Shopping Nashville | Imogene + Willie | A Continuous Lean.

Shopping Nashville | Imogene + Willie

Oct 2nd, 2011 | Categories: Denim, Made in the USA, Nashville | by Michael Williams

Natives of Kentucky, Matt & Carrie Eddmenson (nee Sights) both have denim in their blood. Between the two of them, they have worked with many (if not all) of the big names in the business. It’s a competitive world, the denim business, and one that Matt and Carrie have been able to navigate well. The husband and wife team have been more successful then they would probably be willing to acknowledge or admit — they’re humble people like that. A few short years ago the duo channeled all of their know-how and passion into Imogene + Willie — a denim brand and retail store all in one.

It took me a long time to get down to Nashville, but I finally did this past week. Accordingly, I made sure to stop by and chat with Carrie and Matt and the rest of the gang over Saturday morning coffee. Like most places in Tennessee, I was made to feel right at home and I quickly learned that there’s a big story at Imogene + Willie, a tale that is told better through this video than anything I can put together here.

The important thing to say, really, is that Carrie and Matt (and the rest of the team there in Nashville) are some of the few people that I come across that are actually creating things themselves. Going there and seeing the shop made me realize that the Imogene + Willies of the world are the places and things that the big brands consistently “take inspiration from.” The lesson learned from a visit to Nashville is that it is important to recognize the real from the fakers; the sweat equity from the appearance of creativity through big visual and development budgets. I relearned the importance of supporting the creators, supporting what’s real. [Imogene + Willie]

Carrie & Matt Eddmenson

Comments: 26

26 Comments to “Shopping Nashville | Imogene + Willie”

  1. Rick
    on Oct 2nd, 2011
    @ 7:31 PM

    An awesome article Mr. Williams. As a Tennessean I’m proud to say that such great people that make such great products call this state home. They also provided me with my absolute favorite pair of jeans and I’ll soon make the trip out to Nashville to pick up another pair. Everyone at the shop knows and loves their business at a level that is rarely seen in the retail world.

  2. David Himel
    on Oct 2nd, 2011
    @ 7:45 PM

    I too just recently met Matt. What a great guy! He spied one of my Himelbros jackets at Craft in L.A. and called me up and ordered one. I was blown away by his words of support and he took the time out to tell me his own personal story of how I and W started. It amazes me all the people out there that are on similar paths and how the web hooks us all up. I really was honoured by Matt and I am giveing a shout out to you MW for doing this article.

  3. JJ
    on Oct 3rd, 2011
    @ 12:07 AM

    Wonderful, beautiful video and store. Thanks for writing about them.

  4. Griffin
    on Oct 3rd, 2011
    @ 4:47 AM

    What I would give for a pair of these babies. This is what America needs more of, genuine people with genuine products. Keep up the good work MW!

    P.S. That American flag pic is brand-defining

  5. Ramalhoni
    on Oct 3rd, 2011
    @ 5:10 AM

    Appart from the amazing denim the store look gorgeous.
    Beautiful post as usual…

  6. David
    on Oct 3rd, 2011
    @ 11:00 AM

    Imogene + Willie is one of the reasons I’m glad to be in Nashville. Next time your in town, be sure to checkout Parlour and Juke – http://parlourandjuke.blogspot.com/ – See Michael for the best haircut in town. And Emil Erwin – http://www.emilerwin.com/ – for awesome leather goods.

  7. Matthew
    on Oct 3rd, 2011
    @ 2:13 PM

    That whole part of town is so cool now. I grew up straight down GWP by David Lipscomb University, and I can remember the park right down from Carrie and Matt’s place being really scary when I was a kid. It’s so exciting to see this kind of thing anyplace, but to see them and my hometown on ACL was a real pleasure. Thanks!
    -M
    ps. If I’d been paying attention, I’d have sent you to the Red Door Saloon in East Nashville. Sorry about that.

  8. le creeper
    on Oct 3rd, 2011
    @ 4:00 PM

    everytime i visit my sister in nashville i stop by this place… i do enjoy the eyecandy known as carrie… rarrrrrrwr!

  9. Billy
    on Oct 3rd, 2011
    @ 4:00 PM

    Fantastic space. well done.

  10. doane
    on Oct 3rd, 2011
    @ 5:00 PM

    Flannel looks lights out.

  11. mat buckets
    on Oct 3rd, 2011
    @ 6:03 PM

    really nice to see in here close up

  12. gopMichael
    on Oct 4th, 2011
    @ 12:28 AM

    What is so appealing about this low-class look?
    Checked out the website, and it just looked completely disgusting, and overpriced for the garbage you’re buying.

