MENAGE is your (dream) wardrobe away from home

Amsterdam shopping just got a little better.  

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Following the recent opening their women’s store, MENAGE have just added a menswear side to the beautiful location they share with Dutch design haven Droog. Glamcult sat down with two of the store’s founders, discussing with Anne Marie Kramer and Vanessa Tersteeg how they curated the conceptual space, offering pieces from fashion-forward labels like Chalayan, Yang Li, Y/PROJECT and Cottweiler.

How did MENAGE start out?

Upon travelling all the time for work, we returned to Amsterdam and noticed the luxury market didn’t have the same spark that you feel in other major cities. We wanted to rectify that. To us, luxury means balance. We wanted to create this here in the form of a destination store that would take a piece of all those major cities and combine them.

How did you decide on what brands to stock?

It was a really long process to create a refined selection. We joined forces with Marcello Maquieira—buyer and writer for Diane Pernet’s A Shaded View on Fashion—and used his knowledge of menswear together with our own on womenswear, making sure we put together the perfect collection.

Are there any brands that you’d still like to add to the store?

We definitely have a wish list! One designer at the top is Walter Van Beirendonck, but we have secured him for next season. The other… well we are still working on it, so we can’t tell you yet.

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Do you feel there is still a need to separate menswear and womenswear collections?

We have a lot of brands from which we buy both men and women’s clothing, but we really wanted to create a gentlemen’s department as it’s something we felt was missing here in Amsterdam. Now that we have the two spaces, there’s always the opportunity to change around the format with each season.

The store is made up of three elements with a focus of interior design, fashion and beauty. Do you try to keep consistency throughout them all?

Of course, they are all completely connected. We have tried to create an environment where it’s like you are in your own home and you’re looking in your closet.

MENAGE has been strongly situated within Droog store. Why do you think this is such a successful pairing?

It’s because the two stores have the same DNA. For the people who visit the store it really seems if you like one, you like the other. Also the way the store is laid out with the restaurant and garden allows for a lot of movement within the building, creating a completely vivid environment.

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Is it a clear strategic choice to only have a physical retail presence?

Yes, absolutely. With some brands we are part of a handful of stockists around the world, so we don’t just want to give them away online; we want to have them in our physical store so that our customers can come in and appreciate them.

How do your personal interests influence your business choices?

We have a team consisting of a lot of different people who each add elements of themselves to our story. The whole story needs to be perfect and we want to be proud of everything we bring. If it’s not complete, it doesn’t make sense to us.

What’s your view on Amsterdam’s fashion scene? What are the biggest changes you have seen over the last few years?

Well, there hasn’t been much of a fashion scene here for the last 20 years but recently this has changed dramatically. It’s definitely becoming more international. There is a lot of upcoming Dutch talent and talents studying in the Netherlands who are now getting opportunities to exhibit their work in showrooms all over the world. Many people have told us it’s really nice that we support Dutch designers… We are not supporting Dutch designers because we have to; we support them because we love what they do.

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Words by Tom Robertson

Photography: JW Kaldenbach and Winter Vandenbrink

 

www.menageatrois.amsterdam

 

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