The concept goes as such: Sarah Lerfel of Colette and Danielle Pender of KK Outlet each hop to the other side of the channel, bringing along a crème de la crème selection for their new audience. (The terms “pop-up” and “swap” seem equally viral these days, so why not combine the two?)
Yesterday, on the chic rue Saint-Honoré, KK Outlet revealed hipster art books, limited editions, art works by Erik Kessels, but also collaborative products such as “divided loyalty” scarves, and more.
In parallel, Colette was hanging out on the Hoxton Square location in East London, introducing too-cool Eastenders to pieces by graffiti artist André, illustrator Darcel, and paintings by Irina Dakeva.
For those who can make it to either end of the Eurostar, the London part lasts til late August, and the Paris side til late July.
“It’s a way of living the Colette experience without actually leaving London,” said Sarah, with a smile, “the idea is to bring over items that Londoners can’t get and vice-versa.”
Although Colette is first and foremost a fashion boutique, and KK a communication agency, both brands have similar models, Danielle believes. “They’re both multi-functional spaces housing retail and a gallery. Colette stocks KesselsKramer books and we have worked with the same people in the past such as Anthony Burrill,” said Mrs. KK.
Are swaps’ increasing popularity a sign of a change in attitude towards buying? Danielle seems to think so: “People are a lot more interested in finding unique one-off items, whether that means searching through second stores and markets or online.” Unique is definitely something that both Colette and KK offer: “It’s all hand-picked stock which is difficult to find; many pieces and titles are limited edition so the hard work has already been done for you.”
But it might also indicate an increasing care around brand ethics, she believes: “Attitudes towards mass-produced products have changed and people aren’t prepared to buy something everyone else has. We’re a lot more aware of the back story behind the products we buy today; low price tags at the cost of sweat shop workers aren’t attractive anymore.”
Let’s hope she’s right.