Olivier Saillard fêtes the new Weston Vintage project
Leave it to Olivier Saillard and J.M. Weston to fête the debut of their new vintage project – a neat example of the circular economy – with a moment of Parisian performance art.
With fashion encyclopedist Saillard wielding an MC microphone, as a cast of fine-boned youths in tuxes, cricket gear and sack suits paraded around Weston’s store at 243 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré – all wearing freshly repaired vintage Westons. The boutique was temporarily redone as a faux pop-up with raw plywood walls, counter and runway, a three-week revamp for the launch of this concept, named Weston Vintage.
With typical Parisian humor, Saillard invented a fashionista nickname for each pair. A pair of oversized rainbow-colored moccasins were entitled Virginia Bloh, maroon preppy golf shoes named Ralph Simons, while there were also titles like Helmut Klein, Calvin Lang, Roger Gabbana and Bartin Malanciaga.
"It’s the circular economy in a very real way. Repairing and overhauling some great old shoes with marvelous patina, though done with a sense of humor," explained Saillard, the brandʼs creative director.
After the house realized that at any given moment there were roughly 1,000 pairs of used Westons on offer on the Internet, it decided to act.
"Nearly all of our clients bring their Westons to be reshod at least once in their life. So, this is one way of introducing our brand to a younger client, and at a more modest entry price point," said CEO Thierry Oriez.
The possible turnover of this new division is of course limited to the number of pairs clients are prepared to sell back to the house. Oriez confessed that out of the 900 pairs offered by clients, the house ended up accepting and recycling only 300.
However, so far, demand has been impressive. Weston sold a dozen pairs in the store in the 24 hours before Saillard performed. The immediate goal is to introduce this concept at Weston’s two Paris boutiques and at its flagship in Tokyo.
Let the nicknames continue.
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