Boy Bastiaens

grivec bros. identity

“Repairing gave us an inside view into the jeans construction details. While more than 25 years jeans trade learned us everything about fit and fabrics. So it was a logical next step for us to start thinking about designing the jeans we’ve always wanted ourselves but were not able to find”.  - Marcel & Roger Grivec - / Chevremont .”

 

An extensive research of Ninke Bloemberg, fashion conservator at the Centraal Museum Utrecht, proved that the first jeans advertising in the Netherlands was published in the daily newspaper 'Het Limburgs Dagblad’ on February 1st in 1952. The anonymous 'cowboy jeans' were probably advertised as heavy duty workwear with the many miners in mind that used to live in South Limburg, the Dutch coal mining region based around Kerkrade which had become the largest mining town in Europe at that time.

"Which gave my branding project a new context from historical perspective and made me instantly wonder what these kind of 'cowboy' workwear denims might have looked like." says Boy Bastiaens who is responsible for the identity of the Grivec Bros.brand. "As a matter of fact it gave me the opportunity to add authentic Limburgian details to the brand that perfectly connect to the classic American denim tradition.”

With close attention to choice of materials the Grivec Bros. logo is applied to the trims and labels. In a tribute to the lesser known jeans classics I used the ”13 star" buttons, which have their origin in US naval uniforms but were used too in the 1940's and 1950’s in US jeans because of short supply of materials. The style names I came up with refer to the region’s mining past: ‘Cool Pete’ is derived from ‘koelpiet’ (kolenpiet) which is Limburgian slang for ‘miner’. While ‘Hower’ is an ‘Americanized’ spelling of the Dutch name ‘houwer’ and also means ‘miner’.

The pattern of stitching on the back pockets of a pair of jeans, the arcuate, is the product's most significant branding element. Its purpose is to proclaim a difference at a very crowded marketplace. With so many jeans brands out there it is not easy to come up with an original design that is appealing. At first glance, the arcuate conceived and designed for the Grivec Bros. looks very simple. On close inspection, you can see that the upper part of the “single line triangle” is also the double seam of the back pocket mouth.

The Grivec Bros. jeans reflect the simple strength and quiet dignity of a dry denim in a classic cut with authentic details that sets them apart from other brands. Timeless and long lasting, yet echoing the voice of an era when denim work clothes served as the union uniform of the working class: the miner, the western horseman, the farmer and the railroad man amongst others. A time period in history which gave denim, for the first time, an identity.

The Grivec Bros. mascot promotes the matching clothing lines which are produced next to their jeans range. Such as shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jumpers, cardigans, jackets and coats. As a classic graphic advertising medium it is also a tribute to illustrious predecessors like Bibendum (the Michelin Man), Johnny Walker, Mr. Peanut, Cracker Jack and Coca Cola’s Sprite Boy just to name a few.

You will find the Grivec Bros. silk satin mascot woven stamp identifier on the outside of our shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jumpers, cardigans, jackets and coats. Woven labels not only look better but also tend to last longer than printed labels due to the superior quality of material used.

When your product is competing amongst others in an retail environment - you need to stand out because hangtags play a vital role in brand awareness. Hangtags are more than pricing tools, they are actually your silent salesmen.

The Chevremont Antique Condensed alphabet is designed exclusively for the Grivec Bros. Inspired by the vintage design from nineteenth century grotesque wood type alphabets that existed during the years of letterpress printing.

The challenge was to create a packaging that respects the sustainable values and highlights its point of difference. The minimalist Multipack tops packaging consists of: 2 rubber elastics and 2 sheets of thick grey cardboard. The graphic layout covers multiple choice options that can be ticked with a marker.

Though graphic t-shirts and t-shirt printing began in the 1950s and 1960s, it wasn’t until the ’70s that t-shirts became the powerful messaging platform that we know them as today. The Grivec Bros use their caps, varsity sweatshirts and tees to advertise the brand. 

 

Not only in a unique graphic language but also in outstanding manufacturing techniques. Like for example the loose stitching lettering of the luxurious 100% cotton yarn dyed, heather grey “Chevremont” varsity sweater which exposes areas of the woven fabric showing through, simulating a slightly distressed lettering.

 

During the Covid 19 lockdown small jeans businesses were struggling to make ends meet ― although customers disappeared, bills and wages did not.


Larger denim brand could survive with help from their investors, small scale jeans manufacturing business, like the Grivec Bros simply wouldn’t. The twins came up with the idea of 100 numbered paper value certificates. 

 

To gain more attention I advised them to make something extraordinary out of these certificates. So I came up with the idea of handmade mini underwear boxershorts of pocket lining with rivet and stamped text. 

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