GOING COCO: The venue on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré for this season’s Americans in Paris showroom was of appropriate significance — Gabrielle Chanel was a former resident of the first-floor apartment.
Nine designers participated in the 12th round of the showcase, backed by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue. All were newcomers to the event this season.
“This is Coco Chanel’s old apartment, it’s just amazing,” enthused Beckett Fogg, one half of design duo Area.
The brand has seen a lot of excitement this week over its accessories after both Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were spotted wearing its jewelry out and about in Paris. “The accessories have been really popular with the celebs,” said codesigner Piotrek Panszczyk. “It’s really been helping, as people have been recognizing them as they are walking through. It’s been a great opportunity for us.”
Laurence Chandler, one half of men’s “elevated skate” label Rochambeau, said the brand was also benefiting from showing during women’s collections in Paris, he said, and had dressed influencers such as Georgia Fowler and Jourdan Dunn for the occasion. “It’s been cool to dress women, we like the idea of women wearing our clothing,” he said.
Rochambeau’s eye-catching plaid coat with a splash of paint across its back was proving popular with buyers in Paris, he said, while in the U.S., it had been seen as more of an editorial piece.
For shoe designer Chloe Gosselin, showing her designs in France was a bit of a homecoming; born and raised in Normandy — indeed, Monet’s gardens at Giverny were the inspiration behind her fall collection — Gosselin moved to the U.S. a decade back and launched her shoe brand from there three years ago.
While Gosselin had a pop-up last year at Printemps in Paris, her designs are not currently sold in her homeland.
“It’s really interesting to see how buyers’ tastes vary, they don’t take the same designs at all,” Gosselin said. Retailers had been picking out her signature cutout sandals, she said, and her velvet designs were also proving popular.
Gosselin’s French roots were proving handy for her peers in the showroom, meanwhile. “Everybody’s been passing me the telephone every five minutes for the past two days to translate what the Uber driver is saying,” she said.
The other labels showing at Americans in Paris were Brock Collection, Adam Selman, Krewe, Ji Oh, Morgan Lane and NewbarK.