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Patou Opens First Store in Paris at Galeries Lafayette

HOMECOMING: French label Patou is finally setting up shop in Paris, with its first permanent address at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.

“It’s a big moment for us because it’s the first official store in Paris since the relaunch — in 40 years, counting from its closure,” artistic director Guillaume Henry told WWD ahead of the opening on Thursday.

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The 730-square-foot space will carry the full range of Patou ready-to-wear and accessories and comes as “part of a strong evolution of the women’s floors that emphasize luxury and designers with new exclusive brands and concepts,” said the department store’s general buying and merchandising director for womenswear Alix Morabito.

Until now, the brand had been accessible to Parisian consumers only through department and multibrand stores, its e-commerce, as well as the ephemeral Patou Market that took place in the summer of 2021.

Patou chief executive officer Sophie Brocart said the move was made “even more special” in light of the long-standing relationship with the department store, which has carried the brand since its first season.

For Henry, not setting up shop straight away in Paris was part of a conscious decision not to “rudely shake the Sleeping Beauty awake,” particularly since the brand’s not been retail-shy.

Not only does it currently count more than 100 stockists worldwide, but it also has 10 stores across Korea and Japan, markets where the brand gained swift early tracking. The first-ever Patou store opened in Tokyo’s Omotesando Hills luxury complex in 2022.

That said, “the Patou client is the Patou client wherever he or she is,” said Henry, who wanted the initial concept of an open and inviting space to translate into different geographies and retail settings.

In fact, retail within department stores or malls is an exercise he particularly enjoys. “It’s like having flatmates,” he quipped. Located on the second floor of the department store’s main building, Patou’s new neighbors will include Ami Paris and Kenzo.

Designed in-house, the space is decked in the label’s “smiling pink that isn’t too cute” hue and leans into Patou’s sustainable ethos by using recycled woods and fabrics.

Given the new address’ proximity to the atelier and historic roots of the brand, Henry said he wanted to emphasize the idea of an atelier.

Elements that nod to a couture workshop include beige and gray touches but also a cutting table that will be home to its handbags and a triptych mirror in a similar style to the one located in the brand’s store on Rue Saint-Florentin more than four decades ago.

Congruent with Henry’s desire to foster close relationships with the Patou client, he promised this “won’t just be a sale space but a living space” with workshops, talks and other meet-and-greet opportunity with its Parisian clientele.

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