Serge de Nimes

The half-Swedish Oliver Proudlock talks to Wolf about his label Serge de Nimes, the importance of good design, good denim, and his successful London summer pop-up store. 

Oliver Proudlock 

"For me, denim is all about longevity and attention to detail, which makes your product stand out from the crowd."

Starting a label is always an enormous undertaking, what was the motivation to launch Serge de Nimes?
I have always had a love for Fashion – I used to constantly change outfits and experiment with clothes. I also studied fine art at Newcastle uni so I wanted a bit of a change and to combine my two passions. I have always done art exhibitions and used to print my art onto tees, so logically it was the next step for me.

Personally, what role does denim play in your life? Did you always see yourself launching a fashion label?
Denim plays a big role, I love the way that denim is so universal and simple but can also be designed in so many innovative ways with colours, styles etc. I have always been around denim as my family, especially my mother loves it! When I finished Uni I always new I would start my own fashion label as I have always had a passion for Art, Music and fashion so combining the three has always been something I have wanted to do.

Denim is a highly competitive market, what niche do you think SDN fills? What does the brand have to offer that differs from others on the scene?Absolutely, there is no doubt that denim is highly competitive. This is part of the reason why I wanted to establish the brand on t-shirts, as it is a product I am very familiar with. It made sense to do this before delving into denim.

For me denim is all about longevity, and attention to detail, which makes your product stand out from the crowd. At the moment I am bringing in small bits of denim into some of our current products, so that the development is not too sudden and the whole process is organic. I am currently working with different factories making various samples, so that I can find the best one before we go ahead and start production.

Our denim products will be produced using high quality denim, and the cuts will be very clean with small details that will make our pieces unique and something different within the market. I have been a massive fan of denim since a very young age, and it has been my dream to work with the material. The introduction of full denim pieces within Serge may be some time, but when it comes I will make sure it reflects the quality and detail I hope to achieve.

T-Shirts have played a central role to establishing SDN, what are the elements to a perfect T?
I think the art that I have placed on the tee makes it unique, which is why I am always heavily involved in the design process. The elements to the perfect T- Shirt is a good design and print, clean cut, and good quality fabric.

SDN aims to incorporate young designers to collaborate with pieces, who has been involved so far/ who's on the cards for the future?
At the moment I am working with a very talented young designer called Tom Holmes. He is a friend of mine, and he knows what sort of aesthetic I want to achieve.

We have worked on the new collection together, which drops this September. For me it is our strongest yet, and I cannot wait to get it out there. The product range is bigger, and there is a very unique energy that echoes throughout all the pieces. 

There are a few young brands that I would love to work with in the future, one of whom is Dent De Man. They focus on suits using very loud African print. I want to continue with this style of print with a more urban edge. Nothing is confirmed as of yet but it is something that I am interested in pursuing.

Where does SDN produce their apparel? What importance is placed on fabric selection and quality of production?
The apparel is produced in the UK and in Portugal. Quality is very important to me and so the t - shirts are made with super lightweight soft cotton and each design incorporates four layers of silkscreen. I am also very particular with the cut and stitching – everything has to be perfect!

Where can we get our hands on SDN, is it stocked worldwide?
SDN ships worldwide so everyone can purchase online! It is  also sold across the UK and in South Africa.

Your Swedish mother, Lena Proudlock's photographs have been a central inspiration to your t-shirt collection, what role has Sweden played in your life? Is Swedish style any inspiration to SDN?
I love Sweden and am half Swedish. I definitely get my creative side from my mother. I have even used her photographs on my Rio collection as they worked so well and it was great to work together to create such tees, which we are both, proud of. I really like the Swedish style and I draw inspiration from different cultures and surroundings.

Tell us about the pop-up store this Summer on Carnaby Street, how was the reception to SDN?
It was received very well and has been a great success. I really enjoyed having the shop open at the height of Summer on such an iconic street. We also introduced Serge sessions, which show cased some of the best from up and coming talent such as Rufio Summers! I love to support emerging artists and serge sessions presented by offbeat is something I intend to continue and be involved in.

Wolf also took the time to stock up at the London pop-up shop - looks like we squeezed in some London summer after all!