Colette will be very busy during Paris Fashion Week this fall. On Wednesday, the French boutique announced on Instagram that it will be closing its doors for good on Wednesday, Dec. 20. "Colette Roussaux has reached the time when she would like to take her time; and Colette cannot exist without Colette," says the post's caption.
Roussaux opened her namesake store in March 1997 with her daughter Sarah Andelman, who currently serves as the store's creative director and purchasing manager. Over the last 20 years, the three-story space has become a top shopping destination and cultural meeting point in Paris, frequented by industry insiders, creative professionals and fashion-savvy shoppers. The concept store and dining spot perfected a truly authentic and memorable retail experience that many international stores continue to emulate — or still struggle to capture.
Roussaux and Andelman have also created a Colette signature of championing emerging designers. According to Business of Fashion, the retailer was among the first to stock collections from Proenza Schouler, Rodarte and Mary Katrantzou at the start of their soon-to-flourish careers. Newness was another area of expertise, as the storefront's window displays changed weekly, and its inventory was regularly stocked with anything from its latest collaboration, streetwear labels and luxury items to quirky housewares, independent magazines, indie music and coveted beauty products.
"It's the only shop where I go because they have things no one else has," said Karl Lagerfeld in an interview with Business of Fashion. "I buy watches, telephones, jewelry there — everything really! They have invented a formula that you can't copy easily, because there is only one Colette and her and Sarah are 200 percent involved."
The retailer also announced that "negotiations are under way" with Saint Laurent: The French fashion house will reportedly take over the Rue Saint Honoré location, as well as possibly take on Colette's current employees at the end of the year. "We would be proud to have a brand with such a history, with whom we have frequently collaborated, taking over our address," says the Instagram post. (How could we ever forget Hedi Slimane's wrath over Colette's "Aint Laurent Without Yves" parody T-shirts?)
Until Colette ceases its store and website operations, "nothing will change." "Colette will continue to renew itself each week with exclusive collaborations and offerings, also available on our website colette.fr." One of those collaborations includes a nine-piece collection with H&M Studio, which will be available exclusively in-store and online on Aug. 21 ahead of H&M's worldwide release in September.
Since June, Colette has also hosted monthly first-floor takeovers, starting with Balenciaga offering exclusive limited-edition pieces in addition to its men's and women's collections until Aug. 5, followed by "Les Vacances de Lulu" from Parisian PR guru Lucien Pagès. In September, Sacai will transform the retail space, then Thom Browne, Chanel and, lastly (but fittingly), Saint Laurent.