Transgenerational fashion at the heart of Paris
The two co-founders and sisters Nathalie Friedlander and Patricia Tepper Adda grew up in the world of fashion. After years working in the multi-brand department stores of Paris, they decided to open their own store: BRAND BAZAR, in September 2002. They settled in Paris in the 7th arrondissement in the rue de Sèvres, and started from scratch. They were determined to break traditional fashion codes and to offer a place between Ali Baba’s apartment and cavern, rather than a normal shop. A regular at Who’s Next since it launched, Nathalie Friedlander tells us about her daily life with her sister, their favourite things and gives advice to young emerging brands.
Tell us about BRAND BAZAR and your role as a buyer?
First of all, it is more a space than a shop: a convivial and transgenerational space. Our clients are young girls, mothers, grandmothers and even great-grandmothers. Our collections are diverse and we are trying to provide services of the highest standards. We always choose crazy pieces, as we want to create desire for such strong and beautiful pieces.
Our job can in no way be separated from business: we are sellers as well as buyers. We know our clients inside out, and we are always thinking of one of them, especially when making a purchase. We sell clothes to real people. Looking after our clients is an integral part of our brand DNA, we have always done it. When we construct a client’s wardrobe, we make unexpected combinations with different brands. Also, our shop décor is part of this image, with a leopard print staircase and black and white walls which showcase our difference.
What inspires you?
What is your favourite concept store?
In its best years, it was Excelsior in Milan, it was a little shop that was detached from the average shop collections in the city. The product presentation was sensational. Also, Bendel’s in London and Scoop in New York. However, the golden age of multi-brand stores is coming to an end, Barney’s will soon close because the selection is too homogeneous between the different multi-brands and airports, which all offer the same luxury brands. For those that want to last in this profession: you have to offer a real customer experience and a tailoring service in-store.
Tell us about your experience at Who’s Next: how many years have you been coming to the trade-show? What opportunities has the trade-show brought you?
This is our 90th trade-show since we started out! Who’s Next is a must-see, which gives us insight into the trends of upcoming seasons. This year, we loved Impact, we’re going to collaborate with some brands from there. We also do many showrooms, as well as Italian trade-shows, but what makes Paris stand-out is the sheer size of the event.
Describe Who’s Next in 3 words.
An anecdote, memory or encounter from Who’s Next?
We have been attending the event for so long, it would be hard to just pick one memory, every edition has its own memories. Every time, we meet lots of new people and exchange our knowledge, and we get to hear all the industry rumours.
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?
The most important thing is knowing who they want to talk to and really establishing their aim and market sector ahead of time: carrying out a “human” market study. I am also part of a brand incubator judging panel: I think that there is a lack of business taught in fashion schools. Now, you have to think more about collaborations and partnerships and properly think about where you want to be in the fashion landscape.
How to not go unnoticed today?
A good example is Mimi Liberté, which is a Michel Klein brand. It was relaunched on Instagram at a phenomenal level! The idea is to personify your brand by staying authentic, you have to know how to tell a story.
What were your 5 favourite pieces and what SS20 trends did you spot at Who’s Next?
In no particular order:
- V by Vinster: I spotted a bright, long khaki soft silk dress
- Laurence Heller: upcycled shirts, great!
- Laurence Bra: the whole collection!
- Mesdemoiselles: the leather jackets and a long stretchy satin skirt
- NOUS: a new tie and dye brand that we saw in the FAME section
In general, the trend was bohemian. Next summer, little printed patterned cotton shirts which cost less than 100 euros will be very trendy. We saw a lot of them at Impact.
What do you see for the future of fashion?
Some people are riding the sustainable trend, but there is a real difference between talking about something and real commitment. In addition, some incoherencies are starting to emerge as people who are getting Naturalia delivered from Amazon Prime in 2 hours, at any hour of the day are contributing to enormous CO2 emissions…But the important thing at the end of the day is that people are gaining awareness, little by little. We are against “ready-to-use” and we are committed to reasonable pricing so that everyone can make a living. You have to buy with your head and desire pieces that we will keep for a long time. A £1.80 t-shirt suggests that someone has paid a price so we didn’t have to. Change won’t happen in the blink of an eye, but it will come as each person realises that we are all responsible.