A documentary on iconic Parisian boutique Colette is coming in 2020

Two years on from its closure, 'Colette Mon Amour' focuses on the widely-loved retailer’s last days, featuring interviews with Virgil Abloh, Chitose Abe, Kanye West, and more.

by Mahoro Seward
23 December 2019, 12:08pm

Image via Instagram

The 2017 festive period was one of mourning for the French fashion retail scene: after 20 years at its Rue Saint-Honoré location, Colette, the cool, young counterpart to Paris’ fusty grands magasins, shuttered for good. The news came as a shock to anyone faintly interested in brick-and-mortar shopping: the multi-story boutique, an original pioneer of the ‘concept store’ model since adapted the world over, was in rude financial health, reporting revenues of €35m in 2017. And it was admired by everyone from streetwear heads to Karl Lagerfeld. So why, when things were going so well, did it shut? Exactly two years on from its closing, Colette mon amour, offers fresh insight, tracing the cherished boutique’s last days.

“The main reason for stopping is my age,” says Colette Roussaux, the store’s eponymous founder, in the film, as reported in WWD. There was also the recognition of how changes in consumption patterns, spurred by a boom in internet shopping’s popularity, could affect the business -- trends that other former fashion stalwarts, like Barney's New York, have since fallen victim to. “I didn’t want to witness the store gradually empty itself or deteriorate, not after all the work we had put in it,” Colette explains.

Just as central to the documentary is Sarah Andelman, Roussaux’s daughter, and Colette’s head buyer and creative director. Esteemed as one of the industry’s visionary retailers, she was responsible for the store’s agenda-setting capsule collections, guest curations, and exhibitions -- which sometimes took place all at once. When Balenciaga, whose own flagship is less than half a block down the street, took over Colette’s first floor, they brought along German-Norwegian artist Yngve Holen’s "Cake", a sculpture consisting of Porsche sawn in four, along with custom merch. Other events documented over the course of Colette’s final six months include a Virgil Abloh book signing and a guest curation by Saint Laurent -- fitting, given that the historically Left Bank maison opened its first flagship concept space, Saint Laurent Rive Droite, in Colette’s former home.

In a testament to the regard in which the store is held, the documentary also features interviews with some of its highest-profile fans, including Virgil, Pharrell Williams, Chitose Abe and even Kanye West. “They were more than willing to be interviewed about Colette,” Hugues Lawson-Body, the documentary’s director, told WWD. “They didn’t need any persuading. It was kind of amazing to be in Kanye West’s studio in Los Angeles and chat about Colette.” Though the documentary’s release date is currently unknown, its official Instagram says it’ll be with us next year.

colette paris
sarah andelman