had a slightly more quirky, more creative edge than the other English brands. This is what I love, traditional values with a naughty streak.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

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Interview / Shoes & Blues

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JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


Interview / Shoes & Blues

"If you judged a Japanese car on each and every point it would get 8 out of 10 for everything, but if you judged a Porsche, it would get 7 for some things and 10 for others. This is what gives the car its character."

Can you tell us something about the history and tradition of English shoe making? It dates back to the beginning of time I guess, as even the cavemen needed shoes but our particular strand of history began in the 19th century when Charles Goodyear invented "Goodyear Welting". This introduced a new form of shoemaking: producing shoes that were hard wearing and easy to repair. How (and when) did Grenson become part of that? Our founder, William Green, had actually started his business in 1866 but quickly switched to this new method and as such was a bit of a pioneer. He had begun by travelling to London and taking orders from the finest shops of the time. He would then come back to Rushden and give the work to the craftsmen who all worked from home. When each part of the shoe was ready he would pick them up and take them to the next house where the next phase of the process was completed. After a few years his business had grown enough to create the need for a factory where the workers could come in and work together in a production line, thus making the process quicker and more efficient. We are currently in his second factory, that he built in 1895. "William Green and son" was shortened to Grenson at the start of the 20th century amid a fashion for "brand names".

Do you believe retail changed over the course of the last three or four decades? And if so, do you believe this changed the Grenson job? In menswear, I believe that retail changed in the last decade. Suddenly men are interested in fashion and style and therefore new independent stores are popping up everywhere. Also because of the internet, small new brands are becoming well known much quicker so the retailers can stock them and still do good business. 15 years ago you needed to have Prada or Gucci in your shop to survive -- now you don't. We have benefitted because we've been able to get our message across without huge budgets. A store like Tenue de Nîmes is now world famous because you do such a great job. 15 years ago you probably would have been only famous in your country or your town and the same goes for Grenson. When we visited your website it said: 'Shoes & Blues, please come in'. Would you explain this? Im a big blues fan and I name all of my shoes after blues songs such as "Whisky and women", "Five long years", "Catfish blues" etc. It's nothing scientific, I just love the imagery and names in blues and wanted to use it somehow. I once made a shoe for John Lee Hooker and it was named after one of his own songs.

We at Tenue de Nîmes experience a growing demand for products of old-school quality, products that provide a certain comfort and support in uncertain times. People always go back to products they can trust when the going gets tough. Where else could you find a shoe you can trust than from a company that has been making them for nearly 150 years?

What does the near future hold for the Grenson brand? We have just launched Women's collection which has started really well. We are looking for a new store in London's West End and we are designing a new bag and small leather goods collection. We have also just launched our ultimate limited edition shoemakers collection called G.Zero, so all in all we are pretty busy.

What sets a Grenson shoe apart from any other leather shoe? The shoes are of the highest quality, that goes without saying, but the real difference to me is in the character. It's the point the Porsche guy was making. The way we make a shoe has been handed down through the generations for all those years and every factory makes them a slightly different way. We have people who have worked for us for 50 years and they learned from people who had also been there that long. Every detail in the shoe is done "the Grenson way" and that is different from every other factory in the world.

Where do your recent collaborations with brands like Barbour and Tenue de Nîmes fit into all of this? We feel that to work with companies we admire brings several benefits. To begin with the association with such highly respected brands brings us all a confirmation that our brands are relevant. In addition, the Tenue de Nîmes partnership allows me to be close to a cutting edge design group that keeps us in the right frame of mind to be creative and modern. It would be easy for us to keep raiding the archive for ideas but that isn't enough. Tenue de Nîmes is an incredibly creative business and working together on product awakens my creative soul. The Barbour collaboration is different. It's more about two old British companies working together on a shoe for the first time after many years of combining in wardrobes around the world. Basically we get different things from different partnerships.

Trends come and go. What about Grenson shoes make them impervious to trends? Nothing, I guess. If the trend comes for shoes made from banana leaves, we could be screwed. However there always seems to be a following for products with integrity, and I hope that's what we have. We keep an eye on trends as we want to progress as a product and as a business but we don't want to be governed by it. We enjoy the occasional date with fashion but we aren't ready to be married. A lot of brands have a hard time keeping their production facilities in Europe. How does Grenson manage this? To make our UK shoes relevant we have to tell the story. We use the digital media where we can to show the factory and we also like to have details on the shoes that signal the hand craft such as hand painted soles. We often say that we need to find a way to get every man in the world to visit the factory. Then we would have a seriously big business as everyone falls in love with it when they visit. Our next step is to create a shoe school at the factory to open up the doors to our customers. We are proud of what we do and we want people to see it.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

What is your favorite anecdote regarding Grenson shoes? Can I have two? In a recent interview, Paolo Nutini said he was being photographed on a Vespa and he fell off. The photographer was horrified and ran over to him to see if he was OK, to which he replied "I'm just worried about my Grensons, they were new on this morning". The other is the guys from Rag and Bone mentioning to Ralph Lauren (the man not the brand) that they were working with Grenson, to which Ralph said that he had used Grenson for the shoes in the original Great Gatsby film when he was hired to do the costumes. Oh happy day. —

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Regular inspirations / European Icons

European Icons

Rather than selecting them ourselves we decided to ask the question "Who or what is your European Icon?" to a diverse range of people who have been inspiring us. From a gifted musician to the unofficial king of vintage denim. We hope you will enjoy their choices and if you haven't heard of some of our panel - or their selections-, that you will feel inspired to do a little research of your own.

Marcel Duchamp 'European Icons'? Difficult task, as I personally don't recognize icons. Nor 'European'. Or heroes. Let alone countries. Or their governments. Challenging, but in 1972, after just turning 15 years old, I came across an interesting word: Dada. The sound of it intrigued me. I bought a book about it; so complex I could barely understand a word. Dada's common denominator was the idea of artistic freedom and experimentation. It began by demolishing the idea of art, attacking common sense, public opinion, education, institutions, museums, good taste; in short, the whole sense of prevailing order. For me, this is the very best definition of the power of creative tension, what makes the universe infinite. Organized chaos. The essence of an art form or an artistic idea. The Dada movement lived for just 6 years (1916 to 1922) but influenced a century of Surrealism, Futurism, Pop Art, Beat Generation and Punk Rock and inspired an incredible number of people. Equipped with great humor and wit, Marcel Duchamp, loved nothing more than challenging others to think beyond conventional wisdom. He is best known for introducing the ready-made (or "found") object into visual art, cofounding Dada and being affiliated with the Surrealists. Perhaps his greatest contribution, though, is that he almost singlehandedly shifted the focus of art away from the strictly visual and onto the mental. Needless to say, Duchamp had an enormous impact on contemporary art. So, with great reluctance and skepticism for everything iconic and heroic, I name Marcel Duchamp my European ... Ic(l)one. Maurizio Donadi Global Senior Vice-President at Levi's XX and Brand Presentation. www.levisvintageclothing.com

Malcolm McLaren Even before the term ‘cultural entrepreneur' was coined, Malcolm McLaren was just that: a genius inventor, initiator and facilitator of modern culture. McLaren managed the Sex Pistols, easily the most exciting pop group of the 20th century. He was a revolutionary fashion designer together with his then-partner Vivienne Westwood. He made some incredible music himself – ‘Madam Butterfly', an early-‘80s mix of electronica and opera, is a prime example. Most of all McLaren was a fascinating gentleman, and somebody who elevated the art of talking to new heights. I met Malcolm through friends, in 2003, and we interviewed him for the debut issue of Fantastic Man, in 2005. The man was just hilarious. Interviewing Malcolm basically meant listening to a long monologue that went from incredible detail to ridiculous fiction with a nice dose of self-esteem. We kept in contact after the interview, and one day we found ourselves having dinner with Malcolm and his girlfriend, Young, at A Tavola, the highly recommend Italian restaurant near Hoogte Kadijk in Amsterdam. Malcolm had a new fascination at the time: he wanted to launch an art magazine for teenagers, in the style of Smash Hits, but about artists, not pop stars. ‘The kids want art!' Malcolm kept saying. ‘Art is the new rock ‘n' roll!' He basically couldn't stop talking about his genius idea. At some point during our main course the Italian rock star Zucchero, who happened to be dining there too, came over to our table to shake Malcolm's hand. They exchanged some formalities. When Zucchero walked back to his table, Malcolm continued his sentence exactly where he'd paused it two minutes earlier, as if nothing had occurred. It was just brilliant. The teenage art magazine never happened, of course. Nor will it happen with Malcolm's involvement, as he passed away in the spring of 2010. He is much missed. Gert Jonkers Editor in Chief of Fantastic Man www.fantasticman.com

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JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


Regular inspirations / European Icons

the handmade tie It's a symbol that works in every country of Europe. It represents many things that are typical of our culture like discipline, formality and tradition. It also stands for European craftsmanship because handmade ties are made in many countries of Europe. You may say that welted shoes are nowadays a very English product or that nobody makes better handmade shirts than the Italians. But all ties that are handmade in Europe are of equally high quality whether they come from France, Italy, Germany or Poland.

Nigel Cabourn

Bernhard Roetzel Bernhard Roetzel (45) is a German fashion writer based in Berlin. His book „Gentleman. A Timeless Fashion" has been translated in many European languages. www.bernhardroetzel.de

Nigel Cabourn for me is a leader, a beacon, a story teller, a man of action, a charismatic and dedicated enthusiast with so much love for details and great appreciation of the past. The 61-year-old has been in the textile business for over 40 years today. He lives and works in Newcastle in England, from where he travels to all corners of the globe. On his journeys, in vintage stores and at flea markets he collects clothing and ideas for his collections. Old illustrated books and publications about expeditions, motorsports or military history provide him with design inspiration for his work. Nigel Cabourn, a true outerwear specialist, is driven by a longstanding passion for vintage clothing, fabric and details. His vintage archive of over 4,000 rare and well-preserved originals is his inspiration: each collection has a real story, and a sense of history underpinned by the highest level of quality. His treasures include a dark blue Burberry coat from the year 1914, which was originally produced for French army officers. Cabourn's unique collection of textile historical treasures is unparalleled and is estimated to be worth more than 1.5 million Euros. His philosophy as a fashion designer is based on an ambitious, down-to-earth principle. For him, function comes first and foremost. A jacket should fulfil its purpose. He attaches particular importance to the intricate workmanship as well as the use of durable and hardwearing fabrics, some of which, true to the original, are reissued especially for him. Nigel Cabourn represents modern, everyday menswear on the highest level. The collection is characterized throughout by its quality and craftsmanship. The products, details and cuts are simply unique. The Nigel Cabourn collection is to the point in all details. The colorways captivate with strong and seasonal colors. Every man is dressed well, elegantly and sportsmanlike from head to toe, and not at all disguised. The man behind it, Nigel Cabourn, is outstanding and an icon in all aspects. Karl-Heinz Müller Founder of Bread & Butter and owner of the 14oz store in Berlin, Germany. www.breadandbutter.com / www.14oz-berlin.com

Jamiroquai While studying jazz at the conservatory during the mid-1990s, I never stopped listening to, and working on, pop music. It was around this time I became exposed to and influenced by this iconic band. During the house and grunge explosion, they did their own thing even though it wasn't cool or hip at the time. They incorporated the flute and even the didgeridoo in pop music, making these instruments cool! Great melodies and richer chords reminding us all of the real R&B and these richer harmonies were especially appealing to me as a jazz student. Not only were they making cool music, their styling was great as well. When I bought my first G Star leather jacket and worker jeans, the band hit me with this completely different style, in all aspects, not least of which: their clothing. Ranging from bebop pants to the singer's hats in all kinds of different styles and sizes. His hats immediately became his trademark. How cool is that? And of course the music video's they made are still so great. Like the ‘Half the Man' clip with just a close-up of Jay Kay and the famous moving floor with his terrific dance moves. Jamiroquai is a true '90's iconic band. ULRICH DE JESUS Professional guitar player and –teacher. He is currently Jörgen Raymann's accompanying guitarist both on television and in theaters. myspace.com/ulrichdejesus

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

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COLLABORATION / Armor Lux

Armor Lux

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JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


COLLABORATION / Armor Lux

It's pitch black out, as heavy winds and ice cold waves vigorously crash into the ship's bow just off the Breton coast one night at the beginning of the last century. French fishermen are working hard to bring in their nets filled with cod. The fishermen's voices are drowned out by the ominous hissing of the waves. The fishermen defy biting winds and the cold water to secure their income. All for a good catch. These men are kept warm by incredibly durable wool sweaters. Odds are these distinctive sweaters were made by the French brand Armor Lux.

