IN WITH THE NEW: There was a wealth of fresh talent showing at the Chambre Syndicale-backed Designers Apartment showroom, which ended its seven-day run today.
Among them was young Parisian designer Coralie Marabelle, who was showing her first commercial collection. Marabelle, who trained at Hermès and Maison Margiela before working at Alexander McQueen, took home the Public Prize at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography in 2014, and created a capsule range for La Redoute last year.
Her creations are inspired by couture but designed to be easy to wear. Despite being her first collection, “We have already received orders from several countries during the showroom,” said Marabelle.
Key pieces included a teddy jacket with a frilled hem in red or blue chunky corduroy, priced at 250 euros wholesale, or $275 at current exchange, and wide pants with a frilled waistline in red flannel, priced 190 euros, or $209.
Another newcomer was Carolina Ritzler, with her concept based almost entirely on overalls in various shapes and sizes, from leather zip-up flight suits to a silk design that buttons on the side designed with ballerina Marie-Agnès Gillot — a friend of the designer — in mind.
This was the third collection for Ritzler, who used to work in advertising for Petit Bateau. She is already stocked at L’Eclaireur and Le Bon Marché, and has recently seen a lot of media coverage for her designs — one was featured on the cover of last week’s French Elle, for example.
Her prices range from 400 to 1,600 euros, or $440 and $1,763, at retail.
It was also the third collection for Yang Li’s label Quetsche, which includes Penelope and Dover Street Market among its stockists. Li had previously presented in a showroom, and had noticed the difference. “There was no footfall in the showroom; it was just appointments. Here it has been great,” he said.
Li’s collection focused on superposing transparent fabrics over knits, as in a fluffy jacket overlaid with black organza, priced 280 euros wholesale, or $308, while a dress with simple spaghetti straps was cut like a giant’s shirt sleeve, priced at 200 euros, or $220.
Dawai Sun was participating in Designers Apartment for a third time with his Belle Ninon label, and was presenting a repositioned collection that moved more toward urban contemporary. Designs — including an outsize black-and-white check egg-shaped coat, priced 300 euros, or $331 wholesale, and a flared wool skirt, priced 80 euros, or $88 — had won the label new clients, including Chinese retailer Dong Liang.
The other labels present were A. Guery, Avoc, Each x Other, Kenta Matsushige, Slash Brand, Victoria / Tomas and Y/Project.
Partly thanks to their participation in the initiative, brands like Each X Other and Y/Project already have a broader following beyond a showroom format. Both staged runway presentations this season.
Other Designers Apartment alum are also moving on.
Iris Cantabri, which specializes in high-end embellished mix-and-match elements made in France that cleverly zip together, has opened a pop-up store in the Marais. The label participated in the Chambre Syndicale-backed showroom for four seasons and a pre-collection between March 2014 and October last year.
Its store, on Rue des Blancs Manteaux, will remain open through July, and will be followed by another opening at the end of September. The brand is also presenting its fall collection by appointment at 244 Rue de Rivoli.
“We decided to open a long-term pop-up because we believe in retail for our brand,” said Caroline Droit, who oversees sales, marketing and communications for the brand. “The success of our pop-ups last year, which were open for shorter periods of between three and six days, convinced us. We hope to open a permanent store in the long term, and the flexibility of pop-ups allows us to get closer to our customer and refine our choice of location.”
The store will also showcase a selection of other brands that the Paris-based label, founded in 2014 by designer Guillaume Michel, considers complementary to its offer. These include costume jewelry from Caterina Zangrando, Vanina, Hirschell, Eloise Fiorentino and Sarah Angold and shoes from Aperlai, Melis Yildiz and Marie Weber.
Looks from Carolina Ritzler.