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Tenue de Nîmes: Amsterdam's ‘Denim Inspired’ Boutique

Friday, Nov 19, 2010, 3:37 PM / Amsterdam, Netherlands



While there’s an enthusiastic consumer market out there declaring their devotion to denim, the pursuit of finding a pair of jeans that actually fit is considered by some an insufferable task. Those who find themselves in the latter camp need to visit ‘denim inspired’ boutique Tenue de Nîmes, who ‘claim to have a pair of jeans for anyone, male or female’.

Settling upon a shopfront within the Jordaan district of downtown Amsterdam, joint owners and old friends René Strolenberg and Menno van Meurs opened the concept store in 2008, enlisting the help of friend and art director Joachim Baan to create the interior concept and design.

The space is divided into two parts – ‘old’, where classic brands such as Levi’s Vintage, Acne, Momotaro Jeans and Nudie are kept, and ‘new’ where an array of contemporary designs from Camilla Norrback, Mads Nörgaard and Nigel Cabourn reside (alongside the private Tenue de Nîmes label).

In addition to the store and label, Tenue de Nîmes also operates as an agent for other denim specialists and fashion brands within the Benelux region, leveraging the brand and utilising the duo’s extensive business knowledge within the niche.

Renown for attentive service and detailed product understanding, Tenue de Nîmes is a denim experience for true indigo aficionados. We spoke with Menno to find out more…

TribaSpace: What is the philosophy behind Tenue de Nîmes?
Menno van Meurs: The basic idea behind our store is to be ‘denim heaven’. When our parents were young there were true denim stores that would carry a pair of jeans for everyone. This is why we carry so many different kinds of brands: whether you search for a nice basic pair of Lee jeans, or a handmade, natural indigo pair of Momotaro jeans with sterling silver buttons, we have it all. We also want to have the right pair of jeans for men and women.

Everything we sell besides denim has a natural connection with jeans or its identity in general. We are always in search of the most desirable products from around the globe and for value at the same time. Quality is something we embrace firmly.

Is visual merchandising an important aspect of the store?
Marshall McLuhan said it in such a powerful way: ‘the medium is the message’. People who underestimate the value of their physical store don’t understand retail. Consumer minds are driven by emotion. The way your store looks, smells and feels does something to the customer’s willingness to buy from you instead of from all the other lovely stores around.

Who is responsible for buying stock at Tenue de Nîmes?
My partner Rene Strolenberg and myself do all the buying. Recently we added a very talented women Sophie van Bentum to the team to support us with women’s buying.

What do you look for when choosing designers to stock? Do you find the brands or do they find you?
Well let’s just say that it goes both ways. We travel the world in order to find the ‘Real McCoy’, but obviously people know where to find you too after a while.

What labels are your favorite latest discoveries?
We are very honored to work with the Manabe family from Japan. They are the owners of Momotaro jeans – one of the greatest denim labels available in the world. The unique aspect of this particular brand is that they produce their own fabric, so all their jeans are made from in-house material. In my opinion that is what denim production should be all about. Guiding your products from Zimbabwe cotton plant to the ultimate 15.7 oz Japanese denim. 
But basically all our brands make us proud on a daily basis. We search for long-term relationships with brands and the people behind them. Whether it is a one-man-brand or a multinational, we do not care, as long as the philosophy is something we can support.

Tenue de Nîmes have a blog, and communicate regularly via Twitter and Facebook. How else do you incorporate social media and technology into your business? What effect do you think it has?
We live in a time where you can no longer ignore the power of the Internet. We use social media to stay in touch with our clients and prospects. People have estimated that by the year of 2015, 40% of the global retail will take place online, and social media supports that. Next to activation we actively monitor what is going on in the world by being online, it keeps us updated on a daily basis.

What about online retail?
We are planning on launching a huge online platform next month. It will basically unite all the online fragments of our company in one place. It will be our online store, blog and company website in one. We will go live during our two-year anniversary. It will be our ultimate online experience, completely custom-made for Tenue de Nîmes.

What else can we expect from Tenue de Nîmes?
Next to our store we publish a magazine called Journal de Nîmes four times a year. It has started to become an online cult if I may say – the last issue has been read by more than 50,000 people online. Have a look at the last issue, as well as the past issues, on issuu.

Tenue de Nîmes
Shopfront
Elandsgracht 60
1016 TX Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31203204012

Showroom
Prins Hendrikkade 142
1011 AT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Melisa Gray-Ward | TribaSpace

Interested in reading more stories like this? Keep an eye on the TribaSpace Magazine:

Product Groups: Accessories, Streetwear, Footwear, Ready-to-Wear, Denim
Markets: Men's, Women's

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