France and America have always had a special relationship. After all, our croissant-happy pals gave us Lady Liberty (thanks!). Now, Bloomingdales — the venerable 155-year-old American department store — is looking toward the City of Light for it's latest project, a partnership with the menswear boutique PHM Saints Peres.
Launching today at its 59th Street location in New York City, the Beverly Center store in Los Angeles, and (if you live in anywhere outside of the two metropolises) online, the shop-within-a-shop concept is all about bringing a taste of Paris' booming menswear scene to the states.
It all started over a year ago when Kevin Harter, VP of Fashion Direction, Men's & Home at Bloomingdales, stopped by his friend Pierre-Henri Mattout's recently-opened boutique. "I immediately fell in love," Harter says of the 480-square-foot shop in Paris' 7th arrondissement. "I wanna say it was that day, but soon after he came to me and said we should do something together."
"The entire concept at PHM Saints Peres is 'Paris meets New York'," Mattout offers."The overall idea is to create tomorrow’s basics, blending high fashion with performance and streetwear adds a little je ne sais quoi."
The result is an eclectic mix of brands — Commes des Garçons PLAY tees, patchwork pieces from Junya Watanabe, slim pants from Norse Projects, basics from Sunspel, Spalwart sneakers, Hender Scheme bags, and Mattout's own line — which span the menswear landscape in terms of style and point of origin.
"For me it was really important to make this as organic as possible," Harter says of the collaboration. And creating not only in-store spaces but an online home was a priority as well, to ensure the project has a wide reach. "With the retail landscape the way it is right now," Harter says, referring to the current see now, buy now phenomenon sweeping the fashion industry. It’s incredibly important—probably more important than it’s ever been—to surprise and delight for your customer."
Mattout had other reasons why a partnership like this makes sense: "I feel Parisians love the American attitude of wearing clothes casually while Americans have a respect for the French touch." Check out some standout pieces, below.
- Source: GQ Photo: GQ.com