- Georgie Lillington |
FashionUnited has brought together a selection of the best independent stores in the city to discuss, once a week - the place that self sustaining stores have found amongst the ever changing retail industry.
Starting in the Dutch capital, Independent Amsterdam will visit retailers, hearing from founders and employers about their inspiration and plans for the future.
This is the Shit, T.I.T.S is an eclectic concept store based in the west of Amsterdam, offering a large selection of modern fashion brands for women of all ages, as well as jewellery, footwear and home accessories. The store has a unique ambience, perfect for showcasing interesting, new brands that cannot be found anywhere else in Amsterdam.
‘A store for your daily inspiration. Full of happy stuff which makes you smile.’
Founded by Nathalie Zoeteweij and Mathilde Kamphuis in 2015 for want of a new place to shop, T.I.T.S stocks a large range of small independent brands including Mannish and Frisur alongside larger commercial brands like Stussy and Lazy Oaf.
“There are many nice shops here in Amsterdam but they seem to all sell the same brands - it’s boring. There are so many great brands and young creative people who have smaller niche brands, they deserve the exposure more.” Zoeteweij said in an interview with FashionUnited.
With styling, buying, and visual merchandising under their belts, Zoeteweij and Kamphuis started working on their concept and business plan, opening the T.I.T.S store in April 2015. The tongue-in-cheek name This is the Shit (T.I.T.S), Nathalie says was made with the aim to make people laugh and be happy, “we definitely succeeded at this part - people walk by and laugh at the name, whether they dare to wear our own designs or not”.
T.I.T.S is not just the name of the store, but is also the founders’ brand. They have designed t-shirts made from organic cotton and tote bags which connote positive feminist vibes, available in store and online. Though they sell their own small selection of designs on their website, Zoeteweij told FashionUnited that T.I.T.S is not interested in having an ecommerce site for the abundance of brands they stock. Instead, they feel it is important to offer a unique experience for visitors to the store, managing to entice a wide range of consumers whether that be locals of the area or tourists. Talking about the downfalls of e-commerce, Zoeteweij says “people are so quick to send back the items, they don’t care about them at all. We cannot compete with fast fashion retailers that stock the same brand we do, so why would we even try.”
The store offers a unique experience in the fact they have: “a style for every body, for everyday,” they accomplish this by stocking a range of brands that compliment eachother, and the founders’ own styles. “I don’t like to wear the same style every day - I like to wear black one day and prints another, I think lots of people have this same thought, so we like to provide lots of styles rather than just one.” The youthful brands that they stock are mostly in a higher price range than high street brands, and so Zoeteweij says that their customers are mostly a little older.
Zoeteweij discussed how sustainability will be a key focus for the future of the store, “we stock a lot of sustainable brands, and we really like them but they don’t always have the ‘funky’ feel that other brands have. For example, Lazy Oaf - it’s not sustainable, but it’s so fun.”
The duo work hard to keep the store on track with just the two of them employed, researching to find new brands on Instagram and Pinterest daily, choosing brand to feature in the store based on their own preferred style. They are also approached by many brands asking to be showcased in the store.
This year, T.I.T.S exhibited their own small selection of designs at Modefabriek, the largest trade fair in Benelux and are about to launch their T.I.T.S branded jewellery in the next two weeks.
For the future, they plan to stick with just one store for now as they continue to grow the business, planning to design more of their own brand pieces, and collaborate with people that they can learn from - “We will see what comes our way in the future” concluded Zoeteweij.
This Is The Shit, can be found at De Clercqstraat 78 in Amsterdam and online at tits-store.com.
Photos courtesy of This Is The Shit
Look out for the next piece in the Independent Amsterdam series, posted next Thursday August 3 on FashionUnited UK.