Meet The Store #13: Store Du Nord , The Hague (NL)
Today the 13th episode of the topic Meet the Store. This topic Meet the Store shows you the best (denim) stores. The stores you need to know to find the right pair of jeans, the most durable boots, an outstanding jacket or your new favorite denim item.
This new edition of Meet the Store is with Store du Nord which is located in The Hague, The Netherlands. A great store filled a perfect selection of unique brands. Thanks for sharing your story Jeroen!
Jeroen de Wal
- Name: Jeroen de Wal.
- Living in village & country: The Hague, The Netherlands.
- Age: 37 years.
- Instagram ID of the store: @curatedbydunord.
- Website: storedunord.com
- Daily work: Owner Store Du Nord, Du Nord Projects.
Can you introduce yourself (who are you and what are you doing):
So, my name is Jeroen de Wal and I am the owner/founder of Store Du Nord and Du Nord Projects.
What kind of store is Store Du Nord:
Store Du Nord is a menswear specialty store, focused on storytelling. A large part of the brand portfolio is built around independent makers, artisans and small-scale manufacturers who put quality and construction before marketing and volume.
Can you tell a little bit about the history of Store Du Nord:
Store Du Nord opened its doors in August 2019. Having worked in retail for the past 20 years, I always had the desire to run my own company. After having launched the 1st private label garment in 2017 (Le Jean Du Nord), I felt the need to create a platform that caters to a wider audience with a high focus on contemporary pieces. I don’t buy collections based on trends, much of my time is dedicated to sourcing niche labels that have a similar vision and a steady range of essentials mixed with some unique pieces.
I am of the opinion that too many people over-consume merely because they haven’t found their style yet, or because mediocre qualities are too widely available. Buy less, but better is a philosophy I hold dear, sort of a slow fashion culture, and this is what I discuss with my clients as well. I’d rather have them invest in 4 – 5 premium quality pieces that never go out of style, than that they buy 4 – 5 outfits per season and follow trends. It’s just not my cup of tea.
Your life can be so much easier when you’ve found your style, your favorite brand(s) and how to combine various pieces. This whole concept is luckily being well-received at Store Du Nord, where often people rediscover qualities and styles they thought were no longer made. By telling the stories of the artisans, I allow people to discover their own style and make it work for them. One client can buy a raw denim strictly to wear it ‘old school’ with boots and heavy cotton shirts, and someone else will only pair it with loafers and a linen suit jacket. Seeing the diversity of garments when clients wear it, is very rewarding.
Additionally, I make a huge effort to meet the makers in person. I think from all the brands I carry, I know about 90% of them personally and have either visited them in their studio, production facility or at trade-shows. It’s this ingredient that makes Store Du Nord so loved with clients, to actually be able to tell the brand’s story first hand. And the slow filter coffee also helps ;-).
What are the core/most popular products at Store Du Nord:
The core lies in niche raw denim, contemporary and technical outerwear, dandy workwear.
What are the most popular brands at Store Du Nord:
To my surprise, the brands Motiv Mfg. and Norwegian Rain are very popular. Surprising because both brands have a very specific style, with Motiv having a high focus on Old World tailoring and workwear based on patterns from the 1900s – 1950s. The designer used the highest level of fabrics from England, Ireland, Belgium, France and Japan, with many of the garments being made part machine, part handwork.
Norwegian Rain has developed the highest level of technical yet elegant outerwear that’s available. I firmly believe they are the best maker in this specialty, and the amount of awards they’ve won proves this too. They’re very innovative and the technical fabrics and construction are truly superior.
In the raw denim segment at Store Du Nord, the jeans from Companion Denim, Momotaro Jeans and Lee 101 are very popular. Having known Iu Franquesa of Companion for many years now, I’m so proud to showcase his artisanal jeans here. Lee 101 is often well received by the older crowd who grew up with the brand, but it’s also popular with millennials as a sort of “gateway drug” to raw denim. Momotaro Jeans is very loved with the raw denim aficionados, often one of the most wanted Japanese denim brands I carry.
What’s the most popular denim brand and fit at Store Du Nord:
As mentioned before, Companion Denim, Lee 101 and Momotaro are probably my top 3 (but, Edwin Japan is making a big impact since arriving in the shop in March this year). The most popular fit at the moment is mainly regular fit, I see a shift from clients seeking slim fit towards a more regular or loose fit. This applies to basically all my denim brands, whether it’s Blue Blanket Jeans, Eat Dust, Tellason or Companion Denim.
Are there new brands added to the Store Du Nord collection:
For this season I’ve added a few new brands, such as Edwin Japan and Eat Dust, but also the Gold Standard range of Barbour (which is partially made by hand). For upcoming Autumn, I have a few surprises up my sleeve again, including some brands that are hardly available in Europe or the Western part of the world.
What’s the most iconic item available at Store Du Nord:
Ha, good question. I consider almost any item as iconic, haha. Personally, any item of Motiv Mfg. is iconic to me. Their level of craftsmanship is just ridiculous, so damn good! Every time a new collection comes in, I get tears of joy. Literally.
What’s your personal favorite denim brand(s):
From the brands I currently carry, Companion Denim is my favourite because I consider Iu Franquese to be one of the best jean makers in the world.
Where is your inspiration coming from as owner/buyer of Store Du Nord:
This might sound odd, but I hardly get any inspiration out of the fashion industry itself. Of course, the brands I work with inspire me greatly, but much of my vision and strategy for buying collections and running the store comes from architecture, interior design, art and Japanese architecture and interior in particular. I want to be inspired by shapes and colours, the functionality of an environment and the balance between mind and material objects.
What’s your personal favorite denim brand and fit:
My favourite denim brand in the shop is Companion Denim, and then The Western fit. It’s a regular fit with a slight taper, beautiful details inside and out. Regarding personal favourites over the years, I used to do wholesale for Red Cloud Overall Mfg. A beautiful, artisan made denim brand from Shenyang, China. His 423 and 424 fit are amazing. In the future I hope to own (and work with) Ooe Yofukuten, I’ve send them many love letters already, haha.
What’s your favorite denim city:
Okayama! I visited Katsu Manabe of Momotaro/Japan Blue in 2011 and thought I was in indigo heaven! I didn’t want to leave Japan at that time.
Can you show the most crazy faded jeans from the Store Du Nord hall of fades:
Attached photo of one of my clients. It’s a Tellason Ladbroke, 3 years of wear and repaired by the owner.
What can we expect in the future of Store Du Nord:
More niche, contemporary brands which are hard to find. I’m also working on an indigo-inspired concept for the future, but it will take some time. Luckily I’m not as much in a hurry as the large part of society is nowadays.