Try to picture the scene: Early evening in the living room of a private apartment in the residential 7th arrondissement, a dozen sweaty woman are lying on the floor attempting sit-ups, all dressed in identical pink Reebok Freestyle and Colette t-shirts.
A bizarre 80s commercial? Flashdance 2?
No, this is the Parisian’s boutique way of getting women ready for this summer’s rompers and leather shorts.
The gym’s held at a secret venue: l’Appartement d’André, the newest spot from the founder of Le Baron, Montana and the late Beatrice Inn. His private space holds hush-hush launches, parties and shows by invitation only. The entrance, at the bottom of quiet alley close to the river, is completely unmarked. Where better to burn mysterious calories than a mysterious basement?
Throughout the month of April ‘Colette Gym’ sessions were held weekly, offering elaborate, frighteningly professional sounding programs, from kickboxing to ‘fit to flex’ (whatever that might mean). It also provided Reebok gear to look good, flirt with the trainer, and lose one’s workout virginity – often followed by a guilt-free meal and party.
What made the scene ever more bizarre is the fact that l’Appartement is sponsored (and thus, heavily branded) by VITAMINWATER: the gym classes resulted in a cross between your dad’s dream living room, all you can drink fluorescent juice and out of breath yet blasé Parisiennes.
Coco Chanel once said “Past the age of thirty, a woman must chose between her backside and her face.” We choose both, thank you very much.