Interview & Report

Colette Creative Director / Sarah Andelman

Colette Creative Director / Sarah Andelman

MBFWT 2015-16 A/W invited guest interview vol.3

Colette Creative Director / Sarah Andelman

Sarah Andelman is the creative director for “Colette”, a Parisian multi-brand boutique attracting fashionistas from around the world. Also as a jury for Tokyo Fashion Award, she is well versed in Japanese fashion brands. At “TOKYO FASHION AWARD WINNERS’ DAY” held on the final day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TOKYO 2015-16 A/W, Ms. Andelman visited shows and installations of the winning six brands and also appeared at the press conference. We sat down with her – who, during her visit to Japan, discussed business with brands and explored shops around Tokyo – to ask how she views brands as a creative director, and also about Colette.



Colette website

We heard that you’ve been here in Japan several times. What did you do this time?

My favorite areas are Harajuku, Shibuya, Aoyama, and Daikanyama because I come across something interesting with each visit; I dropped by to these places again. I ran into a cute brand at Laforet HARAJUKU, and also found a new shop too.


What do you think about Tokyo’s street fashion?

Regardless of the area, the people walking on the streets dress themselves in distinctive ways, and many are conscious about what they wear from head to toe. I again got an impression that Tokyo is sophisticated in terms of both the city and the people. This is not something that I see in Europe, where there is a clear distinction between dressed-up and dressed-down styles.


Share with us your impression on Tokyo’s Fashion Week.

This is actually my first time participating Fashion Week Tokyo, but the brands are very unique, the venue is arranged in interesting ways, and I’m enjoying it very much. Shibuya Hikarie is functioning as a hub to host many shows or installations, and the facility is also staging joint exhibitions on a different floor. This helped me ease the process of looking around the events.



“” in Paris January 2015 during Paris men’s fashion week

Do you have any brand in particular that caught your attention?

I was impressed by the installation of writtenafterwards, and I’ve just uploaded a post on my Instagram account. Their installation portrayed what fashion offers apart from clothing – freedom, joy, childlike purity and innocence – and it brought a smile to my face. I posted a photo because what they were showcasing embodied important concepts. I’ve asked writtenafterwards to design Colette’s shop window at the end of June.



TOKYO FASHION AWARD” press conference

As a jury for the Tokyo Fashion Award, what kind of perspective did you take when selecting the brands?

I focused on creativity and originality, and another key point was whether the creations were well-crafted as a comfortable product.


Do you have any suggestions for Japanese brands making their way into the international market?

It’s important for designers, whether they are Japanese brands or not, to be confident and consistent about their brands. The world is filled with countless number of brands, and that’s why not having a distinctive style or lacking consistency through the seasons would make it difficult to catch the attention of buyers. Also, more and more designers are sending me their lookbook images through emails, but lookbooks, in my opinion, are crucial communication tools. Brands that send booklets or printed-out portfolios make it easier for me to see their concept, and I would also gain a good impression towards them.


Please tell us about Colette.

I always seek to offer something fresh at Colette. The way I select brands at exhibitions or shows are perhaps almost intuitive. I don’t have a common standard, so it’s hard to pinpoint why I chose each of them – but the selected brands all have one-of-a-kind styles that I was fascinated by.

The same goes for running Colette; I don’t have a fixed theme, and I always want to be open-minded. Colette’s shop window is rearranged every week, but instead of planning ahead, I work out ideas while searching for something new. For instance, a recent concept for the show window was “indigo”, where I put indigo colored apparel and many other items on display. These ideas come to me as sudden inspirations.



Do you see any changes in the Paris market?

To begin with, I think that if the customers change, then we – the shop – must change as well. Colette has recently been thinking about shedding light on small brands instead of only major names, and I feel that an increasing number of our customers are becoming attracted to younger brands.

Those who seek for established reputations of brands would visit specialty stores, and in the meantime, customers visiting Colette would carefully select new brands or enjoy the mixed-brand coordination that we offer. Colette will continue to be a boutique that stands hand-in-hand with customers and constantly pursue new ideas.



Interview by SHINYA MIYAURA (Secori Gallery)

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