Have you noticed that more women are wearing berets, and brightly colored clothing?
Fashion executive Mindy Lin Prugnaud certainly has, and she draws a straight line to “Emily in Paris,” the hit Netflix series that spawned dozens of websites that meticulously document every outfit and accessory worn by the main characters.
Now ViacomCBS Consumer Products – the parent company to MTV Entertainment Studios that produces “Emily in Paris” – is further fanning interest in the hit show by selling merchandise from a clutch of top luxury houses featured on the show. It is slated to drop online just as season two starts streaming on Dec. 22, allowing viewers to buy the checkered jacket from Chanel-owned Barrie worn by the main character, portrayed by Lily Collins, or the tasseled Roberto Coin earrings worn by her vivacious sidekick Mindy, played by Ashley Park.
Other participating brands include AZ Factory, Eye M by Ileana Makri and Zeus+Dione, along with other Chanel-owned specialty labels: Maison Michel for hats, Goossens Paris for jewelry and Causse Gantier for gloves. Mint Group, the Paris-based buying office run by Prugnaud and her husband Jean-Philippe, spearheaded the project and curated the product selection, including a separate initiative with My Beachy Side resortwear that winks to the episodes filmed in Saint-Tropez.
The merchandise is to go on sale at Netflix.shop, saks.com, each vendor’s e-commerce site and select retail locations, with additional products coming on stream through January.
According to ViacomCBS and Netflix, “Emily in Paris” captured a global audience of 58 million viewers within a month of its release in October 2020, suggesting fervent interest in the dreamy, luxury-filled lifestyle depicted on the show, set around a fictional luxury marketing agency.
“The fashion in ‘Emily in Paris’ is as important as the main character,” asserted Jose Castro, senior vice president, soft lines, fashion and lifestyle licensing and global collaborations at ViacomCBS Consumer Products. “There are so many scenes where the wardrobe and the styling take front and center with the backdrop of Paris — the fashion capital of the world — it doesn’t get much better. It’s all elegantly weaved together to create a beautiful, dramatic storyline within the story itself.”
According to Castro, Mint Group captured the DNA of the series.
“The products they helped create are an organic extension of the French fantasy that is such a big part of the series,” he said. “As soon as we saw ‘Emily in Paris,’ it was clear that there were many elements for fans to connect with from a product perspective. The series gave us all a glimpse into Parisian beauty and luxury and created a sense of desire for more. As it gained in popularity, we had several brands and labels express interest in partnering to let fans bring a little bit of that luxury home with them.”
Mint Group worked closely with costume designers Patricia Field and Marilyn Fitoussi to select labels that reflect the luxury savoir-faire of European houses — and styles in the vein of a wardrobe they describe as “French with a Hollywood twist.”
Among shoppable styles are silky pajamas and quilted “Love” handbags from AZ Factory; geometrically shaped sunglasses from Zeus+Dione; cord bracelets and necklaces spelling out “C’est la vie” from Makri, and delicate, Art Deco-inspired bangles, pendants, rings and earrings from Roberto Coin.
Meanwhile, top French pastry chef Pierre Hermé created special boxed assortments of macaroons, a very Parisian sweet treat.
Price points run from 30 euros for a box of macaroons up to 7,430 euros for the most elaborate Roberto Coin earrings. In between are necklaces for 195 euros, sunglasses for 250 euros and handbags for 790 euros. Some have subtle “Emily in Paris” branding.
The idea to co-brand and curate merchandise tied to the show came after Prugnaud met with series creator Darren Star during the taping of the first season of “Emily in Paris” in early 2020.
Prugnaud, who is of Asian decent and friends with Star, is adamant that the Mindy character in the show is not based on her, and she takes umbrage with anyone who claims to have inspired the storyline or any particular protagonist.
“Everyone relates to the characters; that’s the genius of Darren,” she said. “But each character is an amalgamation of many different people.”
In Prugnaud’s estimation, the online shop offers an introduction to luxury goods and European refinement, akin to the main character: a fish out of water who eventually acclimatizes to the formality and sophistication of Paris.
While much of the shoppable content is worn by the Emily and Mindy characters, items are also seen on Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, who portrays Emily’s tough-as-nails boss Sylvie Grateux, and on Camille Razat, who plays Emily’s très Parisienne friend Camille.
My Beachy Side has a one-season licensing deal with ViacomCBS Consumer Products, and the agreement could be considered for a renewal, should Netflix reveal a third season, according to a spokeswoman for the apparel company. To date, the brand has produced about 15,000 units for wholesale orders and direct-to-consumer projections, she said.
All of the designs are made by the 500 women that My Beachy Side employs in Turkey to handcraft the brand’s crochet styles. Founded in 2015 by Gamze Ates, the company aims to drive the financial empowerment of disadvantaged women.
The My Beachy Side capsule collection was inspired by the French Riviera in the ’20s. The collection debuted for preorders on Oct. 27 via the brand’s site. It will be sold through select retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Anthropologie later this year, the spokeswoman said.
“Emily in Paris” made a splash last year when viewers couldn’t get enough of the characters’ style and over-the-top storyline set in Paris.
The first season received numerous accolades, including two Golden Globe nominations for best television series, musical or comedy and best actress in a television series, musical or comedy. It also nabbed a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for outstanding comedy series.