Written by Ferry Voorneveld Photography by Didier Truffaut Specials thanks to the Fishtrawler team of the RISTEN

The characteristic, almost tubular, shape of the fisherman's sweater was dictated by practicality. The neck, cuffs and welt were knitted tightly so as to keep out winter blasts. Legend has it that such sweaters, that had been knitted for the children of this one fisherman, had such a tight fit that when the garments were pulled over their heads, the poor children's earlobes started bleeding. The cuffs are also close-fitting, generally falling just below the wrist to avoid impeding the hands or becoming soaked with cold sea water as the men worked. The snug fit also helped to prevent the hem or cuffs getting caught on a piece of equipment or tackle, a mishap which could prove fatal. Time took a heavy toll on the cuffs and elbows, but the lower half of the sleeves could be unravelled and re-knitted with new yarn. Garments made in various shades of blue, ranging from deep navy to a hue faded with age, were a common sight. This was all very familiar in the world of Armor Lux, the company that started making clothing for the shipping and fishing industries in 1938. It didn't just make heavy duty sweaters but also well constructed undergarments. This dedicated way of making clothes for the maritime world is significant for this company. An obvious question to ask is therefore how they became -and more importantly, remained- so successful. Well for one thing, it has to do with the quality of the clothes they produce and secondly we'd like to think it is because they incorporated the Breton Stripe into many of their pieces. The Breton Stripe is that typical repeating horizontal line running across an outfit. This very stripe had an actual purposeand a very simple one at that: when men fell overboard, they were spotted far quicker, because of their stripes, in the raging gray water. Armor Lux didn't design the actual first Breton striped shirt. It was in fact the French Navy that took up a white/blue stripped knitted shirt in their official issue uniform of seamen about 80 year prior to Armor Lux's version. But how could a simple garment, specifically designed for the maritime world ever gain such popularity and be partly responsible for making the Armor Lux brand what it is today? We believe we have an answer to this question. A sea change was taking place in French fashion and society, and it would propel the Breton shirt from undistinguished work wear to iconic fashion item. In the late 1930's the French Riviera was enjoying a true revival of popularity. A cult of sun worship began. As American and French socialites mingled in this European playground, the clothing they wore appeared to be far more comfortable and suited to this maritime occasion, but perhaps most importantly: no longer restricted by etiquette. It seemed that these clothes were inspired by sailors' uniforms and fishermen's gear. Around this time sailor outfits grew immensely popular. The low-necked striped jersey that is a Breton shirt was worn with a cravat, dressed up with a blazer, shorts and the shoes we have all grown to love: deck shoes. As Hollywood began its love affair with France during the fifties, it seemed the popularity of this garment really reached new heights. During this time many of the films produced harked back to the look and feel of the Thirties. Costume designers did their best to mimic this French Riviera style, presenting us for example with an opening scene where a memorable Cary Grant plays a retired catburglar wearing a Breton shirt carefully combined with a cravat and grey trousers in the movie To Catch A Thief (1955). Not only movie stars were depicted this way. Artists such as Picasso and Andy Warhol were also famously photographed wearing this style. During this period the Breton shirt gained its iconic French status and became a much sought after product. Armor Lux's intentions were never to cater to the masses or supply these pieces of clothing to fashion-minded people. If they wanted to they could easily move their operations to a country with lower production costs. However they stayed true to their core principles of quality, tradition and ethics and stayed put in Quimper, France, to continue making quality garments committed to fair trade and sustainable development. The historical premises are still used. Dyeing and knitting departments are still based on the banks of the Odet river but away from any possible flooding. The clothing is currently produced in three different factories. Two of the factories are equipped with circular knitting mills to create seamless garments which are ultimately more comfortable. At Tenue de Nîmes we firmly believe in authenticity and unmistakable quality. We value locally produced goods and for these reasons we have been carrying the Armor Lux brand in our store. When we talked to them about selecting Armor Lux pieces for our appreciated clients they admitted they weren't really accustomed to selling to fashion stores since most of their Dutch clients have sailor shops. However they were very enthusiastic about our ideas. These talks ultimately led to us making plans of working together on the true staple in fashion. You guessed it, the Breton Shirt. Only this time with a genuine Dutch twist: the red, white and blue colors of our country's flag. We are infinitely happy with the outcome of this collaboration! —

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COLLABORATION / Armor Lux

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COLLABORATION / Armor Lux

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COLLABORATION / Armor Lux

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COLLABORATION / Armor Lux

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COLLABORATION / Armor Lux

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Column / Jonathan Carroll

"I realized that without knowing it, I had been searching for this object a long time."

A Road Runner Moment — Obsession. I have always liked that word. The sound of it, what it means, and particularly its turbo boost effect on the heart rate when the object of our fascination is within reach. You can be obsessed with anything—a woman, a song, a wine, a breed of dog, a seaside bar in Mykonos, a moment in life you wish could be frozen in amber. Literally anything that instantly sets the desire ablaze and makes you want to swoop down and possess whatever it is RIGHT NOW forever. Obsession stands out like a tropical island in the everyday sea of same old/same old. If you are obsessed with something, it not only becomes the focus of your attention, but also a concrete clear goal to strive for in this very confusing life; a reason for keeping alert and attentive when, let's face it, most of the events of our daily life leave us either bored or sleepy in their sameness. I am no longer obsessed by watches although years ago I was, big time. I am a novelist and can now (sheepishly) admit I once spent an entire large royalty check on one watch that I haven't worn for a decade but still like to look at every day over there in its case across the room. When I was younger I didn't care about watches. I wore whatever was cheap and dependable and thought people who spent a wad on Rolex, Breitling or vintage Omega were status creeps or posers—probably both. A watch told time. Basta. If you needed to show the world how cool or rich you were via what you wore on your wrist you were one serious loser, Dog. Then one day while walking downtown in Vienna I passed a store, glanced in the window and kept moving. But a few steps on I had a Road Runner moment. You know what I'm talking about—in every Road Runner cartoon there's a moment where either the bird or Wile Y. Coyote slam on the brakes while the rest of their body carries forward like a rubber band being stretched to the breaking point. Accompanied of course by the appropriate stretched-rubber band sound effects. A moment later their body snaps back to its proper shape. It's what happened to me two meters down the road from that store. I Road Runner'd and after my body had righted, I literally walked backward to look again at what I'd just seen. It was a watch in a vintage wristwatch store. It was very large and had a beautifully simple face turned old man's tooth-yellow by age. On the face it said ‘International Watch Co.' which at the time meant nothing to me. I stared in awe. How simple and elegant it was. I had never seen a watch that looked so beautiful and…complete. Then I had a sort of epiphany: I realized that without knowing it, I had been searching for this object a long time even though until that moment I didn't give a shit about watches of any kind. I entered the store and the owner, nice man that he was, took a long time explaining that the watch model was called a "Portugueser," who made it, why it was very special, and other things that honestly meant little to me because as I said, I was indifferent to wrist candy back then. I just thought that THIS timepiece was like no other. Finally he stopped talking. In a small voice I asked how much it cost. He said it had been in the display window a very long time but I was the only person who'd ever inquired about it. He'd sell it to me for seven thousand Austrian schillings, which at the time was about five hundred dollars. That was a lot of money for me in those days but I pulled out my wallet immediately. My obsession had begun. —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

Written by Jonathan Carroll

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Culture / Safety First

Safety First

— How Louis Vuitton and Gucci protect your Japanese image. Over the course of 1993, photographer Tsuzuki Kyoichi made his way through the streets of Tokyo, from East to West, North to South, to capture young Tokyoites' interiors. Most of these youngsters lived in one room apartments or studios, as is still common in urban Japan. After the successful publication of his famous book "Tokyo Style," Tsuzuki continued his expedition to get behind closed doors – something extremely difficult in Japan – by photographing a particular breed of urban Japanese in their natural habitat: one-designer-worshippers who transformed their living spaces into fashion shrines. This resulted in a series of intriguing images of young adults in the smallest of rooms surrounded by their collections of Christian Dior, Gucci, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood or Hermès. Piles of clothes stacked wherever possible, no room left to sit or walk, let alone cook (cooking was a no-go with one of these "happy victims" because the scent of food would get into the fibers of his precisely organized Maison Martin Margiela collection). Take a look in one of Tsuzuki's books and you'll become as intrigued as I am about the lives and motivations of these young collectors with designer pieces worth an expensive car or even a decent house, still living in small and rundown places to save money. But take a look on any given day at one or two regular streets in downtown Tokyo and you will find out that Louis Vuitton bags and Gucci wallets casually hanging out of one's back pocket are too numerous to count. Japanese, you can easily conclude even after a one-day visit to the capital, are not just fashion-minded, but also extremely brandminded people. Having lived in Japan for a while only confirmed this even more. While "dressing down" with American work wear appears to be a fairly large trend in Tokyo, high end products from European fashion houses seem to never leave the bodies and minds of Japan's urban population. Wearing or just owning designer pieces, preferably from European designers, is a must. Did you know that during the 1980s, sixty-five percent of Louis Vuitton's sales in France was attributed to Japanese customers? Even after Louis Vuitton opened its first shop in Tokyo in 1978, many Japanese preferred to travel to Paris to get the latest "made in Paris" labeled bag with the famous monogram. Not just "made in Paris," but also "bought in Paris" seemed to add value to the bags. Women wanted to distinguish themselves by getting the whole "Paris

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experience" with the purchase. The ongoing economic crisis that has hit Japan for more than twenty years has only slightly changed this pattern. Recent research by the WLA, World Luxury Association, shows that in France, Italy and the United Kingdom twothirds of all luxury brands customers are Asian tourists, with Chinese, rather than Japanese, being the largest group of traveling consumers. However, Japan still holds the number one position when it comes to global luxury brand consumption. So what is this Japanese passion for European brands about? Why would you spend an extremely high amount of money on a European designer's handbag, even in economic uncertain times? The first thing that crossed my Western mind was to think of it as a – excuse me for being offensive – slightly uncreative form of distinction. Isn't that what it means in our Western world? Isn't it mostly a way to show off? It would be too easy to see it just as a matter of marking off status, too simple to just use our European way of thinking and meaning making, look at the Japanese case and apply our own view without further modification. In Japan, I came to understand, almost everybody has a designer bag: rich, poor, young, old. Looking at it as a matter of distinction clearly doesn't bring us any further. A couple of months ago, I was talking on the phone with one of my best Tokyo friends, Kiku, when she mentioned her mother's upcoming seventieth birthday. She and her sister saved money to buy her a Louis Vuitton bag. "Why?" I asked Kiku, because I couldn't really imagine this modest countryside lady, living a very ordinary, frugal Japanese life, to be happy with such a "posh" bag for her birthday. "Well, you know, you can always use a designer bag," was Kiku's answer. Clearly, "posh" was not the association Kiku had with a Louis Vuitton bag. Necessity was more in place, and maybe even durability. The money was simply worth it. Talking with another friend, Mayuko, about the fight she had with her Dutch husband in front of the Prada store in Milan last summer, she said: "it seems that Dutch men don't understand why we women find it ok to spend 2000 Euros on a hand bag. Don't you agree that such a bag is forever? Don't you think you just need to have a Louis Vuitton bag?" While having some trouble to understand her (more in terms of preferred brand than with respect to a

Written and photography by Anneke Beerkens

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


Culture / Safety First

"It has to do with not wanting to show too strong a personality, that's no good."

