Colette makes over luxury/designer floor
Twenty is an age for new projects and taking gambles. Earlier in the year, Colette, the iconic Parisian concept store located at 213 rue Saint Honoré, fêted this special birthday with passion and a sprinkle of eccentricity. And now its team is looking to the future again.
"The retail world is changing, we have been featuring a multibrand designer range for 20 years," said Guillaume Salmon, Sarah Andelman's associate and the man in charge at the store. "But we are independent, and this gives us the freedom to test a different approach in the coming months."
The new approach involves a total make-over for Colette's first floor: from 19th June, it will exit its multibrand designer selection (though the beauty area will remain), and will be recast until the end of the year as Le Relais, a space for brands to have their own say. The first floor's 200 m2 area, which currently showcases looks by major luxury labels, as well as Colette's very own directional selection of items by the hottest designers in town, will be entirely taken over by Balenciaga from 19th June.
Until 5th August, the luxury label and its Creative Director Demna Gvasalia will present their Autumn/Winter 2017-18 menswear collection, together with an exclusive women's collection and a series of limited edition products created for the occasion.
"Of course, Colette's story will be different from that told by the Balenciaga store nearby," said Guillaume Salmon. "We are keen for labels to take over the floor. We provide them with the props and they will develop their own stage setting. We decide together. We want the range to be universal, including womenswear, menswear and leather goods, and for the brands to present their collaborations."
From 7th August to 2nd September, the floor will again have a multibrand feel, with a selection of labels hand-picked by the Lucien Pagès agency. Then it will be the turn of Sacai from 4th to 30th September, Thom Browne from 2nd to 28th October, Chanel from 30th October to 25th November, and finally Saint Laurent from 27th November to 20th December.
In their first week, each of the labels will also benefit from a special focus in Colette's shop-windows. The store will of course continue to feature its edgy, curated selection on the ground floor, and still offer a spate of events, exclusive initiatives and its signature expertise in product launches.
Colette's new approach is the latest indication of the tricky waters through which independent, high-end retailers are sailing, notably after the troubles experienced by 10 Corso Como in Milan. It is by no means sure whether this is a positive development for emerging designers, for whom a presence at Colette's would be a useful calling card.
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