PARIS — Two years after launching her brand, Julie de Libran has opened her first physical location in Paris, an intimate space on the Left Bank that houses both a store and a workshop where some of her limited-edition designs are made.
The boutique at 3 Rue de Luynes, not far from her apartment in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, carries both her ready-to-wear creations and jewelry made in collaboration with the Chanel-owned house of Goossens. Clients can also book appointments to order made-to-measure couture pieces.
The space, filled with vintage furniture, is in tune with de Libran’s one-on-one approach. So far, she has hosted appointments at home and sold her designs online through her own e-shop and Matchesfashion, but the designer wanted a more informal set-up where customers could try the clothes any time.
“To make an appointment is wonderful, but it’s not for everybody,” she said, noting that some people are not comfortable buying online either.
“I mean, I’m kind of old-fashioned that way. I don’t buy online, to tell you the truth. I don’t even buy jeans or T-shirts. It’s just something that I like to try on. I like the experience,” she explained.
Formerly an art gallery, the store is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays by appointment.
“I wanted to make it kind of like a lounge for people to come and have a coffee, come and have a glass of Champagne — just time together,” said de Libran, who recently introduced her brand to the U.S. via a series of personal presentations in locations including New York City and Malibu.
“When I travel with the collection, when I invite in my home, it’s about the exchange,” she added. “Doing this in a more private way, I realized that actually this proximity has so far worked, because of my limited quantities that I haven’t been able to really develop much more.”
The former Sonia Rykiel designer works mainly with deadstock fabrics, meaning there are rarely more than 20 examples of any given design. Last year, she also introduced collaborations with lingerie brand Eres and shirtmaker Charvet.
Through her partnership with Nona Source, which offers high-end re-sourced materials from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s fashion houses, she now has a bit more flexibility to accommodate individual requests, such as adjusting the length or size of her pieces.
Her couture creations, meanwhile, are made with the Chanel-owned workshops Paloma and Lesage, both housed at the French luxury brand’s new hub for craftsmanship on the outskirts of Paris.
De Libran is open to expanding distribution in future, but for now, she’s content to keep the business small, especially considering the ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “I’m happy to be able to invite people to just drop by,” she said.