Colette Updates a Classic




As the ready-to-wear rat-race gears up in Paris, Colette is giving the city a genteel amuse-bouche. Monday, the concept boutique is launching a collaboration with old-school French house Hermès: an exclusive carré. Literally meaning “square,” the brand’s trademark silk scarf has been worn by Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly, tied around the head, neck, or handbag. Yet it had lost its French cred years ago—word on the streets was that it had become an accessory of choice for history teachers.

Colette, more famous for its East London imports and street-meets-couture aesthetic, might seem like an odd match. However, as Sarah Lerfel, creative director of the boutique and the daughter of Madame Colette herself, explains: “We have an enormous respect and interest for this brand, which embodies fashion and luxury à la française… We like the idea of Colette being at the crossroads of many different universes.”

The result is illustrated with a classic Hermès horse bridle and, underneath, the inscription “Pour Colette” (for Colette). “This is a touch of modernity for one and of tradition for the other,” Lerfel continues. There is more: this collaboration is part of a worldwide tour for Hermès, aiming to give a shot in the arm to the carré.  Events will be taking place around the globe, including one at New York’s Bergdorf Goodman on October 14. Furthermore, the efforts to rejuvenate the brand even includes its own street-esque manifesto: the site, “J’aime Mon Carré,” follows four young girls and their scarf through four different cities. It goes without saying that none of them are school teachers.