‘I want people to invest their time and become a part of Serge’. And after checking out the latest collection at the launch party for Serge DeNimes pop-up-store at Wolf & Badger on 32 Dover Street, it’s easy to do so. During the night, the urban Serge lifestyle was peppered with elements of Chelsea mixed with Japanese Beer and Vodka and Cranberry. Guests flooded in-store while street artists were drawing on a wall and were treated to a live DJ as well as a street vintage atmosphere. BerlinLondon caught up with the founder of Serge DeNimes Oliver Proudlock to find out more. Young, determined and creative, this brand will go very far. Check out the latest collection for yourself at the pop-up-store until the 23rd December.
How would you describe Serge in 3 words?
In three words – Urban, creative and young.
And now even harder, how would you describe your personality in 2 words?
Ambitious and creative. Using creative twice.
Where did the idea for your brand actually begin?
I suppose it began probably about 2 years ago. I have always been really into fashion ever since I was a kid, which I get kind of from my mum. My mum had her own clothes company where she used to design knitwear jumpers. And my mum is just all about style. Everything’s about style.
She sounds amazing.
She is pretty awesome. So yeah, since a young age I have always been really into fashion but art was my main thing. I specialized in painting. From about 16 I became really serious about it and kind of focused all of my time into that. And while I was doing art exhibitions, I always used to print my designs on t-shirts and stuff like that. So there was always that aspect of mixing my art with fashion. I used to have a rail of t-shirts up at exhibitions and give my friends a chance to buy something. When I came back to London, I really wanted a break from art. I’d been painting for the last 4 years. So I came back here and then I was like I wanted to start to do something fresh but at the same time I wanted to continue doing something creative and doing something that I’m really passion about.
Always since a young age, I’ve tried to do my own thing. And I remember I was one day at my mums in the countryside and I was looking through this book she did on Rio Carnival in 1978 and I was thinking back to when I went to Brazil when I was 18. I was looking at these images and thought “they are so cool”. I was like “I would like to print these images on t-shirts” because they are really bright, colourful and bold. Then I was thinking that maybe I could take this further and make it my own clothes brand. And one of the things I was always into was denim – I love denim more than anything. My mum as well has her own denim company. She sells the material. And I was thinking how I’d love to have my own denim brand and that’s when I came up with the name Serge DeNimes, which is obviously the origin of denim.
But I wanted to start with one product that I am familiar with and just focus on that one product and establish a brand around it. I decided t-shirts as I had done t-shirts before. And I have got an amazing contact in Portugal so I went back out there, picked a really great factory and started focusing on the cotton and the cut. Then I made some samples and then it all just happened so quickly. We then started a website. It’s been a year and a half now and it’s gone from strength to strength.
You’re making it sound very easy, but it must have been challenging along the way?
It has been quite hard. I think it is mainly because so many people nowadays have their own ideas and they want to go out and do their own thing. But it’s actually about taking this step, that leap of faith. There’s quite a big difference from saying that you are going to do something to actually doing it. I was learning along the way. I didn’t know how to set up company or how to do this and that. I was going into the unknown. But as you do it, everyday you learn new things. You have the days when you are freaking out, where you can’t sleep because when you do it, it is always on your mind and you can’t just switch it off. But it is just so amazing and so rewarding to set up your own thing and to get a great response from people and to see the positive feedback.
What is involved in the design process?
From the starting point; just brainstorming and coming up with the ideas. It takes days to fire ideas back and forth. And then we start doing sketches, put a few things into the computer, put up some designs, get some samples made and then from those samples we decide which designs we like and which we don’t.And then picking the tees themselves is very important for me. I want the print to be amazing, the image to be really bold and stand out but I also want the t-shirt itself to be fundamentally really good, the cut to be amazing and the touch to be really nice.
Exactly! Perfectionist which is good but on the other side it kills me as I just can’t sleep. So then I go to the factory, pick up the cottons, get some cuts made, put in the order. It sounds so easy but it takes time. I want everything to be perfect.
You have been stock by some incredible places such as Harrods. How did you do that?
Yes, that was great. That was when I did my launch party in June last year. I got the buyer from Harrods to come down to the night and we put on a fashion show and exhibited all the collection. He loved the stuff and we had a meeting next day.
How did it feel when you saw it there?
That was awesome. Obviously I have always loved Harrods and to be able to say that my stuff is stocked there…. And I remember the day when I went down into the men’s lab and saw it first hand. They had a really nice little stand with the t-shirts and it was right next to Acne, which is one of my favourite brands so I was literally like “Oh My God this is the best day ever”.
And when you go to Harrods do you just pass by your section?
Yeah I occasionally sneak by and just check it out.
Advise people to buy it?
Yeah, I just stand there like “these t-shirts are so cool”. And I get people to go down there the whole time. But Harrods have been amazing and they have been very cool people to work with.
So who else would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Well, I can think of some big brands I’d love to work with. I’d love to do one with Nike. But obviously that would be way down the line.
That would be amazing! I think you could do it now.
