Interview with development director, Karim Meflah
In 2014, La petite étoile appeared in the constellation of French ready-to-wear brands. Created by Min Xu and Mehdi Bellarabi, this womenswear brand represents simplicity at its finest. The parisian inspired brand is accessible to all, both in style and price, appealing to a wide range of women. Elegant, high-quality and parisian, the brand which is located in Paris’ 2nd district, at the heart of the capital, reflects the real women who walk the city’s streets. A distinct nonchalant allure associated with attention to detail which keeps the myth of La Parisienne alive. The myth of multifaceted fashion?
In time with the seasons. Karim Meflah explains how La petite étoile works, in harmony with the Milky Way: the collections are made up of several ‘drops’ (a series of multiple pieces), which are available as soon as the products are presented to clients. A season is equivalent to 5 drops. The steady rhythm of new collections is therefore consistently upheld, making it possible to offer customers new, desirable pieces on a regular basis. The brand’s Rue de Petits Carreaux based boutique works hand in hand with their website in order to cater to all Parisian women, whether they are in the city centre or not. Trading makes up the bulk of their business: working through a network of multi-brand retailers in France and the rest of Europe in order to develop the brand as sustainably as possible. Each season is studied and a selection of ad hoc pieces are produced, as is the case at the moment with dresses, knitwear and trousers.
Simplicity, signature and their concept. They work in accordance with a simple principle: ‘pronto’ or ‘neo-pronto’. This means that the collections, released as multiple drops, are directly available to consumers. Each piece has its own concept and tells a unique story. The 5 drops, which map out La petite étoile’s year, establish a regeneration close to the speed of light. The products are seasonal: mesh reappears as temperatures drop, and the first rays of spring signal the return of lighter pieces. An ecological aspect also plays a part in this brand’s news, since it has just developed its first line of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton pieces.
Exclusivity at Who’s Next. The stand is always bustling, illustrating La petite étoile’s success and the interest it generates. Who’s Next is an unmissable event in the fashion calendar, emphasises Karim Meflah who has participated for the past 3 years. These two meeting points are crucial and divide up the year into two parts. The brand never unveils a new collection before Who’s Next, waiting for the event to present it to their clients. Since their pieces are available from stock, this rendez-vous allows them to reach the maximum amount of prospects and clients, and to sell directly to them. In addition, a product ordered at Who’s Next can be delivered to the buyer the very next day – this is something which encourages exchanges, concludes Karim Meflah.
The upcoming boom. Development is ongoing, however, the objective for the next 5 years is to have a division of trade in three equal parts; firstly international, secondly on a national multi-brand level, and finally online sales, all whilst developing partnerships with franchises and affiliates. “There is not a single path to success in fashion today,” highlights the brand’s founder. “Just like climbing the Himalayas: there is not a single way to the top, since each route has its own unique challenges and what didn’t work for one may work for the others. The overriding question which must be asked: to whom do I want to sell my product? It’s not just about targeting clients, but about how to reach the end customer. The method of presenting products is decisive, and thanks to websales, we can cut out traditional physical networks.” For La petite étoile, Who’s Next is a real development partner which participates in the brand’s expansion towards an increasingly international future. This brand’s journey is written in the stars: it promises to be one of ambition and humility.