As fashion weeks for menswear and haute-couture kick off in Paris, here’s a mini fashion retail safari.
2017 concluded with a spat of high profile closures worldwide especially at the high-street end of the scale including hundreds of stores owned by The Limited, Michael Kors and Bébé in the US. However in France the picture looks different. Global statistics portal Statista predicts that the revenue of clothing store retail in France will remain steady to 2020 ($32.6 bn 2014 to $33 mil in 2020) with independent brands, multi-brand concept stores and pop-ups continuing to drive innovation.
Nous, Rue Cambon, 1st
Out of the ashes of the high profile closure of the Colette concept store in December 2017 has risen a new boutique operated by two former employees Marvin Dein, previously head of the sneaker department and Sébastien Chapelle, ex-director of high-tech and timekeeping. The 150msq store baptized Nous launched January 8th at 48 rue Cambon with an offering that includes men’s streetwear and lifestyle products including high-tech gadgets, watches, glasses, accessories and books.
Manifesto by Sonia Rykiel, Boulevard Saint Germaine, 6th
January 2018 saw the launch of the Manifesto capsule collection to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Sonia Rykiel collection. The flagship store (and simultaneously key stores around the world from Japan to New York and London), has been transformed into an immense pop-up with a monumental art installation by Jaro Varga. The store design reflects the literary roots of Paris’s Rive Gauche with a striking black and white bookshelf theme featuring the red Manifesto logo and includes an enormous exterior shell attached to the store front.
Tarot by Christian Dior, rue Saint Honoré, 1st
Continuing with the luxury pop-up theme, Christian Dior recently opened the seventh global Tarot pop up at 386 rue Saint Honoré to highlight the current cruise collection. In speaking about the collection, designer Maria Grazia Chiuri said she was inspired by the fact that “Christian Dior was highly superstitious.” The imagery for much of the collection says Chiuri was inspired by the Motherpeace Tarot, a feminist deck that was created in the 1970s.
Centre Commercial, rue Madame, 6th
On the Left Bank at 9 rue Madame Centre Commercial recently inaugurated its third Parisian shop. Seven years after the opening of the original Canal St. Martin store, this new location offers 100msq and is decorated with a new design and sleek look, accompanied by neon lights on the ceiling signed by the artist Kleber Matheus. “Transparency, design, traceability in fashion and activism, all of these words reflect the DNA of Centre Commercial,” says founders Francois Ghislain Morillion and Sébastien Kopp.
A Bathing Ape, rue de la Verrerie, 4th
With great fanfare Japanese streetwear label A Bathing Ape recently opened a 450msq store at 34 rue de la Verrerie. A joint venture of parent company I.T. global and French department store chain Galeries Lafayette the Bape Store stocks limited-edition Paris collection alongside the brand’s signature line. The launch was preceded by a clever Instagram campaign to build momentum that included a “Hijacking Night” whereby Bape’s signature camo print appeared at several locations around the city. Much coveted rubber bracelets and tote-bag gifts were handed out at the grand opening to a baying crowd of devotees.
This article was contributed by Janet Hart-Da Silva, a Paris-based writer and previously a correspondent for WGSN, Global Blue, Stylus and the New York Times. Follow her on Instagram at BonBonVintageParis