Colette Founder Sarah Andelman Explains The Importance Of Collaborations

by MR Magazine Staff

When Jeff Staple invited me to join his “The Art of Collab” panel at ComplexCon, I was very anxious because I’m too shy to speak in public. But I was also very excited because it’s the story of my life; I adore collabs! It also forced me to look at the past and review what we, Colette, have done—something I never do. Unfortunately, after introductions, we didn’t have time to really discuss anything about the topic, except for Andre 3000’s great Tretorn project. So, I decided to write these notes on the plane back home. When Colette opened in 1997, our goal was to bring together products we liked and couldn’t find in Paris, from fashion to street, beauty, design, music, high-tech, and even waters. We had a lot of exclusive brands that we mixed with more readily available products, and the mix was unique. We contacted Reebok for the Fury sneakers we saw in Japan, but also carried classics from Adidas and Nike. Back in the day, each brand only had one showroom, reserved for classic sports stores. They didn’t really understand the fact that we were interested in ordering the original New Balance or Adidas Stan Smith when they were promoting something with a new technology. Sometimes I would ask a designer or brand if we could have an item in another color or something with a unique twist because I thought it would look better, and we didn’t even advertise it as an exclusive to Colette. We knew it was the case and that was enough. Read more at Complex.