FRENCH LUXURY IN DUBAI

The economic crisis of 2009 plunged Dubai into darkness, stopping sales and building new sites, weakening its economy. Since the UAE were granted the right to hold the 2020 World Expo, its economic activity has resumed. Today, Dubai is the capital of global luxury and extravagance.

 

The Middle East is one of the fastest growing areas, especially regarding luxury. The French houses, which multiply their projects, have more than 2,500 points of sales already. This region with high purchasing power yields an average of 8% of the 22 billion euros in sales made worldwide by the 75 houses of the Comité Colbert.

The French companies have a good image in luxury, and so does the industry. Moreover, massive investment projects are opening for French companies and represent a broad spectrum of opportunities, particularly thanks to free zones. Traditionally, companies must be owned at least 51% by locals. Businesses registered in free zone may, however, could be wholly owned by foreigners. They were created to encourage trade and foreign investments.

Over the past 10 years, the Middle East has become a massive gold market for luxury brands, thanks to its millionaires. More than 10 million visitors a year represent half of the French luxury clientele in the country. The Chinese have become the first clientele of luxury shops in Dubai, exceeding the Russians. In addition, Gulf customers are less volatile than foreigners.

Malls have become real temples of consumption. These are the only places in the world to accommodate so many French houses, which see them as fantastic springboards.

Shopping is considered as a national sport over there and is practiced in sumptuous malls where shops are found alongside restaurants from all over the world, shark aquariums, an Olympic ice rink, and artificial ski trails.

A hundred of shopping centers are present in Dubai but the largest mall in the world is the Dubai Mall. It includes a « Fashion Avenue » which brings together the greatest European creators. In the big aisles, women in black abayas expose their Prada, Gucci or Hermès bags, before a break at Fauchon or Ladurée.

Besides, under the huge glass roof of the Mall of The Emirates, one of the biggest shopping centers of Dubai, is Patrick Chalhoub. Leader of Chalhoub group, his empire has 5,800 employees, and a hundred of French brands such as Chanel, Chopard, Givenchy, Fred, or Chaumet, and more than 370 points of sales in shopping centers in the Middle East. The group perfectly masters the codes of distribution in the Middle East and is now essential to Western brands. As a result, for example, L’Oréal set up its own regional headquarters in Dubai a few years ago, ending the joint venture that binded it to the Chalhoub group.

Alongside Chanel, Lanvin and Chloé are present including Dior perfumes, Bernardaud porcelain, Gien faiences, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelers and Pierre Hardy bootmaker. Gastronomy is represented by the caterer Dalloyau and pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Not to mention beauty, here as well the French giant Sephora has quickly established itself as a reference in terms of skincare and cosmetics.

If French brands enjoy an excellent reputation, French style and French people too. Indeed, French inspirations are very present in luxury hotels. Sofitel The Palm is for example a five-star hotel located on the beach of the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah, which combines French splendor with French Polynesian design. The share of catering is very important in the business cycle of hotels. Dubai being a cosmopolitan city, the big names of French restaurants settle there. We can find, for example, Yannick Alléno and his concept « S.T.A.Y. » in the luxury resort The One and Only, Pierre Gagnaire and his « Reflets by Pierre Gagnaire » in the Intercontinental Festival City, Michel Rostang and his luxury brewery at the Atlantis. We can notice a local peculiarity that most restaurants are in larger hotels, as they are the only ones who are licensed to serve alcohol. Their menus thus offer great French wines.

To conclude, Dubai has become the place to be for French luxury which is now a real success and knows how to satisfy and make dream the very diverse clientele Dubai can receive.

By Inès Arrougé, Eva-Lan Baffert, Juliette Gazeau-Jallet, Lara Levet and Marie Védrenne.

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Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith

How does Paul Smith bring his story to the Chinese market?

Since the opening of the first store in the China’s biggest city in 2014, the very British ready-to-wear brand Paul Smith needed to educate this population to his story using a specific storytelling through the «Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith» exhibition.

