Nous, a New Store, Picks Up Where Dearly Departed Colette Left Off


PARIS — The grate was not yet down on Colette before the eulogies began.

For two decades, Colette Roussaux and Sarah Andelman’s store had been the one that fashion people looked to to tell them what was cresting on the horizon, that introduced them not only to designer fashion but also to art books and heavy, expensive twice-a-year magazines and candles and gadgets and sneakers and tchotchkes of every unpredictable type. It had essentially made the fortune of its stretch of Rue St.-Honoré, now colonized by luxury brands, and become a site of pilgrimage not only for Parisians but also for fashion-industry types on their semiannual fashion week rounds.


A carved wooden sneaker on display at Nous. Credit Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

But in December, Colette shut for the final time, Ms. Roussaux to “take her time,” as her daughter, Ms. Andelman, put it, and Ms. Andelman to consult. The eulogies turned to a question: Where would we go now?

The answer is not likely to be a single store but, less than a month after the closure of Colette, a contender has emerged: Nous (French for “us”), from two of Ms. Andelman’s longtime employees, Sébastien Chapelle, who ran the watches and electronics department at Colette, a 14-year veteran of the store; and Marvin Dein, who handled sneakers and had been there for nine.

Gadgets and sneakers had been two of the mainstays of Colette’s always-thronged ground floor, and Mr. Chapelle and Mr. Dein have imported their respective specialties to Nous. More sneakers are to come, but watches (100-euro Casios, or $122, and five-figure timepieces customized by Bamford and Mad Paris) are already arrayed, near instant cameras, sunglasses and the odd pair of binoculars.


The OnePlus 5T cell phone. Credit Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

Many of the products featured at Colette have come along too: OnePlus 5T Android cellphones (€559), for example, an early best-seller since Nous opened, or rolling papers from Devambez for the stoner antiquarian of means (32 rolling papers and 32 paper tips, €85). (Maison Devambez is better known as a supplier of fine stationery and the like.) As Colette had a selection of magazines, so does Nous, as well as the Mizensir candles the store used to stock. Colette customers — Mr. Chapelle said many have already been by — might even recognize some of Colette’s security guards at the door.

But Nous has less whimsy than Colette had, and less fashion, too. “We’re more into streetwear,” Mr. Chapelle said, taking a break from some notes scrawled, still, on a Colette pad, and a sleeker, harder edge and sound. (On the soundtrack: the English rapper J Hus and Drake.) The mix skews toward men’s wear, though there are some women’s pieces, and more to come.

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