You also have to remember what a shock it was that they opened on that street at all — not on Faubourg St.-Honoré, where all the established stores were. They were like an island that brought this energy of cool to fashion, and then everybody followed.
Marc Newson, industrial designer I was really shocked to learn about the closure of Colette, and even more cynical about what’s about to replace it. Reminds me of that extraordinarily sad day in Milan several years ago when my favorite shop in the world, G. Lorenzi, closed and a mundane watch brand opened there instead. Via Montenapoleone was a shadow of its former self after that.
Many of my designs were launched and sold at Colette over the years, through collaborations with the likes of Nike, Apple, Pentax, Ikepod, Safilo, G-Star, etc. It was simply the go-to place to showcase new (and hopefully cool) things. Sarah’s sophistication and faith also made it remarkably approachable. It’s almost one less reason to go to Paris. I hope this isn’t the beginning of a trend.
Christopher Peters, a creative director of Creatures of the Wind We’ve always thought of Colette as a cultural nexus point. It represents much more than just fashion; it’s the intersection of music, pop culture and art. As shoppers and as designers, we’ve always appreciated what the store stands for. It’s the sort of space that will explore ideas and concepts that might be challenging for other retailers; our recent project with Colette was met with a level of enthusiasm and support that is rarely found.
Stefano Tonchi, editor in chief of W magazine I was obsessed by having any magazine I worked on being sold there: I would hand-deliver copies in order to be there at the right time. I suppose that was what we all did to get our products in that window!
Matt Williams, creative director of Alyx When I was growing up in California, Colette was the first store I knew of in another country. I didn’t know what the store looked like (pre-internet), but I knew it carried the world’s most relevant brands and mixed historical high fashion with unknown avant-garde designers, streetwear and technology. Any brand that was stocked received the validation needed to be on the radar of the global fashion scene.
But, most of all, I respect the way in which Colette remained a family business all its life. Mother and daughter working side by side to change the mannequins and clean the store themselves at the end of every day. Thus, to me, the store represents the importance of family.
The Best of Colette
Almost every week for the last 20 years, Colette has unveiled a memorable window installation or exclusive collaboration with a designer or brand, many of which tipped its fans into a frenzy. Tourists flocked to the store to take souvenir snapshots. Shoppers snapped up pieces at such a rate that lines often sold out within 24 hours. In short, the Paris boutique became the byword for some of the most arresting of-the-moment retail partnerships between art, music and, of course, fashion. Here are some of the best:
Carmen Busquets, fashion and technology investor Sarah is one of the most incredible and brave young women I know. Her mother, Colette, is a very smart businesswoman who supported her daughter’s endeavor. I first met them when they started their store, and it was a dream come true. I felt so excited for Sarah, and at one point I even wanted her to get involved with Net-a-Porter, in which I was an early investor. Her eye for trends and style is just amazing.
Mandi Lennard, fashion public relations and brand consultant I had a blog on their website for years, which felt like a total honor. The number of times I’ve been to Paris for meetings, when I didn’t really have to, just because I wanted to nose round Colette. Sarah is a total inspiration. She has huge conviction — from the KAWS tattoo on her ankle to her decisive buying and championing of vital talent.
I once met Sarah off Eurostar for a Topman meeting. As we were a bit early, I asked her if she fancied a ride to Dalston to meet a young Nasir Mazhar, and she was game. His building was quite derelict, and I was a bit embarrassed as we squeezed past old mattresses in the hallway. He had “My Fair Lady” playing on TV while he applied exquisite decoration to an intricate headpiece. Within a minute of introducing them, she asked if he’d like to create windows for Colette for Paris couture.
Lauren Santo Domingo, a founder of Moda Operandi I was a student in Paris in the fall of 1997 and stumbled upon Colette accidentally. I knew I landed somewhere special, and I am — was — sure to visit every time I go to Paris. I always respected Colette’s support of creativity, from its merchandising to unexpected collaborations. Somehow it just worked.
Daphne Guinness, performance artist and muse Once in a generation, something like Colette happens. Biba and Kensington Market were low-rent versions, but they all had something in common: They have or had something for everyone. It will leave an enormous hole for me, as it was the only place I liked to go shopping. The atmosphere was really unique, and the way it was curated had soul. I know it was expensive, but I didn’t mind, because it was interesting and the people that worked there had passion.
Source: New York Times