Words by Michael McAtomney

Images by Marco Zak

Paris, home of the original French concept store, will be with one less prominent retail space come December 2017 after the iconic Colette shuts its doors. In a statement issued on the Colette Instagram page, Sarah Andelman, current Creative Director and daughter of the founder Colette Roussaux, stated “Toutes les bonnes choses ont une fin. Après vingt années exceptionnelles, colette devrait définitivement fermer ses portes le 20 décembre prochain. Colette Roussaux arrive à l’âge où il est temps de prendre son temps ; or, colette ne peut exister sans Colette…As all good things must come to an end, after twenty wonderful years, colette should be closing its doors on December 20th of this year. Colette Roussaux has reached the time when she would like to take her time; and colette cannot exist without Colette.” It is a new blow the face of Paris fashion and indicative of the on-going battle between traditional retail and the ever-burgeoning e-commerce sector.

Known amongst many in the industry as the leader in retail trends, the store, located on the well-known Rue St Honoré in Paris’ 1st Arrondissement has for 20 years been pushing the envelope of retail by stocking both high fashion and some of the most avant-garde emerging streetwear designers.

An array of clothing and accessories expanded over time to include a huge selection of accessible luxury souvenirs, small homewares and print magazines, making the store not only a shopping destination but a place to absorb the cultural zeitgeist of the fashion world. Founder and owner Colette Roussaux managed to garner a loyal following amongst the global fashion elite with longtime Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld once declaring, “It’s the only shop where I go because they have things no one else has.” Roussaux’s innovative space and retail forethought – including window displays and store themes changing weekly, the inclusion of the contemporary cafe in the basement and a seamless online store experience – helped usher in a global shift towards inventive retail concept stores such as the popular Dover Street Market located in London, Tokyo and New York.

Andelman and Roussaux are said to currently be in talks with prominent French fashion house Saint Laurent to take over the sought after retail space come January 2018.

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