  13. amsquared
    on Oct 4th, 2011
    @ 12:42 AM

    Great job, Matt and Carrie!

  14. Swati garg
    on Oct 4th, 2011
    @ 3:51 AM

    I loved de way they have kept the look of their store……super trendy..nd yet real..nd thats wat exactly fashion is grow up nd build something while maintaining who you are….loved it!

  15. Rhon
    on Oct 4th, 2011
    @ 9:00 PM

    Love the plaids and store layout. Time spent in Tennessee is always spent well. Great post.

  16. Chris
    on Oct 4th, 2011
    @ 9:51 PM

    Made a day trip last year from South Mississippi to Nashville with the sole purpose of going to Imogene + Willie and it was well worth the adventure. The shop and staff were welcoming and the jeans I left with were perfect. So perfect that before I got to the state line my old jeans ended up in salvation army drop box.

  17. iamamoody1
    on Oct 4th, 2011
    @ 10:08 PM

    @gopMichael – Come on man, don’t be a douchebag. You take one look at their website and call their stuff overpriced garbage. I understand their style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but their garments are handmade with quality second to none. They will also do custom fitting/alterations in the store. Not to mention they have one of the friendliest and most knowledgeable staffs in the business.

  18. DY
    on Oct 5th, 2011
    @ 9:24 AM

    Hand made ties by Otis James. Dope.

  19. great zamboni
    on Oct 5th, 2011
    @ 5:52 PM

    A revelation, so inspiring…. people sewing!.. are those things hanging from rafters forms or patterns for custom mades?

  20. gopMichael
    on Oct 5th, 2011
    @ 11:20 PM

    @iamamoody1 Uhm, their staff look like hobos and gypsies. The store looks like a crack house. The clothing is just plain ugly.

    This isn’t fashion, it’s just hipsters trying to look like something Goodwill puked up.

  21. alex white
    on Oct 6th, 2011
    @ 12:21 AM

    I’m a writer for Lands’ End.
    A good friend of mine (who also works for LE) and I rode down in April 2011 from Madison to Nashville. We’d been ardent followers of Matt & Carrie’s brand from the first post on ACL in 2009 — checking in regularly on the development of the I+W product and brand story.
    We were drawn to the true passion in their videos, the intimate care they brought to product design, development, and production, and were blown away by the down-home, family-centric, American-made ethic.
    Aside from hitting some incredible music, and getting a back stage tour of Hatch Print, seeing I+W was a prime reason for our journey.
    In short — we were paid back in full and then some on our visit to the shop. Incredible people like Ian and Rhett made our finding the right jeans with the right custom fit a no-brainer. And as we passed the folks at the sewing machines on our way to the back room to check out rolls of denim, and a new khaki line, we were greeted with genuine “hellos” from the people who would be building/detailing our new garments. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel all gooey inside to support. And I mean that.
    Leaving was a hard thing to do. Why? Because we found ourselves lingering there, after the bill was rung up, getting incredible tips on what to do in town — music venues, restaurants, other cool stores, alt areas of town to hit.
    To call I+W a place of “hipsters trying to look like something Goodwill puked up” shows an amazing lack knowledge and curiosity in the emergence of a truly authentic American brand that earns its place through years of collective family work in the trenches of apparel design and manufacture, and a heartfelt attempt to recapture and rekindle an American apparel presence that endures.
    In short, I+W rocks.
    Hats freakin’ off!

  22. peter evans
    on Oct 6th, 2011
    @ 7:06 AM

    makes me never want to wear chinos again, great photos.

  23. Shawn Boyd
    on Oct 6th, 2011
    @ 10:53 PM

    I’ve been wearing a pair of black, and I mean black, Willie jeans consistently for the last year, only one dry cleaning so far, and they are awesome. Only thing better might be the same denim in a trouser pocket style like a true dungaree. Matt and Carrie are great business people that I can’t say enough good things about.

  24. Daniel Moore
    on Oct 8th, 2011
    @ 8:50 PM

    I love it when I run across jewels like this shop…when least expected.

  25. Mark Butcher
    on Oct 9th, 2011
    @ 9:18 PM

    I want a pair of these jeans but alas I have to save to get them. I think they look awesome and love their story and that they are made in USA.

  26. rwebb3
    on Oct 14th, 2011
    @ 2:44 PM

    Very nice writeup.. loved the story, the style, the pictures, and especially finding out about this cool shop in my home state of TN… Thanks!!