Fashionistas mourn Colette closing

Source:AFP Published: 2017/12/20 18:28:39

Shoppers take pictures outside Colette in Paris. Photo: IC

Shoppers take pictures outside Colette in Paris. Photo: IC

They may not yet be weeping in the streets, but for French fashionistas, the closure on Wednesday of Colette, the concept store which has become a Paris style institution, ranks nothing short of a national tragedy.

"I cannot believe it is closing," said style commentator Melody Thomas in one of a blizzard of articles and blog posts mourning the passing of the mother of all lifestyle stores, where Madonna, Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry shopped for quirky objects of desire.

The three-storey boutique, founded by Colette Roussaux 20 years ago, was far more than a gadget or design store to its many celebrity fans.

It pioneered limited-edition collaborations between luxury brands and street fashion stars, and cheekily poked fun at Saint Laurent with the T-shirt "Ain't Laurent Without Yves" when the label stopped using its founder's first name.

With a basement Water Bar where you could sip iceberg melt water or anti-ageing spirulina seaweed cocktails, it soon sparked imitators across the globe.

But for regular browsers like Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, it was never bettered. "It's the only shop where I go because they have things no one else has," he said.

"If Paris is the center of the [fashion] world, Colette is the center of Paris," said fashion documentary maker Loic Prigent.

"When Rihanna comes to Paris she goes to Colette. It's the same for Beyonce and Madonna and the others. Colette is a centrifuge," he said.

With the shop still booming, the store announced in July that Roussaux wanted to bow out at the top.

She had got to "the age to take your time - and Colette cannot exist without Colette," the store said.

While style lovers applauded her for not selling out, they were heartbroken that she and her daughter Sarah Andelman would no longer be at the helm of what Vogue critic Suzy Menkes called "the coolest shop in town."

Ironically, the building is being taken over by Saint Laurent, which once threatened to sue Colette over that cheeky T-shirt.


blog comments powered by Disqus