Sarah Andelman, Founder of colette
Words by Nikolaj Hansson. Illustration by Sine Jensen.
colette has been paving the way in retail since it's establishment in 1997. Located at Rue Saint-Honoré in the heart of Paris, the store offers anything from Hermés bags over limited Nike sneakers to skateboards, somewhat everything. The store boasts experience and curiosity rather than consumption and profit and that might be their key of success. In junction with the Soulland meets colette Tuileries collection, we linked up with founder of colette, Sarah Andelman, for a chat on the community, multifaceted retail models and rules, or lack thereof.
How did the idea of Colette originally come about?
From a visit to the actual location. We immediately had the vision of the gallery, the water-bar, fashion and so on; to mix everything we like.
Do you think that the multifaceted model is one that will be increasingly appearing in the years to come?
Certainly. It’s difficult to limit ourselves and so many fields are connected to each other.
Years ago, you served as an intern at Purple Magazine. Was this your first real encounter with the inside world of fashion?
If we don’t count numerous visits at Comme des Garçons shops before this and my mum’s wardrobe, then yes.
Are you searching for a certain balance when, at the same time, making sneakers with adidas and silk scarfs with Hermés?
Absolutely, and that’s very natural.
You host an array of events at your store. Is it important for you to create an almost communal spirit around Colette?
Yes, it’s all about Colette’s life.
What’s more important, making great profits or supplying great product to the community?
A combination of both would be ideal, but otherwise we clearly choose to give priority to great products we love. We've refused to sell many products that could make great profits if we were not really seduced.¨
Catering to a world where new collections arrives more than biannually, what’s your strategy on staying relevant in an ever-changing environment?
To never sleep.
In a world where everything seems to be moving into a virtual world, how crucial is it for a store such as Colette to stay physically grounded and not go all-in on the online world?
It’s a real experience to spend time at colette and we hope to maintain this..
Having been in the game for more than 15 years, what’s the most important thing that you’ve learned with regards to trends and fashion?