PARIS – “Love, light, peace: This is what we have to find, inspire and spread.”
So declared Christian Lacroix on Sunday as Parisians woke up to bright sunshine that contrasted starkly with the first day of national mourning as France reeled from the aftermath of terrorist attacks in the capital Friday that left at least 129 dead and more than 350 injured.
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, said:
“Once again, Friday night, Paris suffered from a terrorist attack with a scale and horror unprecedented in France. Everyone – we are all profoundly shocked by this tragedy. Our thoughts go to the victims, their families, their loved ones. This attack is an attack against our way of life, against our values, against liberty and against humanity. Under these circumstances, the most appropriate attitude is to continue living normally, by showing courage, solidarity and vigilance.”
While police advised citizens to stay indoors as they hunted for suspects, many Parisians went about their daily lives undeterred. In the Marais district, popular on Sundays, foot traffic was significant as several fashion brands and independent stores decided to stay open, including A.P.C., Zadig & Voltaire, American Vintage and Paul & Joe. Terraces were packed with customers. At Chez Marianne, a popular hangout in the Jewish part of the quarter, people lined up for tables. Ditto for neighboring cafés and restaurants.
Among those retailers that decided to shut on Sunday were Michael Kors, Barbara Bui and Vanessa Bruno. “Temporarily closed for security. Thank you for your understanding,” read a sign in front of Uniqlo’s flagship on Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, while others referred more specifically to Friday’s attacks.
The presence of CRS teams, France’s antiriot police, intensified around the Place de la République, where hundreds of people turned out on Sunday afternoon to show solidarity with the victims of Friday’s attacks, despite a state of emergency having been declared by French President François Hollande on Friday night that forbade mass gatherings of any kind. People lit candles, and laid flowers and messages at the feet of the statue of Marianne, a national symbol of freedom and democracy. “We are liberty,” “We are the republic,” read some of the signs.
Similar scenes of quiet vigil were observed at the Batacalan concert hall, situated a few hundred yards down the street from the Place de la République, where the most deadly assaults took place.
Fashion designers and executives were rueful, yet defiant.
“We must now live with these kind of attacks. Unfortunately, there may be others,” Pierre Bergé said Sunday, lamenting that governments and law enforcement agencies are up against “an invisible army.”
However, he said French citizens must not cower.
“As the Americans say, ‘The show must go on,’” said Bergé. “We must not submit to terrorists. People must live their lives, go to school, visit the theater, visit the shops.”
A morose Karl Lagerfeld recounted how people in his inner circle – including coworkers and a journalist friend – lost five people in the attacks.
He blamed Hollande, as extremists had long warned of reprisals over France’s intervention in Mali, even before the country took action in Syria. “He’s the president of France, he has to protect the French people,” Lagerfeld said, while allowing that the threat is a shady one.
“This is not a war on a flat piece of land where one enemy is facing the other,” he said.
Lagerfeld, too, insisted “life must go on,” and on Saturday he visited two favorite stores – fashion emporium Colette and bookseller Galignani – in an act of solidarity with the employees who had agreed to work as usual.
With most stores and museums closed on Saturday, he said “it felt like there was a black veil over the city.”
“It will take time. These are very sad days and what happened is horrific and terrible,” echoed Ralph Toledano, president of the Puig fashion division and the Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode. “But life continues, and it’s not the first time Paris has faced terrorist attacks,” he stressed, alluding to bombings in the Eighties and Nineties targeting the subway and railway services, cinemas and stores.
“It is a great sadness. It’s our 9/11. It’s frightening,” said Hubert de Givenchy. “It’s hard to predict what the impact will be. The Christmas period is around the corner. Are people going to feel like going shopping? There’s so much anxiety.”
Olivier Rousteing, creative director at Balmain, said Friday’s attacks hit close to home, as he lives in the popular 11th arrondissement, where many of the attacks were centered – as do many members of his design team.
“It’s also personal because it’s my country. I’m a French citizen,” he added.
Rousteing initially urged his 1.7 million followers on Instagram to stay indoors and stay safe, but his overriding message is to never submit to terror.
“We all have to remember that Paris is the City of Light, and we can’t let darkness kill our light,” Rousteing told WWD. “We need to be strong. We need to remember what happened on Nov. 13, but we also have to fight against it, to keep the hope, uphold our belief in freedom of speech and not be afraid.
“I think we are all going to come out stronger,” he continued. “I had a conversation with my mother yesterday and she told me we have to fight for the next generation, to preserve our beautiful world for them, to fight for freedom and for the values of France. We need to keep positive energy and go on living.”
Rousteing was in his design studio on Sunday working on Balmain’s pre-fall women’s and fall men’s wear collections, and felt inspired to uphold France’s reputation for fashion and style. “I want to make sure that people see Paris as one of the most respected cities for creativity, for beauty,” he said. “We need to make sure that we are at our best.”