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Culture / Safety First

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Culture / Safety First

lady's general need for a proper hand bag – or shoes) we continued our walk through Ginza, Tokyo's high end shopping district. One young girl after another passed by us with a designer bag, and what was even more remarkable, they were all carrying paper bags – big and small – stuffed with newly purchased goods. Well, at least that was what I thought. "Where do they get all the money from to buy these expensive things every week again?" I asked Mayuko. "They don't. They don't have the money and they don't buy new things. They just store the paper bags very carefully and carry them around to pretend they just went shopping." What was the idea behind this? Mayuko explained to me that most Japanese girls and women rather choose the "safe route" than standing out too much. "It has to do with not wanting to show too strong a personality, that's no good." Slowly I came to see that buying an expensive bag was more about standing in line than about standing out. You can't go wrong with something that highly priced: the more expensive it is, the better your taste must be. The idea of greater exclusivity with higher price goes hand in hand with buying something safe that "most people like." Looking into Japan's fashion history, some other factors become clear to me in understanding this permanent craving for exclusive luxury goods. Japan's trajectory towards a so-called "system of fashion" differs considerably from our Western path. Until 1868, the beginning of the Meiji period, Japan shunned all contact with the outside world. Traveling was not allowed, foreign books were forbidden and trade was permitted only in an extremely limited way (did you know that the Dutch were Japan's only trading partner for over 200 years?). During this period of isolation, no traces of Western clothing reached the islands. It was not before the end of the 19th century that modern Western ways started to influence the Japanese. The basis of the Western system of fashion is the idea of distinction, which, throughout history, has been perpetuated by the upper class. By constantly consuming new things, the "gentlefolks" were always one step ahead of "the people" who desperately tried to copy what the elite wore, as quickly as possible. The fundamental emotion at work here was envy. The elite "institutionalized" envy and this made the fashion system work: everybody was constantly in need of something new to either distinguish or to keep up. With the class system that has existed for centuries in Europe, this creation of

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

envy and the "trickling down" of fashion ideas could get solid ground. In Japan, there was no such gradual development and a fashion system based on exclusion never existed. The route to modernity was an extremely sudden outburst after Japan opened up its borders. After the introduction of Western clothing in Japan, distinction between classes was less important than showing that one was "modern" rather than "traditional." Although there was a difference between the ones who could afford western clothing and the ones who could not, both upper and middle class Japanese who could spend money on fashion wore the same outfits. Quality codes that clarified distinction in Western clothing were not very clear to the Japanese yet. So what counted was "are you modern or not" in stead of "can you afford to be part of the ever exclusive elite." So from the late nineteenth century on, fashion trends from the West were embraced across the board, disregarding any layers of society. In a way, this is what you see on the streets in Japan today: everyone has a Louis Vuitton hand bag, not to play the never ending game of inclusion and exclusion, but to simply signify luxury, universally accessible luxury. Now don't get me wrong! Of course distinction exists, of course there are Japanese men and women who want to stand out. But not with that one single designer piece as such. It's not the what you wear that counts, but the how you wear it. That is what makes you an individual again. I bet monsieur Louis Vuitton is watching down from his luxurious cloud with a smile, observing all these Tokyo hipsters wearing his brand in the most unexpected and extraordinary ways. And a special warm wink goes to that one boy in his tiny Tokyo room styled to the ceiling with LV monograms. —

"It's not the what you wear that counts, but the how you wear it" 23


FEATURES / Denim

— Denim —

A never ending story Written by Ellen Bokkinga Photography by Joachim Baan and Denim Village

The world of denim has an impressive arsenal of genres. From vintage blue jeans to Japanese minimalism, from the mainstream stereotypes up to the new beat-up look and contemporary vintage. Wherever you may fall on the spectrum, denim fits every kind of culture. A never ending story with old jeans as its reference, and Levi's having the endless library of the wonderful. Their archive is a collection of treasure troves, every detail a little clue about the garment's former life, marked and transcribed in logbooks. These gems will one day end up in Levi's new collection or elsewhere.

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FEATURES / Denim

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FEATURES / Denim

"Denim is alive. If you leave the fabric, in time, it oxidizes. Like the human body, it ages."

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FEATURES / Denim

While vintage jeans has its one-of-a-kindness, fashion brands can only make ‘new' jeans look like you've lived in them for years. All they want is that vintage look with the overall feeling of denim, and not a mass product. That's why we flew to Turkey to visit Denim Village, a true vintage revivalist, specialized in artificially aged garments and washed denim. "Denim is alive. If you leave the fabric, in time, it oxidizes. Like the human body, it ages", says Hadi Karasu, general manager of Denim Village. "Denim is the most versatile fabric in the world. Good designers can make the same fabric look completely different. Jeans is all about history, the more knowledge you have, the better you get. Bearing in mind that Levi's is always the teacher." We are sitting in a car, driving around the U-shaped orange and yellow factory where rabbits run around and ducks swim in a small lake. Next to the factory we see a small cottage where some of the designers of the brands stay. "Some are after fashion, some are after vintage, but they are all here for inspiration. Acne, Burberry, J Brand, Ralph Lauren, Replay, Lee, Scotch & Soda, Ben Sherman and Levi's Vintage (a.o.). We always want to be ahead of the designers of the brand, showing them what we are capable of." Denim Village is as much an exercise at the intersection of human hands and technology, as it is a journey to possibilities of the fabrics and authentic details. A stroll through the factory, which produces 300,000 pair of jeans every month, is like an encounter with an artistic human assembly line. Workers with knowledge and love for denim transform plain fabric to defined products. Cutting, sewing, washing, and finishing, all hands-on, tactile work. Hadi, with over 20 years in fabric, garment manufacturing and retail business, clearly has innovation on his radar. "While design is inspiring, the innovation must bring it all to life. We avoid using too much technology, as we don't want to lose our hand scraping look, but we also want our production area to be as healthy as possible for our workers. So we experiment with instruments to use between the man and the machine". Denim Village is a part of Karamanci Holding which has a denim background of over 50 years and has other companies in energy, plastic pipes and textile. Their first jeans factory started in 1995, making a series of Levi's 501's only. The one we visit was built in 2001, concentrating on the design, development and manufacturing side of the business. To get to Denim Village you go to a little village called Beyazkoy. It is an hour's drive from Istanbul, and coincidentally means ‘White Village' or ‘Pure Village'. Hadi: "We are one of the first certified denim manufacturing companies for sustainable and organic denim. Denim Village has been working with major global brands to develop and produce 100% organic products. Also, we want to go ‘greener' and eliminate the solid waste, save energy in our own energy plant and reduce gas consumption. We try different recipes to wash the garments with much less water or even without, and we use only listed chemicals. Sustainability has become an important part of lifestyle in general and also for us." In their main factory with 600 workers (in Bulgaria there's a smaller one with 200 workers), Hadi shows us many methods en route to all kinds of customizing different worn-in appearance effects: bleaching, dyeing or stone washing and finishing. Huge washing machines tumble raw jeans with pumice gravel to scrape off layers of indigo. The permanent just-worn wrinkles arise from literally crumpling the jeans into the desired look. Depending on the specific look required, the jeans are wrinkled by a robot-arm with hot air (the most simple way), given ‘bent knees' by silver flexible metal tubes in the oven,

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

or getting the newest and progressive treatment: molding the jeans legs in a big black bag filled with hot air and chemicals. Jeans, jeans, jeans, as far as the eye can see. Workers in face masks slip jeans legs onto inflatable balloons, using hand-held guns on a spiral with discoloring chemicals to fade out the indigo. Denim Village has its own chemical recipe and the robot gun controls the dose. In another part of the factory, workers are scrubbing and scraping denim to give it a worn look, or cutting holes and stitching patches over them. Another technique is the laser technology to age new jeans in seconds but, according to Hadi, it still needs to be perfected. Then, the doors of a small container fly open, and two robotic arms appear and start spraying chemicals on a pair of jeans, fluently, almost dance-like. We continue our stroll and arrive at the Design Department, a mini factory with all the production steps in one big room. Here, we encounter the head of designers of Ralph Lauren, looking down at an old Levi's from 1935, hunting down the beauties, finding ways to let them come alive again in their new collection. Because new jeans is always based on something else, and the key is in the detail. Now, how you translate it into the new, is the art. A constant appetite for new styles is Denim Villages' creative fuel. In a drive for the aesthetic and artistic style of vintage jeans, DV's own designers are constantly curating. "We see where the fabric can go and know what kind of fit and customization is trendy today. We prepare our own collection. Not by going to Milan and New York to window-shop, but by being inspired on the street, in nightlife and society, thus from real life. Here, the creative brand directors can easily view 3000 samples, a combination of our seasonal fresh collection and all of our best-sellers. Our samples fill in the blanks of their collection."

"To me, jeans is a kind of freedom. It strikes my rebellion feelings and I admire the workmanship." Denim Village's two inspiration rooms upstairs are almost overwhelming, overflowing with jeans samples. Some are conceptually playful and artistically ambitious, some are quite regular, with small imperfections and details. In all imaginable dyeing colors, stretch denim, waxed coating, artwork effects from whiskers and wrinkles to grinding. Premium customers are the first to get sneak previews. With the famous book Denim Legends wide open like a blast from the past, Hadi concludes: "Feeding inspiration is the ‘art' part. To me, jeans is a kind of freedom. It strikes my rebellion feelings and I admire the workmanship. We make something new, but it looks like vintage. That's really something I value." —

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FEATURES / The Craftsman

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FEATURES / The Craftsman

The Craftsmen My love for craftsmanship became apparent in an early stage of my life. Looking back on my life until now, I do see several subtle hints and nudges that cultivated this love affair. One obvious and major influence was my great-grandfather, who was a famous Dutch painter. Another is one that occurred at some stage during my time at primary school. I used to play cello in an orchestra where I met Bas Maas. A gifted musician at that age, he turned his love for music into craftsmanship and decided to become a violin maker. We met again 10 years later, when he asked me to create an identity for his workshop. At secondary school I met Frode Bolhuis who started at a prestigious art school in the UK, right after we met. Years later we met again through a mutual classmate. Both are gifted craftsmen, one in making- and restoring beautiful instruments, the other in building his own universe in an inspiring mix of esthetic sculptures and fragile forms. We were fortunate that these men allowed us to use their workshops as the background for a lovely shoot featuring our icon pieces with regard to craftsmanship. —

Photograhpy by Rene Mesman Styling by Frances Levoleger written and art directed by Joachim Baan

Special thanks to Frode Bolhuis www.frodebolhuis.nl Bas Maas www.maasvioolbouw.nl

opposite page Russian Criminal Tattoo: Encyclopaedia vol. 1 Lee chambray Work Shirt le labo santal 26 vintage candle this page Levi's Vintage 1890 501 Spur Bites Tender co. Hand Made Vetiver Soap

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FEATURES / The Craftsman

This Page Nigel Cabourn Naval Parka Nigel Cabourn tie BibliOdyssey Belt by Royal Republiq Opposite page YMC x Gloverall Duffle Coat Morrison Brian folk knit

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FEATURES / The Craftsman

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FEATURES / The 30s French Work Jacket

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FEATURES / The 30s French Work Jacket

The 30s French Work Jacket Old mechanical anonymity vs. Today self-expression

Pierre starts his new job at the Citroën factory at seven o'clock sharp so he gets up early to try on his new uniform. His wife Marie is already downstairs making breakfast. As Pierre walks into the kitchen, Marie looks at him with a 'hmm, not sure' face. -What? -Nothing, it´s just… that uniform. I don't like how it looks on you. -Dunno. It's just a uniform, Marie. At least it´s sturdy and comfy. - I know, but Juliette´s husband who works at Renault wears the same one. They're bent on making you all look the same. - Will you pass me the butter? I'm late.

