Monthly Archives: August 2010

Destination | Tenue de Nîmes/Red Wing, Amsterdam

Our mini-euro tour luckily made a stop in the wonderful city of Amsterdam.  We’ve been there a handful of times before and it’s always a pleasure to visit.  This time ’round, I made it a point to make it over to the well-regarded Tenue de Nîmes in the nine streets area of the city.  Walking into the shop, I was greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable staff, as well as a well-selected array of denim, footwear, outerwear, wovens, and various accessories.  I even made a trip back later in the day to take my friend Ping to the shop.  We walked up to find the shop closed and all the guys outside having a smoke/chat.  Not only did they invite us back in to the shop, they made us coffee and talked shop with us for a while.  Very cool.  Standouts to me were their selections from the venerable Nigel Cabourn (it was my first time seeing his stuff in person) and a pair of Momotaro‘s hand loomed denim, which they loom on-location in their store in Okayama (Japan) on a modified vintage kimono loom.  Unreal.  The denim was a lighter shade of indigo, which according to Rene who works at the shop, is a result of a 100% natural dying and treatment process, and had a nice, soft, slubby hand.  Truly an artisan piece that could have been produced hundreds of years ago in the same exact way.  Despite the great selection of stuff, I managed to only walk out with an issue of Men’s File, and their in-store ‘zine, Journal de Nîmes.

I also made my way to the newly opened Red Wing Amsterdam store located only a few blocks away and owned and operated by the same good folks who run Tenue de Nîmes.  Besides carrying all the key Red Wing selections, they had some great bags by Heritage Leather Co and Duluth Pack, as well as belts and wallets from Tanner Goods.  The love and respect these guys have for the brand definitely resounds in the shop.  The shopkeeper (who’s name slips my mind, but is the brother of Menno van Meurs, part owner of Tenue de Nîmes) told me of their trip to the city of Red Wing, MN and the factory that resides there in order to get a more in-depth and hand-on experience with the brand.  Respect.

Needless to say, if you ever find yourself in the wonderful city of Amsterdam, I certainly recommend a trip over to the nine streets area to visit these two shops.

Pictures of the stores pulled from here and here.

Also visit Tenue de Nîmes’ blog, as well as Red Wing Amsterdam’s blog.

Video of Nigel Cabourn in the Tenue de Nîmes talking about his collection:

Video of the Momotaro hand loomed denim:

…and some random pictures of my trip:

I came upon an antique market:

I ended up picking up the pocket knife pictured above.

On a Sunday | Rose Bowl Flea/South Willard

My wife and I got to steal away for a few hours from parentdom and hopped up to Pasadena to visit the Rose Bowl Flea Market.  Lots of great typical flea market goods — vintage furniture, trinkets, and knick-knacks, and of course a ridiculously large and overwhelming vintage clothing and footwear section.  I spotted a few very cool vintage pieces, including an old USN deck jacket that looked like it could have been pulled from Nigel Cabourn’s collection.  I did a ton of self-editing though, and walked away with only a couple things — a metal tool box for my leathercrafting tools, and a vintage wool baseball cap in a perfectly colored mustard yellow, probably from the 50’s or 60’s.  My wife did slightly better than me (or worse, depending on how you look at it) and walked away with 3 or 4 pairs of shoes, a couple dresses, a bag, and a vintage wooden box, almost like a mini chest.  Quite a successful flea market trip.
We dipped into South Willard on the way home, as I’ve been obsessing over the charcoal grey/brick sole Quoddy bluchers since last summer, which they just restocked a few weeks ago.  I nearly went the entire summer convincing myself that I didn’t need a pair of these, but I’m glad I caved cause these are insanely perfect.  The charcoal grey and brick sole perfectly compliment each other, and the matte black eyelets, non-contrasted stitching/laces make for a perfectly understated and subtle pair of shoes.  Beautiful.  I also appreciate the craftsmanship and build of the shoe a lot more since I’ve been attempting to make my own shoes lately (post possibly upcoming).  Oh, and Ryan from South Willard also gave me one of Altadena’s little key rings that they just had forged and made in Japan.
All in all, a great Sunday morning.

Destination | Europe/UK Tour

Back out on the road again.  This time overseas in Europe and the UK doing a bunch of festivals (and a couple club shows in between).  In case anyone has any recommendations, dates/cities as follows:


8.20.10 | AREA 4 FESTIVAL