With London, ever more, proving itself to be a credible fashion capital, producing and supporting an undercurrent of design talent, international fashion types are continuously flocking to our shores to see what we can offer them.
The latest contingency coming this way is a small group of seriously chic Parisians, keen to infiltrate their fashion senses favoured by industry insiders onto our successful markets. In a wider context, there is a socio-political and economic influence pushing them this way - Estate agents report more wealthy French people moving to London, and there is a feeling that President François Hollande’s new marginal tax rate of 75 per cent on earnings over €1m will increase the influx.
Fashion designer wise, some of Paris’s chicest names are imminently setting up stand alone stores in Central London, capitalising on the UK’s current love affair with their easy off duty cool, these include Isabel Marant and Celine, whilst mid premium names such are Maje, Sandro, The Kooples are ever expanding store presence.
However with such a fixed mindset on their style and polished finesse adapting to an eclectic English way of being seems less than likely for French shoppers; it seems retailers will have to embrace and accomodate their ideals. French designer Vanessa Bruno says, “The chic way of French fashion is instilled and it will take a lot to shift. It is more a philosophy than a way of dressing.” Whilst others have spotted that unlike other nations, French shoppers remain loyal to their inclinations to shop French designers wherever they may be.
And integral to the way of shopping, of course, is the current and seemingly never ending recession led economy; For shopping on a budget (of sorts) the strength of UK high street brands evens up the Anglo-French cultural exchange because as a fashion market we support and exercise so well the mix and match of mid market and luxury labels.
Image: The Kooples store