With stores located in 73 countries, Paul Smith is the man credited for the re-popularization of boxer shorts in the 1980’s, and now boasts the most Instagramed building in all of California—in the form of his bright pink Melrose Avenue store. The touring exhibition arrived in Shanghai after visits in London, L.A., Taiwan, and two stops in Japan—Kyoto and Tokyo—where Smith has gained somewhat of a cult following. His success in Japan is partly attributed to the designer’s longstanding contribution to the market; he was first invited to visit Japan in 1982, just three years after the opening of his second store in London. Despite holding off on the Chinese market until 2012, Paul Smith’s potential in the mainland is growing as luxury Japanese culture continues to shape the decisions of buyers in China. The brand at present has one store in Shanghai, two in Beijing, and one in Chengdu.

Inside, customers are directly immersed in the world of the brand. With wooden furniture and other velvet sofas and chairs, Paul Smith is very regarding to how customers can feel the real values of the brand through his several stores in each part of the world. In Shanghai, the store follows the trends in terms of visual merchandising from the outside. As other luxury brands, Paul Smith’s store gets a very impressive and very colorful architecture. By this way it is clearly impossible to not see the store from the street.  Compared to his competitors, the brand has nothing to envy. For the retailing strategy in China, Paul Smith partners with ImagineX, a retail management company with over 21 years in the business. Their partnership began roughly in 2013, with the signing of a five-year exclusive franchise and distribution agreement. According the ImagineX Executive

Director Alice Wong, this business is like a marriage: «We speak the same language as Paul Smith and understand how they want to seriously grow the brand carefully in China».

Even if the brand is now implemented in China, Paul Smith still needed to seduce Chinese customers and teach them about the history of the company. For luxury company’s storytelling is key.  Louis Vuitton has built all its business on its first activity: trunks and traveling. For Paul Smith the storytelling is all around its creator: Paul Smith himself. Therefore, they decided to bring the exhibition « Hello My Name Is Paul Smith » to Shanghai. Few years ago, the Chinese market was not very concerned by the story of the brands. Trends are evolving today, and products are not enough to seduce luxury clients, even the youngest. When they go in-store, clients need to know how all this world has been created to consume with more knowledge and more passion.

The exhibition took place at the Modern Art Museum from Tuesday October 10th, 2017 to Sunday January 7th, 2018. The exhibition showcases the fashion designer’s journey in building

his company, as well as his stylistic tastes and eye for design. It combines the artistic and the business aspects of running a fashion brand and gives the audience a glimpse into the designer’s world, helping people understand the interactions between operating within an industry as a business and within the fashion world as a designer and artist.

More and more luxury companies are creating exhibitions as Dior did it in Paris with the «Christian Dior: Couturier du rêve», or Hermès with the «Hermès à tire-d’aile – Les mondes

de Leïla Menchari». These exhibitions allow brands to expose their history and their values. This strategy is built on the wish to target a larger audience and make people dream about the brand. The exhibition « Hello My Name Is Paul Smith » helps people to understand how the creator has built all this amazing business based on his values and his inspirations. The other reason why brands create exhibitions, is to build a strong relation with art. Many brands use art for their strategy to target a new part of the population and bring an added-value to their products and brand image.

Paul Smith now understands the demand of this specific Chinese market in terms of luxury goods and services. Now we must wait a few years to see how the brand manages its image through the time and how they adapt the story to Chinese customers.

 

Article written by Thibaut Lerda, Lisa Perrein, Nogol Nakhai, Julie Arthuys & Laureen Baldacchino

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PRADA RONG ZHAI

Opened last October, Prada Rong Zhai is a grand and lasting manifestation of Prada’s commitment to Chinese history and culture and the latest of the brand’s extraordinary architectural explorations. Originally owned by Yung Tsonga-King, the villa is one of Shanghai’s finest Western-style villas. Yung Tsoon King (1873-1938) was a self-made Chinese entrepreneur who had a background in Confucianism, and the classics of economy and history. To elevate his family, he decided to go into the Bank sector, and a few years later, in 1896, he established his first joint venture. He was extremely successful and soon became very wealthy.  The house where he used to live, Rong Zhai, is now a symbol of prosperity, which is very positive in China.