Don´t worry, Pierre, we love your jacket. Pierre and Marie could have been real. They might have lived in Paris in the 1930s. Their parents probably came from the countryside to work in the new industrial areas. Together with countless others, they boosted the big city's population, all of them lured in by factory jobs and the promise of a better life. Pierre is just another hired hand along the mass production line that André Citroën had installed. He copied Henry Ford's system and developed the Type A, the first mass-produced European car, in Paris. But the logic of line production didn't stop at the machines. Once you gather loads of workers in one single space, the need for uniformity appears. An assembly line, attended by undifferentiated people, homogeneous and anonymous. At the beginning of the twentieth century, most companies in France adopted comfortable, durable and discreet blue overalls or blue jackets: the so-called "bleu de travail". Blue jackets were used by factory workers and black jackets by agricultural workers. Later on, as mass production of these garments developed, styles became boxier and fit was lost, but at this point in time work jackets were more tailored. Mont Saint-Michel, the textile goods manufacturer, specialized in this kind of work wear. Founded in 1913, it moved to Paris in 1923 to be closer to the Parisian factories and warehouses. It earned a reputation for producing the jackets as reliable and durable as possible. Asa result, Mont Saint Michel soon became the biggest work wear maker in France, but unfortunately this didn't last. After the Second World War, the whole French textile industry was in crisis, not having adapted to the intensive industrial mode of production taking hold everywhere. Massive delocalization ensued. The Parisian factory closed in 1979, which helped the widespread dissemination of American practical clothing brands like Wrangler, Dickie's or Carhart. We still see Pierre entering the Citroën factory along with dozens of other workers. He gets lost in the nameless crowd. Everybody looks the same. Pierre could be Antonie, or Gerard, or Michel. In his brand-new anonymity, though, Pierre can´t even start to imagine that one day his work jacket will be a sign of individuality to those who wear it. A day like today, when this anonymous, uniformizing bit of clothing has become personal and unique for us, fans of work wear. Slim cut, high buttoned neck, open-patch pockets, in denim or blue canvas and moleskin, with its original metal buttons. Minimalist, sober, made to last. His French work jacket is living a second life. We care for his tired jacket, trying to find new ways of wearing it, old and worn-out as it may be. , Not all of us fans of these work jackets search for them in vintage shops or stalls, like the one in Spitalfields Market where my friend Teddy has been dressing himself up like Pierre for the past few years. Contemporary brands have taken it upon themselves to come up with their own reinterpretation of French work wear savoir faire. The french work jacket, just like other work wear pieces that are steeped in history, has always inspired fashion, that ephemeral and novelty-hungry beast,. Yet another paradox to add to the list. Artists from various disciplines have found inspiration in work wear too. The photographer Alexander Rodchenko designed a pair of overalls with pockets for his pencils, rulers, pipe and other personal objects. Artists from the first half of the twentieth century like the modernity-worshipping Futurists were equally inspired by the mechanical aesthetic of the factories and the design of work wear. Coming back to our french work jacket, it was designed to wipe out Pierre´s personality. Every day, he'd become a part of an industrial process, a human cog in the machine, replaceable and interchangeable. However, had he lived today, his jacket would be read as a personal statement on style and uniqueness. Mechanical anonymity vs self-expression. The contradiction somehow spices up this jacket's style and sobriety, pushing it forward as a sign of authenticity and originality. Absolutely stylish but free from the fast-changing dictums of fashion. Made to last. Not as a practical choice for a factory worker, but as an emotional choice for someone who continuously develops his own style. —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

Written by Ana Navarro Roselló Photography by Mathieu Vilasco Special thanks to Fred Marc-Marion, owner of Leonard vintage store, 5 rue du plat, 69002 Lyon, France.

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FEATURES / The 30s French Work Jacket

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FEATURES / The 30s French Work Jacket

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WINNER Best innovation award

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City Reports by Luis Mendo — November 2011 — www.luismendo.com — Thanks to Angela Shetler for the proofreading and all my Catalan friends for the help.

city of MarveLs

Calle Rec 52, 73 and 77

1 LA COMERCIAL One of our favorites: 4 shops, scattered along the same street (full of good shops by the way) in El Borne, two for men, one for women, and one for the home. Their selection is terrific, with items difficult to find in other European stores. Think Spanish Colette, but with more taste. lacomercial.info

Having lived in Barcelona for 2 years, I thought I should know the city. Coming back 15 years later regularly for work, I learned to love the place. As Eduardo Mendoza in his book City of Marvels (a must read) tells us, this is in fact not the Paris it aims to be, but more a New York at the Mediterranean shore. Full of tourists all year, do not become one: be a visitant. This place has a lot (maybe too much) to offer next to the Gaudí stuff, but a simple stroll through its streets or sitting at a terrace for some time, might be its biggest charm. Ronda de Dalt

ta

Also do not miss on this street: NOtéNOM Calle Rec 48 & notenom.com

Vía Augus

Dia

Parque Güell

another Luis Mendo ×

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gon

al

Aribau

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Plaza de España

Paseo de Gracia

7 Rambla de Cataluña

Sants (train station)

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2 Princesa 16, Asturias 20 & Doctor Dou, 12

16 6

da

MONTJUIC

11 de

lP

ar

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al

elo

10 Colón

Via Layetana

ni

Rambla

Av e

BARCELONA REykJAvIk Get here your fibre fix. In a country where bread comes mostly from factories and is white as snow, this place makes the most delicious breads and pastries like you can find in Northern Europe. It’s very tasty stuff, but the nicest thing is that they make everything with local organic ingredients and you can sample their bread with beautiful olive oil from the region. Bliss. www.barcelonareykjavik.com

Plaza de las Glorias

Pza. Cataluña

Museo nacional de arte catalán

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Sagrada Familia

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Parque de la Ciudadela

Regà

wAGO Inside a simple but cosy modern small restaurant run by a cata They offer delicious kaiseki styl the guests enjoy the seasons thr almost ready from the kitchen an of you. A gre wagok

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2 19 18 3 1 17 12 15 24 25

Puerto Olímpico

Playa de la Barceloneta

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Playa Icaria

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Cotoners, 14 (little alley off Princesa)

Nu sABAtEs “Old-World Craftmanship for Modern Feet” is the slogan of the once architect and now designer of the Cydwoq shoes. Handmade and treated with natural dyes, they seem to be incredibly comfortable. nusabates.com

4 Verdaguer i Callis, 4

5 Pza San Galdric, 1

6 Pau Claris, 72

thE fIvE ROOMs Owner Yessica started off by converting a huge flat in a city center building into a cozy hotel with just five rooms. Now she has also the upper story and apartments, but the feeling of coziness is still there. Spacious, beautiful, squeaky clean rooms, a common area that feels like a home, and very close to Plaza Cataluña for such a price makes this place my favorite to sleep in the city. thefiverooms.com

Au PORt dE LA LuNE It was presented to me as an illegal restaurant, but I am not sure if it really is. Au Port de la Lune looks little from the outside, just a sliding glass door. Just go in and upstairs to find a little, vegetarian unfriendly, French restaurant (main courses are always meat). On the wall you’ll read the sign: There is no Coca-Cola, there is no Coca-Cola Light, there is no ketchup and there never will be. That sums it up. To be found behind La Boquería market.

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Séneca, 9

NOBOdINOZ Tucked in a small street in Gracia, this kid’s shop has stuff you won’t find elsewhere in Spain. From wooden toys to books and handmade clothes, all carefully (and tastefully) chosen things you can give to your loved young ones. nobodinoz.com

LE CuCINE MANdAROssO This was once an old dark bar called Bodega Carlos near the Palau de la Musica and was taken over by an Italian food lover who had found an old cooking book. Now it’s really hard to get a table. Before they cook your pasta, they come show it to you. lecucinemandarosso.com 9 Notariat, 10

tALLER EsCuELA tExtIL tERANyINA In this small street near the Macba you will find 2 treasures. One is Open House, number 15. The other is this wood floored small textile workshop where aficionados make the most beautiful handmade textiles and scarfs you can buy. teresarosa.com

another Luis Mendo × Carabassa, 19

10 ARC CAfE A place with little pretentions, they serve Thai food every Thursday and Friday at good prices. Make sure you make a reservation though, as it usually gets crowded on those days. arccafe.com

Barra de F

OsCAR h. GR In this tiny shop in a narrow street in front of the the traditional tailors. He cuts and prepares by ha a classic cut, but modern feel. Go to him to have If you go at the beginning of your stay, he will h oscarhgr

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Rabassa, 37

LA PANxA dEL BIsBE The Bishop’s gut — in Spain, it was usual for bishops to have a good life and get free food everywhere, hence their big bellies— is all the way up a hill in Gracia. Go here for gourmet tapas and great wine in a kind of modern setting. The food is incredible and affordable. lapanxadelbisbe.com

consider this advice Although the city is pretty self-explanatory, here are some things you might want to remember when getting to Barcelona:

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Rent a bike —

Riera Baixa, 5

M.O.t.E.L selected second hand A sweet girl from Valencia runs this place, probably the best vintage in Barcelona. She selects only things she really loves and that makes the choices worthwhile. In the same street you will find many more vintage shops so it’s worth the walk. 60s and 70s stuff is in abundance.

Although the city has many steep parts, renting a bike is a great idea. The city encourages the use of bikes and you are allowed to do it on the trottoir (keep at least a 2 meters distance from the people walking). If you are going to stay here long, consider getting yourself a Bicing pass (€30 per year) bicing.cat

H and of that it

Read Barcelonés —

The more stylish and beautifully designed Time Out of Barcelona. Read it to know what makes the city tick in fashion, art and music. Lovely typography too. Their Madrid counterpart is called Madriz. barcelones.com


5 hours in Bcn

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Rosselló, 281

With so many things to do in this city, what if you only have 5 hours to enjoy it? This is what I’d do:

thE OutPOst Together with La Comercial, this is the best shop in the city. The nicest staff you can find helps you choose from the great selection and tells you about the owner, who seems to choose the items and be an all-around great person. In the window there was a lifesaver he found in the garbage, next to a note: “Thank you Barcelona for putting such nice things out in the garbage for us”. theoutpostbcn.com 21

Plaza Rosa dels Vents, 1 tenue de nîMes city report

às, 35

OkORO n wafu interior, you can find this alan and her Japanese husband. le food, which is based on letting rough the food. The plates come nd the chef finishes them in front eat experience. koro.es

w hOtEL At the end of the Barceloneta Beach the city has a new landmark: a building in the shape of a sail which the locals call “hotel vela”. Not my kind of place, but the views from the room windows are breathtaking, the pool is full of beautiful people, and it’s an architectonic beauty. w-barcelona.com

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Have a drink at Terraza La Isabela La Rambla, 109

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The views of the city can be impressive and going up to this terrace is a nice (and free) way of doing it. Just go to the Hotel 1898 lobby and take the lift (there are 3 of them, but only the one on the right brings you up to the top). The pool is only for the hotel guests though. terraza-laisabela.com

Plaza Olles, 4

ZuECO This little shop in El Born only has women’s shoes, the passion of owner Berta. She lives for them. Her personal taste is imprinted in the items: shoes and bags made in Italy, France, and Spain, following many styles but sharing a common kind of delicacy.

