A new series of Love Notes made in co-operation with Moise
Sometimes you enter a store and immediately feel: I wish this was my closet. I wish my house was stylish like this crispy white, Japanese-style interior; I wish the people working here were my friends.
Moise is a place like that.
Monique de Randamie is the founder and owner of Moise, that breath-taking beautiful store in Amsterdam. The fashion boutique offers high quality pieces, both classic essentials as well as more fashionable and outstanding items, to what De Randamie defines as ‘cool, confident women of all ages’. For Imprint’s new series of Love Notes, we collaborated with Moise; all the centerpieces of our shoot are part of the store’s FW 2017/2018 collection.
De Randamie is a selfmade woman: she started out as a model and, after years of retail experience as a visual merchandiser and storeowner, opened Moise in 2009. The boutique was an immediate success. Moise offers a carefully selected piece of for example Lemaire, CristaSeya, Acne Studios, Humanoid and Isabel Marant Étoile, both niche as well as bigger, more commercial brands. After being located in Haarlem, a smaller city next to Amsterdam, for more than seven years, De Randamie moved her store to the Dutch capital in the spring of 2017. We talked to her about her ideas of fashion, favourite brands and her definition of sustainability.
IMPRINT: Hi Monique, can you share the story of Moise with us?
Monique: We opened our store in Haarlem in 2009, right after the financial crisis started. How that exactly affected our business I am not sure, because it was our status quo. The only way was up. We were located in Haarlem for seven years and had our circle of dedicated customers all those years. We were doing well, yet several people advised me to move to Amsterdam. A store like mine wasn’t there yet, so they said. I hesitated but decided to make the big move earlier this year. We found this location: a storehouse not in the city center, but in a neighborly street that used to be known for the not very glamorous computer stores. In Amsterdam I have more freedom to offer niche items; women here understand our style. At the same time, our solid core of customers still comes to Moise.
IMPRINT: How would you describe the typical Moise-woman?
M: We welcome a brought variety of women: 25 year olds who save money to invest in a high quality piece, as well as stylish 50 and 70 year olds. They are all looking for the same thing: high quality pieces and personal service. We know our products and our customers; they appreciate that. Our collection is well balanced. There is continuity in all seasons that our customers appreciate. Besides that, I love every single piece that I sell. Our customers are what we in The Netherlands call ‘stoer’: confident, cool, independent women.
IMPRINT: What is their and your style?
M: We love minimalistic design and well-made pieces. I would never sell tacky pieces with logo’s, sequins, studs or with overwhelming prints. Even though those are sometimes the bestselling pieces of specific brands. Some customers were surprised that I started to sell Marni, but I love that brand. Yes, they are known for their colourful prints, sometimes extravagant over-the-top ones, but Marni also designs toned downed prints; those are the ones I offer.
IMPRINT: Which brands in your store are you especially proud of?
M: For example CristaSeya, a brand I found online a few years ago. I visited their Paris showroom and was blown away by their subtle style and lovable employees. CristaSeya and Moise really developed a beautiful relationship over the years: the first season I sold their pieces, not many customers understood those relatively high priced camel hair trousers. Now, two years later, people love the brand. I am happy I continued to believe in their niche products. At the same time, I love Acne, which is a more commercial brand but also a fashion forward, interesting, sincere company. I focus on their fashion pieces and don’t sell their basics sweaters, leather jackets and jeans. Again, those items would maybe sell well, but I prefer their ‘fun pieces’. Lemaire is also a perfect brand for Moise, because the company unites Japanese aesthetics – Christophe Lemaire’s girlfriend is Japanese – with a modern vibe and outstanding shapes. I love Japan and visited the country twice; I can’t wait to go back there and indulge in its subtle style and clean atmosphere. The country and its people are modest, in a good way.
IMPRINT: Speaking of modesty: what is your definition of sustainability and what role does it play in the way you buy collections?
M: My contribution to a more sustainable fashion industry is offering investment pieces that people can wear for years. Instead of buying four fast fashion trousers, my customers buy one pair of trousers at Moise. To be honest, the manufacturing process of a piece is not the first thing I check; offering beautiful, elegant, feminine fashion is my main focus. Of course I prefer brands that are manufactured in a sustainable matter, but I trust upon the middle to high segment brands that I sell, to take responsibility for that. And they do. One time there was negative publicity about the used materials of one of the brands I sell; I called to ask them about it and they were already in the process of changing that matter.
IMPRINT: You probably have a closet to die for. What happens to the pieces you don’t wear anymore, and with the pieces Moise doesn’t sell and are left at the end of the season?
M: About my own closet: I have two daughters who love sneaking into my closet and wear the items I don’t wear anymore. When it comes to the assortment of Moise: I never have a big stock. We have one or maybe two items of each size of every design in our storage, that’s it. That’s also a way to offer an exclusive collection to our customers. At the end of each season we only have a few items left. We collect them and organize special sales every year. In this way, we have a no waste-policy.