PRADA AND ARCHITECTURE

Prada is much more than just a fashion brand. Indeed, the company has always been inspired by all forms of art and has often linked them together to create unique pieces of art. Architecture, for instance, is a way for Prada to express its creativity and innovation, and the parallels and contrasts between these two forms of design have been central to Prada for over a century. For years and years, Prada has expanded its love for architecture, by creating many “Epicenters” in the world.  In New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Prada’s influence has expanded from fashion to culture and architecture.  Prada Rong Zhai is the latest investment from the brand to show its passion for many kinds of art.

PRADA AND CHINA

China has always held a valued place for Prada. It was therefore obvious for the brand to open another amazing building in China. The Rong Zhai building, with its history and its commitment to the Chinese culture, was a real evidence for the brand. To revive it, attention to details was key and the collaboration between Italian and Chinese experts results in a truly unique venue where east meets west. The goal was to create a place where art is put on display. To achieve this, the Mansion’s subtleties were preserved, and bling decoration avoided, making this House a real art-piece.

THE PRADA RONG ZHAI COLLECTION

The Prada creations that were displayed at the exhibition mixed Prada’s bold designs with Chinese fashion. For example, visitors could observe Prada “Qipao” dresses, which originate from 1920’s Shanghai and represent typical examples of Chinese fashion; as well as Chinese patterns and symbols such as rabbits which represent the moon. However, there were also more modern pieces, adding to the spirit of past and present which floats at the Manor.  Unique accessories could also be witnessed such as bags where the name of the venue was written, while others bore patterns inspired from the Chinese culture.

To conclude, the opening of Prada Rong Zhai is a symbol of Prada’s commitment to Chinese culture and history. Through this exhibition, Prada affirms once again its passion for all kinds of art by linking Fashion and Architecture in a spectacular manner, paving the way for Shanghai to write the rest of the Mansion’s story.

Dewi DE NORAY – Fiona GUAS – Carole GUIRGUIS – Christopher LOIZANCE

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SHANG XIA

THE PERFECT MATCH BETWEEN FRENCH AND CHINESE LUXURY

Based on the interview of Jo, store manager of Shang Xia Maison, opened in 2007.

We are thankful to Jo who kindly took the time to answer to all our questions and transmitted to us his passion and commitment to work. Shang Xia is a Chinese high-end lifestyle brand.

“The brand was created thanks to the merger between Maison Hermès and Jiang Qiong Er, CEO / Artistic Director of Shang Xia”. Jiang Qiong Er, studied in Paris at the Art Deco School.  This is how she brings in her brand: tradition and modernity, Chinese and Western ways of life. “It’s always the mix of the two:  The association of Chinese culture and western inspirations”.

“Shang Xia has really unique products, that combines high levels of Chinese craftsmanship and French elegancy”.

“One of the most important value of the brand is the craftsmanship, the way of how products are imagined and hand- made.  There is an important dimension of timelessness as well”.

The general ambiance of the Maison offers a loop-hole out of this fast-growing city. When the clients come to the Maison, they know the brand, most of the time they want to discover the new collections of home furniture and ready-to-wear.

Shang Xia is a very intimist and sober brand, everything is well detailed.  The atmosphere of the store is very peaceful and arty, the staging is outstanding.

Keno Kuma is the one who designed this amazing scenery, combining traditional crafts with modern materials and technology.  Inspired by centuries of tradition, Shang Xia is a pride in Chinese craftsmanship and artisanal production.  Shang Xia shows engagement to quality, respect of Chinese cultural references and aesthetic values.

« You have to treat people like your family guest, when they enter into the Maison, clients need to feel at home.  One aspect of the brand experience includes serving high quality teas at the Maison, allowing clients to enjoy a sense of calm and peace.  Also experience the traditional way of life by a special tea ceremony. Offering tea to our clients is a way to show respect and transmit the Chinese culture ».

