Paris Gets on Board With California Style

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Published July 20, 2010

PHOTOS BY ALICE PFEIFFER

 

 

 

Could beach bum chic go Continental? Nike France and Colette certainly seem to think so. For the summer, Nike has taken over a house in Hossegor, near Biarritz in the South of France, and christened it “The Nike Roundhouse 6.0.” It’s a European fantasy of American beach culture.

The whole house is plastered with logos and filled with American hospitality: a sneaker customization studio, a T-shirt-printing room, an arcade game floor. The result is a stage-set-like hybrid between a ’90s surf movie and a high school flick: large front lawn, swimming pool, open kitchen, surf boards lying around, and school lockers.

Typically Parisian boutique Colette also put in their two cents. This weekend, it shipped over a plane-full of Parisians to offer surf instruction, South Beach Diet cooking classes and DJ by the pool in itsy-bitsy swimwear.

 

 

Sarah Lerfel of Colette explained, “We have always liked and encouraged sports.” Indeed, recent events include the Colette Gym, a secret workout held at one of André’s apartments in Paris, and a collaboration with Cynthia Rowley for Roxy. “But we have also sold so-called surf goods in the past, such as photos of John Severson, or art pieces by Thomas Campbell,” Lerfel said. “Because the culture has timeless values that we believe in.”

Pascal Monfort, who is in charge of the Roundhouse (he’s more regularly the frontman of pop band The Shoppings, and a transnational party-hopper), said, “Surf represents values that are relevant today, more than ever before: environmental consciousness, a quality of life. We’ve moved away from ‘VIP’ fantasies and are looking for something more down to earth.”