One of my favorite places in Paris is closing. And, quite frankly, for this Paris Fashion Week, I came to say farewell to an Artist and concept store that is responsible for most if not all of the charm and color on Rue de Honore as opposed to any fashion show. I came to say best wishes and God speed to the people who worked and gave their best to serve their clients and create experiences for everyone who walked into the place to witness not only the dopest fashion, but some of the most wicked Art and technological gadgets as well as beauty and wellness products in the lifestyle sector. I came to have my last meal at the Cafe and Water Bar that provided so many great conversations and wifi coupled with over 100 different brands of water from around the globe. And, of course I ventured to Paris so that I could experience one more time what it was like to by a couple of statement pieces from the one and only, Colette. A woman and three floor 8,000 square feet concept store tied into one that went above and beyond to merge french high fashion, street wear, accessories and Art by displaying the items in her store, like the Art pieces they were. In fact, this time when I went to the third floor, it looked like an Art installation more than it appeared as a clothing store.
Birthed in March of 1977 and considered “the trendiest store in the world” by Forbes, Colette has served as not only a place to shop, but also a place of pilgrimage for fashionistas and Artists. Colette Rousseaux, who still lives above the shop with her daughter, Sarah Andelman, as its public face, is a Supreme master of collaborations – an art form in an of itself that I consider to be the innovative wave of the future within fashion and other Artistic business sectors as well.
The store is set to close in December and have been releasing cool collaborations leading up to the final chapter such as Balenciaga, Sacai, Thom Browne, Chanel and Saint Laurent, who is rumored to be taking over the building in September.
“Colette Rousseaux has reached the time when she would like to take her time, and Colette cannot exist without Colette.” Creative director Andelman said in March that the revenues had been affected by the reduction in tourist numbers following the terrorist attacks on Paris in 2015, but he also mentioned that online sales were still flourishing. So, who knows what the future holds for the Colette brand, but I know that Rousseaux still has full ownership of her movement and will be able to grow the brand or shelf it as she chooses and as she has earned.
Colette has given us so much inspiration and creativity over these past 4 decades and I am forever grateful. Wishing her, her daughter and all of the people who worked there from the security who greeted me at the door to the woman who always made sure the bathrooms were suitable, nothing but magic and love as they all start their new beginnings.
💜Love & Light☀️,
CRISTEN M. MILLS