BALBIANI Audrey – BERARD Tiffany – HOBE Valentine – LAPLAGNE Anouck – NIORE Anastasia

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CHANEL IN CHINA

« What is the retail strategy for Chanel in China?”

Charlotte, Chanel fashion division general manager in China, explained their strategy.  After 9 years in France, she came to Shanghai four years ago to manage the retail strategy in China.

The market for luxury brands in China represents an important part in luxury good sales worldwide.  In fact, in 2012, China surpassed Japan as the world’s largest luxury market. Since then, China has been the target number one of the luxury brands to invest more in this country by implementing more stores in it.  Retailers have been wondering:  should they keep or change the display of their usual stores?  How could they adapt their retail strategy to the Chinese market? Let us focus on Chanel’s strategy, one of the most favorite luxury brand in China. Chanel’s main store is located on the Bund, in Shanghai. In front of the Pearl Tower, you can find the store at the entrance of the Peninsula hotel. Well located, the store is targeting tourists.

Displayed into several parts, you can find all Chanel’s products in this store: jewelries, perfumes, ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories. Moreover, one of the room was designed to «feel like home».  Dedicated for loyal customers or celebrities, we can find that kind of rooms in Chanel’s stores in France. After the interview with Charlotte, we highlighted one big difference between France and China. Chinese customers are considered harder to seduce.  Always connected to their devices, retail strategies must update. As an example, you can find, into the Chanel store, a ready-to-wear room with a screen where the previous fashion shows are displayed.

On another hand Chanel is facing four main challenges. First, the competition. In China, the customers are not loyal, they aren’t looking for a storytelling. This is more difficult for the brand to keep their brand’s DNA if they want to reach the Chinese customers. The governmental taxes are the second big issue.  Because of these taxes, we can find a difference between the prices in France and in China.  A same bag can be sold for 4,200€ in France and 5,300€ in China. In addition to this, the exchange rate is playing an important role, the Chinese economy has slowed substantially in the past two years. Finally, the fight against the fake market is considered as one of the biggest priority for Chanel.  Many people in China wear fake luxury bags and sometimes the imitation is really like an original one.

An article written by Lisa Both-Gatti, Saad Izirri, Elodie Lecué, Anne-Marie Petit and Clémence Romefort.

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SHANGHAI TANG

EXCLUSIVE CHINESE LUXURY OR LUXURY EXCLUSIVELY FOR CHINESE?

For a long time, the Luxury industry has mostly been under the monopoly of Occidental brands & companies. Since several years the Chinese customers have proven themselves to be of increasing importance for the overall market, a real gold mine of clients while historic customers started to represent a smaller part of the global consumption. It was only quite recently that countries like China started to take the matter into their own hands, participating in the emergence of new brands, injecting new blood in the Luxury business. Shanghai Tang was created in 1994 by the Hong Kong originated businessman David Tang.

As if rapidly seeing the potential of this brand willing to revisit the Chinese fashion of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Richemont acquired it only 4 years after its creation. With around 50 boutiques worldwide, and a great number in China, our team was able to visit two of them to investigate in one of its fief, Shanghai. Both in strategic areas for Luxury stores -Middle Huaihai road and Xintiandi, they offer a quite similar experience once inside.

If we expected the store to contain some traditional Chinese inspired clothes, we were quite surprised to realize that it was the case of so many models, accessorizes put aside. Qipao and Frog buttons everywhere, we wandered the store. When we questioned a young Chinese woman outside one of the stores about what she thought of the brand, she seemed quite seduced by it, as many Chinese we asked about later. She qualified the clothes as « trendy » and « stylish » and, though it was inspired by Chinese quite traditional clothes it was also, to her, mixed with « global modernity ». She also enjoyed the guest experience and the interior design of the boutique.