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LOIsAIdA With a name based on the name given to the Lower East Side of NYC, this place is a weird mix of old and new. Old glasses, hats, and watches live with new clothes and complements. loisaidabcn.com

17 Plaza Olles, 2

tenue de nîMes city report

Flassaders, 42

OLIvE BARCELONA A shop with olive oil-based products. From the thing itself to chocolate, you would find here the perfect gastronomic present to bring back home (they will be happy to wrap it so you can take it safely in your luggage).

Eat a paella at Puda Can Manel

Paseo Juan de Borbón, 60-61 (that’s at the end, almost by the beach)

The best paella I’ve had in Barcelona. Originally from the more southernly situated Valencia, paella is a very popular food in the whole Mediterranean coast. I love it when the waiter comes and shows it to you and asks for your OK before he serves your plates. pudacanmanel.com

Diputació, 269

16 tAPAç 24 Comerç 24 is Carles Abellan’s — a Ferrán Adriá’s pupil — new project. Located in the heart of the city and open from 8 am to midnight, they have the most special tapas I have ever tried. Things like a ham and cheese sandwich made with Pata Negra or a chocolate mousse with olive oil… Hard to resist stuff. tapas24.net

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12 RANd, tailor e Picasso Museum, Oscar H. Grand works like and suits for men and prêt-à-porter pieces with e your new suit made or a custom made shirt. have it ready before you leave for home again. rand.es

Notariat, 6

Ferro, 7

OPEN hOusE Cute small shop, quite new, run by this expat who used to live in Basqueland. He has a great collection of items mainly for the home, but also complements like bags and jewelry. openhousebcn.com 14 Pau Claris, 192

Pasaje Lluís Pellicer, 20

13 BuN sIChI Humble Japanese place, one of the oldest in town d a little off the center, but maybe precisely because is totally recommendable. I had a gorgeous curry, but they also have the usual sushi and even okonomiyaki! bunsichi.com

BAR Mut Slightly overpriced, but the tapas are fantastic and it has a nice feeling in the corner where it’s located. Probably the smallest place and the noisiest terrace in town. Go check for yourself.

Take a cab —

In the metro (and in all tourist zones) be at all times aware of pickpockets. At night and for long distances, you might consider taking a taxi. They are omnipresent, affordable and mostly very polite. Search for the green lights (they mean “available”).

Read these books —

Eduardo Mendoza’s · City of Marvels · No Word from Gurb · The Adventure of the Powder Room George Orwell’s · Homage to Catalonia

Visit the Picasso Museum

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Moncada, 15-23

A very small museum, but a great one for different reasons. First because it houses often interesting exhibitions, second because it shows Picasso’s time in the city and a great overview of his Meninas interpretation, and third because the five houses that it consists of are worth viewing and enjoying. I go there every time and always am touched by the beauty of everything. 39 www.museupicasso.bcn.es


Collaboration / Converse & Tenue de Nîmes

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COLLABORATION / Converse & Tenue de Nîmes

The new hand-dyed, natural indigo Chuck Taylor All Star high-tops

by Tenue de Nîmes JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

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Interview / Travelteq

Travelteq

Written by Katrina Tan Photography by Joachim Baan

Serial entrepreneur Maarten van den Biggelaar had found himself standing in line one too many times. A frequent flier for both profession and pleasure, Maarten was always irritated by the inconvenience of having to stand in long airport lines. So in 2007, he decided to turn his travel pet peeve into a passion. He established Travelteq, a company focused on creating remarkable and intelligent travel gear. "The company started with the idea for a suitcase that converts into a chair — one that really supports you during all of your travels," shares Sophie van Bentum, one-third of the Travelteq team. "Maarten understood that the time we spend traveling has increased and therefore wanted to create more comfort and serenity in between destinations." This sentiment soon became the vision and mission for Travelteq, as Maarten brought together two likeminded friends—Sophie and Michiel van Ogtrop—to bring the groundbreaking company to life. A graduate of Styling and Design and former intern at Lidewij Edelkoort's Trend Union in Paris, Sophie has carved out a career as a trend forecaster, art director, and fashion stylist. In addition to taking care of Travelteq's brand identity and public relations, she is also the Women's Buyer for Tenue de Nîmes; a job she says keeps her well updated on what other fashion brands are creating. Michiel, known for his in-depth understanding of consumers and good products, is the head of Sales and Operations in Travelteq. He has a degree in Marketing and Communications, and a Masters in Entrepreneurial Management. Previous work experience includes being a business manager for Boostcompany, an Amsterdam-based venture capital firm, as well as consultancies for marketing and sales. Maarten's resume boasts a long list of businesses he started. From opening a club while he was still a student to starting his own restaurant, he is perhaps most recognized for establishing the Dutch Elle and Quote, one of the most respected business magazines in the Netherlands.

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Interview / Travelteq

This small but skillful team carries an impressive range of knowledge and experience. But more importantly, they also share travel as a pastime, as well as a passion for being able to do so in comfort and style. "All three of us travel a lot for business and for pleasure, and during our travels, we always look for quality in clothes, products, food, and life itself," explains Sophie. "However, there's only one thing we had not yet come across — travel accessories that satisfy our needs as a traveler." So despite having never designed or started a fashion or accessory label before, the three simply drew from their own experiences and ideas, and started coming up with innovative product ideas. "Basically, we only make products we miss in our daily lives and products we think are beautiful," Sophie says. "When we have an idea for a new product, we work closely together and look for the best way to fine-tune it. This is actually a real advantage of being a small team—we are not only colleagues, but also close friends. For us, this is an important relationship. We respect each other and understand one another very well." This intimate setup also gives Travelteq the freedom to release products and grow at its own pace. And with a philosophy of functional design that uses only the best of materials, the company pulls out all the stops in coming up with top-quality, timeless products.

"However, there's only one thing we didn't manage to find—travel accessories that satisfy our needs as a traveler." First of all, how did you all know each other before Travelteq? We all come from different industries, but got connected somehow. I met Maarten through his ex-wife, whom I had helped with Fashion Camp, a summer outing for young, creative people. He then contacted me about two and a half years ago to create a brand identity for Travelteq; and ever since then, we have been working together very closely. Maarten had known Michiel for many years already, and the two of them were always talking about starting a new venture together. So Maarten asked Michiel to handle sales for Travelteq, and that's how it all started. When first forming the label, how did you all contribute to its aesthetic? Did you have a particular target market in mind? From the moment we started, we had in mind that our costumer would be a Monocle reader. It sounds strange, but for us, Monocle really defines our clients. These are clients who travel a lot, appreciate design, and are eager for life in general. We also have a lot of respect for brands such as Prada and Hermès. None of us had experience in designing or starting a fashion or accessory label. We are all just very eager to create beautiful things. We like brands that are timeless, simple, and want to sell good quality products.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

It's interesting that the company was actually formed two years before its launch in December 2009. What was going on prior to opening Travelteq's doors? The company started with the idea of the Trip suitcase, an intelligent carryon suitcase that converts into a chair. Because we wanted the design to be perfect, every part of the Trip had to be designed separately. We created and designed everything ourselves, and it took almost three years. Midway through, after about one and a half years, we came up with the idea to create the perfect laptop bag, which we called Trash. It ended up being our first product, and we went online with it in December 2009. Tell us a little about the initial design and development process you went through. Wanting to create the perfect laptop bag, we knew from the beginning it had to be made of the best Italian leather we could find. So we looked for quite a long time—not only for the right leather, but also for the right factory that could manufacture all our products—and ended up sourcing the finest Florentine Vachetta leather from a family-run factory in Tuscany. Then we started drawing. The bag had to be very basic in aesthetic, but also have a lot of compartments to put all of your "trash" in. We incorporated eight different compartments, three of which can be zipped. To make it new and refreshing, we also lined the bag with water-resistant, colored nylon. It makes the bag more fun and personalized to your own taste. What was the initial public reaction? Do you remember your first customers? Although we knew we had a unique product, we had no idea what to expect. People were so enthusiastic, that not only did they buy our products, they even asked if they could contribute to the company and come up with suggestions for more travel-related products. Aside from our friends and family, our first customers came from all over the world, thanks to the praise from bogs and online articles. The United States caught on quickest, and then word slowly spread across the globe. So with a successful first product under the company's belt, what was next? First, we expanded our laptop bag collection with various different models of the Trash Original. We even made one especially designed for women called Trash Cougar. After that, we designed an iPad case and a leather notebook. And of course, we launched our Trip Suitcase. Can you walk us through your usual product creation process—from inspiration to final product? How long does this usually take? The three of us pitch ideas to each other for what we would like to produce. Then I start drawing, while Maarten does the sourcing. Michiel either deals with our current factory or looks for a more appropriate one. With our existing factory, a final product could take around two months time, with the samples being sent back and forth. If we have to find a new factory, though, this can take up to three months.

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Interview / Travelteq

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Interview / Travelteq

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Interview / Travelteq

"You can actually compare it to a rigid pair of denim— they both get nicer with age."

Is it difficult sourcing quality craftsmen and materials, being based in Amsterdam? We always aim for the best. For example, we are currently manufacturing towels made of linen, and want the best linen for those towels. So now we are importing it from Ireland, as that's where we think the best linen comes from. TRAVEL Aside from Travelteq products, what are some other travel essentials you always pack? Music is a very important part of my life. So I always bring my iPod and headphones. That's also a reason why I love to travel with my Trip suitcase—it has integrated speakers of very good quality, so you can have some really interesting parties and after-parties with it. A couple of weeks ago, we had a dinner party on our roof terrace in Berlin and stayed up until the sun came up. The suitcase definitely came in very handy then. We had a great time dancing on top of the roof, overlooking the entire city of Berlin. It was a very special moment. Favorite travel spots? I just moved to Berlin recently. Every other week, I fly back to Amsterdam for work. Although I have only been living in Berlin for two months, it already feels like home and I've completely fallen in love with this exciting city. The art and music scenes are very big here. I think everybody who lives in Berlin would say that it's a very free and open-minded city. There is still so much to discover, so this would definitely be my favorite travel spot at the moment. Where would you take a visiting friend in Amsterdam? Amsterdam is a very special and cozy city for me. So when friends visit Amsterdam, I always take them through the city by bike. Even to me, biking around the canals after 27 years still feels very special. Though the city is small, there are always some undiscovered gems to check out. I love to go to Brug 9, a secret place under the bridge of one of the canals, every first Thursday of the month, when they have a jazz night.