On Sunday morning, Rousteing posted a selfie with the Opéra Garnier bathed in sunlight behind him. “Paris is history; Paris is future,” he wrote.
Inès de La Fressange said the best revenge is “to continue to live with joy and freedom.”
“In our French motto — Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité— we have seen what ‘fraternity’ means these last few days. There’s no doubt there’s solidarity against bloodthirsty cowards,” she said. “I believe we’ll need even more frivolity, luxury, short skirts and extravagance – everything totalitarians reject.”
“My country is touched at the core. Youth was targeted, its future and the cradle of our hopes. Other young people committed the irreparable. We must do everything to have future generations live together and in peace,” added designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. “I believe creativity is the ultimate cure. These tragic events are calling for an artistic and unified response.”
The state of emergency in effect allows French authorities to create no-go zones or decree curfews in areas considered sensitive. They may also ban from France any individuals considered a risk to public order, requisition people or resources, and conduct searches.
Hollande also reinstated border controls in France. On Saturday morning, he announced the country would respect three days of national mourning. France will lower its flags and hold a minute of silence at midday on Monday to remember those who were killed and injured.
“France is strong and even if she can be injured, she will always rise again and nothing can touch her, even if we are assailed with grief. France is resistant, active, it is robust and it will triumph over barbarity,” he pledged.
Local authorities in the Ile-de-France region are authorized to ban public demonstrations and meetings, close certain public facilities including concert halls and bars, and confine to their homes anyone considered a risk to security and public order.
“We are at war. We are therefore taking exceptional measures. And we are going to win this war,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls wrote on Twitter.
In Paris and neighboring regions, the chief of police has banned all public gatherings until Thursday. Authorities have also forbidden the sale and use of fireworks and firecrackers, as well as the flying of drones over the Ile-de-France region.
Public transport was running normally on Sunday and schools and universities were set to reopen on Monday. Museums and cultural institutions remained closed on Sunday.
The Eiffel Tower switched off its lights on Saturday night in honor of the victims of the massacre. They were turned on again Sunday, but without the hourly sparkles.
On Sunday night, Notre Dame Cathedral hosted a special service for the families of the victims and wounded, even as police ordered citizens to stay indoors as much as possible.
Reinforced checks are being conducted at road crossing points, rail stations, ports and airports.
All police forces have been deployed in Paris and five-and-a-half additional companies of CRS riot control forces have been dispatched to the Paris area. The army has sent 1,000 additional troops to patrol the city in the coming days.
These reinforcements come on top of the 30,000 policemen, gendarmes and soldiers that have been patrolling 5,000 sensitive locations across France as part of the Vigipirate security measures in force since January.
Numerous French dailies published exceptionally on Sunday, commemorating the victims of the attacks. Le Figaro’s special edition carried the page one headline “Le chagrin et la colère” (or “Grief and anger”), accompanying a photograph of a person kneeling before a commemoration to the dead. All of the issue’s 16 pages were devoted to the Paris attacks.
A bouquet of roses in the lower left corner added poignancy to Libération’s stark, black front page. Its 24 pages carried articles ranging from a focus on how the simultaneous attacks were a new phenomenon for France to the sense of solidarity in hospitals caring for the wounded. The paper’s back page featured a piece by Laurent Joffrin, the title’s editor in chief, alongside a photo of a black-and-white sign reading: “Je suis Paris” (or “I am Paris”), which is a continuation of the image wrapping around to the front page.
French weekly news magazine L’Express came out with a special edition titled: “Comment Gagner La Guerre” (or “How to Win the War”).
L’Equipe’s Sunday paper was emblazoned with the words “En Deuil” (or “In Mourning”), accompanying a photograph of hands lighting candles placed in the shape of a heart, while Le Parisien had “Résistons” (or “Resist”) and Le Journal du Dimanche had “La République face à la barbarie” (or “The Republic in the face of barbarism”) with a photo of a dead body covered with a sheet lying on the street. “La Terreur à Paris” (or “Terror in Paris”) read Le Monde.
The mood on Saturday was muted, with department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps closing their doors after just a few hours of trading and other retailers nearby, such as Sephora and boutiques on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, remaining shuttered. Soldiers patrolled alongside police throughout town.
Galeries Lafayette said in a statement it had initially decided to open its Galeries Lafayette stores on Boulevard Haussmann and in the southern district of Montparnasse, as well as the BHV Marais store in central Paris, as a “symbol of its civic values and its will to resist in the face of terror.”
It said it had decided to close the stores “given the difficulties in ensuring an optimal service quality for our clients. No external alert in particular prompted the group to take this decision.” A spokeswoman for the group said reports of a suspect package at the store were incorrect, and other Galeries Lafayette stores across France remained open.