While we also found the inside of the store quite appealing, colorful and a bit Art Déco it is very interesting to highlight the difference of perception between us European and Chinese customers. Where she found the guest experience a clear added value, we felt the saleswomen were way too present, almost invading, and, while it is obvious the clothes are made for modern age, we wouldn’t really say most them can be referred as “global modernity” but more like “revisited Chinese traditional clothes”.  From our perception, these were quality clothes, with nice designs and exotic patterns, but mostly, it would more be a “one time, one piece” experience for us as customers. Is it because of the designs, the customer experience or the lack of pedagogy for foreigners, we do not know. But where Chinese find Shanghai Tang “exquisite”, we can only understand why Richemont decided to sell this interesting brand almost 20 years after acquiring it: this a Chinese Luxury brand, mainly made for Chinese people. It could not quite achieve to reach out to Europeans hearts.

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Visionary, pioneer, liberator of women…

There are indeed as many prestigious adjectives to describe the man Yves Saint Laurent was. However, the words remain quite weak to do him justice. Numerous of books, documentaries or movies have tried, sometimes successfully, but always with a touch of fiction. Paying tribute to an artist and his love for the style, is indeed a complex exercise. But which better way then, if not the contemplation of his work? This is what the Saint Laurent Museum offers: to admire the accomplishment of the designer, by taking us along in his journey. From his early career in the Maison Dior, where he was named artistic director at only 21 years old, through his meeting with Pierre Bergé, the creation of his own Maison, passing by his democratization of women’s pants, his tributes to the great masters of painting, to finish by his tearful goodbyes on the 7th of January in 2002.

The Yves Saint Laurent Paris Museum opens the door to a whole different world. The one of Yves Saint Laurent. Rendez-vous at the 5 Avenue Marceau, in the sixteenth district, the very same place where the Maison was located, and in which the aura of the creator has remained everywhere: through his portraits of course, but also through the Haute Couture dresses, his amazing sketches, or the inspirational pictures and fabrics pinned to the wall of his studio. This same studio, where the messy desk, the glasses nonchalantly placed on the table, and the sensation of the cigarette still smoking in the ashtray, give the feeling of a full immersion into the universe of Saint Laurent. As a proof, the almost religious silence that is made as soon as you enter the room.

Everything in the museum is made to make visitors feel strong and mixed emotions. Being so close to the creator, through real relics of his daily life can only amaze any good fashion lover. More than the sense of wonder, it is a sense of nostalgia that comes over you when you contemplate the famous Mondrian dress, most copied dress in the world, or the « smocking trousers suit » designed in 1966, when only a few women had the audacity to wear pants at work. The nostalgia to think that an era is now over, wondering if someday, a creator will be as innovative and precursory as Yves Saint Laurent. Throughout his life, Yves Saint Laurent has worked for the women. What he loved above all? Make them beautiful, make them unique. His boundless creativity led him to develop outfits that not only revolutionized ladies’ dress, but also established

some of the basics of modern women’s wardrobe. By borrowing the clothes of men to slide them on the shoulders of women, Saint Laurent spread his message well beyond the circles of regulars of Haute Couture.

« Chanel has often been said to have liberated women, it’s true, years later, Saint Laurent gave them the power, and that’s why his work goes beyond the work of a fashion designer », said Pierre Bergé, the companion of the creator and co-founder of the Maison, whom the museum also pays a great tribute to. A fifteen minutes very moving film shows rare pictures of the creator, commented by the person who knew him better. Anecdotes, but also restored facts and proofs of their unconditional love, little things that make their romance a legendary love story, are delivered to the visitors through this movie. Let’s recall that it is the wish of Pierre Bergé to create this museum, to report the work of the couturier. More than a way to pay tribute to him, it is also a way to present the true personality of Saint Laurent to the visitors. This is more moving to know that Pierre Bergé unfortunately missed by only a few weeks the opportunity to discover the museum and to see how the story of Saint Laurent is making generations of people dreaming. « I wish that in 100 years, one studies my dresses, my drawings. » said Yves Saint Laurent once. It is undoubtedly the case.

 

Megane GORI – Sidonie LAEBENS – Helene RIGOUT

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«Whatever you do, do it with passion. Live passionately»

Christian Dior – Designer of Dreams

Christian Dior, genius of our times « whose magical name is made of God [Dieu] and gold [or] » once said his friend Jean Cocteau, imposed his vision of fashion, which relied on a triumphal femininity. He reinvented the woman’s image, using her core nature and her sensual curves.

