Kate Spade New York fêtes Paris flagship opening

Paris Fashion Week is off to a sparkling start, and joining the festivities on the second day of the season was Kate Spade New York. President and Chief Creative Officer Deborah Lloyd welcomed guests including Clémence Poesy, Sarah Andelman and Bel Powley to a soirée in celebration of its flagship opening on key luxury fashion thoroughfare rue Saint-Honoré.


Kate Spade New York's chief creative officer Deborah Lloyd (right) with actress Bel Powley (left)

The invitation described it as "an intimate celebration" and the throng of glam guests jostling for space across the two floors meant attendees certainly got up close and personal. The busy event was an encouraging start for the brand, which hopes to use the high-profile location to raise visibility in the French capital. “It’s nice to have a position here because it’s such a gateway onto the rest of the world,” Lloyd told FashionNetwork over a glass of champagne.

For the creative chief, who worked in Paris at Daniel Hechter and Kenzo in the 1990s, it’s familiar ground. “For me this feels like my stomping ground, I love this area,” she said enthusiastically.

Nestled between couture jeweller Goossens and premium cashmere brand Leetha, and directly opposite Michael Kors on the famed shopping street, the brand's first Paris boutique is in good company. Saint Honoré is one of the most desirable luxury shopping areas in Paris, according to commercial property specialist CBRE, and has seen a flurry of openings from Furla to Fendi in 2017. Not to mention the high-end street cred added by the inimitable Colette, at number 213.

On top of boosting brand awareness with its international clientele (“having a store in Paris is really, really important for the Far East,” added Lloyd), the brand will also capitalise on its prestigious new location to find its feet in the French market. This is in line with the continuing international acceleration pursued by parent company Coach.

“It’s been important to come into France and start with handbags, and ready-to-wear and accessories, so that people get to know us and get to know what we’re about," Lloyd said.  "And then we can start to build the brand from there."


The flagship façade at 418 rue Saint-Honoré - Photo: Kate Spade

As for the store itself, the 2,000 square foot flagship certainly conveys the playful and feminine sophistication that the brand is well-known for. It's an airy but inviting space, with rosy-hued soft furnishings offset by the high ceilings and glass vitrines. Romantic letters and paintings in washes of powder pink adorn the wide-striped walls to add a touch of contemporary-kitsch - which one assumes will be right up the street of the young Kate Spade woman.


Guests pose for an animated photo on the second floor of the flagship Photo: FashionNetwork.com

Tapping its flair for innovation and millenial allure - just one of the features that made the brand so attractive in its recent takeover - the celebration also featured an interactive photo animation corner, where guests and influencers posed for animated keepsakes underneath oversized spangled champagne bubbles. That was a motif repeated prominently throughout the store, bedecking the window displays and fostering the festive mood. And with a bullish multi-region expansion plan in place for 2018, the brand has every reason to be buoyant.
 

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