#coletteforever: The concept store set to close after 20 years

It was a week of drama for the fashion pack which had a meltdown after learning the news that Colette, beloved Paris concept store and “the trendiest store in the world” as described by Forbes is closing its doors after 20 years.  

The influential Parisian boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré has been at the centre of fashion since it opened its doors in March 1997. Founded by Colette Rousseaux, who still lives above the shop, with her daughter Sarah Andelman as its public face, this concept store has been a shrine of bold, playful fashion as the younger counterpart to traditional luxury flagships that lined the streets in the First Arrondissement.

Unexpected and thrilling the store’s curated line of products cross its three floors and 8,000 square feet of retail space are masterminded by Andelman with uber expensive designer goods alongside everything our heart desired.

“As all good things must come to an end… Colette should be closing its doors on December 20th of this year” reads the statement released by the brand. “Colette Rousseaux has reached the time when she would like to take her time, and Colette cannot exist without Colette.”

Colette collaborations with Sacai, Chanel and Saint Laurent are planned during its final four months. The brand’s final collaborator, Saint Laurent, is in talks to take over the Colette space from 2018. The Colette statement reads: “We would be proud to have a brand with such history, with whom we have frequently collaborated, taking over our address.” It remains to be seen if the brand will move to the digital space of e-commerce or not.

As the “end of an era” news broke the closure has been greeted with a sense of sadness.  “The closing of the store, long considered an apex of Parisian fashion trends and a vital champion of emerging labels, comes amid rising rents for retailers in Paris and increasingly unpredictable consumer habits, including a move toward more fashion-spending online. The city of Paris has also been hit by volatility in the tourism sector in the last two years, after a series of terrorist attacks” reports NYT on the boutique which had sales of 28 million euros ($32 million) in 2016, with e-commerce accounting for 25 percent of that.

“The end of the Colette era is bound to raise question about the continued viability of such ‘concept stores’ which place an emphasis on attitude and discovery over the bottom line” writes Vanessa Friedman. “However, other concept stores, such as 10 Corso Como in Milan, which was founded in 1990 and has been on an expansion spree with stores in Seoul, South Korea; Shanghai and Beijing, and one to open in South Street Seaport in New York next year, have successfully navigated the new retail environment. Dover Street Market, the multi-idea emporium owned by Comme des Garçons, is likewise thriving”.

Hollywood stylist Karla Welch, who dresses Justin Bieber, Olivia Wilde, Karlie Kloss, and Lorde, asked it best: “Merci, colette. Who will carry the torch of commerce and creativity?” Till then #coletteforever #colette20ans #colette