Colette... I was there !

Tribute to an era

My 48 hrs quick break to Paris has giving me the chance for a last, nostalgic visit to the iconic and trendiest concept store of the past twenty years in the Fashion system: Colette, in the timeless elegance of Rue Saint Honore.

The French concept store has always been considered one of the coolest shopping places on the planet and a generator of creative trends.
It was introduced to me as fundamental milestone “not to be missed when in Paris” during my late 90's ( yes .. I know “ those “ 90's !!) when I used to attend premiere vision the international fabrics fair.
I have been so lucky to have a "style teacher" – my first boss- who taught us that one day of window shopping throught the coolest boutiques and luxury department stores of la Ville Lumiere was a fundamental part of our professional training.
Oh , she was so right! Wanna compare how exciting is to live it in person rather than browsing trends directly on our smart phones in this social era?

The store has  three floors: the ground floor had books, music, accessories, and a men's T-shirt collection; the second floor keeps the women's clothing, shoes, make up, and more; the lower level is Colette's cafe, which servs delicious menu, of course a bit overpriced, but anyway a great alternative for a lunch break or just a coffee in the midst of shopping exclusive Rue St. Honorè !

The store also features an interesting exhibition space, at the time of my visit is displaying an incredible photo collections of the best iconic fashion magazines.

It was a real "breaking news" in the Fashion community and beyond when Colette announced its closure (e-commerce as well) definitely for this December 20th, right in the year of its 20th anniversary.  

The founder Colette Roussaux intends to retire so the iconic boutique is closing its doors .
“Colette can not exist without Colette. All good things have an end “  These are the quick but sharp words she said...
It has marked the “era”of pioneering limited-edition collaborations between luxury brands and street fashion stars, enjoying a reputation as the must-visit Paris address for the fashion community.

At a time when everything can be bought online and delivered, do we still need physical stores? 

For all shopping lovers like myself the good new is that several members of the old team are opening a new concept store "Nous" ("Us") at 48 Rue Cambon, near luxury fashion stalwarts such as Chanel, as well as the old home of Colette.

The new store will focus on selling streetwear and high tech products: 150 square meters of timepieces, high tech, glasses, accessories, sneakers, streetwear and books, unlike Colette it will not sell female fashion or cosmetics ( ... sigh!)

That's part of the trend that physical stores should nowaday allow consumers to have unique experiences and create a relationship with the brand.
This doesn’t mean there won’t be anything to sell in stores, but this won’t be their main objective anymore.

Therefore, 2020 Colette is still to be invented.... Au revoir !



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BEYOND di Barbara Chiucini
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