Tag Archives: Paris

Dot London – April 29


The launch of .london on April 29 confirms the growing power of London as a global city “brand”. Following in the footsteps of Berlin and Vienna, this will make London the third city ahead of New York and Paris, to launch its own web domains.

London's Financial district. (photo  - worklondonstyle)

London’s Financial district. (photo – worklondonstyle)

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson said,”It is hard to imagine that 25 years ago few of us had heard of the internet. Now we take it for granted: watching films on demand and buying weekly groceries.”

Boris Johnson - The Mayor of London

Boris Johnson – The Mayor of London

Johnson’s open letter in the Evening Standard newspaper, who made history by becoming the first business to adopt the new “Dot London” website name,  was signed by 40 prominent figures from culture, business and charity. Johnson said, “Twenty five years ago it was about connecting computer networks. Today it is about connecting with people, communities and customers – and being relevant to them.”

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From 29 April London businesses that until now defined their online presence with internet domains ending in .co.uk and .com, will have the opportunity to choose the .london domain. Web addresses are expected to go live by late August or the beginning of September and will cost from £40 per year.

An initial three month “grace period” will prioritise London-based applicants over those from outside the capital, when applying for the same name.

For information about Dot London go to http://www.dotlondondomains.london.

Parlez-Vous M&S? – Twenty New Food Stores To Open In France.


Marks and Spencer Chief Executive Marc Bolland’s announcement that the retailer is planning to expand its French footprint with 20 stand-alone Food stores, saw shares rise 2.2% to 469.90p at the close yesterday. At an Investor Seminar in Paris, he announced an ambitious plan to drive international growth by opening 250 new stores in Western Europe, India, China, Russia and the Middle East.

Marks and Spencer's Chief Executive Marc Bolland with two models at the opening of the Champs Élysées store.

Marks and Spencer’s Chief Executive Marc Bolland with two models at the opening of the Champs Élysées store in 2011. (photo – M&S)

Bolland said: “We are focusing on Flagship stores to deliver brand presence and stand-out. We also see great opportunities in fresh Food and Lingerie and Beauty concepts.”

The Champs Élysées Flagship store by night. (photo - M&S)

The Champs Élysées Flagship store by night. (photo – M&S)

The plans for Paris would make France it’s largest food market outside the UK. M&S hopes that the expansion will bring relief from the pain it has suffered in the over saturated UK market.

Whiskey and baked goods are favourites with French shoppers. (photo - M&S)

Whiskey and baked goods are favourites with French shoppers. (photo – M&S)

A new franchise partnership with SFH Invest will see three new on-street stores, trading from c.300 square metres, open this summer.

Model Rosie Huntington declaring the store open for business three years ago. (photo - M&S)

Model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley declaring the store open for business three years ago. (photo – M&S)

Workers and customers were outraged when M&S shut its stores in France in 2001.

Workers and customers were outraged when M&S shut its stores in France in 2001.

Renowned for quality, affordable lingerie and beauty, it has also lined up 20 sites for expansion in emerging markets.

Noemie Lenoir, a former M&S lingerie model. photo - M&S)

Noemie Lenoir, a former M&S lingerie model. (photo – M&S)

The company will also expand internationally with a ‘bricks and clicks’ approach by establishing flagship stores in key cities, supported M&S Food stores and a full online offer. It has recently revamped its website.

M&S's current 'Leading Ladies' advertising campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz showcases it's food and clothing products. (photo - Annie Leibovitz for M&S)

M&S’s current ‘Leading Ladies’ advertising campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz showcases it’s food and clothing products. (photo – Annie Leibovitz for M&S)

M&S’s International arm made profits of £120 million on sales of £1.1 billion last year. The new French Food stores will offer customers convenient access to a range of up to 2500 exceptional quality, fresh M&S products.

The Paris Flagship Store (photo - M&S)

The Paris Flagship Store (photo – M&S)

Stay Cool With The ‘Ice Queen’ Of French Cinema – Catherine Deneuve


At 70 and with more than 100 films to her credit, including the controversial ‘Belle De Jour’; the fiercely private Catherine Deneuve embodies French chic, aging well and being ‘bien dans sa peau’. She has been the muse for Yves Saint Laurent and the face of MAC, L’Oreal, Louis Vuitton and Chanel No.5, among others.

In her new film ‘On My Way’ she stars as Bettie, an aging beauty queen, dealing with a failed relationship and an ailing restaurant. She takes a road trip to clear her head. Along the way she picks up a passenger; her charming, rude but comforting grandson. The film is set in the lovely French scenery of rural Brittany.

Catherine Deneuve and Nemo Schiffman in 'On My Way'. (photo - Cohen Media Group.)

Catherine Deneuve and Nemo Schiffman in ‘On My Way’. (photo – Cohen Media Group.)

Whilst she has had many relationships, Catherine has only been married once, at 21, to British photographer David Bailey. She has two children. A son Christian from her relationship with director Roger Vadim and a daughter, Chiara from her relationship with actor Marcello Mastroianni.

Kate Moss arranged to be photographed with Deneuve after a meeting with David Bailey. They were photographed in Paris by Patrick Demarchelier.

