Howdy folks and thanks for stopping by.
Today’s feature is another pin to the ‘Denim Map’ brought to you by the hard work of Illya.
We have a little queue of pins to get out there at the minute due to the new clobbercalm store stealing a little attention from our blog posts. Not good I know, but the dust is beginning to settle and the features we have planned are stronger and more influential then ever so we are in gerrrrrrd denim spirits.
(Suzie, I promise your hard work has not been overlooked and is very much appreciated) 😉
Anyways, today’s denim post code is fixed back in the centre of the great city of London. @clobbercalm brother @illcutz has taken the time out to ensure his buddies over at @rivetandhide get well and truly spiked onto the clobbercalm denim map.
I loved the way in which Illya approached the Denim Map Project and the hospitality of the guys over at Rivet & Hide is a credit to our friendly community.
MEET THE STORE
1. How did the store come to life? What’s the history?
In my previous work I travelled regularly to the States and Japan, that’s where I discovered some of the brands that we now carry in the store. I had worked for a big company for many years and the time was right to move on and I had this burning urge to do my own thing and cease being the employee of a large business.
In 2009 I came back to the UK after 14 years living in Madrid. I discovered some great coffee shops opening up mainly with Antipodean owners who were bringing the culture of 3rd wave coffee to the UK. As I came from a hospitality/service and seriously considered going down this route too and did spent a couple of years researching coffee and learning as much as I could about the practicalities of running a coffee shop here in London. I had already had the idea of opening a denim store. The brands I love just weren’t being sold in the UK but I lacked the courage to do it as retail and clothing was not my background. In the end, I pulled back from the coffee shop plan and decided that I had to put all my efforts into Rivet & Hide. Crucially one door then opened for me along the way.
I already knew Giles and Paula from Iron Heart having met them as a customer. At the time Giles managed the European distribution for The Flat Head and I confided my fledgling idea with them. Giles told me there was no UK retailer for The Flat Head and offered me the opportunity to carry the brand in my new business. He cautioned that another person was also interested in representing The Flat Head in the UK and that there was only room for one of us. “I’ll do it” I told him there and then. I re-mortgaged for initial stock outlay and invested in a great website. One thing I was really sure about was how user friendly and engaging the website would need to be and that took investment.
The online store launched in August 2012 between the London Olympics and Paralympics. It was very slow at first. We had 1 sale a week for the first couple of months picking up to 3 or 4. By December with the run up to Christmas we getting to one or sometimes two a day, which was really exciting.
Then customers started coming to my home. There was a growing number of them who actually wanted to see the clothes in person, touch the fabrics, and try the garments on.
My lounge became a de facto pop-up shop and in April 2013, I hired an office in Parsons Green (Fulham), which we had for a year. We set it up like a shop at one end with a denim rail and shelving and at the other there a space for photography and storage. Our early customers loved that place. It was difficult to find, in a Japanese kind of way and that reflected the rarity and exotic appeal of the brands.
It was during that year that things really started accelerating. I soon came round to the idea that a store in Central London could actually work but I needed a period in Fulham to get me to that stage. We opened in Windmill Street in April 2014. I wanted a location that was central but slightly off the beaten track. Fitzrovia was the ideal choice.
2. What’s the best thing about working at Rivet & Hide?
The satisfaction is…when people constantly praise the shop and what we do here. That’s not from a self-indulgent standpoint but from the fact that people appreciate what we sell. Even people who come off the street and don’t buy anything and might never come back, they will say “oh my god, this stuff is amazing”. That to me is very satisfying because, I don’t think there are many clothing shops like that.
It shows that the brands we carry love of the art of making amazing garments. They could make more money doing things more productively, but they don’t! They don’t cut corners and it shows in what we sell. So for me it’s that, doing something quite unique, is really rewarding.
3. How do you choose the brands to stock? What are the requirements? What makes you feel they will fit in well at R&H?
First of all, that they offer something unique and the quality has to be next level. In the main our brands develop their own custom fabrics which is quite rare in the clothing business. I try to keep it quite tightly curated. I don’t need an endless list of brands. Just like a quality restaurant has short and focused menu we do the same with our brand list. Our customers trust us to offer the absolute best denim the world has to offer and the best in classic casualwear. We never want to lose that trust and that informs everything we carry in the store.
4. Are there any brands you are looking forward to working with or possibly trying to get into the shop, that aren’t currently?
Moonstar (which makes Shoes Like Pottery) will arrive soon, and there will be a couple of Japanese brands here next year, but I’m not at liberty to disclose that yet. (Illya – we’re talking heavyweights of the game) We are also bringing in the Perfecto line (Schott), which is their premium line made in USA.
5. Could you talk about some of the collabs you have done with brands in the past and perhaps tell us any that are in the works?
We did the Real Japan Blues jeans called the RF-002, it was a super slim fit, that we designed. When you do a collaboration, you have to do minimums, it’s expensive because you have to pay for the pattern cutting and all other processes involved. We wanted to bring in Real Japan Blue because the denim is so beautiful. It is a 14 oz. left hand weave that uses super soft and durable Zimbabwe cotton. We also wanted to design a fit and style that would work for our customers. The core RJB jeans that sell in Japan have a low rise and ornate stitching on the back pockets (3 diamonds), we stripped all that back and designed our own super slim fit. We have just launched the RFR-004 in the same RJB denim Relaxed Tapered fit in the same denim for customers who need more room in the top block but still enjoy a strong taper to a narrow leg opening.
MEET THE REVIEWER
NAME: Illya aka @illcutz
1. How does the store feel when you first walk in? What springs to mind?
When you first enter the store and you hear the jangle of the bell you instantly feel transported into another time, the design of the shop is both understated yet has great character and warmth as you get to explore and see all the details.
It has the same qualities of traditional British menswear shops, with a rustic modern twist featuring a hardwood floor, solid metal railings, custom made hangers, and changing rooms which look like they could be from an old time saloon somewhere out West and of course most importantly the choice on display is mind blowing.
2. Where does the shop’s product originate from?
Core of the selection is Japanese with a fine range of jeans, shirting, outerwear and accessories. On top of that you have some of the best brands from across the pond being represented, and a small handful of international brands all stand outs in their respective regions.
3. Describe the customer service?
First class! Danny’s team are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. They know when to leave you to peruse the goods of the store whilst being there to assist whenever you are ready. Both Junior and Paul handle all the hemming instore, and it’s a fascinating watch having your new crispy jeans being prepped for you.
4. What’s the product selection like?
They got you covered for all seasons, from light offerings of 13oz denim all the way up to 21oz, from chambray to heavy flannels, truckers to deck jackets. Topped off with some of the best boots out there, and a cool selection of leather goods to complete the look.
5. How are the prices?
You get what you pay; exquisite luxury denim and apparel don’t come cheap, but you are certain that what you are getting is amongst the finest in the world.
~ Notes ~
R&H were my real life gateway into the raw denim world, which has had an impact on my life in different ways, first of all style, confidence in myself and later on would lead to friendships and connections from all over the world and that is something you cannot find on an online store.
If any of you fellow blue bloods, like Illya, have a store either close or far that you are enamoured with then feel free to give us a shout. Now that the features are flying out we want to keep pinning to ‘The Denim Map’, either with a feature like this one or just by adding to the Denim Map page that will be set up soon. Hit us up in the comments, through our Contact page or via our various Instagram accounts and stay close peeps.