THE EVER-CHANGING MULTI-BRANDS
The Paula Coste brand was created in 1989 in Dijon, the first of its kind in the Burgundy capital. It has undergone some changes since its creation : at the beginning, the multi-brand offered ready-to-wear, then came shoes, and then accessories. For 10 years, a décor line has been available to clients. We met with the founder, Paula Coste herself. Today, she continues to take care of the purchasing side of things, and has given her son rein of the family business.
What inspires you, and what are you passionate about?
In my mind, there is always the possibility to find something new, to be seduced by our favourites and to look a little further. In general, I am inspired by materials and nature. Décor inspires me as well, even when choosing clothing.
What challenges are you facing today?
You have to constantly find something new, look for favourites and find diversity.
What is your favorite concept store ?
It’s in Milan, it’s Corso Como. This boutique made a big impression on me, like a turning point in my mindset, it was so unprecedented. MERCI has also intrigued me ever since it was created.
Tell us about your experience at Who’s Next.
I have known about this trade-show from the very beginning, when it was still in its old structure before it was renamed Who’s Next. I have been attending for the last 30 years, as it is a space that corresponds with what we want in our shops. The fact that the range is rich and diverse makes our job possible : it is also the only trade-show we exhibit at.
For around 20 years now, the multi-brand business as we know it has been lost. Especially since the competition is fierce: generally speaking with chains and online shops. Yet, I still think there is a future for multi-brands who are very focused and selective with their purchasing, and who offer something more, such as the customer experience in our shops. It is an asset that we still have: being close with our customers.
Who’s Next in 3 words.
An anecdote? A memory? An encounter at Who’s Next?
In the past, it abounded of champagne at every stall at 5 pm. At 7 pm, everybody was drunk !
What advice would you give to people who want to launch into the world of design with their brand and want to take part in Who’s Next to gain visibility ?
You have to communicate well about the trade-show before the actual event, and not leave the buyer to find everything themselves. I know it’s difficult, but a brand has to know its market and target boutiques they want to carry its products.
How to not go unnoticed today?
You have to be constantly renewing your brand! For us, décor in particular has increased the number of customers who visit our store. It is bringing us younger buyers, but also men customers and couples.
Name 5 of your favourite pieces and what are the SS20 trends you spotted at Who’s Next?
DIEGA, we have known this brand from the beginning.
EPICES, a top accessories brand
MAMABE, an Italian brand that we sell a lot of
The trends that I spotted: very “gypset” (combination of gypsy and jet-set)…
What do you see for the future of fashion?
It can only come from the consumer because they make the rules, they can make things change. As we are already in overproduction, overconsumption also has to change: everyone has to do their part, manufacturers will be obliged to monitor if the consumer is becoming more responsible, more engaged. All stakeholders must take responsibility. Clients are paying attention to sourcing as if a product comes from Europe, it is often of a much higher quality and it hasn’t travelled many kilometres by plane.