Rouje expands retail business, launches skincare line, collaborates with Damart
Jeanne Damas' schedule is jam-packed with plans for the coming year. The Parisian it-girl, who founded Rouje in 2016, together with entrepreneur and CEO Jérôme Basselier, is looking to further explore her brand's potential. The firm, which last May banked on its 'Les filles en Rouje' makeup line, is ramping up its projects with the aim of building up a complete and diverse offering as well as expanding its physical presence on an international level.
"I am very passionate about working on collaborations, especially with long-standing brands that preserve their French heritage. For me, this partnership with Damart is something almost intimate and nostalgic. My mother, my sister and I have always worn the brand's pieces. I was eager to modernise them and bring them to Rouje, as they perfectly match our brand image and can be easily paired with our vests or jeans," explained Damas to FashionNetwork.com, while sporting the 'Paulette' model in white under a plush gray knit cardigan.
"It's really interesting to be able to wear beautiful, sensual garments that also keep you warm," she added, appreciating the line's functional nature.
The capsule collection, described as an "intergenerational alliance," will be available from January 28 and consists of three pieces inspired by Damart's archives: a short-sleeved T-shirt, a long-sleeved T-shirt with a lace neckline and a short dress.
Crafted in Damart's signature Thermolactyl pointelle knit, each retro-style garment is available in an array of colors, from white to black to a delicate dusty pink. Available for purchase on both brands' websites and at Rouje's physical points of sale, the garments range in price from 50 euros for the 'Monique' model to 85 euros for the slim-fit 'Gisele' dress.
"When Jeanne contacted us and told us about her relationship with Damart, we immediately wanted to get to know her. It was a reciprocal crush, despite the age difference between our two brands," said Emilie Vermersch, director of supply for the French company founded in 1953 specializing in smart fabrics.
"Our combined universes have given birth to a delicate, yet feminine and sensual capsule that can be worn almost like a second skin," said the head of the company, which boasts a network of 150 stores in Europe (93 of which are in France) and 600 points of sale worldwide.
However, the winter capsule is not Rouje's only new venture. Just a few weeks ago, the Parisian brand opened a new physical space in the French capital, located at 16 rue de Turenne in Paris' 4th arrondissement. The building was previously occupied by Swildens, the brand founded by Rouje's CEO more than two decades ago.
The store will initially be dedicated to makeup and denim, but will gradually evolve along with the brand's collections. "We want the space to change according to our mood and our ideas, to evolve like an art gallery," said the brand's creative director, about the ephemeral concept store that will reinvent itself each season.
New stores in New York and Paris' 16th arrondissement
"We are certainly not going to expand everywhere, but our medium-term goal is to open flagship stores in every important country for the brand," said Damas, revealing that Rouje is preparing to open its first store in New York, which will probably open its doors next summer. In addition, the Parisian brand is actively looking for its first permanent location in London.
In addition to its newly opened boutique in Le Marais, Rouje retails its collections in Paris through its points of sale in department store La Samaritaine, where it also offers its cosmetics range, and Le Bon Marché.
The brand also operates its own boutique at 11 rue Bachaumont, where its headquarters are also located and which has recently been enlarged to cover three floors. A restaurant at the same address also operated until recently, which has been closed to allow for the enlargement of the shop's floor space. According to the founder, Rouje will open its third boutique in the city next March in the upscale 16th arrondissement. Its exact location has not yet been confirmed.
Diversification: from makeup to skincare
In terms of its offering, the brand is currently preparing a "huge launch" that will see the light of day next February. The firm, which presented its first makeup products at the end of 2018, will continue to diversify by expanding the product range of its beauty brand Les Filles en Rouje with its first skincare line. The line consists of creams made from 100% natural ingredients and took two and a half years to develop.
"We have worked with the best. Beauty and cosmetics are increasingly becoming more important. Fashion differs, but beauty allows us to express ourselves much more and to have more freedom of speech," concluded Damas, announcing that the launch will be accompanied by "many, many surprises."
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