Photo: Current windows at Colette, Paris: ASHISH X MLB.
After 20 years at the forefront of fashion and lifestyle, Colette, Paris’s premier emporium, will close its doors this December. The ultimate shopping destination for industry insiders and tourists alike, Colette was dubbed “the trendiest store in the world” by no less than Forbes.
Last week, the store issued a statement on its website, announcing, “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.”
Co-founder Colette Roussaux, for whom the store is named, will be retiring. Her daughter and partner, Sarah Andelman, decided not to continue in business without her mother at her side. The statement explained, “Colette Roussaux has reached the time when she would like to take her time; and Colette cannot exist without Colette.”
Andelman told The New York Times, “I know people think it’s crazy that we decided to close rather than sell the name, because it has value, but we knew if someone else ran it, it would not be the same.”
The three-story, 8,000-square-foot store was as carefully curated as any museum of gallery; together Roussaux and Andelman had a vision that created a showcase not only for fashion and accessories, but for art, art books, and objects d’art as well as a subterranean water bar and a restaurant with free WiFi. The product mix was exquisitely selected so that there was something at every price point, creating a loyal and devoted client base that kept up with the store’s latest offerings.
Colette frequently partnered with major corporations to show their work in a fresh, new light, working on exclusive limited edition collaborations with everyone from Barbie, Chanel, Playboy and Hello Kitty, to Apple Watch, McDonald’s, and Louis Vuitton.
The current collaboration with Balenciaga—the first brand to take over the entire store, is up now through August 5. Here, customers can purchase everything from Balenciaga-logo sleeping bags to Bernie Sanders-inspired collections, as well as create customized T-shirts and hoodies at the Balenciaga Copy Center.
Karl Lagerfeld, who will be collaborating with Colette before the store closes, told the Business of Fashion, “I buy everything there. It’s the only shop where I go because they have things no one else has.”
Andelman and Roussaux are currently in negotiation with Saint Laurent to lease the store, which is located at 213 Saint-Honoré in the First Arrondissement. “We would be proud to have a Brand with such a history, with whom we have frequently collaborated, taking over our address. We are happy of the serious interest expressed by Saint Laurent in this project, and it could also represent a very good opportunity for our employees,” the statement noted.
“Until our last day, nothing will change,” the statement promised. “We will continue to renew itself each week with exclusive collaborations and offerings.”
When the store closes, the website will as well—so consider this your six-month notice to enjoy the final offerings of one of the greatest concept stores of our time.
All photos: Courtesy of Colette.
Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Online, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Aperture Online, and Feature Shoot. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.