A spokeswoman for Printemps said it had decided to shut its four stores in the French capital, in addition to two in the suburbs, because many members of staff were absent in the wake of the attacks that unfolded starting Friday night and lasted into early Saturday morning. The Boulevard Haussmann flagship was not scheduled to open on Sunday.
Paris department stores have stepped up security checks as set out under France’s Vigipirate program since the country was hit by a first wave of terrorist attacks in January targeting the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
“These measures have today been significantly reinforced across our entire network, and in particular the Paris flagships. Galeries Lafayette Group is naturally permanently in touch with the authorities and will follow their recommendations to the letter,” Galeries Lafayette said. The retailer plans to open on Monday.
All Paris stores operated by French luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — parent of brands including Fendi, Givenchy, Sephora, Bulgari and Le Bon Marché — were closed on Saturday, according to a group spokeswoman.
The stores in the French capital run by Kering, whose brands include Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, were also closed.
A Kering spokesman noted: “Given the state of emergency that was decreed and as a measure of safety for our employees, our brands’ boutiques in Paris will remained closed this weekend.”
L’Oréal has implemented an immediate, temporary business travel ban to France until Nov. 23, according to a company spokeswoman.
The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. will keep its stores in France closed on Monday in recognition of the national mourning, a company spokeswoman said.
The New York Times on Saturday postponed the luxury conference scheduled for next week at Versailles, France. “In the context of what has occurred, the declared state of emergency in France and the three days of national mourning, it would be inappropriate to hold the conference at this time,” Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, the Times’ president of international, wrote on the newspaper’s Web site. “We apologize for any inconvenience caused and will be back in touch on Monday with further details.”
GQ France has postponed its Men of the Year party, originally scheduled for Wednesday, WWD has learned.
Mapic, the retail property trade show scheduled for Nov. 18 to 20 in Cannes, France, was slated to go ahead as planned. Organizers said they were liaising with the French authorities to ensure client security and advised attendees that, “increased security measures at airports may lead to journey delays.”
In the art world, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the Frank Gehry-designed art museum that opened last year, was closed all weekend.
Paris Photo, the annual fair bringing together more than 147 galleries from around the world at the Grand Palais, remained closed Saturday and Sunday, citing the order that all cultural institutions in the Ile-de-France region be closed.
“Reed Expositions, the Paris Photo team and all the exhibitors extend their sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims of the attacks and share in the national mourning decreed by the President of the Republic,” Paris Photo wrote on its Web site. The fair is scheduled to run through Sunday.
Members of the international fashion community expressed their solidarity with the citizens of Paris on social media.
“Ralph Lauren sends its deepest thoughts and prayers to Paris, always the City of Light,” read the @RalphLauren Twitter account.
“Praying for Paris” posted model Gisele Bündchen.
“Sad Sunday in Paris,” Alber Elbaz wrote, sketching himself with a glum expression next to a heart in the colors of the French flag.
The attacks raised question marks about how security concerns might impact tourist flows, and luxury spending, already beset with a range of woes from weakness in China to flagging emerging markets. Paris is among the most visited cities in the world, and the weak euro has fueled spending for high-end fashions and accessories, compelling a range of international retailers to battle for real estate.
Aéroports de Paris, the Ile-de-France region’s airport authority, warned on its Web site that reinforced checks in Paris airports would cause further delay
Hollande was attending a France-Germany soccer game at the Stade de France on Friday evening when at least one explosion was heard in the stadium as several suicide bombers set off their charges. He was evacuated and immediately held an emergency cabinet meeting. Men wielding machine guns sprayed bullets at people gathered in several cafés and restaurants in the east of Paris on Friday night.
The attacks, for which radical Islamist militant group Isis has claimed responsibility, appeared to target civilians indiscriminately. Up to 89 people were shot to death at the Bataclan concert hall, where California band Eagles of Death Metal was playing when several gunmen fired shots into the audience, according to eyewitnesses.
The Brigades de Recherche et d’Intervention, an elite police special unit specializing in hostage kidnappings, ended the siege by killing the suspected terrorists in a raid.
Djamila Houd, a receptionist at Isabel Marant and mother of a young daughter, died in Friday’s attacks. “Isabel and her team are devastated by the catastrophe and sends their condolences to the families of all victims,” Isabel Marant chief executive officer Sophie Durouflé told WWD. The executive added that another employee of the company lost her young husband in the attacks.
Marie Lausch, a public relations intern in Coty Inc.’s Paris office, also was killed. In a statement, the company said it was “deeply saddened” by its employee’s passing.
“The thoughts and prayers of the entire Coty community are with the victim’s family, and with everyone impacted by this tragic event,” Coty stated.
Véronique de Geoffroy de Bourgies, a former fashion and lifestyle editor who collaborated to publications including Figaro Magazine and Vogue Hommes, also died in the attacks at age 54.