Aside from production, what are some other day-to-day tasks that go on in Travelteq? Every day, we work to create new products and ready ourselves for retail, as well as handle customer care. As Travelteq is our main focus right now, we constantly work together and have a weekly meeting with the team. We are also busy finding interesting content for our new blog, A Continuous Report, where we share information about our great travel secrets, and inspire fellow travelers to discover new places and travel in style. Do you find it difficult to consistently develop and create products that reach Travelteq's high standards? Because we have such good partners that craft our products, it's not difficult to maintain our quality. Our fabric in Italy has been a world leader for some time now, and we have the best leather supplier in the country. As for our aesthetic, we will always look for simplicity and seek to create timeless products. That is also why we don't launch a new product line every season. We look for the best design for every product— whether it's an iPad case, a laptop bag, or a notebook cover, we guarantee the same quality in every product. We are and will always be consistent in that. On that note, is it a challenge to make the public realize the value of purchasing quality, well-designed products? Well, this was a big challenge indeed. As a non-established brand, selling online only is not easy. In the beginning, we got many inquiries from customers as to what stores sell our products. All we could do was present the product as clearly as possible, communicate the fact that we use the finest leather and our products are handmade in a factory in Tuscany, and last but not least, deliver quality. Now, after two years though, people know our brand and dare to buy online more easily. You mentioned that Travelteq concentrates on slowly adding products to its collection. So how does the team finally decide what product ideas to go ahead with? We always create something we would buy or use ourselves—we are our clients. I think that is where the real honesty is. We ourselves want only products that are durable and timeless. Not something that will only last a couple of seasons. We keep it simple, only creating products that are functional and in line with our envisioned aesthetic. It's also important for us to think along with our clients, so we listen to travelers and learn from their journeys to create the best, most relevant products.

Being a travel-focused company that sells worldwide, where do most of your sales come from? What has been the best-selling product so far? Being it's our home country, we sell the most in the Netherlands. The US is our second biggest market, followed by Germany and Scandinavia. But as you said, we sell worldwide and I think we have sold to almost every country. Our best selling item is our iPad case. Someone actually bought an iPad in order to get the case! How about your personal favorite design so far? To be honest, the Trash Original is my favorite. This is the bag that stands for what we do. It is made by hand in our factory in Italy with the highest quality leather one can get. The color combinations are unique and fun to play with, and the bag has all the needed compartments and more. It's a timeless, highquality, beautiful product! With Travelteq about to wrap up its third year, how would you say the label's grown since it began? Here at Travelteq, we are all learning every day. After two years, we can definitely say we understand our clients more, and are even more inspired to create beautiful products. We also feel the need to inspire fellow travelers to share personal travel experiences, which is why all three of us contribute to our blog. We see the blog as an open research document—a way to remain open to constant contact and communication, so that we can continue to understand our clients. So what have the three of you learned about creating and designing your first line? First of all, it is very important to create your unique style and identity. Even though it is essentially learning by doing, you have to make a statement from the beginning so people really recognize what you are doing and what you stand for. Secondly, it can be a lot of fun if you do it the way we do. We only make things we miss in life that we think are beautiful. That makes it a lot easier and more enjoyable. And to wrap up our interview, please give us a peek into what is currently on Travelteq's plate right now. How do you see it developing in the future? It's a very exciting time for us. We are currently designing a lot of new travelminded products, like weekend bags, travel jackets, and towels; and we are even starting a women's bag line. We also started working on an amazing new project—a men's fashion label. This will be a very unique label. We only design blue clothing and accessories, as we found blue to be the most timeless color for men. In the future, we want to collaborate more with other brands, designers, and artists who share our vision. That way, we can expand our brand and vision across the globe. —

I also really enjoy going to Trouw Amsterdam. It has an amazing new restaurant, and on Friday and Saturday nights, the place transforms into an industrial underground club, hosting amazing DJs from all over the world.

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Interview / Travelteq

Travelteq x Tenue de Nîmes Design Notes by Menno van Meurs "Our women's buyer, Sophie van Bentum, is also the Marketing Manager at Travelteq, and first showed us the brand about a year ago. Sophie is a true source of inspiration when it comes to new brands, trends, colors, and products, in particular. We at Tenue de Nîmes have also become more and more conservative in our product selection. We want the very best, and have radically turned away from all brands that do not embrace our quality standards. We sell our products because they are worth every single penny. Travelteq is such a product—it is not the cheapest, but the best. Every collaboration we do should meet two criteria: that each brand adds their unique characteristic, and that customers are able to witness the heart and soul of both brands in the collaboration. This is why we added a special Chambray lining to Travelteq's original cognac leather bag. Chambray originated in Cambrai, Northern France, where the fabric was first designed and used to create sunbonnets. The fabric has strong connections with denim, as both are very well connected to work wear. This is our first collaboration with this type of premium accessory. Tenue de Nîmes seeks to create a complete look of sublimity, and a top-notch bag was something we wanted to make a reality, as well. Tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories… anything! This bag is all about the creation of a lifetime friend. The quality of this bag is so unique, it will last a lifetime. You can actually compare it to a rigid pair of denim—they both get nicer with age."

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FEATURES / Denim Portraits

Denim Portraits by Ytje

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FEATURES / Denim Portraits

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FEATURES / Denim Portraits

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FEATURES / Denim Portraits

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General Inspiration / Double RL

Ralph Lauren Corporation introduces the first Double RL European flagship in London, opening mid-November. The 2,500-square-foot location is inspired by the dapper heritage and rustic utility of turn-of-the-century London, as well as Mount Street's historic red brick architecture. The store's two floors showcase distinct areas highlighting the range of Double RL clothing, haberdashery, denim and work wear. Viewed through a painted wood and glass storefront, the ground floor recalls a gentlemen's atelier, featuring custom Double RL sewing articles and clothing. Inspired by Victorian and Tudor revival architecture, paneling and wall-cases of English oak mix with herringbone wood floors and aged plaster ceilings accented with vintage fabrics and wall coverings, Americana artwork and antique furnishings.

Double RL captures an authentic American spirit with a focus on integrity, character and timeworn charm. Founded in 1993 and named after Ralph and Ricky Lauren's "Double RL" ranch in Colorado, Double RL offers a mix of selvage denim, vintage apparel and accessories and cool, rugged sportswear with roots in work wear and military gear. With denim at the heart of the brand, Double RL is dedicated to time-honored details and the highest quality workmanship, resulting in one-of-a-kind, exceptionally durable pieces. Exclusive denim fabrics and rare limited editions have attracted a loyal following among collectors of special clothing. In Spring 2010, Double RL launched womenswear with the same vintage heritage. Tenue de Nîmes is one of the few worldwide independent stores that sell a curated selection of the exclusive Double RL brand. —

A weathered stairway leads down to the lower level. Plastered brick walls, reclaimed wooden beams and a glazed concrete floor create a rugged, industrial attitude emphasized by vintage industrial fittings and furniture. This floor houses Double RL's extensive selection of signature denim and work wear.

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General Inspiration / Double RL

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FEATURES / Europeans

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FEATURES / Europeans

Europeans On his way through Europe, driving his classic Peugot 205 'The Eagle' Yamandu Roos worked on a life changing photography project called 'Europeans'. This solo project lead him drive to every far corner of the European continent. Roos captures the places, the landscapes, the objects and most of all the people of Europe with his keen eye for raw beauty and pureness. The Europeans project will get a last chapter in 2012 when 'The Eagle' will drive Yamandu through Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Baltic States, Belarus and Iceland. In the mean time we selected few of our personal photographic favorites so far. Follow our friend Yamandu with us on his journey through his Twitter: @yamadu. —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

Photography by Yamandu Roos written by Menno van Meurs

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FEATURES / Europeans

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FEATURES / Europeans

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FEATURES / Europeans

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FEATURES / Europeans

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Music / Laibach

Laibach and the NSK Written by Hugo Verweij

Just east of Ljubljana and in the middle of Slovenia, in the green of the valley of the river Sava, lies Trbovlje, a coal mining town with about roughly eighteen thousand residents. Since 1976 Trbovlje has one thing that sets it apart from other similarly dull places: The tallest chimney of all Europe. Reaching an estimated 360 meters, it's the tallest structure of Slovenia, and quite a bit taller than the Eiffel Tower. It was built to allow one of Trbovlje's power plants to burn coal without covering the whole valley with its smoke. Apparently this was an easier solution than moving the whole plant up the hill. This is where, in 1980 it was the place the band Laibach (the German name for Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital) was formed. Now what kind of music would a young group play while growing up in an industrial town like that? Indeed, Laibach is known for its dark, industrial sound, with synthesizers and drum computers. And although the band was named after Slovenia's capitol Ljubljana, while listening to their music it's not hard to imagine the industrial surroundings they grew up in. Laibach is one of the founding participants, and is part of the political art collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (New Slovenian Art), established in 1984. Other NSK members are theater group Noordung, visual arts group IRWIN and graphic artists New Collectivism, among others. The main reason the NSK was founded was to create and distribute their art collectively, and thus reach more people. To emphasize this collectiveness, many of their art works are not credited to a single person but to the group as a whole. Besides that, a main objective of the NSK seems to be provocation. They like to use controversial historic symbols in an inappropriate way, and when watching some of Laibach's videos it is not hard to find the resemblance with the aesthetics of totalitarian, Nazi regimes. While for some this is a reason to judge them as being sympathetic to these movements, when we look at the context of their work it is quite clear they just want to point out some of the absurdities of human behavior. The NSK members even created their own state, and fans can get a very real looking NSK passport. They call it a ‘state in time' rather than a state which is limited to one geographical area. There is no real use for the passport, although holders sometimes get a reduced entry price when they visit an NSK event. It is a good piece of conceptual art, but it came with its share of problems: To get your hands on one of these passports, NSK had created an online form to process applications. People from Africa, Nigeria mainly, found this platform and started ordering passports thinking it would grant them legal access to Slovenia, and thus Europe. When the NSK found out about the unusually high number of passport requests, the form was taken offline and ads were placed in Nigerian media to tell people this wouldn't work. Unfortunately this achieved the opposite effect: Nigerians collectively thought their government tried to mislead them, and gangs started selling NSK passports for insanely high prices, claiming it was a legitimate document. Many people were swindled, although there are some stories of African NSK passport holders who made it to the UK and now live in London…

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Laibach has a clever method to get noticed abroad. Their lyrics are sung in Slovenian, German or English, instantly opening up two additional, considerable markets. In 1987 Laibach released the album Opus Dei, which started with the title track, a cover of 'Life is Life' by the Austrian rock group Opus. The Laibach version has been played extensively on American MTV. The cover is a good example of how the group likes to play around with context and meaning of lyrics. They didn't change many of the words, but the whole song transforms from a feel-good stadium anthem to a military march and suddenly I'm not so sure anymore about the innocent nature of the lyrics when front man Milan Fras' voice grunts "When we all give the power, we all give the best". The second track of the album, Leben Heist Leben, is a slower version of the song in German, which alters the feelings associated with the original even more. As I listened to the Laibach albums over the years, changing the meaning of existing songs seems one of their main goals. A more recent example is their 2006 release Volk, on which they play their own versions of fourteen different national anthems, including that of Israel (Yisra'el) the Vatican (Vaticanae) and that of their own made-up NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst) state, which is an altered version of The Great Seal from the before-mentioned Opus Dei album. One of the band members, Ivan Novak, explained in an interview that they wanted to find out how well these anthems would translate into a pop song. The result is interesting to say the least. It's very strange to hear these songs next to each one after the other. Songs which are sung patriotically in each country, explaining why it is the best country in the world. Laibach still performs these days. They have different line-ups, depending on the work they play. When they perform Die Kunst der Fuge - a Laibachian version of The Art of Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach - their lineup is centered around percussion and electronics, while in their Festival lineup the main element of course is the vocals of Milan Fras. Most recently Laibach contributed to a project dedicated to Bob Dylan, who celebrated his 70th birthday in 2011, for which they recorded a version of the Dylan's Ballad of a Thin Man. While they seem unstoppable and they keep coming up with interesting concepts, their music doesn't have the innovative nature it once had. After more than thirty years, it seems like they made their point, and their influence on modern music is clear. Listen to a band like Rammstein and you will know. It is nice to see the Slovenian art scene is still very much alive. In Ljubljana new artist collectives are formed like Circulacija 2, which resides in a squatted hall of one of Ljubljana's former factories. And while they are now much more focused on technology and the symbols and long coats are gone, they still have the same intention NSK had thirty years ago: join artistic forces to organize events and collaborations and showing their art to the world. —

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


INTERVIEW / Jochem Leegstra

10 Questions to Jochem Leegstra

"...we truly believe that, in life, people love beautiful things more than the ugly things." We at Tenue de Nîmes believe in quality and the simple beauty of iconic brands and products. We adore the everlasting style of a Levi's 501, the simple perfection of a bottle of Heineken beer, or the agelessness of a canvas Chuck Taylor shoe. All these brands work together with ...,staat, one of the most inspiring creative agencies in the Netherlands. This Amsterdam-based agency has an impressive portfolio of brands, recreating the past and co-creating the future for the likes of Nike, Bugaboo, MTV, Wrangler Blue Bell and Heineken.

