Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Colette's facelift

StyleDesignArtFood is still the mantra at iconic Parisian superstore Colette but the uber cool designer emporium has had a facelift by equally uber cool architects WonderWall. (Love the dancing robots to guide you around the new website too.)

Colette re-opened after a two month period of refurbishment yesterday (Monday 25 August) with an impressive, glossy and ultra modern new look to 213 rue Saint Honore, Paris 75001 not to mention a bigger focus on streetwear according to co-owner Sarah Lerfel who says it's "so dynamic today - which is why we wanted to make the ground floor into a bigger street style statement". Masamichi Katayama of WonderWall was chosen to re-style all three floors at the store, further to his work with hip Japanese brands such as Bathing Ape and Billionaire Boys Club as well as Uniqlo.

WonderWall Masamichi Katayama is a compilation of Katayama’s works; published collaboratively in 2003 by Frame Magazine and Birkhauser and a veritable tome of retail porn interiors (if you like that kind of thing). And the second volume will be published in October 2008!

So on the new sweeping ground floor, Colette hipsters will still find a selection of books, magazines, CDs, records, DVDs, hi-tech products, watches and accessories (increasingly more jewellery collections too) and all these little fun objects tourists and visitors alike just love. Arguably the biggest makeover space is
dedicated to streetwear culture with a wall of sneakers, a house of T-shirts multi-brands and mini-shops for Alife, A Bathing Ape, Billionaire Boys Club / Ice Cream, Original Fake (all exclusive). On the first floor, there is the usual mix of men's and women's designer fashion, styled and chosen by Lerfel and her team as an exhibition of trends. She describes it as "our unique mix of established brands and newcomers, complete with accessories and precious jewellery". The beauty counter, “candles bar” and own-brand mini collections areas will now be on the first floor. The gallery remains on the mezzanine area and a new space for temporary projects will be created on the lower ground floor (don't worry, the water bar is still there too alongside an impressive looking futuristic new restaurant area). Photos by Khalil for Colette.

Predictably there were queues around the block Guillaume the PR tells me with a stampede on the first day for items such as the bowling bag from Little Marc Jacobs, the trench coat by French artist Andre, Olympia Le Tan's cute denim jacket, souvenirs by Kuntzel + Deygas, a grey jersey bag from Alexis Mabille and beaucoup encore...

Finally don't miss Colette's latest overseas travel plans, with Colette x Gap, a special one-month installation store next to NYC’s flagship Gap at 54th & 5th Avenue, September 6th to October 5th, with many exclusive collaborative items - such as the Liberty print shirts previewed already at GAP stores (if you can find one).

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