In 2016, sounding as a consecration for Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri was named Creative Director of the women’s collections. The woman is not only in the center of the creations, she even dictates her feminist style. Indeed, as the first female creative director of Dior, she made a strong move writing « We should all be feminists » on her clothes, quoting Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Born under the Aquarius sign, just like Christian Dior, she symbolizes the characteristic open-mindedness of the house, which aims is to sublimate women.

Christian Dior was born in Granville in 1905. In 1919, because of his faith in astrology, he consulted a fortune-teller who predicted « You will find yourself penniless, but women will benefit you because it is thanks to them that you will succeed. You will get huge profits from this and you will have to travel a lot ». Highly superstitious, Christian Dior wanted to believe in his wonderful fate. He studied at Sciences Po and went through many jobs, working in an art gallery, then as a fashion illustrator and as a designer for Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong. It was only in 1946 that he decided to create his own company.

On February 12th, 1947 his first collection shocked the world of Fashion: it was the New Look revolution. He changed the image of women and erased the masculine lines of the war years.

A visionary of the fashion industry, he conceived an idea in which women must be wearing Dior from head-to-toe, from clothes to fragrance. It is in this objective that the company later extended its line to cosmetics in 1969 and high jewelry in 1998.

«Women must have instinctively understood that I was dreaming of making them not only prettier but also happier. Their favor was my reward» said Christian Dior. Respectful of the founder’s ambition, women’s valorization has been preserved through his many successors such as Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and nowadays Maria Grazia Chiuri.

In 1961, Bohan created his ‘Slim look’ collection, with body-sculpting pieces. Ferré later recalled the Baroque when presenting his ‘Ascot-Cecil Beaton’ collection. Suzy Menkes noticed his talent in producing «something always clear, fluid, allowing the woman to leave her trace behind her». As for Raf Simons, he designed a line where the flower-woman and the Dior curves transformed into architectural silhouettes, suggesting a free body. The famous “tailleur Bar” became a tuxedo.

Women heavily contributed to the influence of Dior through the years. They belonged to the worlds of aristocracy, music, cinema or literature and were international figures of elegance.

There was Lady Diana Spencer, who gave her name to the famous Lady Dior, previously known as the Chouchou bag. Grace Kelly then had many of her dresses designed by Marc Bohan. Not to forget Jackie Kennedy, who wore an iconic pink strapless dress when she welcomed André Malraux, then Minister of Foreign Cultural Affairs, for a dinner over at the White House in 1962. Among these women, without whom Dior could not be what it is, we also find celebrities such as the dancer Josephine Baker, close friends of Christian Dior, the actress Ava Gardner or the singer Maria Callas. More recently, Rihanna joined the select community of Dior muses, stating: « I think, to be acknowledged by Dior is just, it means a lot as a woman to feel beautiful, and elegant, and timeless ».

It is with the support of these ambassadors that we understand the Maison Dior is looking to create beyond the clothes, and to build a strong lifestyle for talented and inspiring women because, as Christian Dior used to say, «Whatever you do, do it with passion. Live passionately».

The couture company is now celebrating its 70th anniversary, highlighted by the Christian Dior : Couturier du Rêve successful exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, from July 5th 2017 to January 7th 2018.

Written by Veronique LOPES, Pierre MAILLET, Pauline NORMAND and Virginie PORTALI

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An emotional farewell

The influential Parisian boutique Colette, also known as one of the trendiest stores in the world, has announced it will be closing in December 2017. Rumor has it that Yves Saint Laurent might be taking over this trendy spot after it is closed.

This family business started in 1997, when a mother, owner of a retail shop in the center of Paris decided to work with her daughter, recently graduated from l’École du Louvre. Together, they opened the doors of a multi-brand store located at 213 rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. As the years passed, the blue dots concept store became the first meeting point between fashion, design, music, perfume, photography and high technology in Paris. Through their cutting-edge selection, one discovers the spirit of the Brand defined by its reactivity, determination, passion, vision and spontaneity.