Interview by Menno van Meurs Photography by Joachim Baan

It was during an internship at ..,staat that I first felt the unique energy of its founder, Jochem Leegstra. His speed, keen eye for anything extraordinary, and ability to unite the most talented people in the business made him a true source of inspiration. It was also at …,staat where I first met our creative director, Joachim Baan. And it was at …,staat where I learnt that it was completely normal to start an idea from scratch and slowly build it into something great. A lesson that gave us the faith to build our denim dream, Tenue de Nîmes. We felt that all this warranted us asking …,staat founder and creative director Jochem Leegstra our Ten Questions for this special European issue of Journal de Nîmes.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

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INTERVIEW / Jochem Leegstra

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JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


INTERVIEW / Jochem Leegstra

Could you introduce yourself and tell us something about your background? My name is Jochem Leegstra and I was born in the 70s (5 September 1972, to be more precise). I studied Visual Communications and did a post-graduate in Art Direction, both – never finished – at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU). Before kick starting ...,staat in 2000, I worked as the (first) art director in the commercial department of Amsterdam's TV channel, AT5 for three years. Think: creating 238 commercials a year in the categories, LOW- to NO-budget. My personal take-out: Fast, visual thinking... within the confines of a brief. Take-out 2: Learning about the city and its inhabitants, aka Amsterdammers. Take-out 3: Getting to know more than 100 young, fresh, talented colleagues, whom I still know to this day. I also worked as the creative director of Amsterdam's former nightclub, MAZZO. Think: Being responsible for all the visual triggers and communication at one of the city's most well-known clubs – next to RoXY. That encompassed everything from flyers, digital media, décor and sponsorship deals to creating the monthly-changing club billing – a massive billboard at street-level on the Rozengracht. My personal take-out: Thinking creatively across a broad creative platform – with fantastic people! In just one year, I gained an incredible understanding about nightlife, bar brands, youth culture and music, music, music! Take-out 2: The start of …,staat. 1999 marked the end of an era and the beginning of a fresh, new 2000. Amsterdam seems to be a European hotspot for the best design agencies in the world. Why do you think that is? Amsterdam is creative, poetic, raw, open-minded, romantic and elegant with an edge. Next to that, it's very centrally situated( some of its immediate neighbors are Paris, London, Berlin…). It's an international and cultural melting-pot; a genuine global village. Reason enough to be a truly creative hotspot. It's also home to a lot of great, creative companies: W+K, 180, Massive Music, Guerilla Games, MTV, G-Star, Nike (well, just 38 km away..) plus a lot of smaller independent agencies. So nowadays, great creatives can easily swap jobs. And advertising aside, design, architecture and fashion also play a major role in 'our' creative European hotspot. Your activities at …,staat are very diverse. What exactly is it that you do? We call ourselves a creative agency because we see creativity as a platform. Our agency is comprised of original thinkers who know no limits. I think we're also unique, in that we deliver fully-integrated branding: from the concept and strategy right through to the end result. For us, God really is in the details – be it digital, books, fashion, film, events or products. We love to create work that touches and inspires people. Above all, however, our best-kept secret has to be our passionate and committed team of 25 people; from strategists, designers, architects, copywriters, visual artists, art directors and digital thinkers to project managers and (PR) producers. Next to our perfect espresso, of course… Would you be able to define a true …,staat design? What unites them all? Hahaha! Great question… Our work is so diverse that we don't have any one particular style or any specific formula. Nike and Converse – both sneaker brands – are totally different in communication, look, and attitude. Yet both are our clients. That said, our work does have a certain quality and overall aesthetic because we truly believe that, in life, people love beautiful things more than the ugly things. Simple. You have worked for several big boys in the denim game, such as Levi's and Wrangler Blue Bell. What is your connection to denim? We love denim. Period. It's so close to our heart... we live it, we wear it... every single day. Denim is also an unmistakable part of Amsterdam, and not only because of the mindset of casual, relaxed, chill… Almost all of the denim brands are based – or have an office – in Amsterdam: from Levi's XX and Tommy Hilfiger (including Karl Lagerfeld), to jean maker Jason Denham, Replay, G-Star, Amsterdams Blauw by Scotch&Soda and so on. Another connection is that some of the ...,staat people worked for denim brands JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

like Levi's and G-star in an earlier phase of their careers, and our ex-colleagues Menno and Joachim are now at Tenue de Nîmes. How fantastic is that? We seem to share a passion for everlasting quality. I quote: 'Fashionable is temporary'. Would you be able to explain what that means for you in terms of design, style or just life in general? There are now-trends and nu-looks, the zeitgeist, a momentum.... I love all that. We need that. That's why I adore magazines (or blogs, if you prefer reading online). Things like time, timing, momentum, fashion, memories… they're all an important part of magazines. If you look at vintage magazines, or style mags from the 90s, they represent a 'zeitgeist' in fashion, color, look, tone of voice etc. The Dutch word for magazine is tijdschrift (literal translation: 'time notebook'). I love that time is a part of the name. It totally makes sense. On the other hand, when it comes to design and style – or even life in general – I love timeless quality, i.e. neither retro nor old-fashioned. I need relevance: relevant for now – but without being hip. Be ready for the future. Although you guys have never officially left Amsterdam, you are thinking about opening agencies abroad. Is Amsterdam not big enough after all? We are looking at, and flirting with, New York and Tokyo because both these cities inspire us – just like Amsterdam does. We have fallen in love with them... creativity, inspiration and energy are a big part of the DNA of these cities. If I look back to the beginning of …,staat, passion has always been our driving force – and doing business merely the result. Some people said to me – after we came back from a really inspiring trip to Tokyo – to forget Japan; that the real business in Asia was in Hong Kong or Shanghai. Honestly, I was shocked. Imagine: we just fell totally and absolutely in love with Tokyo... For us, it wasn't about Asia being a market place; that's just a nice bonus. Then, after our flirts with New York and trips to Tokyo, we ended up with a fantastic assignment in Seoul (House of the Purple), and we're now busy with a second project in the South Korean capital. Both, by the way, created from our Amsterdam office, which is still big enough. Although the world seems to be swamped with products of inferior quality, we believe there's a group of people, brands, companies and consumers who are becoming more and more conservative when it comes to the quality of things. From your experience, do we think we are lost or is there still hope? I truly believe in quality. It never goes out of fashion. And if it does, there's always hope. Can you describe a day in the life of …,staat? WHAT: An energetic, slightly hectic atmosphere with occasional points of focus. Good healthy lunches on one big table, and some of the best espresso. WHO: A bunch of – honestly – great people. Same can be said for our clients and projects. HOW: A blend of creative and client meetings – mostly lively. Sometimes a photo or film shoot, but most of the time it's about solving creative projects. A kind of controlled chaos. Just the way I like it. WHERE: Our two-floor office/studio is in a former warehouse building in the center of Amsterdam, overlooking the harbor. Our neighbors are Centraal Station, the city's public library and contemporary concert hall, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. One floor houses our whole team: creatives, designers, producers… everyone including the partners; the other (attic) floor is more for meeting, greeting and eating. If you could pick any other city in Europe as your next destination, where would you go? Ich liebe Berlin (experimental): underground – music and creative-wise – pure and full of contrasts. J' aime Paris (elegance): fashion and food, sophisticated, sexy, stylish, seductive… And what about London, Lisbon, Copenhagen and Antwerp? Whatever. I have to pick one: Berlin. (But not in the winter…) Jochem — 63


FEATURES / Velo

Photography by Thomas Tukker Styling by April Jumilette Art Direction by Joachim Baan Models: Bert, Michiel and Martijn

Velo

One of the most typically Dutch things people from abroad come across in our capital and the rest of our country must be the bicycle. Cycling is rooted in our Dutch culture. It is a means of transport that is so natural to us 'Dutchies' that we are actually surprised not to be driven off the sidewalk by bikes when we visit one of Europe's other major cities. Amsterdam is probably the true epicenter of Dutch bicycle madness. Because the channels of Amsterdam were built in the 16th century the city's infrastructure does not allow for discovering the city by car. That is probably why literally everybody drives a (Dutch) bike through the city. Along with the popularity of cycling came some iconic Dutch bicycle brands like Union. The Union brand was founded more than a century ago. We at Tenue de Nîmes believe the Union unites everything that we feel is Dutch heritage. Their 1914 advertisement claimed: "Our two-wheelers will maintain their glory through the centuries". We can only respectfully conclude they have successfully made it into their second century. This is why we have asked our friend and photographer Thomas Tukker to create a special Union retrospect through the streets of Amsterdam with some of Union's most iconic bikes.

Kindly supported by Union and WICNext WICnext is the international partner of Union and was founded by Rik van Eijk and Jan Willem Proper. The young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs started working with Union in the United States and Canada and expanded their business to the United Kingdom shortly after. Follow them on twitter @unionbicycles and on facebook at facebook.com/unionbicycles For the shoot we used the new and upcoming model Union Black*, specially assembled for Tenue de Nîmes, the classic Union Brooklyn Stepover** and a vintage Union frame built in 1977 for the former director of sports of Union and threetime stage winner of the Tour de France, Rini Wagtmans. Union USA & UK www.unionbicycles.com Union Nederland www.union.nl * Union Black — This modern racer is the perfect commuter bike. This bike is a true winner for any city. A revolutionary bike with a two-speed autoshift internal gear hub. When you reach 18 km/ hour the hub automatically shifts to a higher gear, and when you slow down, it automatically shifts down. ** Union Brooklyn Stepover — A fashionable grandma-bike optima forma. This retro bike is very attractive because of its extra big grey tubes and its matte black appearance. bottom

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Bert Denim shirt Nudie Longsleeve Double RL Scarf The Hill-side Denim Tellason Hunter hat Ralph lauren Shoes David

Michiel Denim shirt Acne Cardigan Howlin by Morrison Denim Momotaro Sunglasses Model' s own

Michiel Shirt Denim Demon Cardigan Morrison Duffel-bag Double RL Denim Naked & Famous Sunglasses Model's own Boots Footwork Martijn Striped sweater Armor lux Shirt Tenue de Nimes Denim Double RL Hat Model' s own Leather gloves Episode Boots Red Wing Shoes

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Bert Shirt Naked & Famous Vest Hacket Denim Tellason Glasses Model' s own Bowtie Episode Shoes David Martijn Shirt Polo by Ralph lauren Cardigan Nigel Cabourn Tie The Hill-side Denim Double RL Boots LL BEan

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


FEATURES / Velo

Bert Denim shirt Nudie Longsleeve Double RL Scarf The Hill-side Denim Tellason Hunter hat Ralph lauren

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FEATURES / Velo

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Bottom

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Martijn Striped sweater Armor lux Shirt Tenue de Nîmes Denim Double RL Hat Model' s own Boots Red Wing Shoes

Michiel Sweater Svensson Shirt Polo Ralph lauren Jacket Nigel cabourn Denim Naked & famous Boots Footwork

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


FEATURES / Velo

Michiel Denim shirt Acne Cardigan Howlin by Morrison Denim Momotaro Sunglasses Model' s own Bert Shirt Naked & Famous Vest Hacket Denim Tellason Glasses Model' s own Bowtie Episode Shoes David Martijn Shirt Polo Ralph lauren Cardigan Nigel Cabourn Tie The Hill-side Denim Double RL Boots LL BEan

JOURNAL DE NĂŽmes / NÂş 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

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Food & Drinks / Queen of Tarts

Battenberg cake, with its architectural squares of pretty pink and yellow, has been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. We were often treated to a piece on Sunday afternoons. While the 窶連ntiques Roadshow' was on in the background, we were treated to a piece of this marvellous cake at tea time, together with the obligatory salmon and cucumber sandwiches and scones. I had forgotten about it since living in Holland. Everyone in Britain who still has a Grandmother knows what Battenberg cake is. It goes without saying that Battenberg cake is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.

