Paris denim gurus Catherine Leung and Nordine Yousfi are sticking with a food theme when it comes to retail expansion.
The husband-and-wife team launched their first boutique, Royalcheese, eight years ago, and recently opened their second, Royalcheese Deluxe. The store, located at 3 Rue Mandar in Paris’ cobbled Montorgueil district, is in the heart of the city’s streetwear and skatewear hub.
“The name was kind of a joke,” said Leung, who christened her Royalcheese shops after the French name for a McDonald’s hamburger. “We didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously. Deluxe was funny as the store is far from luxurious.”
The store, with its psychedelic dressing room curtains and stacks and racks of clothing crammed together, is more disheveled than deluxe. However, the Royalcheeses have become the local denim dives of choice for trendy teens and twentysomethings. While listening to their iPods, they scour the area for the city’s hottest denim finds and trendy streetwear.
“That’s our customer prototype,” Leung said.
Leung and Yousfi opened their first location at 24 Rue Tiquetonne almost eight years ago before the area became a major denim thoroughfare. Today, they stock brands such as April 77, Cheap Monday, Edwin and Lee.
“Streetwear styles in France have a specific Parisian edge,” Leung said. “Girls will pair their denim with the little scarf knotted at the neck, a pretty jacket and a cool bag.”
Popular streetwear brands from Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. include Stussy, 2K T-shirts and Backhand, as well as home-grown street and skate talents like Sessun or Sixpack.
“We are increasing our streetwear offering of brands from Australia,” added Leung, noting labels such as Inside and Pam are being added for their colorful range and trendy lifestyle vibe.
If denim tastes are still not satisfied by the offer at hand, Leung and Yousfi in March will open their third location next door to the original Tiquetonne store. This one, called Blue Cheese, focuses on exclusive denim labels such as Cheap Monday’s new vintage line and Sunday Sun, as well as select vintage pieces. But for Leung, the shop’s key feature is not on the selling floor.
“A cellar, we finally have storage,” she said.