Category Archives: French brands

Prêt’à-p. Follow Up

It is definitely the year of the prêt-à-porter, the French ready-to-wear! We have seen the revival of Thierry Mugler; Pierre Cardin had a show in New York a month ago,  and today, in Paris, Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterrand bestowed the French Legion of Honor upon Mrs Carven and Paco Rabanne.

Vétiver de Carven … definitively a myth! … in my memory, it is a scent  associated with the “rallyes” where-boys-meet-girls in the Parisian elite society, with a first kiss and masculine elegance.Paco Rabanne ! More memories : 1966, he created his first metallic dress.

My mother had one. I kept asking her, does it hurt? and she showed be the silky lining which seemed quite comfortable. Still I was fascinated and scared by the reflection of the metal each time she  moved in the light. It became a game to see my face in the small squares like dozens of mirrors. It was fun, different and so glamorous even before the word existed. Yes,  Paco is back! Interviewed in WWD, he talks about his wish to dress Lady Gaga (Remember Thierry Mugler has already signed up for the job!). Lady Gaga is now a rallying icon for all generations seeking rebellion, “la contestation”, lost in globalization. She is going to have my dream wardrobe,  for sure!

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Tomorrow is kickoff day !

Is there anything beyond the FIFA Soccer World Cup  2010 starting June 11th? At home there is not. It is going a month-long of TV watching, Coca Zero and tribute to all Haribo collections  (I will regularly clean up empty glass and empty paper with a lot of screaming  but I will have to let go at some point . I have to decide now which point, which match…). Only consolation, it is all about fashion.

Just received a press release from Façonnable introducing  their World Cup Collection, especially designed for the upcoming FIFA Soccer World Cup Championship. Façonnable shirts are available in all the colorful national flags of the participating countries to the soccer championship. And it is for both men and women!

Love the Africa Unity Collection by Puma. Inspired by the Continent’s sun, vast skies and rich soil, says the site.  It is worn by PUMA’s African national soccer teams with stars like   Samuel Eto’o, Emmanuel Eboue and JohnMensah.

Do not miss Adidas’ wonderful videos

According to Women Wear Daily Adidas expect $1.7 billion revenues from the sale of jerseys and accessories with special 2010 logos this Summer!

and of course you can always buy you own maillots from your favorite team. at

Cant wait! Can you?

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What’s cooking?

In the end, it is all about cooking. Former CEO of Veuve Clicquot USA, and famous writer (“French Women Never Get Fat” ), Mireille Guiliano has it right. Successfully branding Veuve Clicquot in the US or tossing mixed vegetables in a casserole to create a delicious ratatouille, have much in common. It is about finding the right ingredients and blending them with the right spices. I have much admiration for two European “recipe’ makers here in the States: le Pain Quotidien from Belgium and L’Occitane from France.

A culinary comparison is not far fetched for Belgian bread maker Le Pain Quotidien.

The founder, chef Alain Coumont, certainly knows how to make good bread, wether it is a spelt loaf or small pains au chocolat.Chain Store Guide has just released its report of the top 50 fastest growing chain restaurant operators in the U.S. and Canada. Le Pain Quotidien scores 41 with a 150.0% growth over the last 5 years. Not bad. Now the brand recipe:

  • Reassuring: same look, same tables, same music, same menus
  • Organic oriented: Honey nectar looks like it has just been gathered by the bees
  • Serene and quiet (most of the time), a good antidote to New York’s constant hustle.

The price of the baguette is high, but that is no surprise.

The other recipe maker I admire is l’Occitane. Obviously I am not the only one.L’Occitane International, the cosmetics and skincare producer and retailer, has just raised $708 million on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Again the brand recipe includes:

  • Reassurance
  • Great packaging
  • and the passion of a man, this time Olivier Baussan who created the company in 1976 with the strong belief that plants from Provence had virtues that ought to be shared with the rest of the world.

In 1994 the company was bought by an Austrian businessman Reinold Geiger. And now l’Occitane has opened 150 stores across the US.

On April 27th,  Mireille Guiliano published her new book, “The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook”, a practical lifetsyle guide to living well with tips from now famous Tante Berthe.( She appeared on today’s Today Show.

As we know Mireille’s new career as a lifestyle writer and adviser is booming. She has branded herself with the same success as she did for Veuve Clicquot.

Mireille believes that eating is a very important part of life. It should be done with care and love.

For Mireille, like for Alain Caumont or Olivier Baussan, it is just the intimate belief in an idea….. and a great talent for cooking…

A vos fourneaux!

see Mireille on today’s Today show:

Read more in French:

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