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James Joyce on the legacy of colette

We recently heard the news that colette, the Parisian store that has championed cutting-edge fashion and design since it opened in 1997, will finally be closing its doors at the end of this year. Originally founded by Colette Roussaux, under the creative direction of her daughter Sarah Andelman, it has also provided a showcase for many innovative illustrators and artists, including our own James Joyce,

It’s Nice That have just run a piece celebrating colette’s legacy, which James contributed to, and which you can see here.

We caught up with James separately to ask him about his experience with colette.

Were you aware of colette before you were exhibited there?

Yes, I first went there about 15 years ago, I think, on a work trip. Someone must have recommended I go and visit. I didn’t know much about it at that time, but when I first visited I was impressed with how the whole thing was put together. There was no other store like it at that time. It was very forward-thinking and has remained ahead of the game to this day.

What was your reaction when you were first asked to do a show there?

Sarah emailed me after she’d seen my art installation at Banksy’s Dismaland show. She told me how much she liked the work and offered me a show, not just in the gallery but around the whole store, along with a range of JJ x colette products including skate decks, scented candles, t-shirts, bags, postcards, badges, and so on. Of course, I was flattered and said yes pretty much immediately.

What were your impressions of Sarah?

Her supreme professionalism, enthusiasm and energy. When I went to install the show over the weekend I saw how tirelessly Sarah and her mum Colette work to make it look so effortless. They are a force. 

Will you be making a last pilgrimage before they close?

I have no plans to be in Paris before Christmas but if I do happen to be there I’ll certainly drop by.

What do you think colette’s legacy will be?

I think it will be hailed as the originator of the ‘concept store’, fusing fashion, art and design etc. and will no doubt be referenced and imitated well into the future.

Do you see any likely inheritors of colette’s mantle?

It’s difficult to see where the next visionary retail experience will come from, but what will be interesting is to see what Sarah does next.