i-D founder terry jones and original mum tricia jones celebrate 20 years of colette

Celebrating the legendary Paris store, with its history of exhibitions, collaborations, music compilations with Michel Gaubert, and an innovative ‘water bar’ featured in i-D’s July 1997 Clean and Fresh issue.

by Charlotte Gush
27 March 2017, 11:10am

Colette Co-founder Sarah with Drake at the store. Image via Instagram.

When Colette opened on 213 Rue Saint Honore in 1997, the iconic store already stocked Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe, and they have been selling Raf Simons since his very first collection. Then there are the 15 compilation CDs with superstar runway DJ Michel Gaubert, more brand collaborations than you could dream, and the surprising instalment of a water bar that is still going strong today with over 100 waters.

For their 15th anniversary, the Paris store opened a public fun fair at the Jardin des Tuileries, dubbed Carnival Colette. Five years later and they haven't lost their taste for a grand spectacle, staging 'The Beach' -- a sea of clear plastic bubbles and colourful inflatables to play in -- at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

The Beach. Image via @colette.

As the legendary Paris store celebrates its 20th anniversary, i-D founder Terry Jones and original mum Tricia Jones reflect on the spectacular creation of mononymous mother-daughter duo Colette and Sarah...

Terry Jones, i-D founder
"Congratulations to Colette! 213 Rue Saint Honore, which continues to be at the top of the Paris shopping list destination, is an incredible achievement after 20 years.

Tricia and I were first introduced to Colette and her daughter Sarah in spring 1997 by Miriam and Michel Momy, a mutual photographer friend and stylist living in Paris. Colette was opening her new 'hip' boutique with the novel idea of a water bar on the lower floor. Combining fashion and lifestyle with their personal curatorial talent and dedication to supporting emerging designers and unheard of brands. Sarah and her mum, with their team, created a unique space and forum that consistently draws masses of fashion and design fans from every place on the planet.

It's their attention to detail that goes beyond the superficial facade with a constantly updated edit of what's on the shop floor, like a great three-dimensional magazine. Ongoing art and photographic exhibitions in their tiny gallery space, numerous fashion collaborations, quirky musical CD compilations with maestro DJ Michel Gaubert, and lots of inspirational book signing events.

Any 20 year old fashion/design student could learn a ton by making their thesis just looking at 20 years of Colette's window displays, which could change up to three times in a week! In i-D's feature for the July 1997 'Clean and Fresh' issue, the cafe offered 48 varieties of water. I wonder if some connoisseur somewhere may have a priceless 20 year collection of water bottles…?!"

The Clean and Fresh Issue, no. 166, July 1997. Photography Michel Momy.

Tricia Jones, i-D original mum
"Having known Sarah and Colette since the very early days, when the shop and water bar first opened, we're simply thrilled to wish them both many congratulations and a very well earned Happy 20th Birthday!

As committed now as they were from the very beginning -- the energy required to change everything around on a Sunday, to be sleuth like and voracious in constantly seeking out the new, the excellent and the unusual, but also to have resisted the huge temptation to clone their beautiful shop and open around the world (when they must have had literally hundreds of offers and requests to do so) is indeed both unique and amazingly impressive.

We've also in the last few years had the pleasure and fun of sharing holiday downtime with Sarah, her husband Philip and the gorgeous Woody, all of us coincidentally drawn to the Catskills... sun filled summer days and marvellously inventive family Halloween costumes in Woodstock have simply strengthened our friendship.

We salute you guys and send you much personal love and huge professional respect! Big hug to you all and of course the wonderful Colette herself, Tricia xx"

Read: Back when Colette turned 18, co-founder Sarah answered 18 questions about the iconic store.


Text Charlotte Gush

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