In 2016, Guillaume Sagot made a childhood dream come true by creating the Ateliers de Nîmes, a brand based in Nîmes that pays tribute to the city’s textile history and its legendary canvas. Did you know that in the 16th century, Nîmes was famous for its wool and silk twill, the manufacturing secrets of which were exported a little later by Protestants to Italy and particularly to Genoa where the so-called “denim” canvas was dyed indigo blue? The canvas, which today no longer has the same hand since it is made largely with cotton, has qualities of resistance appreciated from the beginning for the making of canvases, work clothes, and which will allow the creation of the emblematic “jeans pants” of the conquerors of the American west.
The Ateliers de Nîmes therefore set themselves the challenge of bringing the denim canvas back to its original homeland and reviving a region and a city thanks to its past know-how. The brand is developing a handcrafted, high-end jeans for men and women, handmade and individually cut in France from the best selvedge fabrics. The founder also plans to create a more exclusive range with hand-cut and numbered pieces. The creation of models and cuts is carried out by a design office in Nîmes. For the moment, it has not been possible to install a weaving and garment workshop in Nîmes ̶ the canvas is bought in Italy and the assembly is carried out in Paris or Marseille ̶ however the project is of course in the long term to relaunch local production by gradually buying looms. The brand has recently acquired a trade that can be worked by hand.
The whole adventure is made possible thanks to the support of distributors who agree to operate according to a pre-order system and also that of local institutions who accompany the brand in its desire to exhume a heritage and see the possibility of a new resource for their region. In parallel, Ateliers de Nîmes wishes to open a museum which retraces the history of the fabulous epic of denim and a French textile know-how finally found!