6 janvier 2022
January: just like today, at the beginning of every January, after the holiday madness is over, we sit down, arm ourselves with a hot coffee and review the past year. In doing so, we take a close look at everything, our products, your emails, our successes and our mistakes. We check whether the decisions we have made are still in line with our mission and define what needs to change in the new year. And change there was in 2021!
January also marks the start of the official Winter Sale, an event often distorted by fast fashion giants, but quite necessary for independent brands, especially during a global pandemic. This "honest sale", as we like to call it, means that the last pieces of our past collections are available at reduced prices for 6 weeks: unchanged quality, but a more than advantageous offer.
February: January's reflection on our past actions brings us to the realization that the pre-order system we introduced in 2020 is not working for us. The idea, of course, is great, only produce what is ordered to avoid wasting resources and control costs. The French brand Asphalt proves that. But in reality, it's much more complicated: the ateliers we've been working with for years are unable to respond to the uncertainty of pre-orders, and lead times are too long. Also, The Nines has been around for almost 15 years now, so we already have a good catalog of timeless essentials. Thus, we decide not to continue down the path of pre-orders (for now), but rather to keep doing what we've already mastered, taking along only the customer benefit of pre-orders: the preferential price. This reduced price is granted to you for a short period of time during the pre-sale of a Limited Edition product. These are the products on which you have collaborated and which are already in production or have just arrived in the warehouse.
March: It's that time again in France, the "non-essential" stores, like our Paris boutiques, have to close until May.
April: Everything back to square one, France is in lockdown again for a month. But for us, that doesn't mean pajamas, Netflix and banana bread, we're really hitting the ground running to release 9 products in pre-sale by June. Even though most are designed with your help, a pre-sale always involves more work than a "normal" product launch. Between the evaluation of your questionnaires, the quality control of the prototypes and the detailed presentations of a product, you are choosing to wait - sometimes - a few weeks for, the whole team and our ateliers are working hard on each single piece.
Mai: All this happens in the middle of our big relocation phase, as we now entrust the storage and preparation of your orders to a logistician near Strasbourg to better satisfy, among other things, the growing interest of our brand in Germany. We mourn a little our "playground", meaning having all our creations within reach, but we quickly console ourselves in the new offices, which are fresher and more dynamic than our warehouse/office in the industrial area. To facilitate this big move, we organize a solidarity sale with exceptional discounts. What no longer fits in the truck will be donated to our French partner organization La Cravate Solidaire.
June: We can surely all attest that this darn pandemic has significantly changed our daily lives and our clothing habits. Between the increased need for comfort #homeoffice, fabric innovations and your feedback, we decided to positively participate in this change by launching TechNINES. A clothing line that brings together all of our most innovative and tech-savvy creations, so you can stay elegant without facing the constraints of formal attire.
July-August: Between July and August it's time for the whole team to take a well-deserved break.
We return to the office and welcome new (and old) faces: Anna, Léna and Nicolas join the team in Bordeaux in content, graphic design and traffic, and Laura, our Brand and Content Manager, comes back from parental leave. Reinforced, we are working on several new pieces for the season for life, including our first sweater from the Cashwool collection. And we end the month with a sunny photoshoot in Paris.
October: we say goodbye to Eurydice and Manon, our dual students who helped us keep going when the world came to a standstill, and launch three new products.
November: aka the month with the biggest discount event of the year. For a long time now, Black Friday has taken on completely over-the-top proportions, with extended discount periods, sometimes to an entire month, and increasingly blatant price cuts. Since 2018, we've been fighting tooth and nail against this shopping date, organizing a solidarity sale instead. Just like the sale at the beginning of the year, we offer only the last items of our limited editions at reduced prices. After these four days and thanks to your help, we could hand over more than 5.000 € of donations in kind to our partner organization La Cravate Solidaire.
December: We're going full speed, because it's time to prepare for Christmas! The last shooting of the year, the launch of two new Cashwool sweaters on pre-sale and regular emails to you so you don't forget to do your Christmas shopping in time. Because after so many missed family celebrations and parties with friends, we are all glad to finally see each other at the same table again.
And now here we are, at the beginning of January 2022. It has been a more than intense year and we are glad that we were able to experience it with you by our side. For 2022, we wish you to see your colleagues without masks, dance live and not virtually at concerts, toast brides and grooms without guest limits and enjoy unlimited time with friends. We wish you good times!
If you haven't read everything from the beginning, let's quickly recap what's been happening with us over the past year: we've moved, outsourced our logistics, introduced pre-sales, and developed a Performance Collection and a Casual Collection. We asked ourselves many questions about the future of our brand and the journey we've taken to get here, and focused on defining why we do what we do. In the process, we realized the common thread from the beginning of our brand foundation and each new creation had always been to have a good time. Having fun, creating something - that was the innocent desire in 2008 with our first online store, for which we never imagined such a future.
So in 2022, almost 15 years later, we will continue to have fun, to offer you the right clothes for all the good moments in life, from after work with colleagues and dinner parties with friends to picnics on the beach and your sister's wedding. To do this, we rely more and more on the know-how of independent European manufacturers, the most beautiful, natural and labeled materials, elegant, timeless designs and your feedback.
And with your feedback, we decided to reduce the number of our limited editions to increase the amount of our essential pieces and avoid you the frustrations of selling out. It was also you who voted on which products we'll work on next. These include among others:
- Trousers, starting with chinos, shorts and later jog pants
- a collection of technical shirts in French linen
- Outerwear for fall/winter
So, is your coffee cold now? Thank you for reading to the end and thank you for being here.
We look forward to continuing to define our brand with you and for you.
The Nines Team
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