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NEW YORK — Juliette Longuet runs around New York and Paris, working on her two very different endeavors.
Her television show, “NYNY Paris Paris,” on the French network June, is about inside discoveries, with Longuet uncovering everything from the best hot dog to the richest chocolate cake for her French viewers. When she’s not leading a camera crew to the latest East Village hot spot, Longuet is designing her signature ready-to-wear collection. She recently opened her first store for the eponymous line, a two-level 1,500-square-foot flagship in a town house on East 70th Street, just off Madison Avenue.
Longuet’s designs are feminine, with a French je ne sais quois, such as tiny prints, covered buttons and large bows. Jackets have unique constructions, such as a short plaid jacket that looks like it was fused on to a longer solid one.
“My purpose in doing the collection was to get away from the boring outfits you have to wear where you look like a banker,” Longuet said. “I use amazing fabrics sourced in France and Italy and the fit is important.” The tweed fabric with glittery threads used for a coat with matching shorts comes from the same supplier used by Chanel, she said.
After attending business school, Longuet worked in the Celine marketing department. “I dreamt about New York since I was a child,” she said. “I went to FIT and launched the line.”
Longuet sold her collection at Saks Fifth Avenue and mutli-brand boutiques, but “I stopped selling to Saks because I lost my investor,” she said. “I decided to organize something new.”
Now, she and her husband, Eduard Pesch, operate a self-financed company. “We would consider investors to expand,” she said. “We’re talking to Itokin, the Japanese company that’s working with Tibi and Cynthia Rowley. They’re always looking for new brands. The Japanese want to open a Juliette Longuet store.”
Longuet knows that her customers “want to be noticeable and exclusive. I’m very careful about the length of a dress. I tend to make them a little longer, most are 36 inches.”
Longuet wants to keep prices in the contemporary range for items made from bridge-quality fabrics. A Merino wool popcorn stitch sweater is $450, a tweed dress with double zippers at the neck, $450, and stretch leggings, one of the most popular products, $995. “I can’t keep the leggings in stock,” Longuet said.
The New York-manufactured collection is geared toward mixing and matching. The store is designed for sociability. “When [customers] are here, I’ll give them a cool address to check out,” she said. “If they come late, we’ll open Champagne and eat macaroons. The space feels Parisian.”
In February, Longuet’s two avocations will intersect when she covers New York fashion week for Gallic TV. “On my show, I talk about my favorite [NYC] underground locations,” she said. “I also do stories about different cities.”