Catherine Deneuve and Kate Moss photographed at the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris for Vanityfair. (photo - Patrick Demarchelier)

Catherine Deneuve and Kate Moss photographed at the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris for Vanityfair. (photo – Patrick Demarchelier)

What is the secret to her evergreen beauty? Her daily routine includes a Citron Presse at 5pm. She credits good genes, living a good life, keeping out of the sun and drinking lots of water.

Make your own Citron Presse with the recipe from the famous ‘Cafe de Flore’.

Citron Presse recipe from Cafe de Flore. (photo

Citron Presse recipe from Cafe de Flore. (photo – Debra Fioritto)

Stay cool with the drink 'du jour' a 'Citron Presse'. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Stay cool with the drink ‘du jour’ a ‘Citron Presse’. (photo – worklondonstyle)

‘On My Way’ directed by Emmanuelle Bercot is released in French with English subtitles.

Stunningly beautiful, interesting and as cool as it gets.

Stunningly beautiful, interesting and as cool as it gets. (photo – Carole Bellaiche)

Ines de la Fressange Paris’ LifeWear Uniqlo Collection.


Hot on the heels of their 2012 collaboration with French basics brand Comptoir des Cottoniers, Uniqlo has done it again. Available in Paris since November 2013; their Ines de la Fressange Paris range is set to be ‘pret-a-porter’ in London from mid March 2014.

Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo (photo - Uniqlo)

Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo (photo – Uniqlo)

An international top model since 1975, Ines became the muse for Lagerfeld, modelling regularly for Chanel from 1983 to 1990. She has been the brand ambassador for luxury shoemaker Roger Vivier for the last decade and is part of the L’Oreal “Dream Team.” Her French style guide “La Parisienne” published in 2010, became a bestseller available in 17 languages.

Carrying a Roger Vivier handbag prior to the Chanel Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013/2014 collection shows at the Grand Palais in Paris.(photo- Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images)

Carrying a Roger Vivier handbag prior to the Chanel Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013/2014 collection shows at the Grand Palais in Paris. (photo- Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images)

Parisian Chic. (photo- Ines de la Fressange)

Parisian Chic. (photo- Ines de la Fressange)

Ines says, “After many years in the fashion business I learned a few things, and my wish is to give back a part of my experience in order to help women, such as the trick to mix casual and sophisticated for instance. Everything can be mixed in an easy way and worn at the office and on the weekend.”

Ines working with Uniqlo Design Director Naoki  Takizawa (photo - Uniqlo)

Ines working with Uniqlo Design Director Naoki Takizawa (photo – Uniqlo)

Uniqlo Design Director Naoki Takizawa said, “We talked regularly with Ines and exchanged views on a number of subjects including fabrics, design and fitting. Ines’ own lifestyle and approach to fashion closely mirror Uniqlo’s LifeWear and I am very pleased to be launching the new line that we have created together.”

Ines de la Fressange's collaboration with LIfeWear UNIQLO. (photo - Uniqlo)

Ines de la Fressange’s collaboration with LifeWear UNIQLO. (photo – Uniqlo)

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LifeWear aims to promote comfort, allowing customers to create their own style. With her attitude of ‘laissez-faire’ and clearly ‘bien dans sa peau’,  Ines’ collaboration with Uniqlo brings us a fun, wearable and affordable collection. French chic is available at uniqlo.com/uk.

A French Affair


Forget the Presidential love triangle; the high street is in love with France. Bag your own bit of Gallic flair with le sac du jour – the bucket bag. Update your wardrobe with the bag created by Angele Lancel in 1925.

Lancel opened her store near the lively new Opera Garnier in Paris in 1876, selling smoking accessories. In 1925 she creates the iconic bucket bag renamed the Premier Flirt in 2006.

Brigitte Bardot with her famous basket in beloved St Tropez.

Brigitte Bardot with her famous basket in beloved St Tropez.

In 1987 the bucket bag is rereleased under the name Elsa. It quickly charms millions of women to become an international bestseller for the house. I succumb to its charms buying two in different sizes.

My big Lancel Elsa bag photographed during a 2003 stay at Ma Cachette chambres d'hotes in Arlanc in the Auvergne.

My big Lancel Elsa bag photographed during a 2003 stay at Ma Cachette chambres d’hotes in Arlanc in the Auvergne. (photo – worklondonstyle)

My small black Elsa bucket bag ideal for work and short trips. (photo - worklondonstyle)

My small black Elsa bucket bag ideal for work and short trips. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Lancel reinterprets its cult bucket bag in 2006 and rechristens it the Premier Flirt.

The. Lancel Premier Flirt 2006. (photo - Lancel)

The Lancel Premier Flirt 2006. (photo – Lancel)

Lancel expresses its proximity to the French cultural background with collaborations with French icons Isabelle Adjani and Brigitte Bardot. The design elements of the 2012 BB bag respected the actress’s strong conservation convictions as all materials were environmentally friendly and the leather look required no animal hides.

