A lot has been written about French Girl Style. Suffice it to say that everybody wants it, but achieving the dishabille, effortless chic style is harder than it looks.
Who What Wear, which promises to crack the code in a blog post entitled, “11 Rules for Mastering the Art of French Girl Style,” doesn’t sugar-coat the matter, saying that French Girl Style can be “this unattainable fantasy.”
Pinterest is peppered with French striped Breton shirts; jeans worn with white cloth shirts; trenchcoats; boyfriend blazers; artfully tied scarves, and knee-length silk floral print dresses, but try pulling it all together like a Gallic gal.
French Wink is coming to the rescue. Billed as the biggest French-only pop-up store, French Wink’s 3,000-square-foot unit will operate for a week, starting Dec. 11, at 25 Greene Street in SoHo.
Co-owners Claire Obry and Myline Descamps traveled through France visiting boutiques and selecting items with traditional and modern savoir fare for men, women and children. About 60 percent of the assortment is exclusive to French Wink, but there are also familiar brands such as Breton stripe purveyor Saint James and Jacadi for babies.
“New Yorkers are eager to know more about France,” Obry said. “It’s very difficult to find these brands in the U.S. market. Meanwhile, French brands are struggling to have access to the vast U.S. customer.”
The company plans to launch five pop-up shops in the coming year while continuing to refine its concept. “We want to do a permanent store, but we have to test the concept first,” Descamps said.
French Wink’s pop-up will feature educational programs and events. “Retail is struggling now, so we need to offer to our customers a lifestyle,” Descamps said. “We’ll have a lot of workshops, such as French beauty tips and Calais lace tattoos, for example.”
A watch bar and create-your-own bow tie bar will offer customizable gifts. Maman NYC will feature cafe au lait and croissants, among other treats, and a fondue evening is planned. A VR experience promises to transport shoppers to France, where they’ll see “beautiful creations from French makers,” Obry said. “French people take time to produce things. It’s a long process. Some brands have existed for 200 years.”