Sarah Andelman is the founder and creative director of Colette, a chic Parisian concept store located on the city’s Rue Saint Honoré. In July 2017 it was announced the store would close its doors after 20 years. She recently launched consulting and curating company Just An Idea, connecting people from various disciplines.
“Paris is light.
Sunlight sparkling on the Seine, dawn breaking over an avenue, streetlamps on a square, the neon lights. Enlightening ideas, history and heritage. Coming to Paris is a dream for some; for others, it is a conquest.
The city inspires people as much as it fascinates them; it attracts and intimidates. Particularly in the world of fashion and design, because inspiration is everywhere: sitting on a café terrace, strolling in a garden, visiting a museum.
Working in Paris injects a breath of fresh air like nowhere else; but it’s also a challenge. The designers I have met are unanimous: breaking onto the Paris scene can be exciting, thrilling and terrifying. But it is the city’s unique vibe that forges its strong connection with fashion. The Paris Fashion Week has always been the richest, liveliest and most stimulating of them all. And the fact that so many foreign labels are leaving their native countries to present their collections in France says a lot about Paris’s status in the fashion world.
Paris is also synonymous with freedom; it’s a notion related to our history: the freedom to think and to create. When we launched colette in 1997, Paris was slumbering. But since the early 2000s, the city has regained its vigour and is still surprising us. The young generation is very dynamic, cutting-edge galleries are opening and new restaurants are buzzing. There is a vitality today that’s showing no signs of diminishing. Probably thanks to the Parisians and Parisiennes, who are as determined as ever to defend their city’s ranking among rival capitals. Their energies are coming together to make sure that Paris will always be Paris, ever creative. Designers come here to find inspiration, and often they never leave.”
"Designers come here to find inspiration, and often they never leave.”