The curvaceous Brigitte Bardot bag created in 2012. (photo - Lancel)

The curvaceous Brigitte Bardot bag created in 2012. (photo – Lancel)

For Spring/Summer 2014 the slouchy bucket bag is the perfect accessory. Topshop, Next, H&M, Zara and French Connection amongst others, all have affordable versions of the bag, allowing for a balance between casual and chic.

The 2014 high street version of the bucket bag from Zara. (photo - Zara)

The 2014 high street version of the bucket bag from Zara. (photo – Zara)

Hermès – The Kelly, The Birkin And Other Keepsakes.


Hermès, Paris evokes images of princesses, famous actresses and the wealthy elite. In 1837 Thierry Hermès opened his workshop making quality saddlebags,  harnesses and horse carriages in the heart of Paris.

Hermes Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Hermès Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. (photo – worklondonstyle)

In 1892 the prototype of the Kelly bag was used as a saddle holder. By the 1930’s it had evolved into the Sac à dépêches, a spacious travel bag. Acclaimed costume designer Edith Head, introduced Grace Kelly to the bag when she chose accessories for the actress starring in ‘To Catch A Thief .’ After her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco, a photo of her with the bag appeared in Life magazine. Instantly known as the Kelly bag it was officially renamed in 1977.

Happy customer (photo -worklondonstyle)

Happy customer (photo – worklondonstyle)

Actress and singer Jane Birkin, well known for carrying her belongings in a straw bag, was the inspiration behind the Hermès Birkin created in 1984. Priced between £4,800 and £100,000, the Birkin remains a best seller of the brand.

The bag is associated with long waiting lists (up to 5 years) as depicted in the TV series ‘Sex And The City’ and the book ‘Bringing Home the Birkin: My life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag’ by Michael Tonello.

The trademark orange packaging. (photo - worklondonstyle)

The trademark orange packaging. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Hermès is renowned for its equestrian inspired silk scarves, bracelets, ties and watches. Last time I visited I acquired the iconic Multi-Loop Bridle bracelet.

Back at the hotel. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Back at the hotel. (photo – worklondonstyle)

The iconic Hermes bracelet. (photo - worklondonstyle)

The iconic Hermès bracelet. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Hermes in harmony. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Hermès in harmony. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Model, fashion icon and blogger Olivia Palermo says, ‘Buying my first Hermès bag was like becoming one of the tribe.’

Mulberry – The Delevingne Factor


British handbag and clothing brand Mulberry has set its sights on international expansion. Established by Roger Saul in Somerset in the south west of England in 1971, Mulberry has built a reputation on its dedication to craftsmanship and tradition. This balanced with a nose for high fashion and practicality has ensured it cult status when it launched the now iconic Bayswater in 2002. Named after the leafy West London neighbourhood, it was originally available in Oak, Chocolate and Black. Its success has seen new colours and finishes sent down the catwalk year on year.

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo - worklondonstyle)

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo – worklondonstyle)

With 123 stores and a market cap of £604m The Rookery, Mulberry’s original factory, could not meet demand. The second factory in Somerset has been completed and will run to full capacity by mid 2014. The Rookery has been the only leather goods factory of its size in the UK.

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

Bags are designed in the London studio. The entire process from pattern making and prototyping to fine tuning can take up to 28 weeks. Considering material qualities, it takes one skin to make one handbag. The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. All off-cuts are used in smaller projects and recycled. Bags are handmade. Cutting, skiving, handle making, splitting, spraying, inking, ironing, stitching and folding are overseen by largely locally sourced and trained craftspeople.

The launch of the Alexa, named after British model, TV presenter and style icon, Alexa Chung, drew A-list stars to Mulberry’s catwalk shows. The design is derived from the Elkington, Mulberry’s Classic men’s briefcase.

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

American singer Lana Del Rey inspired the Del Rey bag featured in the 2012 Autumn/Winter campaign. Cara Delevingne, British model of the year for 2012 is the current face of the brand.

Mulberry launched the Cara Delevingne range at Claridge’s in London on 16 February 2014. It is hoping to revive it’s flagging bag sales; drawing on the model’s millions of international followers.

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo - Mulberry)

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo – Mulberry)

Chief executive Bruno Guillon has said plans to open 15 new stores were on track. A flagship store is set to open on Paris’ Rue Saint-Honore in 2014.

Guillon has repositioned Mulberry from an affordable to a luxury brand, with 36% of sales derived from bags priced over £1000 compared to 4% in 2012. Creative director, Emma Hill’s departure has left room for new direction.

Vintage Mulberry - The Roxanne. ( photo - worklondonstyle)

Vintage Mulberry – The Roxanne. ( photo – worklondonstyle)

Investment in prominent tourist destinations such as Asia and North America saw pre-tax profits down by 28% to £7.2 million, in the six months to 30 September. Revenues were up 2.1% to £78.1m with like-for-like growth of 4%. International retail sales were up 29%.

Research has shown that Asia Pacific is posed to be the biggest market for luxury goods by 2018. In readiness for the harvest, now is the time to invest. It is a costly process, but with the local market close to saturation, the promise of rich pickings may well justify investment in multinational expansion.

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)