Tenue de Nîmes CEO Menno van Meurs' sense of community has been key to the Amsterdam-based store's long-term success.
When Menno van Meurs, chief executive officer of Tenue de Nîmes, launched his curated denim shop in November 2008, his peers thought he was “out of his mind” to start a company in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Nearly a decade later, van Meurs is at the helm of a successful retail operation and budding denim brand, all while leading an enthusiastic community of denim heads in Amsterdam.
As CEO, van Meurs says Tenue de Nîmes’ primary focus is developing its in-house brand (which launched in 2015) and commemorating the company’s 10-year anniversary. As such, there will be 10 Tenue de Nimes collaborations with van Meurs’s favorite brands: Vans, Red Wing Heritage, Momotaro, AGoldE, Converse and Levi’s.
“A journalist once said to me that it is very un-fashion like that people in our denim game get along so well,” van Meurs said of his relationship with the denim community. “We’re organizing a table tennis tournament with the guys from Nudie and in September, we’re doing a breakfast to celebrate the launch of our Vans x Tenue de Nîmes Indigo Authentic. These kinds of events keep the spirit alive.”
To van Meurs, sustainability also includes maintaining a transparent denim supply chain and educating consumers about responsible shopping.
“It would be so helpful to guide consumers towards a ‘better’ choice. Let’s share information about where something is made, if workers get enough paid, what kind of mills the fabric made and what kind of production methods were used to make the product,” van Meurs said. “It would be a dream to come up with an industry standard, a collective stamp of approval, that helps consumers to make a sustainable choice based on their values.”
What is your first denim memory?
“My dad never had much as a kid. As a consequence, he could never throw stuff away. So, when my brother and I were young, we used to go upstairs and jump into his closet full of his ’60s and ’70s outfits. This is where I found his old ‘Big E’ Levi’s jacket and a pair of Wrangler Bells...I still wear his Bells and the Levi’s jacket hangs in a frame above my desk at the office.”
What is your favorite pair of jeans?
“My favorite pair of jeans is my first Tenue de Nîmes ‘Pablo’ jean, our modern take on a slim straight.It is made from a 15 oz. Japanese denim, made by my dear friend Manuel Canova.”