Parisians Love Fashion’s Night Out

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Published September 9, 2011

 

Paris, which has historically jumped tepidly onto the New York bandwagon, went whole hog for Fashion’s Night Out. Crowds converged on the Golden Triangle (avenue Montaigne, rue François Ier), with a DJ in every house and champagne corks popping non-stop. This was a very young crowd—imagine junior’s first steps at Fendi, Gucci and Dior—with a flash mob danceathon in front of Chloé to the tune of Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls).” Meanwhile, over at Marc Jacobs, it was clown night, with a prize wheel.

Colette on the rue Saint Honoré held a private affair at its downstairs water bar for the launch of Denmark’s Aesir,  Æ+Y cell phone, designed by Yves Behar. The phone—and it’s just a phone, all other functions have been painstakingly excluded—is a hefty chunk of metal, which looks kind of like a watchband and is geared to last 15 years. With ceramics done in Holland, sapphire crystal from Switzerland, Swiss watchmaker parts, and a French atelier to put together all the tiny bits, this a 100% European-made objet d’art. Warning: this device could cause severe harm if you ever got mad and decided to bean somebody with it, supermodel-style—but priced at 7,250€ in stainless steel, or 18-carat gold for a forget-about-it 42,000€, tossing around is ill-advised in the first place. The long-lasting construction and limited functionality are in service of an attempt to get back to the not-so-distant past (the 1970s?) when one purpose per object was more than enough and applicances were guaranteed to last. Behar is the designer behind Jawbone headsets, OLPC’s XO laptop, PACT eco underwear, and the redesign of the NYC Condom logo. Producing the phone took four years to perfect.  Æ +Y is Aesir’s first phone, but there will be a new phone from a different designer every 18 months from here on out. The next is top secret and will see the light in December 2012.