In The Know

Bye Bye Colette!

7 days ago by

Bye Bye Colette!

Last week, the concept store Colette announced they would be closing, after twenty years of being open.

I’m sad to hear Colette won’t be around anymore, but I’m also happy because I think it’s wonderful to decide to leave on your own, at a moment you choose yourself.

I could already sense their resistance to expansion when Sarah (who founded the store with her mother, Colette) told me she didn’t want to open a chain of stores, because a project like that would be impossible to duplicate.

It’s something I think about a lot, because these days, the only model of success presented in the fashion world is expansion. Your small beauty brand is doing great? Okay, let’s turn it into a multinational company. A bag is selling all over the world? Cool, let’s sell it to a huge brand. I’m not necessarily against that, but I don’t think it should be presented as the only way.

Colette has always forged their own unique path, and that’s what made it magical. It was a real social phenomenon that created its own momentum, its own culture. That’s where I had my very first exhibition when I still lived in Paris.

Sarah had confidence in me right away, before anyone knew who I was. And I know that’s the case for a lot of artists and designers. Together, Colette and Sarah changed the way we saw fashion. They mixed luxury and streetwear, smartphones and clothing, and opened a water bar long before everyone was talking about wellness. They helped to define our modern view of elegance.

So I think it’s great that they’re setting a classy example for us as their wonderful adventure comes to a close.

Inspiring to the end!!!

Translated by Andrea Perdue

3 comments

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  • I remember doing a story about them when they first opened. I thought the place was incredible. At that point, I hadn’t seen anything that innovative in the retail world–more installation than store. Every time I went back to Paris, I’d stop by just to see how they’d progressed. I miss the creativity of the best independent retailers.

  • Danielle korneliussen July, 18 2017, 12:24 / Reply

    Collette was always my first stop when we went to Paris for either work or pleasure. I would actually TINGLE with the mere thought of walking down the street knowing that my left foot was about to cross the hallowed threshold of that very special place. Knowing that absolutely every object in the shop was thoughtfully curated with the aim of introducing the public to some of the new great thinkers/designers out there in the world of style/fashion/books… Collette is a world… A planet unto itself that will take the collective heartbeat of all it followers and press the stop button. Collette is firmly emblazoned upon my memory as a very thrilling place to be, and when one is in Paris with the world class museums, the streets, architecture, culinary treats, etc… The loss of this gem of a store will be palpable.

  • Tahnk you Garance! I love that you emphasize on the greatness there is in staying independant, local and small in the best sense of the term. Of course Colette closing is a big page turning but being able to see the beauty in changes is wonderful thing!

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