colette and Maison Labiche recently celebrated the release of Pharrell Williams’ new book “Places and Spaces I’ve Been” with a T-Shirt collection, exclusive to colette, which features an embroidered version of Pharrell’s famous hand gesture “Vulcan”, in limited edition of 50 copies. With all the hype surrounding the new book, we decided to get in touch with the collaborators, Maison Labiche’s Jenny Richard and Marie Welte. “We think Pharrell is a major artist. His music is great but not only, the guy is able to perform and also to write or produce for others without losing one bit of greatness and authenticity. Pharell’s world is very rich and complete, he has applied his touch to so many media and each time it worked. We have a lot of respect and admiration for that. He is also definitely very sexy.” And be forewarned: “Please be careful; Pharrell will only sign his book!”
We talked to the girls about hands, t-shirts, and their Paris digs. Read here.
What is Maison Labiche?
J&M/ Maison Labiche was born in 2010 in Paris around two friends : Jenny & Marie. The initial concept was to please the two friends who were a little bit bored in their jobs and to create a creative outlet where they could use their minds and hands more freely. The first product they worked on was a t-shirt (a basic, unisex, white, heavy and sexy garment), they started to embroider several, really enjoyed it and made collections out of it.
How did you guys meet?
We met during our studies, we had friends in common. At first we met in a party on a rooftop in Paris: music, dance, drinks and here it is…Jenny studied interior architecture and design and then worked for agencies and luxury groups. Marie studied fashion design and worked in a studio. We were both still working when we started Maison Labiche.
What does Maison Labiche” mean?
The name is made of two words. Maison: we choose it for several reasons. First, the French atelier touch — our products are all developed in Paris and we use our “savoir-faire” to try new things. Maison is also a word that is warm and welcoming; we wanted our project to allow us to work with others. Labiche is the nickname of somebody we love.
Explain your “yeah baby” tag line.
“Yeah baby” is an expression we often use, as a cheer, an encouragement. At the beginning of the brand it seemed obvious to make it appear, to use it as a punchline. That’s probably silly!
Describe for us your store.
More than a store, it is also our studio, where we work every day. We had a very big crush by first visiting it. It was for us obvious fact. This place now looks like us. It is located in a small charming Montmartre passage, you have to look for us to find it! There we present our collections as well as a few products we like a lot, our essentials or great things we bring back from our travels and trips
Tell us about the t-shirt collab with colette.
colette already distributed our “HANDS” collection, so Sarah thought about us to propose a special tee in honor of Pharrell for the signature of his book on November 10 at Colette, 213, rue saint-honoré, Paris. We are very happy, proud and grateful for this collaboration.
And please, careful, Pharrell will only sign his book!
What is it about hands you find so fascinating?
We have all two of the creative profiles and love particularly to use our hands to create. It is like that that Maison Labiche began. They are our tool. This line came very quickly in our minds. Hand signs are such a great way to communicate: no need for translation wherever you are. We like that very much and thought it was a great design to put on t-shirts.
What do you think about Pharell Williams?
We think he’s a major artist. His music is great, but not only; the guy is able to perform and also to write or produce for others without losing one bit of greatness and authenticity. Pharell’s world is very rich and complete, he has applied his touch to so many media and each time it worked. We have a lot of respect and admiration for that. He is also definitely very sexy.
Did you read his new book?
We are waiting to have it signed!
Besides this T, what else do you guys work on?
We are working on a new piece to widen our vestiaire. Something classic, clean, unisex and simple to match our tees and sweats, something that will fit everyone and that you could wear everyday feeling neat and nice.
What brands do you carry?
Cos, APC, ZARA, Acne. Lots of vintage, lots of basics (St-James sweaters, Burberry raincoats, Levi’s jeans, Wolford tights…)
Favorite item in the store?
Hard to tell, depends on the collections and on the market, let’s say Hermes and Lanvin for classic luxury, Marni and Proenza schouler for younger brands. We also like Christopher Kane for young designer and brands like Acne, APC, YMC…and so many others, impossible to list!
What is the best thing about Paris?
J- I adore crossing bets at night by car.
What is fabulous, it is to be able to again and again be amazed in front of the treasures of this city, for example crossing the Seine with this incredible perspective.
M- The city is truly beautiful! The museums and monuments are still breathtaking (and I grew up in Paris). And the city is not too big, it doesn’t take that long to go from one point to another. And i think you are never done discovering hidden streets or new places.
J- Finding a cab after a party.
M- The dirt in some neighborhoods.
How do you like New York?
J- I adore New York, I made it the subject of my report at the end of my studies in architecture. I feel good there. I like the atmosphere in general, its greatness. Everything seems so easy. That never stops. It is full of resources.
M- Very very much. I am not a big fan of places like Times Square though, but I felt very comfy in Brooklyn and adored going all around town by myself. I had great moments at the PS1 and at Coney Island and going out in Manhattan. We need to go back to NYC very soon.
You have to be an animal/place/or thing for a day. What/who is it and why?
J&M- Beyonce. She is just so fabulous.
Why is fashion important?
J&M- Well, fashion is an industry that provides a lot of people jobs. Fashion is a way of expression — either you get dressed or you design or create clothes. Fashion dresses people. Fashion generates and preserves knowledge, allows people to meet, generates dreams, and is trying to make beautiful things.
What would we never see you wearing?
J- A leopard trikini.
M- She’s lying.
Song of the day?
What’s next for you guys?
Develop the brand as much as we can. We hope to make new meetings as enriching as the previous ones, which will lead us toward new projects. And to dress the Obamas.