L/Uniform opens in Merci
One French brand very much on the move is Merci, which on Thursday opened a new space inside Merci, the hipster big boutique and concept store at the eastern rim of the Marais.
L/Uniform, a catchy collection of practical bags based on traditional French iconography, has already collaborated with Colette and Dover Street Market (DSM), but this is its biggest partnership to date.
˝Sarah Andelman kindly gave us her two front windows in Colette four years ago, before we even had a store. Adrian Joffe invited us into Dover Street in London, New York and Tokyo. Now Arthur (Gerbi, CEO of Merci) has invited us into Merci. We are very honored,˝ explained L/Uniform CEO and co-founder Jeanne Signoles.
Started five years ago purely on e-commerce, L/Uniform now boasts a neat boutique on the Left Bank, on quai Malaquais opposite the Louvre. The brand remains quite confidential, and has eschewed deals with any American department store, though it does now boast eight different boutiques, including several in Japan, where it has a dedicated team and office in Tokyo.
˝And every boutique has one of these,˝ says Signoles pointing to a customization table, where clients can have their names and initials stamped into the sturdy yet supple cotton, French army fabric and workerist Bleu du Travail fabrics with which Signoles like to work.
Hanging from large chipboard wall, the range includes weekenders, Sunday market caddie cloth shopping wheelies, tennis racket covers, picnic hampers and even guitar cases. Prices range from around 200 euros to up to 700 euros for the bags. Along with, bien sur, Bleu du Travail country worker jackets. Below, a series of special products for Merci, most strikingly massive floor cushions finished with the label’s sugary-hued lettering.
˝I adore uniforms, either military or work-wear. Matter of act, the first present my husband ever bought me was a mechanic’s jumpsuit, with two long zips,˝ explains Signoles, imitating her two hands running from hip up to shoulder.
Her husband is the Alex Signoles, son of Jean Michel Signoles, the noted owner of Goyard, France’s most prestigious insider luxury luggage and bag maker. Like father in law Jean-Michel, she has seen customization as connecting L/Uniform fans with the brand.
Like Goyard, L/Uniform is based in the ancient walled city of Carcassonne, in the foothills of the Pyrenees.
Her next step is already telegraphed in Merci. One table shows a link-up with Pain Poilâne, the French sour dough country bread specialist, featuring table settings done in Poilâneʼs classic cotton bread envelope material.
˝I have always dreamed of creating a lifestyle brand,˝ smiled Jeanne, who seems well on her way to realizing her dream.
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