Battenberg cake A cake fit for a king! Written by Julie Wintrip Photography by Joachim Baan

The cake was created in honor of the marriage of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine to Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884. Each square of the cake represents one of the four princes: Louis, Alexander, Henry and Francis Joseph. Prince Philip, the current Duke of Edinburgh (and consort of Queen Elizabeth II) is their grandson. It has long since been reproduced by the mass-market bakery brands and packaged for quick sale in supermarkets. Since I have never baked one I thought it was a good time to try and I was pleasantly surprised at how simple it is to make. Good luck! This recipe will make two cakes; one can easily be frozen for unexpected guests! Ingredients: FOR ALMOND SPONGE 175g very soft butter 175g fine caster sugar 140g self-raising flour 50g ground almonds half teaspoon baking powder 3 medium eggs half teaspoon vanilla extract quarter teaspoon almond extract FOR PINK SPONGE 1 x ingredients for almond sponge pink food coloring To assemble: 200g apricot jam approx. 2 x 500g natural color marzipan 1. Heat oven to 180C and line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with baking paper. 2. To make the almond sponge, put the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract (all ingredients) in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until the mix comes together smoothly. Spoon into the tin, spreading to the corners, and bake for 25-30 mins. To determine whether it is done: poke it with a skewer or tooth pick. If it comes out clean, it's ready. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling while you make the second sponge. 3. For the pink sponge, line the tin as above. Mix all the ingredients together as above, but don't add the almond extract. Stir in some pink food coloring (if you use the gel coloring add a little bit at a time using a toothpick). Then pour it all into the tin and bake as before. Allow to cool. 4. To assemble, heat the jam in a small pan until runny, then sieve. Cut each edge of the cake so they are stright. 5. Roughly measure the height of the sponge, use a ruler to help you cut 4 slices each the same width as the sponge height. Discard or nibble leftover sponge. Repeat with pink cake. 6. Take 2 x almond slices and 2 x pink slices and trim so they are all the same length. Roll out the marzipan on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to just over 20cm wide, then keep rolling lengthways until the marzipan is roughly 0.5cm thick. Brush with apricot jam, then lay a pink and an almond slice side by side at one end of the marzipan, brushing jam in between to stick to the sponges, and leaving 4cm clear marzipan at the end. Brush more jam on top of the sponges, then sandwich the remaining 2 slices on top, alternating colours to give a checkerboard effect. Trim the marzipan to the length of the cakes (note: the marzipan does not cover the ends of the cake!). 7. Assemble second Battenberg and keep in an airtight box or well wrapped in cling film for up to 3 days. Can be frozen for up to a month. 68

JOURNAL DE Nテョmes / Nツコ 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


Interview / Essentials

Essentials

according to Gabor M. Magyar Interview by Menno van Meurs Photography by Joachim Baan

Gabor M. Magyar is Managing Director for Red Wing Shoes, Europe. Denim Levis 501 – No washing. When I worked at Nike we used to buy them in Portland for 30 bucks in an outdoor store. Always got them a couple of sizes too big. Wear them for years, and then get a new one. T shirt Various band t-shirts. Since the late 80s I started seeing bands. Lots of heavy metal. Even now I always try to get my hands on a good shirt. It's a souvenir! Shirt Mr Freedom, a Navy shirt. It's a nice piece of clothing I picked up not too long ago. I love the sturdy fit and the strong and rough materials. You have to break it in, just like a pair of boots. Sweater Regular Nike hoodies. Nothing beats a good hoodie. Simple of shape and fit makes it a great piece for the weekend. Jacket Patagonia Classic Down Jacket. It's a very iconic piece of clothing from a brand that I admire greatly. Just to support who they are and what they stand for is enough reason to purchase a Patagonia item. Suit Not so relevant to me.

Socks ed Wing Merino wool socks – It's a great sock for winter time! The perfect sock – it's warm and the fit stays great. Watch Rolex explorer II, with a black face. I bought this one 4 years ago, when our daughter Ella-Mae was born. Perfume Tom Ford – Grey Vetiver. Simple, pleasant, subtle. Travel bag Filson Large Trolley. If anything breaks down, it will be the wheels, not the canvas for sure. I love the size too, it is huge! Stationery Moleskine hardcover ruled pocket notebook. Great for business travels. Headwear Stetson Hatteras. A brand that I like a lot. Great people too: honest, friendly, making the best product they can. Wallet Red Moon, Big Wallet. This wallet was a gift from one of the Red Wing agents, just when I started. Perfect, masculine wallet. I love wearing and using it. —

Footwear Red Wing 6" Moc in Green. Tough to find, and tough to (re)make, this is one of the greatest colors I have ever seen on the 6 inch Moc. Maybe one day it will be re-launched?

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

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FEATURES / Merz b. Schwanen

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FEATURES / Merz b. Schwanen

— A German adventure in knitwear. Written by Olivier van der Hagen Photography by Dirk Thomas — Merz b. Schwanen

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FEATURES / Merz b. Schwanen

It's an impressive feat these days not to have large chunks of your life found online with the push of a few keyboard buttons. Especially if you're a designer named Peter Plotnicki and you already have plenty of feathers in your cap as a designer with a fashionation – sorry, fascination- for vintage clothing. In the space of four years, his name has become inextricably linked to family-owned brand Merz b. Schwanen, that was forced to close its doors in 2007, four measly years shy of its centennial. The firm's legacy could have ended there, but Plotnicki decided otherwise. This connoisseur of authentic, qualitydriven knitwear, with a predilection for clothing from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s found himself on a flea market a few years after Merz b. Schwanen went out of business. As the story goes, he had been contemplating a possible venture in denim until he came across an old worker's shirt by Merz b. Schwanen. Needless to say it was love at first sight, and Plotnicki saw his next venture before him, clear as day. This was helped along by a marvellous coincidence, if one could call it that. Around that same time, he'd come across a producer by the name of Rudi Loder who still had old sewing machiircular knitting machines that he was dying to put to use again. All the elements for Plotnicki's new venture appeared to fall into place. He managed to get in touch with relatives of the company's founder, Balthasar Merz, and presented his ambitious plan to them to breathe new life into the brand. It didn't require much thought on their part to give him their approval. Here was a man who was not out to make a quick buck by capitalizing on their family's good name and hop on the nearest bandwagon. No sir. Here was someone who, by his own convictions, wanted to resurrect Merz b. Schwanen's craftsmanship, using traditional manufacturing methods. The circular knitting machines that dated back to the first half of the twentieth century that Plotnicki had found at Loder's were dusted off and gained their rightful place in Merz's workshops in the Swabian Alps, in the South western part of Germany, in a region called Baden-Württemberg.

"The machines produce irregular weaving patterns, so by default every item of clothing that is made, is by itself unique."

As early as 1836 circular knitting machines were first introduced here. Up until that moment in time, the region was mostly dependent on its agriculture, even though the climate and the geography were not exactly giving the farmers much to smile about. Aided by the government and hoping to generate extra income, circular knitting machines were installed on farms. These machines were then used to produce stockings and undergarments. The specifications of these machines enabled the use of cotton which provided much more comfort than the mostly linen garments that were available in those days. It heralded the birth of German knitwear, and the Swabian Alps are still renowned for this tradition. The beauty of these machines is that they create a garment without side seams. Consequently different machines are used for different sizes. And that's not all. The machines produce irregular weaving patterns, so by default every item of clothing that is made, is by itself unique. This remarkable feature simply had to be incorporated into his new line, Plotnicki realized, if he was to do the Merz b. Schwanen name any justice. And whereas Merz may once upon a time have been mainly known for its superior undergarments (and still does produce long johns that everyone should hope to find in their stockings come Christmas), Plotnicki is quick to point out that Merz also creates wonderful shirts, t-shirts and sweaters. Moreover, he has plans up his cotton sleeves to put out styles of shirts that are more contemporary, next to the original shirts that Merz has already produced. That said, it's because of the old-school designer's preference for vintage clothing from the first 3 or 4 decades of the twentieth century that he's not been influenced or impressed by fads or trends that have come and gone. The proverbial bandwagon never held much appeal for this man. Beauty, authenticity and history however do. It is precisely for that reason that none other than Nigel Cabourn got wind of what was happening in Germany, got in touch with Plotnicki, and a gorgeous collaboration ensued. And it is also because of that, that Plotnicki's rescue mission was picked up by Tenue de Nîmes's radar. Or perhaps, and I do prefer to think of it that way, it is a clear cut case of how great minds think alike, and are destined to find eachother. They seek each other out, or come together simply because they hold the same values dear and wish to promote those, every where and all the time but especially in times of economic gloom. It now seems things have come full circle, and Merz is facing a bright future once more. We couldn't be happier and can't wait to see what the brand has in store for all its fans over the coming years. —

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FEATURES / Merz b. Schwanen

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FEATURES / The Denim Demon Tribe

— The Denim Demon Tribe —

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JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012


FEATURES / The Denim Demon Tribe

The photos of the Denim Demon look book were made in Stensjön. It is in the middle of nowhere. To be more precise, in the County of Jämtland. This is where the Olsson's grandfathers grew up and where their dad used to spend his summers. The Sami's reindeer move around in this land during the summer, so the herdsmen need to move there as well, in order to be close to the herd. Oskar and Anton Olsson spent a lot of summers there, which is why they chose this location for their special photo shoot.

JOURNAL DE Nîmes / Nº 8 the made in Europe issue, autumn/winter 2011/2012

We spent 72 hours up in Stensjön last summer, working around the clock to make it perfect. Our entire family came along which resulted in the group picture, or better: a picture of the Denim Demon tribe. The village is located at the end of a private road, where only the members of the Sami village may enter. In fact, you need to be a tribe member to be able to set foot on these lands. During winter it is impossible to drive there, so to get around, we used skis or a snowmobile. —

Photography by Jens Andersson for Denim Demon Jeans.

www.denimdemon.se

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Reestraat 15 1016 DM Amsterdam The Netherlands Shop online at www.redwingamsterdam.com

Journal de Nîmes Nº 8  

The Made in Europe Issue — Autumn Winter 2011/2012

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