I would love to do some trainers for Nike. That would just be epic. We’ve got actually coming up in a summer a brand called Fin’s – it is a shoe brand. We are just waiting for samples from them. They’re going to be similar to Espadrilles but there’s more to them. It’s going to be like vintage denim. Should be really cool. That’s what I want to focus now on – bringing in more denim.
And would you like to collaborate with any artists for your t-shirts?
Yes, definitely. One artist I want to collaborate with is actually a friend of mine called Kate Bellm who is a photographer currently living in Berlin. She is really a very cool photographer – I really would love to do a collaboration with her. Another thing I want to do as well is go out to Nepal. A friend of mine who is working in a retreat out there, works with animals who are going extinct. And they have a big charity push there and I want to go out there to do a collaboration with them and maybe bring Kate with me and shoot some of these live animals up close. Then print some of the images on the t-shirts and then do a big documentary about it – film the whole process. And then proceeds will go towards that charity. So that’s the kind of thing I want to do. I really want to start to do some really cool creative collaborations involving documentaries and going to different parts of the world. Just connecting Serge with loads of different aspects.
And would you like to feature Serge at London Fashion Week?
I would love to. We haven’t been ready for it yet. Maybe when we have got some more products and when there are a few more pieces out there. When we are a bit more established, I would definitely love to do London fashion week. 100%.
Would you do your own Denim jeans?
That is the end game. That’s where I want to head. I want to slowly build the brand and for people to recognize that this is a brand of quality. Then they invest into that and when we’re more established will start to bring out larger products such as jeans and things like that.
So by next year where do you see the brand?
Next year, firstly I want to hopefully push out to more stockists. And also more outside the UK. Crack China and the States. That would be a dream. And then we are expanding into products.
And if you could put any photos from any London carnival onto your t-shirts, which carnival would you choose?
Notting Hill Carnival. Maybe next year, we can take a section or something and do a Serge party at Notting Hill Carnival. I think that would be really cool.
Would you like your mum to photograph them as she did for the other ones?
Why not? I am sure mum would love to come down and take some photos. But I think that would be very cool to do a Serge party at Notting Hill Carnival. Have a little float, a van and some music. Get that Brazilian vibe in Notting Hill.
And you also have your style blog. Did you find that it has made you more fashion conscious by doing it?
Not really. I guess it makes me think more about what I wear to office every day. Before I would put a pair of tracksuit bottoms on whereas now every day when I come into the office, I’ve got to be thinking about what I am going to wear today.
Good luck with everything!
Check out Serge DeNimes at http://sergedenimes.com/ and Proudlock’s style blog http://www.proudlockstyle.com/ . And if you have a chance – definitely visit the pop-up store!
On the 6th of September Vogue held its Fashion Night out – an event to encourage people to shop (not that here at BerlinLondon we have any problem with that!). The night was filled with shops hosting events, celebrities and a lot of free food and drink. The streets were buzzing with bloggers, models, celebs and trendsetters intertwined with the general public. Highlights from in-store events included free champagne, manicures, hairstyling and live music e.g. Delilah at Topshop. Pretty much an equivalent to a street party but with a runwayesque vibe.
March 15th. Hundreds of people assembled at the Kurfürstendamm to celebrate the opening party of the new Urban Outfitters store in Berlin. Excitement and impatience. Doors open! BerlinLondon looked in to get a foretaste.
Music by Prins Thomas
Astonishing 3 floors! Books, Music, Gifts etc.
We loved it! A well organised party with an amazing dj and individual shopping addicts.
10719 Berlin, Germany
For further information click here.
Mal wieder Zeit zum Ausmisten? Die neue Kleiderkollektion ist raus? Dann geht es hier zu deinem neuen Kleiderschrank! Auf kleiderkreisel.de kannst du gebührenfrei deine Klamotten tauschen, verkaufen oder verschenken.
You want to give away or sell your clothes to other girls and boys? Or just trade your clothes with someone else? Then check out kleiderkreisel.de and log in for free.
Là pour là (cf. the term “l’art pour l’art”- art for art’s sake) is a small shop in Stuttgart that opened in September 2011 by Maria Marci & Hannes Orange, a fashionista and a musician and party-organiser.
It’s not only a cool place for buying stuff from little Scandinavian indie-brands or the latest trends from London, you can also buy books with unknown poems and- the best- eat Stuttgart’s most famous sushi!
A huge diversity of labels for women and men, such as Surface to Air, f-troupe, Carin Wester, tba, Loreak Mendian, Swear, Fjällräven, Bag’n'Noun, Uniforms for the Dedicated, Suit, Minimum, Libertine-Libertine, Farah Vintage, Wood Wood, Louche, MinkPink, Mimic, Melissa, Anniel, Gardenia, Monday March, nypd, Part Two, Storm & Marie, Shoebiz, Emma Go, Just Female, Second Female, Sandqvist, là pour là… and many more !
But who wants to read about a store? Nobody, because the following photos will tell you everything you have to know!
Definitely worth to come around here the next time you’re in the city!
check out their facebook site or visit the shop.
là pour là, Königstraße 1b, 70173 Stuttgart, Germany
Mo-Sa: 11:00 – 19:00
credits: photos from facebook.com/lapourla
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