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Bleu de Paname: Le Street, c'est Chic
Wednesday, Dec 8, 2010, 10:38 AM / France
New Minimalism, which currently rules as one of the season's key trends, has not only affected the high-end designer segment, but also had an impact on sportswear and streetwear lines, where a level of anonymity and interest in quality are once again desirable. Bleu de Paname – an urban, stylish and workwear-inspired label – offers a nice example of the shift. Created by Christophe Lepine and Thomas Giorgetti, Bleu de Paname is consistent, coherent and has a style of its own, making it one of France's most exciting brands. Think of it as palate cleansing for a new decade, leaving logomania and overt statements behind.
Lepine and Giorgetti came with the right clothes at the right time, anticipating consumers' need for change and integrity. Their approach was personal, too: “We created the brand two-and-a-half years ago, but launched it officially in January last year. We made a short film, which we used as our communication tool. Even though we didn't really know what the reactions would be, we figured it'd have more impact than starting an endless PR campaign or having rushed meetings with the stores we were interested in.” The video, depicting a typical working day at the Bleu de Paname factory in Paris, sent out the right message to press and retailers, curious to know more about them: “It worked out well. We were invited to present our collection at Who's Next, and Dover Street Market contacted us. Then Sarah from Colette called, expressing her wish to carry the collection. We got a full window display there during the men's shows in June last year, which gave us a real boost.”
One of the film's strongest points was its emphasis on human intervention and the importance of craft: “This hands-on approach is key for us, as we manage the brand entirely, from design and conception to distribution and sales. We wanted it to be professional, without renouncing our passion for handicraft. We are dealing with people here – whether they make or buy the stuff – and keeping certain traditions alive matters to us. Our products have character and quality is paramount. Even though we both come from a streetwear background, we wanted to avoid obvious branding and move away from its imposing, graphic style. I think our clothes have a luxurious aspect, but they're also meant to be accessible.”
Focusing on clean cuts and minimal shapes – bringing to mind the strength of workwear and the simple beauty of classic uniforms – Bleu de Paname also has a real Parisian flair, which gives the line its' identity: “Bleu de Paname is actually the colour you see in the sky after the rain, at the end of a cold, Parisian winter day. It's a greyish kind of blue you'll find on Paris rooftops at around 5 p.m or 6 p.m. It's a shade that represents the city for us. Blue was also the French's favourite colour for decades, even though it was associated with royalty. Now, we're seeing a real return to the concept of uniforms, which obviously highlights the wearer's personality.”
One of the brand's strongest features is its denim, which is 100 percent Japanese and completely fuss-free. This purist dimension makes the clothes attractive, as Lepine and Giorgetti tend to focus on minimal details and high-quality fabrics: “Uniforms are like a blank canvas for us. It's the foundation of our brand and can be interpreted in so many different ways. It's also a concept people usually relate to, regardless of age, culture or social background. As far as our denim line is concerned, we settled on Japanese mills, as they offered the kind of quality we were looking for.” Their 17 ounce, one pocket, Blue Selvedge denim pant is already a best-seller and has all the features of a timeless classic.
Influential stores, such as Starcow in Paris, Le Globe in Tokyo, Hunting and Collecting in Brussels and Opening Ceremony in New York are faithful regulars, buying into their outerwear, shirts, jackets and knitwear as well. Giorgetti sees them as partners he has a true relationship with: “If we are selective with our points of sale, we're not narrow-minded either. What counts is establishing a personal contact with these stores, working together with them and not just taking orders. Most of them have a strong identity and are real opinion-makers in fashion. That helps us tremendously.” After only five seasons, Bleu de Paname has 65 stockists, including 15 in France. They launched a womenswear line for Spring/Summer 11 last October, which was very well-received. Expect more interesting collaborations and projects coming from them in the near future, as the line keeps on growing and expanding each season.
For sales enquiries contact Christophe Lepine on sales(at)bleudepaname.com
For press enquiries contact Thomas Giorgetti on p(at)bleudepaname.com
Philippe Pourhashemi | TribaSpace
Denim, Fabrics, Textiles, Ready-to-Wear
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