The first jeans advertising in the Netherlands was published in the daily newspaper ‘Het Limburgs Dagblad on February 1st in 1952’. The ‘cowboy jeans’ were undoubtedly advertised as heavy duty workwear with the many miners in mind that used to live in South Limburg, the Dutch coal mining region, close to the borders of Belgium and Germany.
Coal mining in Southern Limburg has taken place since 1815. The city of Kerkrade, which had become the largest mining town in Europe had a massive influx of workers to take up jobs in the mines. Who came not only from all parts of the Netherlands but also from older mining areas in Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Italy and elsewhere.
For example Jozef Grivec who left the Mirna Peč Valley, southeast Slovenia in 1932. Heading to the Dutch coal fields to build a new future for his family. He and his sons found employment in the mines, except the youngest one, a truck driver, who tried some extra luck with selling jeans from door to door, while longing to open his own shop. Grivec‘s twin grandsons Marcel and Roger grew literally up between the Lee’s, Levi’s and Wrangler’s at the ‘Jeanspaleis’, the denim store that their parents opened in 1976 in Chevremont, Kerkrade. But times changed: the mining industry was closed down and jeans evolved from practical utility wear into the popular product we all know today.
In 1989 the 18 year old twins took over the jeansstore from their parents. “In selling a product that gets only better with age and wear, it was just a logical step for us to offer expert repair service as well. Which also started up the process of thinking about making our own pair of dry denim jeans”. Roger Grivec: “We’ve been fascinated by anything that has to do with denim since our childhood. In terms of fit and fabrics we’ve gained our skills and knowledge through more than 25 years of jeans trade. Repairing gave us an inside view into the product construction details, like a car mechanic in a garage”. Marcel Grivec: “in capturing the essence of the denim products we make, we use our own name as brand name combined with the name of the place were we are born, live and work. A brand name that is genuine, unique and memorable. Last but not least we’re lucky with the help of some of our friends… like Boy Bastiaens