PARIS — Le Bon Marché has linked with The Webster Miami for a limited-edition collection due to go on sale early next year at the French department store in Paris and the Florida boutique.
This story first appeared in the September 23, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Laure Hériard Dubreuil, founder and chief executive officer of The Webster Miami, and Le Bon Marché have commissioned brands to create all-white items, which will be available from mid-January to mid-February.
The initiative harks back to Le Bon Marché founder Aristide Boucicaut, who in 1873 invented what has become a tradition in French department stores: A month-long promotion on “white” items, traditionally bed linens and home wares, to attract customers into stores after the holiday shopping rush.
Patrice Wagner, chairman and ceo of Le Bon Marché, said the venture between the two retailers was based on “elective affinities,” noting it was unprecedented for both Le Bon Marché and The Webster to have a presence outside their walls.
“This capsule collection is an opportunity to offer our customers a unique experience. We are innovating, even as we pay homage to our founder Aristide Boucicaut,” he said.
Bearing the tag “Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche & The Webster Miami,” the products initially will be available in Paris, where the windows of Le Bon Marché will be dressed to look like the lobby of The Webster.
Subsequently, Le Bon Marché will be featured prominently in the lobby and on the second floor of The Webster store on Collins Avenue in Miami’s South Beach district, where the capsule collection will also be sold.
Hériard Dubreuil said she was a fan of the department store, where she has shopped for everything from groceries to kid’s clothes for Marcel, her son with artist Aaron Young. “It was totally organic,” she said of the collaboration. “Everything happened in a very natural and fluid way.”
The entrepreneur, who frequently works with brands on limited-edition items for her store, said she leveraged those relationships to help recruit participating fashion houses. These will be revealed closer to the date of the event, but include leading French luxury brands.
“Usually, I develop an exclusive product with one or two brands per season for women or men, going up to three or four during Art Basel,” she said. “But we’ve never done anything on this scale, so it’s a big first.”
For Hériard Dubreuil, the color white connotes not winter, but a sunny day in Miami, where she described the heat and humidity in September as stifling.
“As a matter of fact, I’m wearing white every day,” she said. “It’s that white heat, the sun reflecting off the white sand, the Art Deco buildings in pastel tones against a white background. Miami is a very light city.”