In less than three years, premium French retailer The Kooples has notched up 180 stores, €100m worth of sales and is now entering the US market. So far, five New York and New Jersey Bloomingdales have signed on to carry the label, but we have a feeling more stores will follow suit. Just what is its secret? The Kooples is smart, in terms of the product, cooler, more trend-driven.”
For Elicha and his two brothers, Laurent and Raphael, the “spirit” of The Kooples is as important as the product. “Today, a brand isn’t just about the product. Of course, the product has to have an esprit,” he tells me in French, “but then it’s the message, the store, Raphael’s films (featuring the likes of Johnny and Corinna, which are shown in cinemas and on The Kooples’ website). It all goes together.”
How it all began?
The recession actually helped us,” says Alexandre Elicha, creative director and one of the founders of premium French retailer The Kooples (imagine the last word being pronounced in a sexy French accent like Elicha’s; it’s supposed to sound like a Frenchman saying “couples”). “Everyone was scared. No-one wanted to open shops, everyone cut their marketing budgets, but we came in with something different, with this idea of using real couples with a Parisian and English spirit. And everyone was asking: ‘What is The Kooples?’”
The Kooples’ luxe blouses and Savile Row-inspired blazers are their core designs. Its collection offers a wide range of sharply tailored pieces in high-quality materials, with a sophisticated attention to detail. Saville Row goes for the Rock-n-Roll look of the 80′s while the Parisians stay cool in dark shades and dandified vintage duds. Mix and match until you create your own personal style that can take you through the day and into the night.
The designers showing how to dress this winter 2012
Jonathan & Sabrina the Parisians stay cool in dark shades and dandified vintage duds this winter
Their quirky realistic photo-shoots are a key to their success