Over the years, rue Saint Honoré has become one of the most sought-after streets in the capital thanks to the presence of high-end and luxury stores which have contributed in the upgrading of the street. The neighborhood indeed offers a luxurious setting to its international and diverse clientele and has grown to become a landmark for fashion figures such as Karl Lagerfeld who wrote, saddened by the announcement of the boutique’s closing: “Colette was really part of the street. Today, rue Saint Honoré will become a banal shopping artery. It was a unique place in the world, there was an atmosphere like nowhere else”. The sudden announcement leaves every collaborator and customer with a bittersweet taste.

Colette has multiplied collaborations with a host of different types of partners, with both major and smaller brands as well as establishing creative partnerships with upcoming businesses in Europe, including Balenciaga, Lacoste, H&M, Chanel, New Balance and even Ikea.

What the interior designer and former collaborator Eric Chevalier mostly remembers and cherishes about Colette is the family spirit “I started with Colette when I was 19. I was a baby and she taught me because she trusts people, young people. Obviously, I have known about the closing for a while, but I am now starting to realize, by hearing all the reactions to this news, what France is about to lose. As well as for all the fashion brands which have been supported and challenged by Colette for the past twenty years. This decision reflects the image of the brand, they did not want to leave their baby in the hands of anyone else. They are like celebrities saying goodbye in full glory and inspiring new generations.”

Despite the undeniable success and unforgettable stories that have been written, this emotional farewell has left all of Colettes followers wondering if all good things must come to an end?

by Elwine Barthelemy – Samia Boutayeb – Isabelle Crétat – Kenza Oweiss – Alexia Toury – Charlotte Waldelöf

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2, Place Vendôme

« Louis XIV voulait un lieu grandiose pour incarner le pouvoir absolu au cœur de Paris. »

Louis XIV (LE ROI SOLEIL), makes a strong comeback at Place Vendôme in a whole different form with Louis Vuitton. The Place Vendôme, royal place surrounded by French jewelers and international symbols of luxury, has recently witnessed the arrival of the Maison Louis Vuitton new flagship store provided with one of the most sumptuous facades to highlight its glory and standing as grand as the Sun. Louis Vuitton is the ultimate gem of the Place Vendôme.

With this huge flagship, Louis Vuitton wanted to combine royalty and modernity of the 21st century. Mission accomplished by the famous architect Peter Marino who took care of the interior design of the store by joining two private mansions, with one goal in mind: make the House the heart of modern luxury. To do so, he created a subtle mix between the 18th century charm and contemporary artworks, that we can find over the five floors of the boutique.

This store gathers every sector of expertise Louis Vuitton masters: from leather goods to high jewelry, and from ready-to-wear to perfumery. The brand, which owns a know-how in numerous fields, is multifaceted, such a diamond, shining even more on the Place Vendôme. But the House does not stop there. Indeed, some unique pieces, such as The Library Trunk especially created by Gaston Louis Vuitton for Ernest Hemingway, is also being displayed. This space named « Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme » is also home to two ateliers: the first one is dedicated to high jewelry, whereas the other one will be exclusively used for the fittings of the very important clients and prestigious VIP friends of the House. A secret VIP apartment is even hidden on the second floor of the boutique.

It is then important to know that this place was not only intended to shop. The House Louis Vuitton wanted to share its passion for dreaming and traveling over time to its clients, in a very symbolic location, that offers a return to the roots of the brand and to French nobility.

Besides the grandiosity of this location, this is also a real tribute to Louis Vuitton himself, whom you can find the portrait on the ground floor of the boutique. In 1854, Louis Vuitton was opening his very first business not far from the famous Place, this boutique is therefore a wink to the heritage he left behind him.

This last boutique is an actual master stroke from one of the greatest in its sector, but we all know that the House will not stop there, and its success is limitless.

We can ask ourselves what will be the next move for Louis Vuitton to show its worldwide domination and brightness in the luxury sector?

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Louise AMSELLEM – Inès ARROUGÉ – Morgan DAHMANI – Coralie DELAMAISON