OXFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom — Today at VOICES, BoF's gathering for big thinkers in partnership with QIC Global Real Estate, Colette's Sarah Andelman announced her next move following the closure of the beloved Parisian concept store: a new consulting company called Just An Idea.
Via the company, Andelman will collaborate with both brands and artists. “It will be called ‘Just An Idea' because I think that’s what it will be. To give an idea, for it to be interpreted, to let it be free,” Andelman told Rachel Shechtman, founder and chief executive of Story, who led a conversation with the retailer on the VOICES stage.
“I am always on the hunt to discover and I am fascinated by how designers constantly surprise us — it’s not easy to do. I love to discover new creative talents, [for them to give us] a new inspiration a new vision, and I would like to give them support to exist, to be recognised for what they do,” added Andelman. “Every day, I receive some great ideas and I think 'Wow, it’s crazy no one has thought of this before.'”
Of course, great ideas are what Andelman has birthed and embraced throughout her career. Colette was founded in 1997 by Andelman and her mother Colette Rousseaux — after whom the store is named — pioneering the collaborative model adopted by hundreds of retailers and fashion brands since. Over the years, the three-story, 8,000-square-foot boutique has partnered with the likes of McDonald's, Disney and Medicom Toy, approaching retail and merchandising in unique, novel ways. Most recently, the store unveiled a partnership between Pharrell and Chanel, which sold out instantly.
As one of the store's final collaborations, Andelman and Shechtman announced on stage that Story would be the first — and last — retailer to stock Colette merchandise outside of Colette. Launching next week, the exclusive collection includes the classic Colette shopping bag made in leather, as well as t-shirts, home fragrance and the coveted Colette "mystery grab bags."
“From the beginning, it was not so much about collaboration, but we wanted to bring product to the store we could not find elsewhere in France,” she said. “I always want to surprise our customer. It was something I loved to do — it became part of Colette — and it is something I will still love to do.”
In July, Andelman announced that Colette would close after 20 years, spurring industry speculation regarding the store's financial health and the owner's next move. “Nowadays, having a multi-brand shop is very challenging. You have to fight to get good product, but to explore [new designers] and not limit yourself. It’s been 20 years now — it’s been a long run. Everything has changed so much we thought we could either radically change everything, or turn the page and write a new chapter.”